Camden’s Comprehensive Plan and our Zoning Ordinances were adopted after countless hours of hard work: meetings, arguments, compromises and agreements by many dedicated residents. The most recent updated Comprehensive Plan approved in 2005 outlines the future direction we would like to take for the Town as times change. Article II of the Zoning Ordinance, Purpose, states: “This ordinance ….is designed to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the Town; to promote the Town’s Comprehensive Plan; to foster a pattern of development that respects both village and the rural landscape while discouraging “sprawl”; to protect existing neighborhoods ….” The zoning structure strikes a balance of land use among all the elements of small town life: residential areas, rural areas, marine interests, churches and schools, recreational areas, retail shops, services and small business areas, commercial and larger business areas and access to the special areas of unique natural beauty for all to enjoy.
“There is no finer creation than the New England village. It is a testament to the livable community – a community of neighborhoods, churches, shops and town hall.” Angus King as Governor. We think that Camden is one of the finest. In our New England village it seems that the zoning protection afforded to the residents of a neighborhood is clear and that whether many or just one of the residents requires protection, the Planning Board should respect the current zoning.
We are now in the process of updating our Comprehensive Plan. Again it is a process of considering and balancing priorities and enhancing the quality of life for our residents. Within this process of planning for the future we will again consider changes to the direction for the town’s development and then consider changes to zoning that might be needed within the context of the plan.
This is not the time to sacrifice the balance in our town and our quality of life for the sake of opportunistic commercial gain for a few, or to pre-empt the planning process by an exceptional decision to recommend consideration of spot zoning to the Select Board.