Producer/Host: Amy Browne
In Augusta this afternoon the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee held a work session on a bill calling for the elimination of Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission
As we reported last week, when we listened in on the public hearing on the bill, LD 1534, “An Act To Reform the Land Use and Planning Authority in the Unorganized Territories” eliminates the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, effective July 15, 2012. This bill as it is currently worded also establishes a “Land Use Planning in the Unorganized Territory Transition Advisory Board” to advise the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on matters relating to the transfer of authority over land use planning in the unorganized territory to the counties in which the land is located. The board is required to render its advice to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by December 2, 2011. The board is dissolved July 15, 2012. At that point the counties would presumably take over the responsibilities now handled by LURC, though many at the public hearing expressed serious concerns about their ability to do so.
The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC or the Commission) was created by the Maine Legislature in 1971 to serve as the planning and zoning authority for the state’s townships, plantations and unorganized areas. LURC’s jurisdiction stretches over half the state, encompassing more than 10.4 million acres and the largest contiguous undeveloped area in the Northeast.
Today we’re going to listen in on this afternoon’s work session on the bill, which got quite confusing as there were 2 different versions circulating through the committee, and the committee members themselves were unsure which they were debating: