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Behold, how good and how pleasant for brothers and sisters to dwell together in Unity         -- Psalm 133
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Week of September 28, 2014

Comprehensive Plan Update

The response to the Comprehensive Plan Committee's Survey regarding goals and strategies was largely positive, but there were several strategies with confusing wording and other strategies that several people found objectionable. In response to your comments, we have eliminated some strategies and changed the wording on others. You will soon be given another opportunity to comment on the reworked document.

The committee approached the goals and strategies section fully aware that there would be no funds in the town budget for implementing many strategies. Nowhere in the document do you see wording like "add this to the budget" or " the town should pay for." Instead, you see wording like "the town should seek a way to pay for" or "town management should partner with" an organization. Several people objected to the idea of "partnering" with local organizations to achieve some objectives. We have changed "partner with" to "work with." Several objectives require specialized knowledge and skills that the town officials do not have, grant writing skills in particular. For example, it makes sense for the town to work with Friends of Lake Winnecook on improving the water quality in Unity Pond. Similarly, the selectmen are already working with Unity College's development office to research the need for lodging in town. In the reworked document, we removed most mentions of non-profit organizations by name. A comprehensive plan is good for 20 years, and organizations may come and go during that time, so it is better to reference them generically as "appropriate local organization."

We would like to clear up some confusion about the role of the comprehensive plan in relation to the land use ordinance. Maine Revised Statutes (http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/30-a/title30-Asec4352.html) states that "A zoning ordinance must be pursuant to and consistent with a comprehensive plan adopted by the municipal legislative body."

The state's Comprehensive Plan Review Criteria Rule Chapter 208, page 42 (http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/07/105/105c208.doc) advises that "The plan must include a Future Land Use Plan that is consistent with the community's vision and other policies in the plan. The Future Land Use Plan brings together plan elements that affect land use. It is intended to synthesize these elements into a cohesive guide to realizing the community's vision, including the development of land use regulations/ordinances."

The proposed new Land Use Ordinance has not been made public and hopefully a public call for comments on it similar to our survey will happen soon. Our document also references the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance which is not yet being revised. Both the Comprehensive Plan and the revised Land Use Ordinance have to be approved by the town at town meeting.
Your Feedback is always welcome.

Sunday September 28

  • Nia In Unity. Movement for health, wellness, and fitness Sundays 5:00-6:00pm at the Unity Community Center, 32 School St. Classes are sliding scale ($5-10/class). Drop in any time. Your first class with Anna is free! - and feel free to bring a friend. For more information: annania.wordpress.com, or contact Anna Fiedler: fiedlerak@gmail.com or 948-3925.
Tuesday September 30
  • Count on Me, is an early math opportunity for young children and their families. 5:30pm - 7:00pm at the Unity Elementary School Gym. Please join Audrey O'Clair as she reads several children's books about early math concepts. Four year old children preparing to enter kindergarten (in 2015) in RSU#3 and their families are invited to attend. Nutritious snacks will be provided. Each family will be given a new children's book to add to their home library. Participants will be able to borrow a tote bag FULL of early math activities, high quality picture books and DVDs that encourage early math skills. Please email Audrey O’Clair or call 944-3963 to reserve your spot.
Wednesday October 1
  • Yoga in Unity - 5:30 to 6:45 -- PLEASE NOTE we have MOVED back to Unity Community Center on School Street. Slow flow yoga for all levels. Reduce stress, sleep better, improve overall health with gentle movements and stretching. For this class you will need to be able to get down on the floor/yoga mat - no other requirements. If you have ongoing medical conditions you should consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise programs. $5 to $10 pay what you can, join us even if you can't.

  • Ordinance Review Comittee meeting 6:30 pm at the Fire House. Observors welcome. Read minutes of past meetings.
Thursday October 2
  • Comprehensive Plan Committee meeting 6:30 pm in Koons Hall, Room 201 (upstairs) at Unity College. Observors welcome. Read the Minutes from Past Meetings.
    Follow the Comprehensive Plan Committee on Facebook.
Friday October 3
  • Half Moon Gardens is seeking volunteers to work on Friday mornings between 9:30 am-noon. Take a break from the grind to grow fresh food for yourselves and your community! The facility is owned and operated by Unity College for the purpose of education, research, and food production. We are located at 54 Greenhouse Ln in Thorndike. This week we will be seeding vegetables and cleaning onions to supply the Unity College dining hall and local markets. Please join us! Contact Dr. Mary Bulan, mbulan@unity.edu
Saturday October 4
  • Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Day, Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 9:00 am to Noon at the Pittsfield Recycling Center, 601 Peltoma Ave. View the guide to what can be brought in. Call the Unity Town Office for more information and to pre-register. There is no fee for this collection day.

  • Pig Roast Community Meal 4:30 at the Community Center. Meal will be roasted pig, baked beans, roasted veggies, coleslaw, rolls, hot coffee and dessert. (Pig and fixings are locally sourced.) Suggested donations $7.00 - $15.00 Volunteers for Day of Service eat for free.
Monday October 6
  • Fall Clean-up Week. October 6-10. There is a fee for this service. Call Sullivan’s Waste at 948-2658 for more information.
Tuesday October 7

Wednesday October 8
  • Participatory English Country Dancing 7-9:30 pm at the Unity Center for the Performing Arts on Depot Street. On second Wednesday of every month. Live music by the North Star sisters. All are invited, no need to bring a partner. All dances taught by Nancy Rosalie & John McIntire. Donation requested, except for UC students, to cover musicians' expenses. For more information, call 568-7597.
Tuesday October 14 Tuesday October 21
  • Candidates' Forum 6 pm at Unity College Center For the Performing Arts. Our candidates for Maine House of Representatives (Brian Jones, Mary Anne Kinney) and for Maine State Senate(Mike Thibodeaux, Jonathan Fulford) will be there to answer questions from Unity College Students. Presented by the Unity College Student Government Association. Free and open to the public.
Saturday October 25
  • The Great Maine Apple Day: Learn, Taste, Share, Enjoy! October 25, noon to 4 p.m. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity Celebrate the history, flavor and tradition of Maine apples while honoring the importance of a diversified, perennial agriculture. The annual Great Maine Apple Day, sponsored by MOFGA, Fedco and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, takes place on Saturday, October 25, from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center in Unity. Admission is $2 for MOFGA members and $4 for nonmembers.