Comprehensive Plan Review/ Focused Discussions

One of the goals of the project is to give everyone in this community a chance to let their voice be heard. Some recommendations from these focused discussions will be included in our revised comprehensive plan. Below, find information regarding the September 26th workshop, followed by Focused Discussion summaries.

Community Forum

On

Key Concepts for the Comprehensive Plan

Heart & Soul Planning Process

Thursday, September 26, 2013 @ 6:15 PM

Cafeteria @ Gardiner High School

 

 

6:00 PM

Registration and Snacks

6:15 PM

Welcome and Overview – Pat Hart

6:30 PM

Overview of the H&S Process – Pat Hart

6:40 PM

Presentation of the Key Policy Recommendations – Mark Eyerman

7:20 PM

Small Group Discussions of Key Policy Recommendations

8:20 PM

Presentation of Small Group Conclusions on Key Recommendations

8:45 PM

Summary of Results – Mark Eyerman

8:55 PM

Wrap Up and Next Steps – Pat Hart

 

 

Focused Discussions

Focused Discussion #1: Growing and Maintaining Gardiner’s Population

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Trustees hosted a focused discussion on April 4th to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to grow and maintain the City’s population. The discussion was held at Lisa’s Legit Burritos on Water Street in Downtown Gardiner and was attended by 20-25 people, a number of whom had participated in previous H&S activities. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. This was followed by a short presentation on the City’s population and demographic trends (see attached handout). Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do to make Gardiner a better place for people of all ages. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are transcribed below:

April 4, 2013
Create incentives (including monetary) to encourage people to move to Gardiner Make the energy that is now bubbling up in Gardiner known to people outside of the City – for example to people in...
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Possible Population Goals, Objectives and Actions Resulting from Focused Discussion #1

Goal: Grow the population of the City while maintaining and enhancing the diversity of its residents

May 8, 2013
The population of Gardiner has steadily declined over the past thirty years.  During this period, the population of the City has “aged” with a larger share of older residents and fewer...
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Possible Population Themes/Concepts Resulting from Focused Discussion #1

May 7, 2013
1. Market Gardiner as a great place to live – There were a lot of ideas around the concept that outside of the immediate area, Gardiner is something of an unknown quantity to people who are looking...
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Focused Discussion #2: Recreation, Sports and Entertainment

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Trustees hosted a focused discussion on April 25th to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to use the City’s assets for community health and wellness. The discussion was held at the Boys and Girls Club and was attended by approximately 30-35 people, some of whom have been active in the H&S process. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. This was followed by a short presentation on the City’s current recreation and entertainment assets. Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do to make Gardiner a better place focusing on recreation, sports, and entertainment including the arts and cultural activities. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are transcribed below – in a few cases suggestions about similar topics have been grouped together (I.E. ice rink):

April 25, 2013
The following ideas were presented as a result of discussions with teens: Hold public dances (in addition to those held at the High School) Have a pool hall with an arcade Develop a skate board...
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Possible Recreation, Sports, Entertainment Themes/Concepts Resulting from Focused Discussion #2

May 8, 2013
1. Establish a coordinated system to program, plan, and carryout recreational activities – There were a number of comments about the need for better coordination of the activities that currently...
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Focussed Discussion #3: Managing the Brunswick Ave. Corridor

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Trustees hosted a focused discussion on May 2nd to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to manage the use, growth, and development in the Brunswick Ave. corridor from the Cobbossee Stream to the Interstate. The discussion was held at the Laura E. Richards School and was attended by approximately 45 people, many of whom have not been previously active in the H&S process. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. This was followed by a short presentation on possible issues and the City’s current zoning requirements in the corridor as well as the current uses and lot sizes along Brunswick Ave, and in the adjacent neighborhoods. Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do to make the Brunswick Ave. corridor better. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are transcribed below:

May 2, 2013
Reduce the speed that vehicles travel – they go too fast.  Enforce the speed limit The “Welcome to Gardiner” sign is located 4.5 miles from the Interstate Need to re-think and...
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Focused Discussion #4 Choose Your Future: Revitalizing the Cobbossee Corridor Gardiner H&S and Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Community Action Team hosted a focused discussion on May 16th to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to encourage the revitalization of the corridor along the Cobbossee Stream including reuse and redevelopment of the area. The discussion was held at the Gardiner Middle School and was attended by approximately 40 people, some of whom have not been previously active in the H&S process. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. This was followed by a presentation by Brian Kent about the Cobbossee Corridor Master Plan that was developed and adopted by the City a few years ago. This plan served as the basis for some of the later discussion about the corridor. The presentation also noted that the City is able to receive funding from the Maine Department of Transportation for trail development if the City puts up its matching local share (estimated to be around $200,000) and that the City had just received a “Brownfields” grant to investigate possible contamination. Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do bring about the revitalization of the corridor and the implementation of the adopted corridor plan. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are reported below:

May 16, 2020
The City needs to be clear on the status of the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) licensing status for the dam The priority should be on developing housing in the corridor rather than on the...
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Focused Discussion #5 Choose Your Future: Enhancing the Revitalization of Downtown Gardiner H&S and Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Community Action Team hosted a focused discussion on May 30th to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to encourage the continued revitalization of the Downtown area. The discussion was held outdoors in the mini-park on Water Street adjacent to Johnson Hall. A core group of about 45 people participated in the entire discussion while another ten or so people “wandered in” from Water Street and participated in part of the discussion. Many of the participants were people who had not been previously active in the H&S process including some downtown business and property owners and a number of downtown residents. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. This was followed by a presentation by Patrick Wright, the Executive Director of Gardiner Main Street who reviewed the Main Street program, current activities, and issues identified by the group. Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do to continue and enhance the revitalization of the Downtown. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are reported below:

May 30, 2013
Consider converting Water Street back to two-way traffic There are examples of three different downtown traffic patterns Hallowell has two-way traffic Rockland that has experienced a revitalization...
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Focused Discussion #6: Growing Our Local Economy Gardiner H&S and Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Community Action Team hosted a focused discussion on June 6th to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to promote economic growth and development in Gardiner. The discussion was held at the Gardiner Public Library. A group of about 25 people participated in the discussion. Most of the participants were people who have been active in the H&S process. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. This was followed by a presentation by Nate Rudy, the City’s Director of Economic and Community Development who reviewed the City’s current economic development programs, current activities, and issues facing the local economy. Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do to continue and enhance the growth of the Gardiner economy. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are reported below:

June 6, 2013
Concerned about property taxes and sewer fees – what do we get for them? We need to bring in businesses to reduce property taxes The lowest cost of entry for businesses is home businesses, followed...
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Focused Discussion #7 Choose Your Future: Capitalizing on the River and the Riverfront Gardiner H&S and Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Heart & Soul Community Action Team hosted a focused discussion on June 20th to solicit ideas for what the community and City can do to capitalize on the Kennebec River and the riverfront. The discussion was held at Johnson Hall in downtown Gardiner. A group of about 30 people participated in the discussion. While many of the participants were people who have been active in the H&S process there were a number of people who were new to the process. The event opened with brief overviews of the purpose of the focused discussion and the H&S process including the draft Community Vision. Participants were then asked to share their ideas for what the City and community can do to better utilize the river and riverfront to make Gardiner a better community. People’s ideas and comments were recorded on a flip chart and are reported below:

June 20, 2013
Thin the trees along the river to improve the views of the river Create a scenic overlook(s) along Route 24 Need to be aware of the limits on cutting and clearing under Shoreland Zoning Advertise...
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