The Town of Windham last updated its Comprehensive Plan, adopted by the Town Council in 2003. As part of this major planning project, the Town reviewed and updated policies and goals related to many diverse subjects, including Transportation, Land Use, Parks and Open Space, Economic Development, Municipal Services and Infrastructure, and more.
This is an important process because of the requirements of the State’s Growth Management Act and considerations granted by the State for having a Comprehensive Plan that is consistent with State goals. More than that, though, this process is a way for the people of Windham to weigh-in on important issues that impact the day-to-day experience of what it means to live and work in Windham, especially because many of these subjects are not things we think about every day. It is a way to help define what kind of place we want to see Windham become over the next 10-15 years, and to start working toward making it happen.
In 2022 the State Legislature passed a law commonly known as L.D. 2003, which mandates state-wide legislation on various land use standards in an effort to address the housing shortage. The law requires municipalities to amend their land use ordinances to allow certain types of housing development and densities based on a location in areas designated as Growth Areas in a Comprehensive Plan. The Growth Areas defined in Windham’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map have loosely-defined boundaries that do not align with the town’s zoning.
On March 11, 2024 the Planning Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map to reduce the Growth Areas and expand the Rural Areas and the Route 302 Transitional Areas.