13.  GOALS, POLICIES, STRATEGIES   

 

ECONOMY

 

Goals:

 

1.      Promote an economic climate which increases job opportunities and overall economic well-being, consistent with Westport’s small-town atmosphere.

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

1.      Non-Residential Development. Ensure that future non-residential development does not threaten the small-town nature of Westport and does not adversely impact the quality of the Town’s water resources including ground water, by way of wastewater disposal or other adverse impacts.

 

A.     Small Businesses.  Continue to allow small businesses in the community, but enact a site plan review ordinance to ensure that new businesses do not adversely impact the Town’s water resources including ground water,

 

B.     Home Occupations.  Continue to allow home occupations throughout the community, but provide for site plan review of any water use or waste water disposal beyond normal household use, as well as standards for safe access into and out of the site, the scale and intensity of the home occupation, and the impact of the home occupation on abutting properties in terms of noise and hours of operation.

 

C.     Site Plan Review Ordinance. Adopt a site plan review ordinance for non-residential development.  Include provisions regulating size and type of structure, as well as impacts on Town facilities and services.  Include environmental standards aimed at minimizing environmental impacts, preventing contamination and preserving significant resources, including ground water resources, to the maximum extent possible.

 

D.     Regional Context.  Continue to rely upon nearby Service Centers such as Wiscasset, to provide major employment opportunities as well as places to shop and do business.

 

Town Meeting/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town Meeting/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town Meeting/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Ongoing

HOUSING

 

Goals:

 

A.      Encourage and  promote affordable, decent housing opportunities for all citizens of Westport.

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

1. Incentives.  Provide devel- opers with incentives for construction of affordable housing.

 

A.  Subdivision Standards.  Amend the Town’s Subdivision Standards and Procedures to require a minimum of 10% of new residential development in Westport containing 10 or more lots to be constructed and maintained as affordable housing.

 

Town Meeting/Planning Board/2003

 

 

2.  Environmental Protection and Housing Costs.  Assure that the Town’s land use regulations balance the need to protect the environment and character of Westport with the impact of these regulations on housing costs. The intent is to permit the development of modestly priced housing.

 

A.     Mobile Homes.  Treat manufacturing housing meeting Federal and/or State construction standards as a single-family home subject to the same regulations as a single-family dwelling.

 

B. Rental Housing.  Allow and encourage private owners to create additional rental housing by conversion of existing buildings and new construction provided minimum acceptable standards for acreage, water and sewer are met.

 

Town/Ongoing

 

 

 

Town /Ongoing

 

 

3. Affordable Housing Actions.  Undertake local initiatives aimed at providing affordable housing opportunities.

 

A.     Housing Committee.  Establish a Housing Committee to assist persons interested in residing in Westport who are having problems locating affordable accommodations.  The Housing Committee would also serve as a point of contact for Westport with organizations in the surrounding communities working to alleviate problems of affordable housing.

 

B.     Financial Programs.  Investigate Federal and State financial aid programs to support development of affordable housing.

 

 

C.     Monitoring.  Monitor the availability of affordable housing to meet the needs of lower income families.

 

D.      Elderly Housing Assistance.  Continue to rely upon regional facilities in Service Centers to provide congregate care, low income elderly housing, and other forms of housing assistance for the elderly.

 

Selectmen/2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housing Committee/Ongoing

 

 

Housing Committee/Ongoing

 

Town/Ongoing

 

MARINE RESOURCES

 

Goals:

 

1.                  Address the State’s coastal policies

2.                  Protect the State’s marine resources industry, ports and harbors from incompatible development and promote access to the shore for commercial fishermen and the public.

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

1.   Port and Harbor Development (coastal policy). Promote the maintenance, development and revitalization of the State's ports and harbors for fishing, transportation and recreation.

 

A.     Port and Harbor Development.  Not applicable.

 

Westport Island has no ports or harbors per se. One of six Westport fishing boats uses a neighbor's private dock; the rest have their own facilities. There is a facility (Ferry Landing) for small trailerable boats. This landing also includes some parking for cars/trailers, but only along the roadway.

 

Not applicable

 

2. Marine Resource Management (coastal policy). Manage the marine environment and its related resources to preserve and improve the ecological integrity and diversity of marine communities and habitats, to expand our understanding of the

 

A. Shellfish Ordinance. Take steps to update and file the Town’s Shellfish Ordinance with the State so that the ordinance can be administered in accordance with State law.

 

No appreciable harvest has taken place on the island for a number of years, although there has been some recreational harvesting as well as worming.

 

 

Shellfish Committee/2003

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

communities and habitats, to expand our understanding of the productivity of the Gulf of Maine and coastal waters and to enhance the economic value of the State's renewable marine resources.

 

B. Upper Mark Island. Continue to include Upper Mark Island in the Resource Protection District.

 

This small, uninhabited island is listed by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as a Colonial Nesting Seabird Island.

 

Town/Ongoing

 

3.   Shoreline Management and Access (coastal policy).  Support shoreline management that gives preference to water-dependent uses over other uses, that promotes public access to the shoreline and that considers the cumulative effects of develop-ment on coastal resources

 

A.     Clough Point Park.  Continue to make Clough Point Park available to the public.

 

This eight-acre park at the north end of the island has 1,200 feet of waterfront. It overlooks Fort Edgecomb and Wiscasset Harbor. Walking trails have been cut by members of the Recreation Committee and volunteers, and a half dozen donated picnic tables are in place.

 

B.      Other Access Points.  Continue to provide public access in other areas. 

 

The aforementioned marina and public landing at Ferry Road give access to the surrounding waters. Eighty-five acres of shoreline land on the western side of the island are in conservation easement.

 

C.     Shoreland Zoning.  Continue to protect other shoreland areas through the Town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

 

Much of the rest of the land that falls within the shore land zone is privately owned. Development along the shoreline is regulated by the Town's Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

 

 

Town/Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

4.  Hazard Area Development (coastal policy). Discourage growth and new development in coastal areas where, because of coastal storms, flooding, landslides or sea-level rise, it is hazardous to human health and safety;

 

 

A.       Hazard Area Development. Enact a floodplain management ordinance and join the floodplain management program.

 

      Past experience indicates that there is little danger of flooding on Westport; only a single home has suffered storm/tidal damage in recent years.  The state at one time advised that there were several areas that appeared vulnerable to flooding, but examination of these sites by Westport Planning Board members did not confirm the likelihood. The Town's Shoreland Zoning Ordinance will contribute to protection against hazard area development.

 

Town Meeting/Planning Board/2006

 

5.   State and Local Cooperative Management (coastal policy). Encourage and support cooperative state and municipal management of coastal resources;

 

A.     State and Local Cooperative Management. Continue to work with state agencies on a wide variety of topics affecting the coastal environment including the Departments of Environmental Protection (shoreland zoning ordinance), Marine Resources (Shellfish Management) and Transportation (the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee and the Wiscasset Public Advisory Committee).

 

B.      Maine Yankee Emergency Plan.  Encourage State officials to develop, or to require the development of, a warning and emergency plan for Westport in the event of a Maine Yankee release.

 

Even though Maine Yankee is no longer producing power, there is a risk to the general public in the event that there is an accidental release of radioactivity from spent fuel. There are over 900 tons of spent fuel on the site; this is 3% of the country’s total.

 

C.     Maine Yankee Security. Encourage State officials to develop, or to require the development of, adequate security precautions to minimize terrorist threats to Maine Yankee.

 

 

Selectmen/Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

6.   Scenic and Natural Areas Protection (coastal Policy). Protect and manage critical habitat and natural areas of state and national significance and maintain the scenic beauty and character of the coast even in areas where development occurs.

 

 

A.      Shoreland Zoning.  Continue strict administration of the Town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

 

Shoreline zoning and strict enforcement of State Plumbing Code will protect many of our natural areas. Westport, although an island, has only a few views of the water from its main roads and these are all on private land. Keeping tree cutting to selective versus clear cutting and mowing open fields should help to maintain the island's charm.

 

B.       Landowner Cooperation.  Encourage landowners to preserve the island’s character.

 

Encouraging owners to keep land in tree growth or to put land into conservation easements are other recommended ways of preserving the island's character.

 

C.      Route 144.  Consider making Route 144, as well as East and West Shore Roads, scenic byways.

 

Selectmen/Code Enforcement Officer/Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selectmen/2003

 

7.  Recreation and Tourism (coastal policy). Expand the opportunities for outdoor recreation and encourage appropriate coastal tourist activities and development.

 

 

A.     Recreational Opportunities.  Retain existing recreational opportunities offered by public facilities and encourage landowners to continue to make their land available for outdoor recreation.

 

Recreation on Westport takes many forms. Clough Point Park with its walks and picnic tables, a basketball backstop at the Town Hall, and the Ferry Landing launching area are some of the most obvious. The Community Association and other volunteers organize a regular schedule of social events on the island.

 

We do not have a school on Westport. Therefore, we do not have the usual playing fields that towns with schools enjoy.

 

 

Selectmen/Planning Board/Ongoing

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

We do have boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, skating, hiking, and sledding as activities. Facilities not on Westport Island are readily accessible in surrounding towns - Recreation Department in Wiscasset, YMCA's in Bath and Boothbay Harbor.         

 

As far as tourism is concerned, Westport has no public beaches or other tourist attractions to bring travelers to the island, with the exception of the Squire Tarbox Inn and Restaurant, which caters to a very small clientele. Our summer population increases by approximately 50% due to people vacationing at private summer homes on the island. These visitors, many of whom have been coming to Westport for years, also participate in firehouse suppers, and other aspects of the island's community life.

 

 

8.   Water Quality. Restore and maintain the quality of our fresh, marine and estuarine waters to allow for the broadest possible diversity of public and private uses.

 

A.     See Natural Resources.

 

To the best of our knowledge, Westport's only source of fresh water is that which falls from the sky and seeps underground through a network of fractures in the island's core of rock. Experts from the state and elsewhere consider it unlikely that any fresh water is also coming to Westport via deep aquifers from Wiscasset, Edgecomb or other off-island sources, but to determine that definitively would be prohibitively expensive. The bottom line is that protection of the island's water supply is paramount. The fractured rock aquifers which the island has are more vulnerable to spreading pollutants than the sand/gravel aquifers more common on the mainland, which tend to filter out pollutants. During dry summers, a number of wells run dry. Underground steel fuel tanks are a potential source of ground water pollution, but to the best of our knowledge, all have been removed. There is some salt water intrusion into a few wells near the shoreline. Such intrusion is often a consequence of high demands on wells located at the edges of the underground fresh water sources, adjacent

 

Selectmen/Ongoing

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

to the surrounding salt water. Regulating growth in such areas, which the Shoreline Zoning Ordinance does, will contribute to a solution. Prohibiting any non-residential development using large amounts of ground water would also help. Careful placement of septic tanks, and prohibiting building on steep slopes and/or shallow soils will also reduce the potential for pollution, as will limiting salt in road sand and requiring hydrological studies by developers. Shoreline zoning requirements also help us protect our fresh water ponds and streams.

 

 

9.  Air Quality. Restore and maintain coastal air quality to protect the health of citizens and visitors and to protect enjoyment of the natural beauty and maritime character-istics of the Maine coast.

 

 

A.     Air Quality. Monitor state initiatives and regional development proposals that could impact Westport. Represent the concerns of Westport as appropriate.

 

Westport feels that air quality is of a national/regional scope. There is little we can do about acid rain. We cannot change prevailing winds. We have no dumps on the island so this helps on a local level. Recycling is becoming a household word and, with Westport's participation, Lincoln County is actively involved in this field.

           

Living next to Maine Yankee has involved uncertainties, but re-development of the Maine Yankee site could substantially affect air quality and create other impacts such as light pollution, noise, and adverse aesthetic conditions.

 

Selectmen/Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Goals

1.      Protect the quality of Westport’s water resources.

2.      Protect Westport’s critical natural resources including, without limitation, wetlands, wildlife and fisheries habitat, shorelands, forests, scenic vistas, and unique natural areas from inappropriate land use activities.

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

1.  Ground Water Resources.  Take steps to protect and conserve ground water. Manage and control waste in a manner that minimizes the risk of adversely impacting the Town’s ground water. Strive to achieve a balance between development and development limitations imposed by limited ground water resources and poor soils for waste disposal.

 

A.     Areas of Salt Water Intrusion. 

 

·        Prohibit subdivisions and commercial development in areas with salt water intrusion problems unless the owner/applicant can demonstrate that there is sufficient water to support the change and its use will not adversely impact neighboring wells.

·        Require that wells be located at least 200 feet from the normal high water mark of coastal areas.

 

Areas of salt water intrusion include portions of Kehil Point, Long Cabin Road and East Shore Road.

 

B.     High Impact Water Uses.  Adopt ground water protection standards for uses, other than single family dwellings, that  could adversely impact ground water by way of bacteria, nitrates, petroleum or hazardous chemicals.  Consider including such standards in the subdivision ordinance and in a site plan review ordinance.

 

C.     Ground Water Conservation.  Require the use of water conservation devices and practices in areas where there are water quantity problems. Review the use of water softening devices.

 

D.       Hazardous Waste. Prepare and adopt an ordinance to require a permit from the Planning Board for any new activity involving the processing, storage, generation, handling or transporting of hazardous waste as defined by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (not including normal household uses and materials, and heating fuel), and to prohibit any commercial or other land use that would risk polluting the Town’s ground water supply, such as, but not limited to, junkyards and landfills, that would risk pollution of the fresh water supply of the site in question or that of adjacent land.

 

E.      Sanitary System Technology.  Monitor the development and use of new-technology sanitary waste systems and keep the Selectmen and Planning Board informed of their apparent effectiveness and their potential impact on public health, safety and the environment.

 

F.       Hydrogeologic Assessment for Non-Residential Uses. Prepare and adopt an ordinance to require, at the expense of the applicant, a hydrogeologic assessment for proposed non-residential uses.

 

G.      Hydrogeologic Assessment for Subdivisions. Amend the Subdivision Ordinance to require that subdivision applicants provide at their expense a  hydrologic survey to document that the proposed land use will not unreasonably risk adjacent wells.

 

H.     Tanks. Require that storage of hazardous material be in above-ground tanks, properly bermed, on impervious pads, in compliance with Federal and State requirements.

 

I.        Existing Sanitary Systems.  Strictly administer the state plumbing code and monitor existing systems with a view to strengthening the management and control of wastes.

 

J.         Exempt Lots.  Review all lot divisions to the extent allowed by law.

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed  Plumbing Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer/Ongoing

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

K.      Ground Water Protection

 

·        Regulate development in accordance with the recommendations of the Aquifer Delineation and Soil Carrying Capacity Study.

·        Work towards an overall island density of five acres per dwelling.

 

L.        Health Code.  Investigate the feasibility of developing a local health code for all septic systems to the extent such a health code is not preempted by state law.

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2004

 

 

3.      Forest Resources. Encourage the wise use of forest lands.

 

A.     Tree Growth Land. Negotiate with owners of land in Tree Growth, with the object of working out voluntary arrangements for permanent conservation easements to protect as much of this treed area as possible.

 

B.       Shoreland Zoning.  Continue to regulate timber harvesting through the Town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

 

Selectmen/Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

Code Enforcement Officer/

Planning Board/Ongoing

 

4.      Deer Yards.  Encourage the reten-tion of deer yards.

 

A.  Deer Yard Protection. Negotiate on a voluntary basis with owners of land making up the island's deer yards, with the object of guiding future development of these lands so as to retain as much as possible their capability to shelter deer.

 

Planning Board/2005

 

5.  Scenic Areas and Vistas.  Protect scenic areas and vistas to the maximum extent possible.

 

A.     Voluntary Scenic Agreements. Open discussions with the owners of the land on the sites designated as scenic resources in the Inventory and Analysis section of this plan, with the object of working out voluntary agreements to protect these views.

 

B.      Subdivision/Site Plan Scenic Requirements.  Include in the Subdivision Ordinance and in a site plan review ordinance a requirement that sites designated as scenic resources in the inventory and analysis section of this plan be protected to the maximum extent possible as land is developed.

 

Planning Board/2005

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

6. Route 144.  Protect the rural character of Route 144.

 

A.     Route 144 Development. Amend the Subdivision Ordinance and enact a site plan review requirement that all new development along Route 144 or within its viewing area are developed in a manner which preserves open space, aesthetic character, and scenic values.

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

7.      Historic and Archaeological Re- sources.  Preserve Westport’s historical and archaeological resources.

 

A.     Public Awareness. Encourage public awareness and support for preservation of Westport's historic buildings and structures and historic and prehistoric archeological resources.

 

B.     Availability of Information. Direct the Conservation Committee to work with state agencies to ensure that complete information on the presence and significance of historic buildings and structures and historic and prehistoric archeological sites on Westport Island is held by the town and is made known to the site property owners and, if appropriate, to other concerned citizens.

 

C. Shell Heaps of Significance. Request information from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission concerning the locations on Westport of shell heaps of archeological significance so that the Planning Board may check to see that any proposed subdivision, development or commercial use does not risk damage to such a site.

 

Planning Board/2005

 

 

 

Selectmen/2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selectmen/2003

 

8.      Gravel/Mineral Resources.  Man-age and control quarrying, mining, and borrow pits for commercial purposes.

 

A.     Site Plan Review Requirements.  Include in a site plan review ordinance a requirement that quarrying, mining and borrow pits be subject to review in accordance with specific performance standards.

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

9.      Wildlife/Fisheries/Other Critical Habitat.  Protect wildlife, fish-eries, and wildlife habitat to the maximum extent possible.

 

A.      Shoreland Zoning.  Continue to administer and enforce the Town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

 

 

 

 

 

B.      Subdivision/Site Plan Wildlife Requirements.  Amend the Subdivision Ordinance and adopt a site plan review ordinance to include standards providing for the protection of wildlife areas while protecting the property rights of the applicant.

 

C.      Development Review Assistance.  Request review assistance from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife when development proposals would impact resources identified by the Department including deer yards, seal haul-outs and waterfowl and wading bird habitat.

 

 

Code Enforcement Officer/

Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

Planning Board/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC FACILITIES/TRANSPORTATION

 

Goals:

 

1.      Plan for, finance and develop an efficient system of public facilities to accommodate growth and development.

2.      Plan for and support improvements to the Town’s transportation system.

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

1.      Solid Waste.  Provide an efficient system of solid waste disposal.

 

A.     Transfer Station.  Continue to provide for the solid waste disposal needs of Westport residents through the Wiscasset transfer station.

 

Town/Ongoing

 

2.      Library.  Support library services for the residents of Westport.

 

A.     Wiscasset Library.  Continue to support the Wiscasset library so that its facilities remain available to the residents of Westport.

 

Town/Ongoing

 

3.      Emergency Services.  Ensure that the residents of Westport receive high quality emergency response services.

 

A.     Fire Protection.  Continue to support the Wesport Fire Department and review, on a five-year basis, the Town’s fire fighting capabilities in light of changing population levels and financial constraints, and increase budgetary support if necessary.

 

B.      Fire Protection Ponds.  Work with the Fire Department to develop dry hydrants in existing ponds and encourage private development of ponds and dry hydrants where possible.

 

C.     Rescue.  Continue to rely upon Wiscasset for rescue services.

 

D.     Police Protection.  Continue to rely upon the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department for local police protection.

 

Town/Fire Department/2006

 

 

 

Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

Town/Ongoing

 

Town/Ongoing

 

4.      Transportation.  Provide for cost effective maintenance of the Town’s road system and take steps to involve the Town in any regional transportation initiatives affecting the Town of Westport.

 

A.     Reserve Fund.  Establish a reserve fund for a 10-year paving program sufficient to maintain the paved roads in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

B.      Private Road Construction. Require that private roads in subdivisions meet the Town’s minimum road construction standards. 

 

C.       Acceptance of Private Roads. Continue the Town policy of not accepting private roads as public roads.

 

D.     Route 144.  Monitor any changes to Route 144 between the bridge and Route 1, and encourage the Maine Department of Transportation to consult with and involve Westport officials in any changes affecting Westport.

 

E.     Rail. Monitor the potential for rail service, and encourage the Maine Department of Transportation to consult with and involve Westport officials in any changes affecting Westport.

 

Town/2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

Town/Ongoing

 

 

Planning Board/Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

Selectmen/Ongoing

 

5.      School System.  Ensure that students from Westport receive a cost effective, quality education.

 

A.     Continue to encourage School Union #48 to work with the Wiscasset School System to contain costs and to allow tuition towns a say in the administration of the school system.

 

B.     Continue to explore other educational arrangements for the education of Westport children.

 

School Committee/Ongoing

 

 

 

School Committee/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAND USE                                                               

 

Goals:

 

1.      Provide for orderly growth and development in appropriate areas of the community;

2.      Protect the Town’s rural character, making efficient use of public services and preventing development sprawl;

3.      Protect historic landmarks and resources.

 

Westport is a residential community situated on a salt-water island that is approximately 13 miles long by one mile wide at the widest point.  Located on the lower Sheepscot River, the island creates a unique environment distinguished by its seclusion (being over five miles from Route One), limited accessibility (a single bridge over the Back River), and a limited public road system.

 

Westport’s predominant asset is its rural, residential character.  The aforementioned isolation, the absence of an urban/village center, and the central corridor of relatively undeveloped land, allows Westport residents to live close enough to share in social settings, but far enough from each other to provide personal privacy.  Our usual granite topography, clean air, absence of congestion, serene quietude, and the pristine Sheepscot River offers Westport residents a rich nature-experience that inspires and enriches life.

 

Our maritime heritage, our magnificent vistas of the Sheepscot as well as out marine and wildlife habitat define Westport.  Our character is also marked by neighborliness, the Westport Community Association, historic churches, small-scale local government, volunteer emergency services, historic landmarks, families that trace their heritage back through multiple generations on the island and a feeling of pride in being a unique island community. The residential development on Westport has not despoiled the natural environment yet.  Much of the island remains undeveloped and almost all is still in private hands.  Historic structures, significant archaeological and anthropological sites have been protected for the appreciation of future generations.

 

As we move forward in the struggle to manage the growth and sprawl that threaten Lincoln County and the Mid-Coast region, Westport must work to preserve its most precious natural asset, its rural, scenic character.  Westport must also manage its future with close attention to the available fresh water.  In recent years, salt water intrusion has been an increasing problem as new wells were drilled. The additional drawdown on the fresh water has permitted salt water to infiltrate at higher levels causing wells to sour.  Therefore, it is essential that Westport manage its future within the natural constraints posed by the granite foundation of the island. That is, limited water supply and limited septic capacity.

 

 

 

 

 

Policies

Strategies

Responsibility/Date

 

1. Framework for Future Growth.  Provide an overall framework for guiding future growth in the community and for enacting ordinances and changes to existing ordinances.

 

A.    Rural Area Designation.  Consider the entire Town of Westport as a rural area as defined in the State’s Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act.  The rural area includes two sub-areas as follows:

 

·        Shoreland areas, which are all areas subject to the Town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance; and

·        Non-shoreland areas, which are all other areas of the community.

 

This strategy emphasizes the residential/rural character and assets of the community.  It de-emphasizes the community as a growth area for the mid-coast because of the long distance from employment centers, the lack of an urban/village center, the lack of public utilities, the natural limits of Westport’s soils and ground water, and the lack of septic waste absorption capacity.

 

Rural character is defined by the ratio of undeveloped land to developed land.  It describes the desirable land stretching between the human density of urban and suburban sprawl on the one side, out to unpopulated geography on the other side---land beyond the sidewalks bordering roads with limited traffic winding through fields, stone walls, ponds, streams and woods. It survives only by the will of the residents.  And when the residents let it slip away, it is gone forever.

 

B.  Planning Board Report.  Request that the Planning Board report to the Town Meeting on a biennial basis the patterns of building and development currently occurring in Westport, including a statement as to whether Westport’s ordinances appear to be effective in guiding growth and preserving rural character, particularly with respect to ground water availability and quality; if not, include in the report recommendations to the voters of Westport for new ordinances or amendments.

 

Town/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selectmen/2002 and Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.     Rural Designation Review.  Review the appropriateness of the rural area designation when the Comprehensive Plan is periodically updated.

 

D.     Public Facility Expenditures.  Do not plan for public expenditures to create new capacity for roadways, waste treatment facilities, water supply systems or other facilities that would stimulate growth and development.

 

E.      Developable Areas.  Amend the subdivision ordinance, and adopt a site plan review ordinance, to direct development, by means of standards, away from areas with severe development limitations and to areas that may be more suitable for development based on considerations of soils, ground water, topography and other natural resources.

 

Planning Board/2011

 

 

 

 

Selectmen/Ongoing

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

2.   Growth Policies.

·        Encourage growth in areas that do not have ground water quantity/quality problems, or soils not suitable for septic disposal. 

·        Encourage growth near existing major roads.

 

A.     Site Plan Review Ordinance. Prepare and adopt an ordinance to require review and approval of all new commercial, non-residential development.

·        Include standards for preservation of the landscape, parking lot size and location, access to the site, erosion and sedimentation control, open space preservation, surface water drainage, topographic and architectural compatibility, building height, setbacks, ground water protection, sewage disposal, natural screening from roads, advertising, outdoor storage areas, lighting, emergency vehicle access, and solid and liquid waste disposal.

·        Require that the scale and intensity of building development be consistent with the existing character of the community.

·        Require the preservation of open space and protection of sensitive natural resources, shorelands, scenic areas, historic resources and landmarks, and the character of the major roadway.

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

B.     Subdivision Ordinance.  Implement a revised subdivision ordinance consistent with State enabling legislation and the Comprehensive Plan.

 

C.     Traffic Access. Amend Subdivision Standards and Procedures to include standards for safe entrances into new developments, including adequate site distances and sufficient clearance and turn-around areas for emergency vehicles.

 

D.     Curvilinear Streets. Amend Subdivision Standards and Procedures to require that streets in major (more than 5 lots) subdivisions be laid out in curving lines to the extent reasonably possible, to avoid a grid pattern of development.

 

E.      Multi-Family Housing. Retain the existing ordinance permitting construction or location of single-family dwellings and duplexes, and allow multi-family units with three or more units subject to site plan review.

 

F.      Alternate-Plan Requirement. Amend Subdivision Standards and Procedures to require that outside the shoreland zone, developers of residential subdivisions submit at least two subdivision plans at the sketch plan stage; a conventional subdivision plan, showing the parcel divided into lots, and a clustered/open space plan, showing houses clustered on one part of the property, with the remaining property preserved as open space.

 

·        Road Frontage: Discourage plans which merely show houses lining the road with the land in back preserved as open space; encourage plans which provide a common entrance serving more than one dwelling.

 

 

 

·        Open Space: Include regulatory incentives for cluster development. Authorize the Planning Board to require that open space,  including, but not limited to, significant forest land, trails and wildlife habitat, be preserved.

·        Lot Standards: Amend Town ordinances to allow lot size/frontage requirements to be reduced for cluster developments Require that the net residential unit density not exceed that allowed for traditional single family units.

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

3.      Rural Character Policies.  Main-tain the rural character of the island as the community grows.

 

A.     Tree Cover. Amend the subdivision ordinance, and adopt a site plan review ordinance, to encourage development that is consistent with the existing landscape and tree removal that does not exceed the minimum necessary to accommodate development.

 

B. Open Space Plan.  Develop an open space plan to identify and preserve significant parcels of land and view corridors that are important.

 

C. Land Trusts.  Encourage landowners to place land in trusts that restrict development and/or promote conservation, or similarly prohibit development in exchange for favorable property tax treatment.

 

D. Funding Mechanism.  Explore funding mechanisms such as a land transfer tax or a small municipal appropriation or other mechanism to provide public funding for the acquisition of open space land.

 

E.  Rivers.  Include provisions in the subdivision and site plan review ordinances to preserve Westport’s view of, respect for, and access to the Sheepscot River and Back River, especially as land is developed.

 

F.  Island Access.  Oppose and prohibit by ordinance additional means of road/bridge access to the island (this does not apply to municipal landings).

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

 

Planning Board/2005

 

 

 

Planning Board/2005

 

 

 

Selectmen/Planning Board/2006

 

 

Town/Planning Board/2003

 

 

 

Selectmen/Town Meeting/2003 and Ongoing