LURC reform group to resume work on Thursday

Posted Nov. 02, 2011, at 1:22 p.m.

The panel charged with reforming Maine’s oversight of the roughly 10.5-million-acre Unorganized Territory will meet Thursday in Calais.

Members of the 13-member Land Use Regulation Commission Reform Commission are about halfway through their scheduled meetings but still have substantial work to do. The task force is expected to submit a report to the Legislature in early January suggesting ways to improve planning, permitting and zoning in the lands now overseen by LURC.

Thursday’s meeting, which is open to the public, will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Washington County Community College in Calais. The commission will hear presentations and discuss issues until 2:30 p.m. and then will hear comments from the public during the remaining 90 minutes.

During the regular meeting, the panel will have discussions with two presenters: Edmond Bearor of the law firm Rudman Winchell in Bangor will offer legal perspectives on increasing county government’s role in land use planning, and Patrick Strauch with the Maine Forest Products Council will share reform recommendations from Maine’s large, timberland owners.

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The task force was created by the Legislature earlier this year following heated debate on whether LURC should be reformed or abolished. The task force is also scheduled to hold meetings on Nov. 17 in Greenville and on Dec. 1 in Bangor.

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