MAP’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference brought together over 50 planners and friends on a sunny day in May, in the Historic Old Town Hall in Freeport. The day featured opportunities for learning about recent form-based code efforts in Maine communities, recognition of some of the dedicated and exemplary planning work going on across the state, and a “surprise” celebration for retiring planning leaders. It was a special day, bringing together many old and new friends around our shared passion for planning.

The MAP business meeting included a brief overview of the Board’s activities over the past year, including the Treasurer’s Report and annual budget; the Communications, Professional Development, and Legislative Policy Committees; and some discussion of current issues.  Among the current issues being discussed by the Board and with the membership are:

  • ·       next year’s MAP 50th Anniversary (and NNECAPA conference), 
  • an affirmative vote by membership for the Board to explore options to hire out bookkeeping and accounting services,
  • anticipated discussions with NNECAPA on options for improved efficiency of services, capacity, and funding related to how the state associations and NNECAPA are organized and inter-related, and
  • the potential for MAP to actively engage in making improvements to the Maine subdivision law.

For more on these issues watch for updates and notices of meetings in the fall and winter; MAP members are always invited to participate in Board meetings or join one of the Committees! 

And while the Board will miss Misty Parker, Amanda Lessard, Tom Martin, and Phil Carey (with gratitude for all they did for MAP!), new Board members were welcomed at the Annual Meeting: Jim Fisher, Samantha Horn-Olsen, and Hugh Cox.

The day’s informational session featured a Form-Based Code 201 Workshop and walking tour in Downtown Freeport. A number of Maine communities are now implementing form-based codes as a different approach to zoning – we heard about efforts in Bridgton, Yarmouth and Portland. Thank you to our speakers, Anne Krieg (formerly Town of Bridgton), Alex Jaegerman (Town of Yarmouth), and Caitlin Cameron (City of Portland), as well as our walking tour leader, Vanessa Farr (Planner, Maine Design Workshop).

This year’s planning awards featured Lewiston’s Comprehensive Plan, the Belfast Rail Trail, Citizen Planner Don Russell of Topsham, and Theo Holtwijk of Falmouth as Professional Planner of the Year.  

And the day concluded with a celebration of our veteran planner friends –Mark Eyerman, Chuck Lawton, Tom Martin, Frank O’Hara, and Evan Richert - honoring each with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  It was a trip down memory lane, as Kay Rand, Mark Lapping, Mark Eyerman, and Evan Richert, shared stories, providing laughs and good cheer, while reminding us about the values we all share in our work. 

2017 Maine Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

It was an Annual Meeting that brought together many friends – it felt like a homecoming!