Cooling Markets May Halt Sprawl in Maine

For decades, development in Maine sprawled away from cities and across the landscape. The flailing economy may be the only thing that can change the pattern.

"Population changes for 22 of the state's service-center communities show that the steady flow of people away from the cities during the 1990s has ebbed dramatically since 2000. A few communities, such as Bangor, Waterville and Belfast, have begun gaining population.

A similar analysis of every community in fast-growing York and Cumberland counties shows that the rapid pace of development in suburbs and outlying towns has cooled in recent years. The York County town of Dayton, for example, grew by more than 50 percent from 1990 to 2000. So far this decade, the growth rate there is less than 12 percent.

These comparisons were compiled by the Maine State Planning Office. Taken together, they hint at changes in development patterns that have endured in Maine for half a century."

Thanks to Christian McNeil

Full Story: Is Maine kicking its sprawl habit?


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