WILLARD NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
N E W S L E T T E R
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The WNA Newsletter is published three times a year. You can look for new issues online in February, June, and October.
~ Current Newsletter Pending ~
Previous Newsletter Below
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to all our neighbors in the Willard area. I
am extremely proud to be the President of the Willard Neighborhood Association.
Our members and officers are a diverse and richly talented group of
individuals and we would welcome you to join with us and share your talents as
well. This Association has over the years had an effect at both the local and
state levels. Our efforts have produced revised zoning laws and procedures and
have even affected the way the Maine Supreme Court handles its appeals.
we are engaged in developing the Willard Neighborhood Plan, which we hope will
become integrated in South Portland’s Comprehensive Plan. We have looked at
our neighborhood and listened to our neighbors who generously took the time to
share their visions and concerns with us. We had an extremely dedicated and
hardworking group of individuals who nursed this process for years and we are
very excited about working with the South Portland City Council and Planning
Board to put it into effect.
monthly meetings provide an opportunity for people to voice their concerns about
the neighborhood and join with others to create solutions.
The meetings are also a place where visionaries can share their dreams
and recruit “stakeholders” to turn those dreams into reality.
We provide a place where developers can present their projects and get
input from the neighbors. Finally,
we provide a place where representatives of local and state government can share
things that may concern us and listen to our responses.
want to preserve, protect and improve the Willard Neighborhood so that it
continues to reflect the character and values that many of us grew up with which
have attracted others to join us here. We
want to create a place where people can enjoy working, living, retiring and
invite you to become members of the Willard Neighborhood Association. We need
your special talents and capacities and we want to hear your voice.
Please join us and help to keep the Willard Neighborhood a great place to
Barry L. Wilson, President
Willard Neighborhood Association
In 1999, the city made 4 recommendations as part of their
comprehensive plan, called Project PLAN. One
of those recommendations was that neighborhoods within the city complete their
own “Project PLAN”. These
neighborhood plans, along with the work done on the South Portland Open Space
Plan of 2001, would help the city shape an appropriate comprehensive development
plan for the whole city.
WNA appointed a Master Plan Committee to spearhead the
project and we thank them for their impressive work. The committee was co-chaired by Benita Russo and Joan
Uraneck. Members were Merle
Broberg, Sally Groupp, and Jean Heath. Alan
Brewer, Jonathan Spence, and Doug Uraneck were members early on.
City Site Planner, Jim Gailey; City Manager, Jeffrey Jordan; Mayors,
William Dale and Ralph Baxter; Planning Director, Tex Haeuser; Public Works
Director, Steve Johnson; City Arborist, John Switzer; and Waterfront &
Transportation Director, Tom Meyers all provided guidance to the project.
The last Project Plan public meeting was held on Thursday,
March 18th at the Betsy Ross House.
Members of the Project Plan Committee presented the Willard Neighborhood
Plan which includes a vision statement, findings report and recommendations.
Elements of this plan grew out of the WNA Vision Statement, neighborhood
surveys and the four public meetings.
The Vision Statement:
We envision the Willard Neighborhood (WN) as a place where:
encouraged to know one another, to celebrate together and to join in making
decisions about the future of the community;
The scenic beauty
and sensitive environment of Willard Beach is protected and improved through
appropriate and dutiful maintenance;
People value the
safety and education of children, and welcome residents of all ages, incomes and
neighborhood-scaled businesses are encouraged;
quantity, and scale of any future residential development is compatible with the
Public open space
is appreciated and preserved.
Opportunities for Growth
Between WN & SMCC
Enhance Open Space
Spring Point Shoreway
& Cultural Opportunities
Neighborhood Land Use
23 State/US Govt
36 Vacant Lots
1 Hose Co.
Of respondents to the questions,
97% said that WN
was a safe neighborhood in which to live
67% have lived or
done business in WN for more than five years
58% use the beach
at least twice a week
9% consider the
beach to be very well maintained and a majority felt it was adequately
66% said that
available parking is adequate
33% said there
are not enough affordable homes, 31% said there is a sufficient number, and 35%
were not sure
90% believe that
dense developments are not desirable, yet 28% would like to see more apartments,
single family homes or cluster developments
favorably regulations that would preserve water views
ideas were, in order of popularity, heavy item pickup, mom & pop store,
coffee shop, retain dead-end streets, cultural events at Fisherman’s Point,
boat & Kayak rentals, ice cream shop, more playgrounds, beach
beautification, sidewalk and crosswalk installation, public art and sculpture,
definition of a neighborhood center, Willard Square Roundabout, more open space,
more street trees
A public meeting with the Planning Board, and two workshops with the City Council will be scheduled as the next steps for adding the Willard Neighborhood Plan to the comprehensive plan for South Portland. The Willard Neighborhood Plan will be available for review at the South Portland Public Library
WNA’s Beach Committee, following
the recommendations set out in the Willard Beach Research and Management Guide,
has begun to work with the City to make improvements to the beach entrances.
Regular visitors to the beach have noticed the installation of walkways
and winter “snow” fencing to direct foot traffic and keep as much sand as
possible from blowing up the streets.
As the weather improves, more
plantings and fertilization will happen to enhance the natural vegetation and
support dune formation. If you like
to plant, weed or hang out at the beach supervising others planting, weeding,
etc., contact Theresa Wiper at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 767-1160 to get involved.
The Full report, including a very
useful reference section titled, “Who To Call”, is posted on the website of
the Willard Neighborhood Association at, http://www.willardneighborhood.org/beach_resource_guide.htm.
A hard copy of the report is also available at the South Portland Public
Marine Sciences program took over the Willard Beach Profiling Studies last year
relieving volunteers of their monthly measuring duties while providing more
complete and accurate data with the help of the latest surveying technology.
Willard Beach Profiling Project is a long-term data collection program that will
enable state geologists to determine how the beach is changing and if Willard
Beach has a serious sand erosion problem. It will also provide valuable data on the front and back dune
areas of the beach and help scientists to recommend ‘best practices’ for
maintaining this exceptional natural resource.
Four alternatives plans for the
redesign of Willard Square are currently being considered:
Tex Haeuser, Planning Director for
South Portland, presented visual representations the above options to the March
18th meeting of the Willard Neighborhood Association.
These representations were created based on suggestions by community
members and as discussed at previous meetings of WNA.
The WNA requested that the
volunteer engineer, Steve Bushey, take the roundabout and the two tee options to
the next stage of refinement, keeping in mind the issues identified by the group
– parking for business, character of the square, pedestrian safety, and
traffic flow. It is hoped that a
clearer choice among the alternatives will emerge.
SMCC is currently involved in
updating their Master Plan which was last done in 1990.
The purpose of this plan update is to lay the groundwork for where the
campus facilities need to go and how they need to be improved in the next 5 to
In February, a community forum was
held to introduce the project. Input
from this forum and two campus forums were used to develop short and long term
plans for the college. Another
community forum will be held mid-May. Preliminary
plans will be presented and the community will be encouraged to respond.
SMCC is very interested in
remaining a good Willard Neighbor and wants residents’ participation in this
important planning process. Please
contact Jamie Brown at Mohr & Seredin, 871-0003, for more information.