**NEW** CGPZ Leads to Business Zone
AROOSTOOK COUNTY – The Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) recently adopted zoning rules that provide opportunity for rural business to locate and grow in new areas of Aroostook County. The rule changes establish a rural business development zone that can be used by businesses and property owners to accommodate business development in 30 towns, townships and plantations across Aroostook County that are part of the unorganized and deorganized areas of the state. The changes are a product of the LUPC’s Community Guided Planning and Zoning (CGPZ) initiative, which joins with local partners to help regions identify their land use needs and plan for the region’s future.
“This is an example of how state government can assist local communities in strengthening rural economies by removing regulatory hurdles that impede economic development,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The LUPC’s work with local partners in Aroostook County demonstrates that a pro-job planning approach can be taken without adversely impacting Maine’s environment.”
“The Governor has been very clear since day one that he wants to create more jobs and economic opportunities in rural Maine,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “I commend the hard work of our Aroostook County partners and the Land Use Planning Commission. Their work promotes a more user-friendly model for activities that impact unorganized and deorganized areas in Maine.”
In Aroostook County, Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) and a citizen steering committee worked with the LUPC to develop new zoning opportunities and improve the business climate in the county.
“We recognize that home-based and other rural businesses are an important part of the economy in Aroostook County,” said Nick Livesay, Director of the LUPC. “The dedicated residents and other stakeholders who served on the steering committee, with support from NMDC and the Commission, have developed regulatory changes that give new opportunity for business growth in rural northern Maine.”
The rule changes developed in Aroostook County are the first to come out of the LUPC’s CGPZ initiative and become effective on May 9. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of land use planning and provide for economic development opportunities in the unorganized and deorganized areas of Maine have focused, in part, on the need for more locally guided and proactive planning for these areas. This is a result of 2012 legislation that called for more prospective zoning and emphasized the LUPC’s role in honoring the rights and participation of residents and property owners in the areas of the state that it serves. The LUPC will continue to collaborate with partners in Aroostook County to plan for future land use needs, and is working with local and regional partners on similar CGPZ projects in other regions including, in Franklin, Somerset, and Washington counties.
NMDC Offers Code Enforcement Exams
NMDC, in cooperation with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), offers code enforcement officer and plumbing inspector examinations in the Caribou Office.
New code enforcement officers must demonstrate competence through written examinations. The exams test an applicant’s knowledge of a specific area of code enforcement specialization including: shoreland zoning, land use planning, building standards, internal plumbing, subsurface wastewater, and legal issues.
An applicant must successfully complete the special area exam for each of the codes that they are appointed to administer and the legal issues exam. The specific exams required are based on the applicant’s job description.
Exams are offered at least once a year and are free of charge for the first three attempts. Exam include: shoreland zoning; land use planning; internal plumbing; subsurface wastewater disposal (also referred to as External Plumbing); building standards – consists of the seven (7) individual codes within the building standards specific area: residential building code, commercial building code, residential energy code, commercial energy code, indoor residential ventilation code, indoor commercial ventilation code, and residential radon code; and legal issues.
Exams are offered in Caribou and require a minimum of a three-day notice to set up a time. NMDC does not provide printed training materials but a computer is available for use during the exams. DECD grades all of the exams and notifies the CEO of the results.
For more information, contact Jay Kamm, Senior Planner. or Planner.
NMDC Executive Director Re-Elected to NADO Board of Directors
Washington, DC – Robert P. Clark, Executive Director of the Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou, Maine, was elected to the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2015 – 2016 Board of Directors on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 at NADO’s Annual Business Meeting. The meeting was held in conjunction with the association’s 48th Annual Training Conference in New Orleans.
“We are honored to have Bob serve on NADO’s Board of Directors. He brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and leadership on regional communities and economic development issues to the national level,” stated Joe McKinney, NADO Executive Director. “Most importantly, Bob is focused on helping our nation’s local communities pursue comprehensive regional strategies for remaining economically competitive in today’s rapidly changing global environment.”
NADO was founded in 1967 to provide training, information and representation for the regional development organizations throughout the United States. Today, NADO member organizations serve local governments and the public within their regions through various programs focused on diversifying local economies, assisting businesses, creating jobs, and providing social services. The NADO Board of Directors oversees the association’s budget and operations, and develops policy on issues affecting regional development organizations.
NADO’s Board of Directors represent member organizations from a broad section of the United States, including the Eastern, Midwestern, Central, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western regions.