Three members of China’s Comprehensive Planning Committee, plus Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) representative Joel Greenwood and Planning Board Chairman Tom Miragliuolo, spent the last evening in July talking about the updated China Comprehensive Plan that Greenwood hopes to have drafted by the end of the year.
As a basis, there are the existing plan and a map designating areas proposed for development; a summary of results from the visioning session held earlier this year; and a summary of comments emailed in response to a questionnaire from the Tax Increment Financing Committee.
The July 31 discussion focused on designating development areas. Those present tentatively decided:
- There is no need to designate separate areas for commercial development and for residential development.
- Many of the areas designated for residential development in the current plan have been pretty well filled with houses – and an occasional small business – since the plan was prepared more than a decade ago.
- Since, according to KVCOG data, more China residents commute to Augusta than to Waterville, Oakland and Fairfield combined, encouraging residential growth in the south end of town rather than the north makes sense.
- The Route 3 corridor from the Vassalboro line to a point some miles east of South China Village seems to be already a growth area, as does Route 32 South past the Weeks Mills Road intersection, so encouraging more development in those connected areas should be appropriate.
Greenwood emphasized that designating growth areas and drawing lines on maps is “not prescriptive, just idealistic” and is not intended to restrict development opportunities in town. Looking at where development has occurred since the current plan was approved, he and Miragliuolo agreed the plan had not been influential.
Any resident interested in joining the Comprehensive Planning Committee is welcome. More information is available at the town office. The next committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 28, with housing and historic resources on Greenwood’s preliminary agenda.