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Town of Orono

Planning and Economic Development
Photo of Orono Maine
Orono's Monument Square, circa 1908
Photo of Orono Maine
Part of the Orono Land Trust trail system
Photo of Orono Maine
The Orono Town Office during the Holidays


Comprehensive Plan Update

Comprehensive Plan Update

In Spring 2012 the Town Council appointed a Comprehensive Plan Committee to update all aspects of the Comprehensive Plan, except for the part of the plan that was updated in 2009 as part of the reform of the Forestry and Agriculture land use district.  After two years (May 2012-June 2014), five public forums, an on-line citizen survey, a final public hearing (May 29, 2014), and advice from many citizens and experts in their fields, the Committee on June 5, 2014 recommended an updated plan to the Town Council.  The update is in three volumes for easier downloading and review.  The Town Council now must review the plan, make such revisions as it thinks are needed, and conduct its own public hearing before taking action on the recommended plan.

Volume 1: Inventories and Analysis

Volume 2: Policies, Actions and Implementation

Volume 3:  Forestry & Agriculture District Addendum to Comprehensive Plan, March 2009

Charge to the Committee

The Town Council's charge and overall guidance to the committee, based in part on visioning sessions sponsored by the Council in 2011, can be downloaded here.  On November 18, 2013, the Town Council provided an additional charge relating to the Low Density Residential District.

Low Density Residential District Review

As requested by the Town Council (see "additional charge" above), the Comprehensive Plan Committee is in the process of reviewing the purpose, uses, and boundaries of the Low Density Residential District. The Committee will conduct a public hearing on its draft report to the Council on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 7 p.m., in the Town Council Chambers.  All interested people are encouraged to attend.  The draft report can be downloaded here.

The Comprehensive Plan Committee will consider comments received at its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 5, 7 p.m., in the Town Council Chambers. It may vote that evening on whether to send the report with its recommendations to the Town Council. The Public is welcome.


The Comprehensive Plan Committee held a PUBLIC HEARING on Thursday, May 29, 2014,  on the proposed update of the Comprehensive Plan.  The full plan can be downloaded from this page -- see above.  Here is a summary powerpoint of some of the major issues and actions recommended in the draft plan.

The Comprehensive Plan Committee's fifth PUBLIC FORUM was held on March 27, 2014, Council Chambers, Municipal Building, 59 Main Street.  The focus was on revised land use policies as well as transportation & utilities, recreation, natural resources, and municipal services. More than 50 residents attended and offered valuable advice to the Committee.  This and the earlier forums have led to proposed policies and actions affecting student housing and neighborhoods, affordable home ownership, downtown development, entrepreneurial development, home occupations, and other matters.

The Comp Plan Committee's November 12, 2013, forum on Housing, Economy and Growth Area Land Use Policies and Actions was well attended and energetic, with many good insights and suggestions.  Notes from the forum can be accessed here.

The Comp Plan Committee public forums on April 24 and June 12, 2013, where more than 60 citizens delved into priority issues and opportunities and rated their urgency.  A summary of key issues, including ten "overarching" issues is here, along with a summary of how participants rated their seriousness or importance.  

These followed an earlier "issues-spotting" meeting on November 7, 2012, where citizens offered their opinions as to the issues the Committee should be addressing.  Here is the full list of issues that came out during the meeting and an overview of highest priority issues, as summarized by the group.  


May 3, 2012
June 7, 2012
July 19, 2012
August 2, 2012
September 6, 2012
October 4, 2012
November 1, 2012
December 6, 2012
January 3, 2013
February 7, 2013
March 7, 2013
April 4, 2013
May 2, 2013
June 12, 2013
August 1, 2013
September 5, 2013
October 3, 2013
November 6, 2013
December 5, 2013
January 2, 2014
February 6, 2014
March 6, 2014
April 3, 2014
May 1, 2014
June 5, 2014
September 4, 2014 (LDR review)
October 2, 2014 (LDR review)
November 12, 2014 (LDR review)
December 4, 2014 (LDR review)

2013-11-06 minutes
2013-12-05 minutes



Traditional Neighborhood Development

Pushaw Lake Phosphorus Trend

Nov. 12, 2013 Forum Presentation - Families, Neighborhoods, Economy

March 27, 2014 Forum Presentation - Infrastructure, Services, Capital Investment

Summary of Results of Survey on Selected Issues - March 2014

LDR District Land Use - September 2014

Comprehensive Plan Committee

Members of the committee are:

The members of the Planning Board, including -

Phil Ruck, Chair
Vinal Applebee, Vice Chair (resigned September 2014)
Mark Kittridge
Judson McIntosh
Christa Schwintzer
David Thompson
John Beckett
Johanna Anderson (resigned May 2014)
Michele Goldman (resigned November 20, 2014)
Lisa Buck

Plus the following appointees -

Dennis Cross
Farahad Dastoor
Sharon Quinn Fitzgerald
Abe Furth
John Jemison (resigned September 2014)
Dan McConville
Ryan Tipping-Spitz