The Comprehensive Plan Committee has no fixed upper limit on its membership. Volunteers are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The Committee is responsible for implementing the Growth Management Program, preparing and implementing the Comprehensive Plan and its periodic updates and also for proposing zoning ordinance changes to implement the Future Land Use Plan. The Committee's role may include overseeing planning staff or consultants to accomplishing much of the technical planning work itself. The Committee seeks to maintain a plan that reflects the public interest, not self-interest. The Committee's role is advisory and it makes recommendations to the municipal reviewing authority and municipal legislative body regarding the adoption, implementation, changes and amendments to the Plan. The Committee holds public hearings and uses other methods to solicit citizen input and participation. Everyone is encouraged to attend any of the meetings, and if you have any questions, or would like to join the Committee, contact any member.
A Comprehensive Plan begins with understanding current conditions and trends, and then, by analyzing them and proposing directions for the future. Those proposals rest on the community’s vision for how it sees itself now and in the future. This vision shapes the Plan. From our work and public input over the last few years, this is what the Comprehensive Plan Committee understands to be the vision of our town’s residents for its future – a community not so very different from the one we currently live in. The members of our committee would like to hear from you, whether you agree with this draft of the vision, want to modify it, or strongly disagree with some element of it. It is upon this vision that our plan and its recommendations will rest.
Draft Vision Statement
When we picture SWH in 2030, this is what we hope it will be like:
Southwest Harbor is a vibrant, small year-round community with a healthy local economy characterized by individual initiative and entrepreneurship. Marine services, fishing, boat building, recreational boating, and tourism continue to be important sources of employment and income. Many people are self-employed. The town continues to be a diverse mix of people of different ages and backgrounds who choose to live here, year-round or seasonally, and who are active participants in community life and town affairs. Residents continue to place a high value on good education while finding innovative ways to make it affordable. The cost and administration of some other essential public services are shared with neighboring communities and may continue to be led by private non-profit local organizations, such as the library and the ambulance service. Quality of place, rooted in our harbor, Acadia National Park, and our history, is maintained and enhanced by thoughtful development that maintains the modest, small-town look and feel while protecting our water supplies, wildlife, views, and traditional public access to the outdoors. Roads, bike lanes, sidewalks, and paths are in place and make walking and biking safe for residents and tourists. Innovation and initiative have made Southwest Harbor a more unified and sustainable community for all.