State

Panel could allow greater development in 2.5M acres of Maine woods

The Land Use Planning Commission is considering aproposal that could allow subdivision or commercial development in nearly 2.5 million acres in the Unorganized Territory in Maine.

Part of that area already allows such development within one mile of existing, similarly developed areas. Development of single residential lots is allowed in most locations throughout the Unorganized Territory, which consists of 10.4 million acres in Maine.

The commission is considering relaxing restrictions on the development of subdivisions and commercial projects so they can be located further away from existing communities or public roads. The change would allow such development to occur up to 10 miles away from communities designated as “retail hubs” by the commission, as long as they also are within two miles of a public road.

“We find this to be a really crude instrument,” Everett Worcester, chairman of the commission, said Tuesday about the current one-mile rule. “We struggle with this on an ongoing basis when people come in with proposals.”

In a statement posted on its website, the commission says its “service area is a big place, and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always mean new development happens in the most suitable locations.”

The Fiddlehead Focus/St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Panel could allow greater development in 2.5M acres of Maine woods,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Bill Trotter, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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