Hampden Citizen’s Committee in limbo; council will determine status Oct. 3

Posted Sept. 21, 2011, at 8:53 p.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — The Citizens Comprehensive Plan Committee, which was formed by the Town Council in May and has been meeting biweekly to review the town’s controversial comprehensive plan, is on hiatus until October.

Councilors voted 5-1 Monday night to table a request by the committee to extend its deadline for finishing up its review from Sept. 9 to Feb. 29, 2012, effectively suspending committee operations for the time being and putting it in limbo without any further council funding.

“The Town Council gave the committee a deadline to finish its work after voting to create it in May and no action was taken to extend that deadline at Monday’s meeting, which effectively suspended the committee, but the council will reconsider that extension at the next regular meeting on Oct. 3,” said Town Manager Susan Lessard.

The next scheduled citizens committee meeting after Oct. 3 is Thursday, Oct. 6. So far, the committee has had seven meetings, the first of which occurred in June.

The council’s vote to table the request came after concerns were aired about the cost of the committee’s meetings and the fact that it had finished review of only three of the 15 sections in the town’s 2010 comprehensive plan. The plan has generated controversy because some residents believe that its land use regulation language threatens private land use and ownership as well as property rights.

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