Comprehensive Plan Update

What kind of place do you want Biddeford to be in the future? How do you want to see Biddeford grow, with new streets, new homes, new places to shop, play and enjoy nature? Where in Biddeford do you want to see the land used for recreation or to be left undisturbed? We want to hear from you!

Your involvement in Biddeford's Comprehensive Plan process will help influence life in our city over the coming years. When we all come together, we can create a shared vision for the future Biddeford. The comprehensive plan is a roadmap to make this vision a reality. 

Goals, Policies and Strategies

At their March 9 and March 16 meetings, the Planning Board began work on developing final Goals, Policies and Strategies for the Comprehensive Plan. 

The first page of the document, linked above, presents core values or themes that have emerged through the public process so far. The remainder of the document includes an array of options for Goals, Policies, and Strategies. Highlighted items have been identified as necessary to meet State consistency requirements. Anything not highlighted may not be required by the State, but reflect feedback provided from the community throughout the process.

Live Voting

The Planning Board, with support from the Planning & Development Department, will hold three two-hour Public Sessions via Zoom. The first two sessions will take place on Tuesday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and the final session will take place on Thursday, April 14 at 1:00 p.m. Individuals will only be allowed to participate in one of the three sessions.
At these sessions, there will be live voting on goals, strategies, and values in each topic area included in the plan. Topics will include Economy, Housing, Transportation, Public Facilities, Recreation, Natural Resources, Sea Level Rise and Climate Change. The input from these sessions will ensure that the Comprehensive Plan goals have broad support and that the plan is driven by values that community members share. 

Registration is required by Monday, April 11 at noon to get access to the link prior to the session. Please click the session you would like to sign up for below to access the registration form!

Session 1 (April 12, 1:00 p.m.)

Session 2 (April 12, 6:00 p.m.)

Session 3 (April 14, 1:00 p.m.)

Community Survey Results

A virtual presentation has been recorded that presents the findings of the community input received thus far, through topic-based surveys, focus groups, and the fall Community Survey. 

Community Survey Results

Click on the colored buttons below to learn more about each of the following topics featured in the Community Survey!

Neighborhoods Module
Housing Module
Downtown Mill District
Climate Change Module
Natural Resources Module
UNE Module
Youth Module
Public Facilities

Stay Involved

We’ll be offering a variety of ways for you to help, including public meetings, focus groups, and online engagement. You can check back to this page,, for more information, sign up for our Comprehensive Plan Updates email list, or stay connected with us on social media to find opportunities to have your voice heard.

Sign up for email updates about the Comprehensive Plan

What to Expect

Your input is vital to this process! Here is how you can help us make Biddeford the community you want to see.

Phase 1: Surveys

In January, a team of Planning Board members, citizen volunteers, and City staff began working to develop fact sheets, videos and surveys related to important topics covered in the Comp Plan. Beginning in March, we began to share information on a new topic on a weekly basis. Community members were asked to respond to a short survey about each of these topics so that we can gather feedback. Closing dates for each of the surveys are listed below.

  1. Neighborhoods: May 28
  2. Housing: May 28
  3. Downtown Mill District: May 28
  4. Climate Change: June 4
  5. Natural Resources: June 4
  6. UNE Integration: June 11
  7. Youth/School System: June 11
  8. Public Facilities: June 18

Phase 2: Focus Groups

The City followed up on survey results with focus groups. At minimum, each topic had one focus group session with about 8 volunteer participants in each group. In the session, participants discussed various questions that relate to the topic that provided additional direction and feedback to staff. Each session lasted about two hours.

Phase 3: Community Survey & Public Meeting

A broader community survey was developed to build upon feedback gathered in Phases 1 & 2. The survey was released in late summer.

The format for a public meeting on the Comprehensive Plan, set to take place in late 2021, will be dependent on public health considerations. 


What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A Comprehensive Plan guides growth in a community, influences policy decisions at many levels, and helps ensure a better future.

Part of the plan takes stock of where we are now. It describes the features and characteristics that exist today in Biddeford. These parts of the plan have begun to be developed and can be reviewed in the "Working Draft" document linked above.

Other parts of the plan take this information and create a plan for growth in a thoughtful manner. This is the part of the plan that we need your help with! The feedback that we collect through surveys and follow-up public engagement will define the community goals, and the strategies for reaching them, that are laid out in the final draft of the Comprehensive Plan that is presented to City Council.

Why is the Comprehensive Plan being updated now?

Communities in Maine are required to create a comprehensive plan every 10 years or so. Our last plan was created more than 10 years ago now.

There is a high level of interest in development in Biddeford right now. When development proposals are reviewed, our elected and appointed officials are actively making decisions that will shape Biddeford’s future. We need an up-to-date comprehensive plan that can be referenced to help guide these decisions. Our existing comprehensive plan does not accurately reflect the current state of or vision for the community.

How do you plan to engage members of the community who do not have access to the Internet?

We have identified several ways to inform residents about this process that do not require internet access, including but not limited to: articles and advertisements in the Courier, outreach through the School Department, McArthur Library and other community partners, paper copies of surveys located in community hubs, messages on electronic signs throughout the city, and posters in local businesses. Additionally, a portion of the survey process will be conducted through a citywide direct mailing. We are also open to hearing any other suggestions for safe offline outreach!

Who can I contact for more information about the Comprehensive Plan?

Please contact the Planning & Development Office at 207-284-9115.