Rockland recognized for planning

Posted Oct. 20, 2010, at 1:13 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The city has won the 2010 Plan of the Year Award, presented at the annual conference of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association held on Oct. 7 and 8 in Portsmouth, N.H. The winning plan was Rockland’s 2009 Downtown Revitalization Plan Update.

“Rockland’s downtown is a testament to the strength of its planning and commitment by its community,” Maine Chapter Director Rebeccah Schaffner-Tousignant said in making the presentation.

“Fifteen years ago the city recognized that with its traditional economies on the decline it needed to take action in order to renew the once thriving community, and hence developed its original downtown revitalization plan,” she said. “After successfully implementing the original plan and the subsequent update, the new plan continues with an emphasis on place making. Combining streetscape, traffic and parking, recreation, historic preservation and storm water management improvements, the plan identifies 15 topic areas and 45 strategies for improving the downtown.”

The plan updates the city’s 1996 and 2005 downtown plans and was critical in getting a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant for the Main Street streetscape improvements, which are currently under way. The plan was adopted by the Rockland City Council on Jan. 11 and is now being implemented.

On hand to receive the award on behalf of Rockland were City Manager Rosemary Kulow and Community Development Director Rodney Lynch.

Competing for the award were municipal, regional, county and state planning agencies and groups in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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