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Summit 2014 - The Dollars and $ense of Smart Growth

GrowSmart Maine Summit 2014GrowSmart Maine Summit 2014

The Dollars and $ense of Smart Growth

Tuesday, October 21st at the Augusta Civic Center


Sponsored by:

Bangor Savings Bank


Bangor Daily News

Maine Magazine



Maine Community Foundation

Developers CollaborativePDT ArchitectsProject CanopyWright-Ryan



Betterment Foundation   Elmina B. Sewall Foundation  

Horizon Foundation   Lerner Foundation 

Richard Berman

CCB, Inc.

Drummond Woodsum

Local Wood WORKS Conference

Maine Community Health Options   

Maine Development Foundation   


Table Sponsors

Androscoggin Bank   Maine Farmland Trust

Advisory Team

Aaron Shapiro, Cumberland County
Ben Sprague, Chair of Bangor City Council
Caitlyn Davison, Orton Family Foundation
Carol Morris, Morris Communications
Doug Beck, Active Communities Conference, State of Maine
Jack Kartez, USM Muskie School and GSM board
Jane Lafleur, Friends of Midcoast Maine and GSM board
Jim Damicis, Northeastern Economic Developers Assn and Camoin Associates
John Moore, Bangor Savings Bank
Jon Edgerton, Wright Pierce Engineering
Elizabeth Hertz, Municipal Planning Assistance Program, State of Maine
Rosemary Monahan, EPA New England
Rosie Vanadestine, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Susan Hammond, Four Directions Development Corp
Tom Rumpf, The Nature Conservancy - Maine


Why plan for growth and change, when it seems so much easier to simply react?

When there is a distinct and shared vision for your community - when residents, businesses and local government anticipate a sustainable town with cohesive and thriving neighborhoods - you have the power to conserve your beautiful natural spaces, enhance your existing downtown or Main Street, enable rural areas to be productive and prosperous, and save money through efficient use of existing infrastructure.

This is the dollars and sense of smart growth.

Success is clearly visible in Maine, from the creation of a community-built senior housing complex and health center in Fort Fairfield to conservation easements creating Forever Farms to Rockland's revitalized downtown. Communities have options. We have the power to manage our own responses to growth and change.

After all, “Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.” - Richard I. Winwood

And in the end, this means that our children and their children will choose to make Maine home and our economy will provide the opportunities to do so.

The Summit offers you a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the transformative change in Maine that we’ve seen these gatherings produce. We encourage you to consider the value of being actively involved in growing Maine’s economy and protecting the reasons we choose to live here.



The Dollars and $ense of Smart Growth: Hear three dynamic perspectives on the value of smart growth to all Mainers.
Business leaders, community volunteers and officials, residents of all ages – we choose to live in Maine because of our connections with family and place. And we want Maine to be strong. How does storytelling build community connections from which difficult strategies and hard decisions emerge? How do communities respond to natural disasters and then prioritize future risk mitigation actions?
What can come from seeing the whole picture; connecting the vigor of Maine’s downtowns to the economic and natural health of rural areas?

  • Jared Duval – Trustee, Orton Family Foundation
  • Noelle MacKay – Commissioner, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development
  • John Piotti – President and CEO, Maine Farmland Trust

Tamar Kotelchuck - Director, Working Cities Initiatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will present the Working Cities Challenge - a groundbreaking effort in Massachusetts to support leaders who are reaching across sectors to ensure that smaller cities are places of opportunity and prosperity for all their residents. The Challenge provides grants to promising efforts that exemplify and advance cross-sector collaboration and create deep and lasting change in their communities. Then hear from Maine’s own examples of municipal and regional successes in achieving the same goals.

Closing Reception: Capitol City Improv, Sense of Smart Growth – The Musical! 
Capitol City Improv team Jen Shepherd, Elizabeth Helitzer, Larrance Fingerhut, Dennis A. Price, and David Greenham will use the GrowSmart Summit 2014 as the jumping off point to create an on-the-spot, improvised musical. Fun, irreverent, and the perfect way to reflect on what we've learned at the Summit.


Summit Schedule

7:30am  Registration and Breakfast
8:30am  Welcome and GrowSmart Maine 2014 in Review
9:00am  Keynote: The Dollars and $ense of Smart Growth
10:30am  Morning Breakout Sessions
12pm  Lunch and GrowSmart Maine Annual Meeting
1:15pm  Working Cities Challenge, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
2:30pm  Afternoon Breakout Sessions
4pm  Closing Reception: Capitol City Improv—Refreshments and cash bar


Breakout Sessions



Making Headway in Your Community and My Green Downtown  Be part of an interactive demonstration of this newly released online tool, connecting you with resource organizations ready to help in your community and stories of projects across Maine.  Smart Design, Community Connections, Local Economy and Healthy Communities will all be featured. Panelists: Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine; Lorain Francis, Maine Downtown Center;  Rob Dietz, Pica Design + Marketing

Cultivating New Opportunities for Food-Based Businesses  A dynamic discussion on Maine’s food system and the necessary infrastructure to startup and sustain local food-based businesses. Speakers will share successes in fostering opportunity for farmers, retailers, food producers and processors. Hear applicable lessons learned in minimizing roadblocks, connecting resources and building relationships. Panelists:  John Piotti, Maine Farmland Trust; Abby Sadauckas, MOFGA; Dan Wallace, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; Caroline Paras, GPCOG; Joel Alex, Blue Ox Malthouse

Key Ingredients to Successful Economic Development in Downtowns and Commercial Strips  Many towns struggle with through-traffic in their downtowns or emerging commercial areas. Learn from those who have taken advantage of that traffic and reclaim your downtown or commercial strip for local residents, while building a strong economic tax base. Panelists: Nancy Ketch, Town of Houlton; Theo Holtwijk, Town of Falmouth; Mat Eddy, Town of Kennebunk; Carol Morris, Morris Communications

Leveraging Private Sector Investments and Public Funds to Support Smart Growth  Learn how to tap public funding and package it to make projects attractive to private investors, how to overcome challenges such as ups and downs in the economy, and the importance of ‘champions’ in keeping projects moving forward. Panelists: Chuck Morgan, Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission; Josh Benthien, Northland Enterprises; Judy East, WCCOG; Wolfe Tone, Trust for Public Land; Rosemary Monahan, EPA New England

Building Aging-Friendly Communities for a Brighter Economic Future  Maine’s aging demographic is creating some economic challenges but also presents many opportunities.  Creating systems that help older adults thrive in their own neighborhoods builds stronger communities that attract new people and business to Maine.  Presenters will discuss innovative ways to build communities that help people age in place. Panelists: Jess Maurer, Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Lori Parham, AARP Maine; Tony Levesque, Town of Fort Fairfield; Joe Perkins, WHCA At Home Downeast, Vic Taylor, Rebuilding Together Lincoln County

Maine at Work  An entertaining review of Maine's working past as backdrop for a facilitated discussion of Maine's future jobs.  Panelists: David Greenham, Maine Humanities Council; Renee Kelly, Economic Development Initiatives, University of Maine; Roland Landry, Falcon Precision Footwear

Practical Steps for Communities: Where to Start When it Comes to Climate Change? This panel will cover the latest data and tools available across the State, show how they can be used to evaluate and plan for resilience in our infrastructure, and describe an innovative program to reach our vulnerable populations to create more resilience in our social infrastructure. Panelists: Elizabeth Hertz, Municipal Planning Assistance, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; Peter Slovinsky, Maine Geological Survey; Judy Gates, MaineDOT; Bill Thompson, Penobscot Nation

Adapting Maine’s Cities, Suburbs and Downtowns as Walkable, Bikeable, Drivable, Transit-Connected Places  Maine’s demographic shift of an aging population and the simultaneous need to attract the young workforce of the future requires rethinking transportation and place. Learn from planners who are intimately involved in creating multi-modal smart-growth oriented transportation plans that accommodate transportation choice, in a wide range of settings. Panelists: Kara Wilbur, Town Planning and Urban Design Cooperative; Carl Eppich, PACTS; Alex Jaegerman, City of Portland; Vanessa Farr, Town of Yarmouth


Walking the Walk: Complete Streets and Trail Systems are Smart Growth Investments   Learn about complete streets and how it can increase your community's livability for all by designing  safe and accessible streets for everyone.  You'll learn about basic concepts and available resources, how to get your community started, hear from folks in the trenches and the lessons they've learned and see some examples. Panelists: Nancy Grant, Bicycle Coalition of Maine; Tom Errico, T.Y. Lin International; Bruce Hyman, City of Portland; Jeremiah Bartlett, City of Portland

Models of Collaborative Growth: Getting into the Specifics  Continuing the conversation about collaborative growth that began in the afternoon plenary, this session will feature additional presentations from Lewiston and the Greater Portland Council of Governments, and more in-depth discussion with plenary panelists about tools, partners and focus needed to achieve success. Panelists: John Bubier, City of Biddeford; Mike Aube, EMDC; Neal Allen, GPCOG; Ed Barrett, City of Lewiston; John Moore, Bangor Savings Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Development Advisory Council.

Using Data to Inform Decisions  The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has created a few powerful, time-saving, easy-to-use tools for people interested in making decisions and measuring the impact of community efforts in the New England region. Learn about the City Data tool, the annual Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reports and the New England Economic Indicators. Create easy to read reports and downloadable spreadsheets. Panelists: Kaili Mauricio, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Laurie LaChance, Thomas College and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Development Advisory Council.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) & How to Effectively Use it in Your Community  Understanding the ins and outs of TIFs can be overwhelming, especially to those in smaller towns.  Come get an easy to understand explanation of how a TIF district can work and benefit your community.  You will also hear from two towns that are using their TIF programs to advance their economic development goals and tackle some difficult and/or unique issues. Panelists: Rosie Vanadestine, KVCOG; Noreen Norton, Rudman Winchell; Shana Mueller, Bernstein & Shur; Nate Rudy, City of Gardiner; Pat Finnegan, Town of Camden

Why Plan? Communities sometimes struggle with the task of planning, from developing a vision to implementing a plan for the future. So why plan? This panel will lead a discussion about the real benefits of planning - economic, social and community. Panelists: Jane Lafleur, Friends of Midcoast Maine; Ben Sprague, Bangor City Council; Chief Brenda Commander, Houlton Band of Maliseets

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit: A New England Perspective  An advanced look at this incentive and its use across New England, in light of recent legislative changes in Maine. Panelists: John Grosvenor, Northeast Collaborative Architects; Dan Kolodner, Klein Hornig LLP; Christine Beard, Tremont Preservation Services; Laura Vowell, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation; Paul Boghossian, Hathaway Creative Center

Climate Change and Maine’s Traditional Natural Resource Based Industries  Are more frost-free days a bad thing for Maine’s natural resource based industries? This panel will cover some of the challenges and opportunities our fab four - fishing, farming, tourism, and forestry - may be facing.  Panelists: Elizabeth Hertz, Municipal Planning Assistance, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; Lisa Turner, Laughing Stock Farm; Matt Polstein, New England Outdoor Center; Heather Deese, Ph.D., Island Institute

Regional Land Use Approaches – Are they effective in Maine? What have we learned?  What are the lessons learned for Maine communities from federal and state regional planning efforts throughout Maine? Speakers will describe how regional collaborations can help our communities to be efficient, innovative and resilient in the face of change. Panelists: Judy East, WCCOG; Rebecca Schaffner, Sustain Southern Maine; Nick Livesay, LUPC; Tom Rumpf, The Nature Conservancy in Maine; Tora Johnson, University of Maine at Machias GIS Service Center


Registration has closed.


Download a pdf of the registration form


Pending Continuing Education Credits:

Continuing Legal Education - Requested

American Institute of Certified Planners  (AICP) - Requested

AICP Credits Requested  






Mark Tuesday, October 21st on your calendar and we'll see you in Augusta.

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Sponsors help make the GrowSmart Maine Summit happen each year.  The support of these companies and organizations reflects their commitment to sustainable prosperity and to work together with GrowSmart Maine and diverse others for a better Maine.  Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Email us at