MAP Recognizes Outstanding Planners and Projects at Annual Meeting

15 Jun 2018 10:04 PM | Maine Association of Planners (Administrator)
The Maine Association of Planners (MAP) recognized excellence in planning at its annual meeting in Lewiston on Friday, June 15, 2018. Awards were presented to Don Fellows of Lisbon for Citizen Planner of the Year; Lynne Seeley of Yarmouth for Professional Planner of the Year; Flood Resilience Checklist from the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission for Project of the Year; and South Portland West End Neighborhood Master Plan for Plan of the Year.


MAP received multiple nominations in fou
r award categories this year. Winners receive engraved brass plaques and printed award certificates. The Plan of the Year awardee also receives, for one year, the coveted MAP Punch Bowl to display in their place of work.

Don Fellows of Lisbon, Maine is recognized as 2018 MAP Citizen Planner of the Year. His nominators note that, "Don Fellows has served as a member of the Town of Lisbon Planning Board since 2009 including three terms as Chair, and was an inaugural member in 2013 of the committee which became established as the Lisbon Development Committee (tasked with implementing several Lisbon plans). Don’s leadership in planning has not only guided the Town’s planning board towards becoming a more professional and forward-thinking committee, but he is one of the key community members to help establish Lisbon’s Development Committee. Don is a true champion for planning, through his valued and respected role on the planning board as well as through his support and promotion for planning at Council and other community meetings, and with residents and community groups." 

The 2018 MAP Professional Planner of the Year is awarded to Lynne Seeley of Yarmouth, Maine. Lynne is a professional, and at the same time serves in the ranks of citizen planners for the Town of Yarmouth. Her nominators note, "Lynne has served as Chair of the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee (CPIC). CPIC was created in 2010 after the Town adopted the Comprehensive Plan. What is remarkable in this document is the extent to which the plan has been realized. Lynne played a leadership role in working to revise and refine the CBDC to create a code that on April 12, 2018 found unanimous support of the Town Council. CPIC provided volunteer support to the Planning Office of the highest professional caliber, not least of which was Lynne herself, a professional planner who has volunteered untold hours to management and leadership of the complex and challenging efforts. Lynne was the glue that held CPIC together – their contributions willingly provided because Lynne made the effort meaningful and rewarding, despite the sometimes difficult patches to be overcome. Lynne’s civic involvement does not end with the Yarmouth community. She is also active at the state level, serving on the Board of GrowSmart Maine and the Maine Association of Planners. She is currently working on research and writing on New Ruralism, with focus on the characteristics and planning for small towns and rural places. Lynne contributes to her town and state, with talent, professional expertise, high energy and a commitment to effective and sincere community engagement.”

The 2018 MAP Program or Project of the Year is awarded to the Flood Resilience Checklist, a program led by Abbie Sherwin of the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission  to build awareness of the risks of climate change and the ways that municipalities can prepare. MAP Programs and Projects are works in progress. The Flood Resilience Checklist is an effort to address what is perhaps the greatest challenge confronting the world. The nominators note, "The Maine Flood Resilience Checklist (FRC) is a novel and practical framework and process for municipalities to enhance understanding of local flood and sea level rise impacts, assess vulnerability, and integrate resilience in existing planning and policy efforts to protect communities’ social, economic, and environmental dimensions from coastal flood hazards and changing environmental conditions. The FRC process enabled the City of Saco to move beyond the theory of resiliency toward the practice of resilience by guiding the City to translate an assessment of its community-wide vulnerability to flooding and sea level rise into practical, actionable information to better prepare for existing and future flood hazards. It also provided Saco with valuable information about ways to reduce flood insurance costs for its residents by earning points through FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS)." More information is available at www.maine.gov/dacf/mgs/hazards/coastal/MaineFloodResilienceChecklistOverview.pdf.

The 2018 MAP Plan of the Year is awarded to the South Portland West End Neighborhood Master Plan. This master plan demonstrates the saying that good things come in small packages. The nominators note, "The West End Neighborhood Master Plan goes beyond the traditional neighborhood plan and instead has been a driving force for real-time change, broad community empowerment, and enduring public and private partnerships. This process was more nimble and responsive than many conventional plans –grounded in real-world conditions and market realities. The final document is short, highly visual, and accessible to both the public and professionals. The recommendations are targeted and actionable – written with special concern for long-range consequences, interrelatedness of decisions, and social justice. Soliciting input from those who have historically been left out of the process was foundational to this plan. Strategies included attending community dinners, holding open office hours, conducting one-on-one interviews, and meeting with youth at the community center. To date, the plan has already had many components implemented, and even more recommendations are on the docket for the City of South Portland, local developers, and other partners. Shortly after adoption, the City approved zoning changes to allow for a denser mixed-use center, and Avesta Housing is actively pursuing an affordable housing project under these new regulations."  More information about the West End Master Plan is available at www.southportland.org/departments/planning-and-development/west-end-neighborhood-survey/.

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