Gray is Growing
Our Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee (CPSC) is directing us where to go next.
Comprehensive Planning is a process that looks to the future of a community. It involves gathering input from the people about a broad range of topics, ranging from Land Use and Housing to Administration and Regional Coordination. The overall goal is to build a long-range plan for Gray to continue to be a flourishing community where we all live, learn, work and play.
Work is underway now to update the Gray Comprehensive Plan. Some of this work will be done by Town Staff, Committee members and expert consultants.
A FIRST DRAFT of the 2020 updated plan from the CPSC's is now available in the Comprehensive Plan Documents Library.
The Comprehensive Plan is arguably the most influential long-term visioning documents for any municipality. As the Town's "blueprint" for the next 10 to 20 years, it provides policy guidance for a host of elements including directing where future residential and commercial development will occur. Despite the effort and countless details necessary to develop such an encompassing Plan, many residents find it rewarding to be an integral player in a collaborative effort to shape the future of their Town.
The Gray Town Council has identified a new Comprehensive Plan as one of their top priorities. The existing Plan is 15+ years old and was written before the Rt. 26 By-pass around the Village.
The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee(CPSC) is a 9 to 11 person "core" commitee with additional Contributing CPSC Members.
The entire Comprehensive Plan process can take up to 2 years to complete but the Town fully intends to complete it within 18 months.
Maine first enacted a requirement for comprehensive planning as the basis for zoning in 1943. The language was general, but the intent was clear: a “zoning ordinance shall be drafted as an integral part of a comprehensive plan for municipal development, and promotion of the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the municipality.” Thus, when Maine adopted the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act in 1988 (including what is called the Growth Management Program), it was building on long established law. The difference was that the pattern of growth and development had changed radically. The Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act brought an explicit, new dimension to municipal comprehensive plans: prevent development sprawl. (Comprehensive Planning - A Manual for Maine Communities)
The Town of Gray, through a Comprehensive Plan Committee, created and submitted a Comprehensive Plan in 2003. Unfortunately, although the plan contained volumes of helpful and specific planning data and objectives, it was not approved by the State. Comprehensive Plans should also be updated on a regular basis. Given the plan is now over 15 years old and was never approved by the State, the Town Council identified the creation of a new Comprehensive Plan as a top priority in 2017. During 2018, the Town engaged the Greater Portland Council of Government organization to complete an update on several inventory chapters and provide an interactive map of Gray. The Town Council is currently working with Town Staff to create a Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. The Committee charge will be available soon and a wide range of Volunteers will be needed for this very important task.