The Plan Yarmouth team is excited to announce the release of the draft Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of the Plan is to develop a shared vision of the community’s future that reflects and responds to the priorities, values, and requirements of Yarmouth residents, such as safeguarding Yarmouth’s history and sense of place. The Plan provides guidance to the work of the Town Planning Board and Town Council in the years ahead. 

Since January 2023, the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, Town staff, and North Star Planning, a New Gloucester-based consultancy, have been hard at work on research, analysis, and public engagement. There were multiple focus groups with Town committees and boards, community conversation sessions on housing, economic development, and the natural environment, online surveys, summer pop-up events throughout town, and a future land use workshop. Throughout the process regular updates and events were shared through the Town and project websites, e-newsletters, videos, on Town social media, and direct mailings to community members.

The resulting draft Comprehensive Plan outlines the vision, goals, objectives, and the prioritized actions to achieve them. The Future Land Use Plan is a core component, guiding Yarmouth’s future decisions on zoning, land preservation, and public investments in the built and natural environment. The soon-to-be-adopted Climate Action Plan will be reflected in the updated Comprehensive Plan through goals, policies, and actions that highlight the community’s commitment to sustainability and resilience. Each inventory chapter in the Comprehensive Plan includes a section on Climate Connections highlighting the ways in which the topics relate to climate issues and climate action goals as well. 

“The draft plan is the culmination of significant public engagement over the last year, for which we appreciate the community’s time and commitment to shaping our shared future,” says co-chair Hildy Ginsberg. Co-chair Bill Richards adds, “Over the next several weeks, the Steering Committee encourages community members to read the plan, learn more at an upcoming meeting, and consider providing feedback through one of the many avenues available during the comment period.”

The release of the draft Comprehensive Plan kicks off a 45-day comment period. In addition, a joint public meeting of the Town Council and Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will be held on April 25 during the Town Council’s regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 7 PM at 196 Main Street. The draft Comprehensive Plan can be viewed online at or viewed in Town Hall, 200 Main Street. Comments may be provided through the Plan Yarmouth website, via email to Erin Zwirko at, or in writing to the Department of Planning & Development, 200 Main Street. 

Since the fall, the Town has also collaborated with community partners on companion events to the plan update, “com-PLAN-ion” events, which included a trivia game night, a guided hike and land acknowledgment ceremony, a guided historic district walk, and a breakfast meetup for telecommuting residents. 

Come and kick off the public comment period for the draft plan at the fifth com-PLAN-ion event, Rooted Narratives: Stories of the Power of Place, on March 15, 2024, at 5:30 PM. The merry evening will feature snacks from Maggie Mae’s, and live music and storytelling from community members on the third floor of Yarmouth’s historic Merrill Memorial Library at 215 Main Street. Come and enjoy a night of good eats and stories celebrating Yarmouth.

“We are so proud of the com-PLAN-ion events that Assistant Planner Julie Dubovsky has arranged with community partners over the past several months. These events highlight the shared values of the community, showcase the important and valuable work of Yarmouth’s volunteers and community groups, and get the community talking about the comprehensive plan in a fun, informal setting. These events have been a highlight of the planning process, and there are more to come through the spring and early summer,” says Erin Zwirko, Director of Planning and Development.

For more information about the comprehensive plan update, visit