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A municipal Comprehensive Plan serves as:

  • A guide for managing changes in a community and its surrounding environment that are anticipated over several years

  • An expression of the townspeople’s vision of its future

  • Suggested list of the many public and private decisions that determine the community’s future

  • Source of basic information about the natural and social environment of the community

  • A legal foundation of the community’s land use regulations

Recommended Resource:



The act outlines a process that includes the following list of State planning goals by which each municipality develops a local growth management program that guides the future growth of that community:


  • Goal A: To encourage orderly growth and development in appropriate areas of each community while protecting the State's rural character, making efficient use of public services and preventing development sprawl.


  • Goal B: To plan for, finance and develop an efficient system of public facilities and services to accommodate anticipated growth and economic development.


  • Goal C: To promote an economic climate that increases job opportunities and overall economic well-being.

  • Goal D: To encourage and promote affordable, decent housing opportunities for all Maine citizens.

• Goal E: To protect the quality and manage the quantity of the State's water resources, including lakes, aquifers, great ponds, estuaries, rivers and coastal areas.

• Goal F: To protect the State's other critical natural resources, including without limitation, wetlands, wildlife and fisheries habitat, sand dunes, shorelands, scenic vistas and unique natural areas.

• Goal G: To protect the State's marine resources industry, ports and harbors, from incompatible development and to promote access to the shore for commercial fisherman and the public. (This goal does not apply to non-coastal towns, such as Manchester.)

• Goal H: To safeguard the State's agricultural and forest resources from development, which threaten those resources.

• Goal I: To preserve the State's historic and archaeological resources.

• Goal J: To promote and protect the availability of outdoor recreation opportunities for all Maine citizens, including access to surface waters.

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