Standish Model Town Community Project

Description: GrowSmart Maine initiated the Model Town Community Project to provide tools and advice that will help a growing Maine town shape its future. Standish, a growing town of about 10,000, was selected for GrowSmart Maine’s Model Town Project in part because of their readiness to implement their 2006 Comprehensive Plan. GrowSmart Maine and its project team is facilitating citizen-led efforts to implement strategies from Standish’s new Comprehensive Plan. The plan has identified 4 growth areas, transitional and low growth areas, and critical resource areas. The project’s key goals are to revitalize the village area around Standish Corner, attract new businesses, and conserve Standish’s open spaces and rural character. There is a differential growth cap in place, and the town has recently begun a Village Design Study for the area around the intersection of Routes 25 and 35. In 2010, GrowSmart Maine will work with the town to update its zoning ordinances in order to legalize and encourage the kind of walkable, vibrant village development that residents envision for their town’s future.

Standish is a very popular place to live due to its proximity to Portland, the largest city in Maine, making for easy access to work, major shopping and cultural events. Both a recreational area and a suburb of Portland, the town is served by Maine Routes 11, 25, 25A, 35, 35A, 114 and 237. Although Standish is convenient to everything, it has been able to maintain some of its rural character. Over the last forty years, the population of the Town of Standish more than quadrupled from 2,095 people in 1960 to 9,285 in 2000. Standish’s population growth can be attributed to many factors. First, the community encompasses some prime lakefront property. The town is also within commuting distance of Portland and the surrounding urban area. With housing prices increasing by double digits every year since 1998, urban workers are willing to drive further out to rural areas to find an affordable home with desirable amenities.

Website includes links to various planning documents and presentations including: the work of the Conservation and Open Space Committee, materials related to the development of the Standish Corner Village Master Plan, and the work of the Economic Development Committee.

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