By Don Nelson
The Winthrop Planning Commission has completed work on an update of the town’s comprehensive plan and sent it to the Town Council for review.
No one attended a final planning commission public hearing on the plan last week, although one written comment supporting the commission’s effort was received.
The recommended plan is a wholesale rewrite of the previous plan, which was first adopted in 1999 and hasn’t changed much since.
The Town Council will likely schedule its own public hearing on the plan in the near future. The council can then decide how to proceed — whether to adopt the plan or suggest modifications — said Town Planner Rocklynn Culp.
The proposed comp plan includes a new zoning map that has fewer land-use categories than the existing plan. The plan includes chapters on land use, transportation, utilities, housing, parks and recreation, capital facilities, shorelines and economic development. It is intended to identify a broadly defined vision for the town’s development and also provide detailed guidelines for how that can happen.
The town previously sought comments at public forums and came up with a list of planning priorities, Culp said. They include:
• More emphasis on defining the character of business areas.
• More mixed-use development designations.
• Fewer zoning designations.
• More affordable housing options.
• Solutions to some of the town’s transportation challenges.
Culp said that adoption of the plan won’t automatically change zoning designations within the town. That will require separate council action, she said. For more details about the plan, go to www.townofwinthrop.com, click on “planning” and scroll to the bottom of the page.