Brooklin Friends and Neighbors

Community Forum

March 26th, 2005

Can Brooklin Sustain a Working Rural Community?

In order to better understand the effects of growth and development currently bringing change to Brooklin and the peninsula, Brooklin Friends and Neighbors will sponsor a talk by Dr. Mark Lapping, an expert on rural and small town planning, on Saturday, March 26th, 9:00 AM, at the Brooklin Community School located just north of the village center on State Route 175.

The forum is an outgrowth of discussions held by the Friends and Neighbors in recent months. The group's members invite all those interested, from Brooklin as well as surrounding towns, to join this forum discussion. Brooklin Friends and Neighbors is a group of residents interested in preserving a healthy quality of life in our rural, coastal community. The group hopes to encourage a proactive response to the changes around us, using not only government process, but also less formal efforts that may be more in keeping with Brooklin's traditions.

In meetings held over the last year, discussion has centered on preserving open space and recreation opportunities and the effects of rising property values and expanding land development. Fewer young families are able to find affordable housing; the school enrollments are declining; and the population is aging. Dwindling waterfront access limits both commercial and recreational activities.

Dr. Lapping's discussion will center on the changing job picture, the effects of property values on the population and schools, sprawl and what communities and individuals can do formally and informally to help address these issues.

A Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, Dr. Lapping has studied, taught and written for many years about the changes taking place in Maine's rural towns. He is the co-author of the Small Town Planning Handbook, published by the American Planning Association and recently recognized by the APA as one the most important planning books published in the last 25 years. This handbook is available for review at the Friend Memorial Library in Brooklin.

Further information concerning the March 26th Forum, please call Peter Sly at 359-2150