Frye Island Comprehensive Plan

July 1, 2002




By Maine Law, the 1988 Comprehensive Planning & Land Use Act, as amended in 1992, requires all Towns in Maine that wish to regulate land use through zoning, a rate of growth ordinance, or an impact fee ordinance, to develop and maintain a town comprehensive plan.  The Plan must be consistent with 10 state goals and guidelines included in the Act.  The Plan is also the key first step if a town plans to request certification of its local growth management program.  It also provides a 10-year visionary approach to the Town’s planning of land use and capital investments.


The Town of Frye Island was established 1 July 1998 and the Town Charter included the development of Comprehensive Plan as a responsibility of the Planning Board.  In 1999, a Town Survey was completed and a Comprehensive Plan Committee was formed in 2000. After detailed data collection, analysis, and public involvement a series of draft plans were completed resulting in the August 2001 submission of a final plan for State and Greater Portland Council of Governments review.  The Plan includes extensive historical background and detailed Inventory and Analysis of the required Plan elements. (See Introduction, Sections 1, 2 & 5 [Appendices} Thus it provides a good baseline upon which to make future Town decisions.


A concise summary of the Plan is difficult to display.  However, the following “Consistency with the 10 State Goals” (Section 3.12) and the proposed “Goals and Objectives” (Sections 3.2-3.11) provide a reasonable overview of the Plan’s scope.  The Goals and Objectives are annotated with an indicator if impacts may be administrative (A), fiscal (F) or both. (A/F)  Finally, Section 4 provides the detailed Implementation Strategies and related Capital Investment Plan (CIP) (Section 4.3).  In developing the CIP, needs and related priority were the primary focus.  However, it is recognized that the fiscal capacity of the Town will dictate the timing and what can be accomplished.


Consistency with the 10 State Goals (section 3.12):


This section of the Plan shows how the locally adopted Goals, Objectives and Policies are consistent with the Ten State Goals contained in the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act of 1988.  Each of the State Goals appears below in italics, followed by a brief summation of how Frye Island Goals, Objectives and Policies, while originating with the Town, remain consistent with them.


1.  To encourage orderly growth and development in appropriate areas in each community, while protecting the State’s rural character, making efficient use of public services and preventing development sprawl.


The Goals, Objectives, and Policies (hereinafter GOPs) call for services and development on the Island to minimize loss of the Island’s rural character while enhancing the recreational and relaxation experience of the Town’s inhabitants.  The Land Use Map will also serve to facilitate this goal.


2.    To plan for finance and develop an efficient system of public facilities and services to accommodate anticipated growth and economic development.


In addition to specific GOPs to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative, police, fire, rescue, roadway maintenance, land use planning, and solid waste, septage and recycling facilities and services, the GOPs call for regionalization of services where cost effective to do so.


From a fiscal planning standpoint there are GOPs which address capital investment planning, improved records management and accounting procedures for capital and operational expenditures.  A more fiscally acceptable schools program is also under development.  However, the Town’s long-term fiscal capacity remains a concern.


On the revenue side, the GOPs include a new emphasis on the maximal use of existing State grant programs, particularly for implementing State-mandated services.  However, the GOPs do not call for a major effort to attract commercial and/or industrial development, as they are deemed as wholly incompatible with the Town’s desired seasonal, rural, recreational environment.


To promote an economic climate that increases job opportunities and overall economic well-being;


Consistent with this goal is the continuing effort of promoting a limited expansion of tourism, increasing a limited number of recreation related jobs on Frye Island, and creating a more active partnership with business and education elements on the mainland.


4.       To encourage and promote affordable, decent housing opportunities for all Maine citizens;


It is particularly difficult to apply the State Statutes to the part time usage of the Town of Frye Island.  It is hard to imagine a situation in which a family whose income can just support an affordable year round home being able to afford a second home that has as its purpose a recreational use and is accessible only for six months.


The State requires that towns “seek to achieve that at least 10% of the new housing units constructed in the municipality in the 5 years after plan adoption be affordable housing”.  However, the State does not require that this criterion be met for second homes serving only part of a year and primarily for recreational or retirement purposes.  Over the next 5 years, it is possible that homes will be built in the Town that satisfy the State definition of affordable but these homes will not be affordable when considered as second homes.


In discussions with the Portland Council of Government it would appear there are no regional affordable housing plans.  The Town of Frye Island shall continue to monitor any changes in regional plans.


5.      To protect the quality and manage the quantity of the State’s water resources including lakes, aquifers, great ponds, estuaries, rivers and coastal areas;


For surface waters, the GOPs call for protecting and preserving existing water quality to the extent that, as a minimum, these continue to meet State Water Quality Classification standards. At present there is no known aquifer under Frye Island and hence no known active wells.


For lakes, the GOPs include implementing the DEP phosphorus control methodology, and to whatever degree possible, coordinating this approach with other towns. They also include related educational and monitoring programs and a requirement that marinas provide septic waste disposal facilities for boaters.  Frye Island is specifically restricted by a 1974 court order limiting development to 750 lots with individual septic systems. This order is firmly enforced through weekly on site monitoring by the Portland Water District.  The Town looks forward to continue cooperation with PWD in maintaining the water quality of Sebago Lake.


For streams, the GOPs include timber cutting and construction restrictions, which will also serve to protect against increased erosion. Ultimately, these will be reflected in shoreland zoning provisions that relate to stream protection zones. Maintaining the State Water Quality Classification of AA is one of the Town’s objectives.


6.      To protect the State’s other critical natural resources, including without limitation, wetlands, wildlife and fisheries habitat, sand dunes, shorelands, scenic vistas and unique natural areas.


While some Frye Island resources have been mapped, the GOP’s recognize the desirability of raising funds for additional surveys and seeking input from the Maine Natural Areas Program Office.  Discussions continue with Town officials to appoint a Conservation Commission to negotiate strategies for the protection of these resources (habitat for rare plants, unique natural communities), and to protect wetlands, as defined by MNRPA, from filling. Deer yards, wildlife nesting areas and fish spawning areas, if identified, will be protected from adverse impacts of development.  Should such areas be identified, related proposals will be referred to Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Shoreland protection from erosion and sedimentation is a regional issue dominated by regulation of lake water levels and local preventive actions.  Enforcing speed limits, which reduce the generation of wakes by powered watercraft is also a positive action.


7.      To protect the State’s marine resources industry, ports and harbors, from incompatible development and to promote access to the shore from commercial fishermen and the public;


This is considered to apply to coastal areas only.  For public access measures see below under #10.


8.       To safeguard the State’s agricultural and forest resources from development which threatens those resources;


This is not deemed to apply to the Town of Frye Island, as there are no commercial agricultural or forestry resource operations on the Island nor is there a potential for such.  However, the town is committed to maintaining it’s green space and rural environment.


9.      To preserve the State’s historic and archaeological resources;


The GOPs take into consideration the continuing residential development predicted for the Town, in many places with a lower density than that existing in the current most densely developed areas.  This will preserve the rural/vacation character, which has attracted people to the island.  Restriction of commercial activity to the small existing districts will be a necessary element to achieve this result.


The intent to prepare an Archaeological Resources Protection Plan will be a major step toward Town efforts to conserve the past.  The key will be the cooperation of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to identify and map Archaeological Resource Potential Areas, particularly in conjunction with the relicensing studies for the Eel Weir Dam.


10.   To promote and protect the availability of outdoor recreation opportunities for all Maine citizens, including access to surface waters;


The GOPs clearly address this goal as the entire focus of the Town and its environment is to address recreation, relaxation and access to the pristine resource known as Lake Sebago.  Without this emphasis there would be no Town of Frye Island.



Plan Goals and Objectives (Noted sections):


3.2  Local Economy

Goal:  Establish a local census program to facilitate Town planning and operations.

Objective:  To have adequate demographic data on the Town and it’s inhabitants so as to facilitate planning and fiscal management. (A)



Goal:  To investigate the desirability/need to increase commercial growth on Frye Island.

Objective:  Determine if there is a need for a limited amount of light, clean commercial

growth. (A)


3.3  Housing

Goal:  All housing should be safe, durable, economical and energy efficient.

Objective:  Apply safety, appearance, quality, and energy efficient standards to new construction and additions to existing structures. (A)


Goal:  Establish the requirements and need for affordable housing in the Town.

Objective:  Clarify how state statutes apply to the part-time character of the Town. (A)


Goal:  Maintain the part time seasonal quality of the Town.

Objective: To define the Town and property owners obligations and liabilities during off-season usage, when the Island is closed. (A)


Goal:  Promote better and safer building maintenance standards.

Objective: Improve control over the landscaping and appearance of yards. (A)


Goal:  Review the housing needs of Frye Island and the region every five years.

Objective: Maintain a proactive posture regarding construction of new homes and the impact on the Town infrastructure and regional involvement. (A/F)


3.4  Natural Resources

     3.4.1 Water Resources

Goal - Protect and preserve ground and surface water as well as quality drinking water

Objective - Maintain Sebago Lake drinking water supply so that it exceeds the water quality mentioned in the State of Maine Water Quality classification System, GPA

 (See 38 MRSA, Section 465-A.) (A/F)

Objective - Devise plan for long term run off management. (A/F)


     3.4.2 Critical Resources

Goal: Protect and preserve quality of existing streams

Objective: Follow standards of 38 MRSA, Sec.465 ……”The habitat shall be characterized as free flowing and natural”. (A)

Objective: Protect and preserve wetlands, wildlife habitat and unique natural communities. (A)

            Objective: Prevent the loss of public or private shoreland due to lake induced erosion. (A/F)

            Objective: Preserve significant natural and scenic areas. (A)


3.5   Agricultural and Forest Resources

Goal: Protect and preserve forest resources.

            Objective:  Maintain our current forest resources on undeveloped land. (A)


Goal:  Conserve the Town’s forest resources during development.

            Objective:  Promote environmentally safe forest management. (A)


3.6   Transportation

     3.6.1  Ferry System

Goal:  Insure adequate, safe, well maintained and cost effective ferry service to the Town of Frye Island.

Objective:  Consider acquiring by asset transfer from FII, the leased ferry system to insure complete Town management and control of this critical asset. (A/F)


     3.6.2  Roads

Goal:  Insure that adequate mainland and Island roads are available and maintained to safely accommodate Town of Frye Island traffic.


Objective:  Monitor mainland road planning and maintenance to insure safe transit to

the Island. (A/F)

Objective:  While retaining Island roads as Public Easements, develop, maintain and execute a “rolling” five year Town Road Upgrade and Maintenance Plan, considering increased traffic congestion, safety, water runoff control and public parking. (A/F)


3.7    Public Facilities and Services

     3.7.1   Utilities

Goal:  Insure adequate Public Utilities are maintained to and in the Island town.

Objective:  Monitor, through the related utilities, the electric and telephone cable service capacity to the Island and insure timely increase by the utilities to meet increased demands. (A)

Objective:  Consider acquiring by asset transfer from FII and upgrading the Town water treatment and distribution system.  (In the upgrade insure that safe water is available in adequate quantity and quality.) (A/F)

Objective:  Prevent environmental or aesthetic damage due to improperly installed or maintained septic systems. (A)


     3.7.2   Solid Waste Management and Disposal

Goal:  Provide for waste disposal in a cost-effective, environmentally sound manner that meets all DEP and other state requirements.

Objective:  Jointly with FII, verify the adequacy of the current waste transfer station and brush dump and then consider transfer to the Town. (A/F)


Goal:  Provide appropriate local control over all waste disposal activity.

            Objective:  Prevent environmental or aesthetic damage due to illegal waste disposal. (A)


     3.7.3   Fire, Emergency Rescue and Police Protection

Goal:  Provide the needed, cost effective level of fire protection that is necessary for public safety within the Town of Frye Island.

            Objective: To have adequate trained personnel to fight structure and wild fires. (A/F)

            Objective: To have adequate trucks and equipment to fight structure and wild fires. (A/F)

Objective: To operate an adequate fire service at the lowest reasonable cost.  To include obtaining trucks and equipment from other sources so as to have minimal impact on the town budget. (A/F)


Goal: To seek appropriate public safety assistance from state and local agencies.

            Objective: To continue current contractual services. (A/F)

Objective:  Maintain routine coordination with State Forestry and Maine Warden agencies. (A)


Goal: To provide a continuing training program for volunteer fire fighters so as to maintain and enhance the department’s services.

Objective: The department will continue its medical emergency training program so that members can arrive at a medical emergency and provide First Responder services to aid the victim while awaiting the arrival of Raymond Rescue. (A/F)


     3.7.4 Ferry Operations, Servicing and Replacement

                  See Section 3.6.1 Ferry System in Section 3.6 Transportation.


     3.7.5 Emergency Planning, Communications and Evacuation Planning

Goal: To provide a viable Emergency Management function in the Town of Frye Island.

Objective: To maintain an organization of volunteers led by the Town Director of Emergency Management (Town Manager) that will plan and coordinate, any emergency programs to include hazard mitigation considerations. (A)


Goal: The Town of Frye Island shall develop and maintain an emergency evacuation plan.

Objective: To have a plan for the evacuation of Frye Island residents for any life-threatening emergency (Such as a hurricane or wild fire). (A)



     3.7.6   Town Operations

Goal:  To provide adequate staff, equipment and contract services to meet Town operational needs.  (See also Section 3.6 Transportation and related comments this section 3.7.)

Objective:  Annually assess and budget for adequate staff and equipment with emphasis on the health and safety of Town residents. (A/F)

Objective:  To maintain a rolling five-year Capital Improvements Plan for major systems, facilities and equipment. (A/F)



Goal:  To consider and act on, in partnership with FII, the transfer of appropriate FII assets to the Town.

Objective:  To develop a phased plan with FII for the transfer of acceptable FII assets to the Town.  Emphasis to be on ferry and water systems followed by selected land and facilities. (A/F)


Goal:  In time, develop an electronic statistical database to facilitate Town planning, operations and fiscal management.


Objective:  Organize, inventory, purge and in time computerize all Town records including those inherited from Standish. (A/F)

            Objective:  Develop and implement a census system for Town residents. (A)


     3.7.7 Commercial Services

Goal:  Provide Town services in the best operational and cost effective manner.

Objective:  Where practical, contract services and take advantage of operational cost savings by using/contracting with regional and commercial facilities and services. (A/F)


     3.7.8 Education

Goal:  To provide and maintain a high quality, cost effective Town education system despite the Town’s unique seasonal occupancy.

Objective:  To insure that a cost effective, high quality Town education system exists in the event year around residents with children inhabit the Town, while also providing support to state and local education. (A/F)


3.8  Historic and Archeological Resources

     3.8.1 Historic Resources

Goal:  Preserve the stone walls and any remains that represent the rural history and character of Frye Island.

Objective:   Create an inventory of all historic structures and objects, and a plan for reasonable preservation. (A)


     3.8.2 Archaeological Resources

Goal:  Protect historic archaeological and prehistoric archaeological sites from

destruction by erosion, land use and/or development.

            Objective:     Prepare an Archaeological Resources Protection Plan. (A)


3.9       Recreation and Public Access

Goal:  Obtain more participation by townspeople in recreational planning and development.

            Objective:  Develop a Town Plan for existing recreational open space. (A)


Goal:   Provide adequate recreational facilities and access to Island open space opportunities to include Sebago Lake.

            Objective:  Allow and encourage use of all recreational facilities. (A)

Objective:  Develop available recreation areas as needed for open space and access. (A)


3.10  Fiscal Capacity

Goal:  Find and utilize new revenue sources for Town government.

Objective: Identify and secure revenues from alternative sources beyond the only present sources (property and excise taxes.) (A/F)

Objective:  Provide a means to offset the residential property tax burden. (A)

Objective:  While maintaining support to the State and local education system, initiate steps to achieve a more fiscally responsible posture for the Town of Frye Island. (A/F)


Goal:   Manage and plan the Town’s capital and operating expenditures to maximize cost-effectiveness, accountability, and the timely and efficient delivery of services.


Objective:   Minimize long term costs and maximize cost-effectiveness of capital
expenditures. (A)

Objective:   Establish a clear and consistent record of Town operational and capital
expenditures. (A)

Objective:   Where practical, take advantage of potential cost savings and/or operational advantages from regional facilities, services and policies. (A/F)


3.11  Future Land Use Plan

Goal: Encourage orderly growth and development in the Town.

Objective:  Continue to discuss and implement zoning, which will ensure controlled development of the south end of the Island and encourage compatibility of low density use. (A)


Goal: Protect the Natural Environment and Rural Character of Frye Island.

Objective:  Review current zoning ordinances to help maintain the rural character of 

the Town. (A)

Objective:  Continue to discuss and implement Ordinances, which encourage recreational use

of town land, which does not interfere with the enjoyment of its natural beauty and character. 

Objective:  Insure appropriate phosphorus review criteria is included in the Town Subdivision Ordinance.(A)

Objective:  Continue minimum lot size management for buildable two or more contiguous lots under one owner. (A)

See Section 3.9 for related Goals, Objectives and Policies. (A)

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