Comprehensive Planning Resources

WCCOG  offers an extensive library with publications on many topics of interest to municipal officials. This includes:

In addition, links to many on-line resources are provided below.
It can sometimes take assistance to wade through all of the material and how it all knits together. WCCOG staff can come to a meeting of your Selectmen or Planning Board to provide this kind of Technical Assistance.
We help with basic “Boardsmanship” as well as training on the many statutes, policies, regulations and state programs that are available to help.
Please contact Judy East at 454-0465 if you have questions or would like to schedule a meeting.

Online Resources

In addition to the resources listed below, additional resources for communities considering developing or updating their Comprehensive Plan are available through the Land Use Planning Program of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (formerly the State Planning Office - SPO).

Comprehensive Plan Quick Reference Guide (PDF 61 KB)
This tri-fold brochure offers a quick overview of the Comprehensive Plan  for communities considering a Comprehensive Plan, prospective Comprehensive Plan Committee members or other interested citizens.

Comprehensive Plan Review Rule (PDF 307 KB)
The Comprehensive Plan Review Rule sets out the process by which the Land Use Planning Program of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (formerly the State Planning Office - SPO) review Comprehensive Plans for consistency with Maine's Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act, more commonly referred to as the Growth Management Act.

As amended in 2010, by the former State Planning Office, the rules eliminate duplication, reduces the burden the process places on municipalities, and provide municipalities who have older plans (pre-December 31, 2000) with more time to update those plans in order to adhere to the Act's requirements.

Comprehensive Planning: A Manual for Maine Communities (PDF low resolution, 2.2MB) (PDF high resolution, 9.8MB)
This manual is written for citizen planners: the members of a comprehensive planning committee, boards of selectmen, or planning boards charged with preparing a comprehensive plan, and the many parties of interest who may be participating or advising in the process. It is part “how-to,” part suggestions for policy, and part tool box. Each of its 19 chapters addresses a requirement of the Growth Management Program.

Community Visioning Handbook: How to Imagine - and Create - A Better Future (PDF, 968 KB)
Before there can be a meaningful comprehensive plan, the residents must agree on a mental picture of what they want the community to look like, feel like, and be like. This handbook describes what a community vision is, provides a step-by-step guide to creating a community vision, and gives an example of a vision from one Maine community.