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October 2002
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Peaine Township Master Plan Commission Moves Forward.

What is a "Master Plan" anyway? First of all, it is a rather daunting challenge. According to the Peaine Township Planning Commission and Schedule for Master Planning, 2002-2007, the commission's task is to draft a Master Plan for the physical, social, and economic development of Peaine Township. The plan is to be comprehensive, and developed in the context of a full Island perspective. It will include action recommendations to guide the responsible township and county agencies in the plan's implementation.

The plan will draw on many sources of information, including input from St. James planners. It will be shared with all interested residents of Peaine Township at a public meeting sponsored by the Planning Commission before it is forwarded to the Peaine Township Board. Master Plan commissioners will work to achieve consensus on the draft Master Plan before the Planning Commission sends it to the Peaine Board for final revisions and/or approval.

The process should take eighteen to twenty-four months. Input is hoped for from all property owners and residents of Peaine Township who have an interest in the future of the area, including all Peaine Township Planning Commission members and appointed representatives from the Township who assist with the effort.

The three main purposes of the Master Plan are; to fulfill a state obligation to produce a Comprehensive Plan for the future of the Township; to reflect the interests and views of Peaine residents and property owners so local government decisions and policies can be informed and guided by them; and to help give Peaine representatives to the Island's joint planning commission a clear objective when discussing quality of life and future development of Peaine Township.

The planning process involves several groups. The first is the Planning Commission. These individuals are officially responsible for designing the planning process, seeing that it is carried out effectively, and reporting to the Township's, County, and State. Doug Tilly is the Chairman of the Peaine Township Planning Commission. Also playing a role are Commissioners, who are either year-round or seasonal residents of Peaine Township, including the five current members. Doug Tilly, Dave Duda, Judy Lanier, Krys Lyle, and Bill Markey. A sub-set of the Commissioners will also serve as the Steering Committee for the overall planning process. This committee will include members of the Township's Recreation Planning Group, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission, and members-at-large from East, West, South, and Central areas of the Township. A group of Commission Advisors includes informed leaders from St. James Township and from the mainland. Lastly, a group of Neighborhood Planners who have agreed to host and/or attend local area planning sessions in various homes over the summer and early fall so input to the key issues can be discussed will also play an important part.

The first meeting of Peaine's Master Planning Commission was held on July 9, 2002 at the Peaine Township Hall, followed by a scheduling session with the Steering Committee. Over the course of the summer, seven Neighborhood Planning Sessions were held across the Township in people's homes or in public places. Their purpose was to identify issues and record suggestions from a cross-section of residents and property owners. A second meeting of the Commission was held September 9, 2002. Summaries were submitted of the information gathered during the Neighborhood Meetings and shared at this session. A survey is being developed from the compiled input. From this data, the Planning Commission will be able to identify priority issues and concerns of the Township. The survey should be available sometime this fall. Development of the Master Plan will continue through the winter months into the summer of 2003, according to the current schedule.

–Jane Dwyer

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