Comprehensive Plan Update
What kind of place do you want Biddeford to be in the future? How do you want to see Biddeford grow, with new streets, new homes, new places to shop, play and enjoy nature? Where in Biddeford do you want to see the land used for recreation or to be left undisturbed? We want to hear from you!
Your involvement in Biddeford's Comprehensive Plan process will help influence life in our city over the coming years. When we all come together, we can create a shared vision for the future Biddeford. The comprehensive plan is a roadmap to make this vision a reality.
Click on the colored buttons below for opportunities to have your voice heard on each of the following topics! These topic sections will be released on a weekly basis – you can find out more about when each of them will be released in the 'What to Expect' section below. If a button is grey, it has not yet been released.
We’ll be offering a variety of ways for you to help, including public meetings, focus groups, and online engagement. You can check back to this page, www.biddefordmaine.org/comprehensiveplan, for more information, sign up for our Comprehensive Plan Updates email list, or stay connected with us on social media to find opportunities to have your voice heard.
What to Expect
Your input is vital to this process! Here is how you can help us make Biddeford the community you want to see.
Phase 1: Surveys
In January, a team of Planning Board members, citizen volunteers, and City staff began working to develop fact sheets, videos and surveys related to important topics covered in the Comp Plan. Beginning in March, we began to share information on a new topic on a weekly basis. Community members were asked to respond to a short survey about each of these topics so that we can gather feedback. Closing dates for each of the surveys are listed below.
- Neighborhoods: May 28
- Housing: May 28
- Downtown Mill District: May 28
- Climate Change: June 4
- Natural Resources: June 4
- UNE Integration: June 11
- Youth/School System: June 11
- Public Facilities: June 18
Phase 2: Focus Groups
The City will following up on survey results with focus groups. At minimum, each topic will have one focus group session with 8 to 12 volunteer participants. In the session, participants will discuss various questions that relate to the topic, with a mixture of small group and full group discussions. Sessions will be about 2 hours long and take place on Zoom. There will be an option to participate via phone, if you cannot access Zoom on a computer.
If you are interested in participating in a focus group, click here to learn more and submit an interest form before May 28.
Phase 3: Community Survey & Public Meeting
A broader community survey will be developed and released in June.
The format for a public meeting on the Comprehensive Plan, also set to take place in early summer, will be dependent on public health considerations.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A Comprehensive Plan guides growth in a community, influences policy decisions at many levels, and helps ensure a better future.
Part of the plan takes stock of where we are now. It describes the features and characteristics that exist today in Biddeford. These parts of the plan have begun to be developed and can be reviewed in the "Working Draft" document linked above.
Other parts of the plan take this information and create a plan for growth in a thoughtful manner. This is the part of the plan that we need your help with! The feedback that we collect through surveys and follow-up public engagement will define the community goals, and the strategies for reaching them, that are laid out in the final draft of the Comprehensive Plan that is presented to City Council.
Why is the Comprehensive Plan being updated now?
Communities in Maine are required to create a comprehensive plan every 10 years or so. Our last plan was created more than 10 years ago now.
There is a high level of interest in development in Biddeford right now. When development proposals are reviewed, our elected and appointed officials are actively making decisions that will shape Biddeford’s future. We need an up-to-date comprehensive plan that can be referenced to help guide these decisions. Our existing comprehensive plan does not accurately reflect the current state of or vision for the community.
How do you plan to engage members of the community who do not have access to the Internet?
We have identified several ways to inform residents about this process that do not require internet access, including but not limited to: articles and advertisements in the Courier, outreach through the School Department, McArthur Library and other community partners, paper copies of surveys located in community hubs, messages on electronic signs throughout the city, and posters in local businesses. Additionally, a portion of the survey process will be conducted through a citywide direct mailing. We are also open to hearing any other suggestions for safe offline outreach!
Who can I contact for more information about the Comprehensive Plan?
Please contact the Planning & Development Office at 207-284-9115.