After 18 months of hard work and the involvement of close to half the island population at one point or another, Peaks Island created a comprehensive neighborhood plan that outlines a set of objectives for the island to accomplish.

Chris Hoppin, one of the coordinators of the planning process, presented the final plan to the Portland City Council during a workshop session on Sept. 8. According to Hoppin, the planning process brought out the best among the islanders. “It has been a pleasure to see so many talented people using their talents to suggest and shape our future,” he told the councilors.

Peaks Island is the first neighborhood within the city of Portland to complete a neighborhood plan. Ultimately, each of Portland’s 18 neighborhoods will create a neighborhood plan that will become part of the City of Portland comprehensive plan.

Neighborhood-based planning, according to Barbara Barhydt, City of Portland senior planner, “will provide a mechanism for the exchange of information and ideas on citywide planning between the city and neighborhood organizations.”

Much of the work done by the community to create the Peaks Island neighborhood plan can help provide guidance to other Portland neighborhoods that hope to complete a neighborhood plan.

“Peaks Island,” Barhydt said, “has a wonderful story to share regarding its successful community survey, well-coordinated process, broad public participation, hard-working volunteers, and comprehensive neighborhood plan. By sharing their expertise, the next neighborhood is better prepared to carry-out the exciting and sometimes, demanding process of neighborhood planning.”

Now that the neighborhood plan is finished, the community must work together with Portland to implement the recommendations of the neighborhood plan. During the City Council workshop, Councilor Peter O’Donnell praised the work done by the community and pledged to work with the community to accomplish the goals outlined.

Tom Fortier, City of Portland Island and Neighborhood Liaison, has already received direction from Councilor O’Donnell “to implement the immediate and short-term recommendations of the plan.”