July 1, 2002
A Vision for One of Maine’s Unique Towns

The Frye Island Comprehensive Plan Committee

[Download Comprehensive Plan in Adobe Acrobat format (420K)]

July 1 2002

The Town of Frye Island is perhaps the most unique town in the state of Maine.  Founded on July 1, 1998, after the State Legislature approved its secession from the Town of Standish, this 1000-acre island in Sebago Lake includes approximately 400 cottages.  In 2000, full habitation was estimated at approximately 1400 with holiday weekend peaks at approximately 2600.  The Town is seasonal in its physical occupancy, and annual in its administration.  Ninety-five percent of the land in the Town was platted and developed by a development company in the 1960s.  It’s successor, Frye Island Incorporated, owns most of the undeveloped land, and all of the recreation amenities, such as beaches, golf course, marina, pool and tennis courts.  The Corporation also owns, and leases to the Town, the ferry system and most of the municipal buildings. The details on how this relationship evolved and currently functions are unique and are addressed in this Comprehensive Plan.  (See Section 1.1, Community Character/History and Section 5.3.1, Town Historical Background)

With the founding of the Town, many new requirements became apparent.  Development of a Charter was the first major effort.  The Charter included the development of a Comprehensive Plan as a responsibility of the Town Planning Board.  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

In 1999, a Town Survey was completed and in 2000 a Comprehensive Plan Committee was formed.  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.  In a letter dated February 20 2002 the State Planning Office issued its review indicating, “the plan is consistent with the State’s growth management act.”  The review also provided a number of suggestions to improve the quality and accuracy of the Plan.  After local review these have for the most part been incorporated in the document.

The Plan, after a three-year effort including a final public hearing (15 June 2002), only requires Warrant approval at the July 2002  Town Meeting.  The document includes extensive historical background and a detailed Inventory and Analysis of the required Plan elements.  Thus it provides a 5-10-year visionary approach to the Town’s planning of land use and capital investments.

Frye Island Comprehensive Plan Committee

“Creating a Vision for one of Maine’s Unique Towns.”


Town Charter assigns the production of the Town of Frye Island Comprehensive Plan to the Planning Board, who in June 2000 formed a dedicated Comprehensive Plan Committee. This body of volunteers, despite the many and unique aspects of Frye Island, when compared with the State Review Criteria and the difficulties of winter geographic separation, completed the Frye Island Comprehensive Plan in August 2001. There were a number of people who volunteered their time and talent in this major effort and who warrant recognition.

First, the Planning Board, who in 1999 developed, distributed, collected and analyzed a comprehensive Town Survey. Based on automation assistance from the Portland Council of Governments (PCOG), a final survey document was developed. Over the winter of 1999, then Town Manager, Vic Richards considered the material and wrote the first draft of the Town Comprehensive Plan. His efforts deserve recognition as they set the stage for what followed after a brief review by the State Planning Office and PCOG.

The Comprehensive Plan Committee formed in June 2000 undertook a major volunteer effort and their inputs in specific areas are gratefully acknowledged:

Robert Hannah – Vice Chairman, Housing and History sections
Margaretta Hommel – Land Use, Mapping, final Plan assembly
Patricia Meyer – Land Use, Mapping
Patricia Karpacz – Natural and Water Resources
Diane Babineau – Economics, Fiscal Capacity
John Nun – Facilities and Services
Ernest Wrzesinsky – Fire, Rescue, Police, Disaster and Emergency Planning
Edmund Charrette – Recreation and Plan editorial review
David Treacy – History and Archaeology
Edward Johnson – Agriculture and Forestry
Oleg Svetlichny – Transportation
Christa Mueller - Secretary

There are always those who make special contributions. Rick Seely of Portland Council of Governments was a major source of assistance. His professional input and guidance, especially in interlocal matters, were significant. Likewise, our new Town Manager, Rich Roedner contributed of his time and talent in a careful review of the document over the winter of 2000. Though new to Frye Island, his background as a professional planner assisted in the development of a more comprehensive document. Thanks are in order to Joe Potts; the Town web master, for his contribution in placing this large document with its many appendices on the Town web site. A profound thank you goes to Marge and Carl Hommel without whom this document might not exist. Their detailed assessment of the many unique aspects of land use, all the mapping and the final electronic integration of all the Plan text reflect talents for which we are most indebted. Finally, there are Town residents and groups such as A. C. Riley, Phil & Nancy Perry, the Fire Department, Garden Club, Book Club and others who offered their thoughts and support in the production of this work. We thank them for their involvement. We hope our efforts will be beneficial to the Town of Frye Island.

F. W. (Fritz) Mueller, JR. Chairman                                                                27 August 2001

Table of Contents


Frye Island Comprehensive Plan Committee
0.1 Background
     0.2 Purpose, Legal Context, Process
          0.2.1 Purpose:
          0.2.2 Legal Context:
          0.2.3 Process:
     0.3 Public Participation in the Process
     0.4 Summary of Survey Results

1.1 Community Character/History
          1.1.0 Introduction
          1.1.1 Development 1949 – 2000
     1.2 Population
          1.2.0 Introduction:
          1.2.1 Characteristics of Frye Island Inhabitants:
          1.2.2 Trends of Town Growth
          1.2.3 Projections of Town Growth
     1.3 Local Economy
     1.4 Housing
     1.5 Natural Resources
          1.5.1 Water Resources
          1.5.2 Natural Critical Resources
     1.6 Agriculture and Forest Resources
     1.7 Existing Land Use
          1.7.1 Current
          1.7.2 Trends
     1.8 Transportation
          1.8.0 Introduction
          1.8.1 Ferry System:
          1.8.2 Roads
          1.8.3 Warranted Transportation Actions
     1.9 Public Facilities and Services
          1.9.1. Utilities
          1.9.2. Solid Waste Management and Disposal
          1.9.3 Fire, Emergency Rescue and Police Protection
          1.9.4. Ferry Operations, Servicing, Replacement
          1.9.5. Emergency Planning, Communications and Evacuation Planning
          1.9.6. Town Operations
          1.9.7 Commercial Services
          1.9.8 Education
     1.10 Historic and Archeological Resources
          1.10.1 Historic Resources
          1.10.2 Archaeological Resources
          1.10.3 Threats to Historic and Archaeological Resources
     1.11 Recreation
          1.11.0 Introduction
          1.11.1 Recreation
          1.11.2 Public Access to Lake Sebago
          1.11.3 Beaches
          1.11.4 Access To Open Space
     1.12 Fiscal Capacity

2.1 Community Character
     2.2 Economic History
     2.3 Town Government
     2.4 10 Year Growth Considerations and Issues
          2.4.1 Scope:
          2.4.2 Overview:
          2.4.3 Details:

     3.1 Definitions, Roles of GOPs
          3.1.1 General Goal
          3.1.2 Definitions
     3.2 Local Economy
     3.3 Housing
     3.4 Natural Resources
          3.4.1 Water Resources
          3.4.2 Critical Resources
     3.5 Agricultural and Forest Resources
     3.6 Transportation
          3.6.1 Ferry System
          3.6.2 Roads
     3.7 Public Facilities and Services
          3.7.1 Utilities
          3.7.2 Solid Waste Management and Disposal
          3.7.3 Fire, Emergency Rescue and Police Protection
          3.7.4 Ferry Operations, Servicing and Replacement
          3.7.5 Emergency Planning, Communications and Evacuation Planning
          3.7.6 Town Operations
          3.7.7 Commercial Services
          3.7.8 Education
     3.8 Historic and Archeological Resources
          3.8.1 Historic Resources
          3.8.2 Archaeological Resources
     3.9 Recreation and Public Access
     3.10 Fiscal Capacity
     3.11 Future Land Use Plan
     3.12 Consistency with the 10 State Goals
     3.13 Coordination with Neighboring Towns and the Region

     4.1 Definition and Overview
          4.1.1 Definition
          4.1.2 Overview
          4.1.3 Major Action Steps
          4.1.4 Parties Responsible for Carrying Out the Major Action Steps
          4.1.5 Schedule and Estimates of Capital Costs
     4.2 Table of Implementation Strategies
          4.2.1 Citizen Participation
          4.2.2 Economic Expansion
          4.2.3 Housing
          4.2.4 Natural Resources
          4.2.5 Agriculture and Forest Resources
          4.2.6 Transportation
          4.2.7 Public Facilities and Services
          4.2.8 Historic and Archeological Resources
          4.2.9 Recreation and Public Access
          4.2.10 Fiscal Capacity
          4.2.11 Future Land Use
     4.3 Capital Investment Plan
          4.3.1. Natural Resources
          4.3.2. Ferry System
          4.3.3. Water System
          4.3.4. Fire and Rescue
          4.3.5. Recreation
          4.3.6. Public Works Equipment
          4.3.7. Winter Town Hall and Records Storage
          4.3.8. Island Town Hall Bldg upgrade

     5.1 Legislation Creating the Town
     5.2 Town Charter
     5.3 Town Historical Background and 1999 Town Survey
          5.3.1 Town Historical Background
          5.3.2 Town 1999 Town Survey
     5.4 Outreach Documents
     5.5 Deed Covenants
     5.6 Court Findings, Portland Water District vs. Leisure Living Communities Inc.
          5.6.1 Court Findings of Facts September 6, 1973
          5.6.2 Court Order March 4,1974
          5.6.3 Order Amending Order of March 4,1974 April 23,1974
          5.6.4 Consent Agreement on Waste Disposal Permit Applications Processing March/April 1990
          5.6.5 Defendants’ Application for Order Concerning Entry of Consent Agreement May 1,1990
          5.6.6 Documentation reporting May 7,1990 Court Approval of the Consent Agreement July 16,1990
     5.7 Summary of Sebago Lake Shoreline Change Studies 1990-1997
     5.8 1991 Frye Island Inc. Lease to Frye Island Municipal Services Corp
     5.9 2001 Frye Island Ferry Schedule
     5.10 1999 Town Warrant, Section on Town acceptance of roads by Public Easement
     5.11 Frye Island Street Directory and Fire Lane Designations
     5.12 Maine DOT letter dated 21 November 2000, setting Town Speed Limits
     5.13 Maps
          Map 1 Land Use 2001: Small | Large
          Map 2 Topographic Map
          Map 3 Wetlands Map | Legend 1 | Legend 2
          Map 4 Soil Types | Legend
          Map 5 Zoning Map
          Map 6 Shoreland Zoning Map
          Map 7 Phosphorus Loading Map
          Map 8 Slope of Frye Island Lots
          Map 9 Watersheds, Frye Island
          Map 10 Prehistoric Archaeological Sites, Frye Island
     5.14 Town Budgets, 1998 - 2001
          5.14.1 1998 Town Budget
          5.14.2 1999 Town Budget
          5.14.3 2000 Town Budget
          5.14.4 2001 Town Budget
     5.15 Transmittal Letter August 30, 2001
     5.16 Reviews
          5.16.1 State of Maine, State Planning Office
          5.16.2 Maine Forest Service
          5.16.3 Maine Natural Areas Program
          5.16.4 Greater Portland Council of Governments

Table of Figures

Figure 1: Frye Island Cottage Growth & Projection
Figure 2: Years on Frye Island
Figure 3 Cumberland County Population Forecast by Community: 1995-2025
Figure 4: Building Permits – 1998 - 2000
Figure 5: Demographic Representation by Age
Figure 6: Frye Island Lot Sizes
Figure 7: Affordable Housing costs
Figure 8: Market Value of Frye Island Cottages
Figure 9: Distribution of Affordable Housing Prices
Figure 10: 1998 - 2000 Ferry Usage Ticket Data
Figure 11: Water Usage
Figure 12: Cost of Sold Waste Disposal
Figure 13: Solid Waste Tonnage
Figure 14: Staffing, Duration, Departmental Cost
Figure 15: Town Facilities
Figure 16: Major Equipment

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