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In the News

2017 News

Village Revitalization work continues, April 25, 2017
Ron McAllister, York Weekly

It has been almost a year since voters agreed to a 10 percent match of federal and state funds for the York Village Revitalization project. People want to know what’s going on now. You may remember that last year the Board of Selectmen appointed a new committee to take over the work of the Village Study Committee (VSC), charging them to bring the project to reality...more

New committee, new chapter for York Village Jan. 10,2017
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

A $4 million York Village infrastructure project is not likely to get underway in 2017, said town officials, but the town will nonetheless be busy setting the stage for construction to start in 2018. A newly formed York Village Revitalization Committee will meet this month for the first time, with the task of making decisions for the town on a variety of issues in connection with the project. The committee replaces the York Village Study Committee, which disbanded when its work was completed last year...more

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2016 News

Business owners want town to focus on parking July 19, 2016
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

York Village building and business owners had a very clear message for the town as it begins to embark on the village revitalization project: place parking at the top of your list and keep it topmost in your minds moving forward...more

Next steps for York Village revitalization May 24, 2016
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

Now that voters have given their approval to the revitalization of York Village, work on the next phases of this major infrastructure project can proceed in earnest. But residents shouldn't expect to see backhoes and other heavy equipment any time soon, as it is going to be at least a year before construction work begins. Voters Saturday approved Question 60 by a tally of 1,970 to 1,658, which appropriates $400,000 as the town match toward a $3.6 million project. Remaining costs come from federal transportation funds...more

York Village revitalization on ballot May 10, 2016
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

When voters head to the polls on May 21, they will be asked to consider whether or not to commit taxpayer funds to a public infrastructure project that, if approved, will significantly change the look and traffic flow of York Village. Question 60 on the ballot, arguably the highest profile issue before voters this year, has been five years in the making, the work of the Village Study Committee which was formed by selectmen in 2011. It seeks $400,000 of taxpayer money, the local match for an anticipated $3.2 million in federal funds for a total project cost of $3.6 million. ..more

MDOT, town discuss Village infrastructure funding April 26, 2016
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

The Maine Department of Transportation met with town officials this week on the York Village infrastructure project to discuss, among other matters, how to fund the project when it is anticipated to begin in 2018. First, the project must pass muster with voters on May 21, when they will be asked to approve $400,000 toward the $3.6 million project, with the remaining costs coming from federal funding. Town officials have been working on conceptual plans so that they are prepared to move forward if the measure, Question 60, receives the nod...more

Friends of York Village launch campaign, April 19, 2016
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

As residents travel around York in the coming days and weeks, they will doubtless see bright red lawn signs encouraging them to vote "YES on 60" when they head to the polls May 21. The signs are being paid for by the Friends of York Village, who support the York Village revitalization project, No. 60 on the ballot. The signs are part of a multi-pronged effort to get the word out to residents about the project...more

Friends of York Village to focus on downtown:
Group will raise awareness about proposed project
Feb. 8, 2016
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

With two months to go before absentee ballots are available for the May election, members of the York Village Study Committee and town residents have launched a group to raise awareness of the two articles on the ballot that are tied to a village reconstruction project. "I think it should be all hands on deck," said committee member and Board of Selectmen chair Robert Palmer at a recent meeting. "We need find ways to generate energy and enthusiasm for the project."...more

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2015 News

Year in Review: Village Plan revitalization moves forward, Dec. 28, 2015
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

The York Village of today may look very different in the next couple of years if residents support efforts to revitalize downtown – efforts that took major steps forward in 2015. The York Village Study Committee, working with consultants from the Downtown Revitalization Collaborative, had begun the serious work of revisioning the village well before 2015. The committee began to hold a series of public meetings starting in 2014, aimed at garnering public response to a series of potential changes to the village to see which ones people liked the most...more

York considers $4.6M in capital spending:New fire truck, village parking lot among possible purchases Dec. 8, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

YORK - A new fire truck, new broadcast equipment, funds to convert streetlights to light-emitting diode lights, a roof on the superintendent of schools building. These are just some of the capital funding requests the for next fiscal year that are now before the Capital Planning Committee...more

Village Study Committee looks forward to enhancing village 12/1/2015
To the Editor:Re: last week's front page piece sampling York Village business owners' feelings about the Village Study Committee's Master Plan. [Former] Village business owners serve on the Village Study Committee. We...more

Village businesses split on Master Plan, Nov. 17, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online
YORK – In the wake of a Nov. 3 vote supporting the York Village Master Plan, downtown business and building owners interviewed about the issue have strong – and decidedly different – views about it. Opinions range from wholehearted support to fairly strenuous objection, and overarching all the comments was a concern about a lack of parking and a worry that a redesigned village could exacerbate the problem...more

Thank you supporting Village vision, Nov. 10, 2015
To the Editor: The York Village Study Committee (VSC) would like to thank those voters who approved incorporating the Village Master Plan into the town's Comprehensive Plan. The Committee's vision for Village revitalization includes many different ideas: from improving roadways and sidewalks to changing parking and open spaces...more

Redesign plans emerge, Nov. 3, 2015
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

YORK – The lead consultant working on the technical plans for a redesign of York Village told an audience of village business owners and others that work is proceeding pretty much on schedule with "no major surprises" thus far...more

Understanding Article 8 - Oct. 27, 2015
To the Editor: Article 8 asks voters to approve adding the Village Master Plan to York's Comprehensive Plan. What does a yes vote mean? The Comprehensive Plan establishes policy directives and goals, which provide guidance to town officials, administrators, boards, and committees as they consider ways to manage growth and implement programs in town. ..more

Think before you vote - Oct. 27, 2015
To the Editor:Issue the York taxpayers need to seriously address: We are a bedroom community with now, less than half the residents being native. Why after picking a well-established town do those from away think they need to change...more

Two business owners speak out against York Village Master Plan, Oct. 26, 2015
Deborah McDermont, Seacoast Online.

Two residents with prominent ties to York Village said they will be voting against a measure to incorporate the Village Master Plan into the town's comprehensive plan Nov. 3, saying they are "surprised and disappointed" with the ballot initiative...more

Support plastic bag ban, Village Master Plan October 20, 2015
Editorial, York Weekly

Voters will decide on 16 warrant articles on the Nov. 3 ballot, including proposals to incorporate the York Village Master Plan and a stormwater chapter into the town's comprehensive plan, and a ban of single-use plastic bags...more

Voters asked to approve 'vision' for downtown October 13, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

Voters on Nov. 3 will be asked to endorse a "vision" for York Village that could pave the way for actual construction work to begin within the next few years. Article 8 on the town ballot seeks voter approval to incorporate the York Village Master Plan into the town's comprehensive plan...more

York Village plan endorsed - again, July 28, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

The York Village revitalization plan took several twists and turns at the Board of Selectmen's meeting Monday night, as the board rescinded an earlier vote and took new action after conflict of interest allegations were raised, and as they learned that significant federal transportation funds have been committed for the actual construction work downtown. In the end, the board voted 4-0 to support a $272,186 expenditure of state grant money to The Downtown Revitalization Collaborative for a detailed study that will bring the process to the point where construction work can begin...more

Divided board approves York Village work July 6, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

A deeply divided board of selectmen voted 3-2 Monday night to approve more than $300,000 in state transportation grant funding to begin the design and engineering phase of the York Village revitalization effort...more

Committee to lead vision for York Village June 30, 2015
Herb Perry, York Weekly

The goal to create a more uniform, attractive and business- and tourist-friendly York Village proceeded with the formation of a group dedicated to the purpose. On Thursday, the Planning Board formed a subcommittee called the Village Zoning and Design Committee. Its goal is to define the village district, determine its zoning standards and create architectural design standards for non-residential and multi-family mixed-use buildings...more

York questions cost of village master plan May 18, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

The proposed cost of the York Village Master Plan was uppermost in selectmen's mind when the plan was officially released to the board Monday night...more

York Village Master Plan released May 5,2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

After months of planning and public discussion, the document called the "vision" for the future of York Village has been completed and will be presented to selectmen later this month. The York Village Master Plan lays out a significantly redesigned village to include changes in traffic patterns, elimination of head-in parking, bike paths and sidewalks, small public parks and more. Design and construction costs are estimated at $3.6 million for all of the streetscape work proposed. It would cost a separate $7.9 million to bury utility lines underground, for a total cost of $11.5 million...more

Board hears village area revamp proposals, March 24, 2015
Deborah McDermoitt, Seacoast Online

The York Village Revitalization Committee hopes to be able to present a village master plan to the Board of Selectmen by the end of April, chairman Ron McAllister told selectmen Monday night. McAllister said the master plan was "50 to 75 percent finished," as the committee and consultants with the Downtown Revitalization Collaborative work to complete the work that will revamp the entire village area...more

Village TeeResidents overwhelmingly approve village redesign, Feb. 7, 2015
Deborah McDermott, Seacoast Online

An overflow crowd of residents at the library on Saturday overwhelmingly said they support a new look to York Village that includes a lot of open space, room for pedestrians and bicyclists, and a new intersection in the center of town that will change traffic patterns. It is a message that consultants from the Downtown Revitalization Collaborative needed to hear as they embark on the next phase of the York Village master plan, which they intend to present to selectmen in April...more

Complete Streets concept could be right for York, York Weekly, Feb. 4, 2015
Ron McAllister, YVSC Chair and York Weekly contributor
It's called "Complete Streets" and it is all the rage among city planners across the country. Big cities are executing Complete Streets policies but so are small towns and even rural areas. So, what do our nation's professional planners mean by this term? According to the National Complete Streets Coalition (www.smartgrowthamerica.org), Complete Streets are designed to enable safe and convenient access for everybody who wants to use the streets: pedestrians, bicyclists and automobile drivers; children, seniors and people with disabilities. More than 700 agencies around the country have adopted complete streets policies... more

Redesigning York Village moves ahead:
Residents to be asked to pick new traffic pattern,
Jan. 25, 2015
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

The York Village Study Committee is zeroing in on the finishing touches of a village master plan, but is seeking residents' input one more time before the plan goes before selectmen. When residents gather for a third community forum Saturday, Feb. 7, they will be asked to pick one of two traffic patterns for the village – down from a number of different alternatives when the process began last fall. ...more

"Visionary" group set to redesign York Village, Jan. 6,2015
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

It has been quite a year for the York Village Study Committee, as it notched up its work to revitalize the village. "They're definitely moving and shaking," said interim Town Manager Steve Burns of the committee, when asked to comment on the fact that the committee was chosen as one of York Weekly's "Movers and Shakers" of 2014. Burns said the committee is one of the most active in town government, with people dedicated to seeing changes implemented in the downtown area that will set a course for the town's future...more

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2014 News

2015 shaping up to be significant for town of York, Dec. 31, 2014
Editorial, York Weekly

Before we even usher in the New Year tomorrow, 2015 is already shaping up to be pretty significant for the town of York. Projects are on the horizon that could have far-reaching implications, shaping the future of the town for years to come...more

Village master plan due early next year, Dec. 17, 2014
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

The York Village Study Committee has decided it will not seek funding to implement a proposed York Village master plan in the upcoming fiscal year but will wait until 2016. "I thought at one point we would be ready for this May, but rather than rush it we decided to wait," said chair Ron McAllister...more

York Village revamp plan draws mixed reaction, Dec. 17, 2014
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

YORK – People who work and do business in York Village have mixed views about a proposal to revamp the downtown, with opinions ranging from enthusiasm to skepticism....more

Green space, walking paths key to York Village future, Nov. 23, 2014
Deborah McDermott, Portsmouth Herald

Many of the 85 people who attended a York Village redesign meeting Saturday said they saw no need to keep the Civil War monument in its current location, and all said the village must be redesigned to allow for narrower roads, a lot more green space and a lot more bike and pedestrian lanes...more

Reinventing the "heart" of York Village, Nov. 19, 2014
Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

Plans to reinvent York Village have been moving at a quick pace this fall. Everything from where people park, to how traffic flows, to utilities relocation, to pedestrian and bicycle lanes is on the table – with a goal of a completed master plan by the end of December and funding for at least some portion of the redesign on the budget in May. "What we are looking for is a center, a heart, that unites the community,"...more

Helping the 'heart' of York, Nov. 18, 2014
Editorial, York Weekly

We'd like to encourage all York residents to attend a forum Saturday to look at possible plans, and offer input, on the future of York Village. The forum, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, is just the latest step in what has been a three-plus year visioning process under the auspices of the York Village Study Committee...more

A small group at work
Group #2 begins its work session
at the Community Design Workshop
on October 4

Exploring the village effect, York Weekly, Nov. 11, 2014
Ron McAllister, YVSC Chair and York Weekly contributor
The dictionary defines a village as a human settlement larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town. OK, fair enough but I don't think that definition quite gets at the meaning which the word conjures up in the minds of most New Englanders nor does it get at the impact of village life on individuals and communities...more

Residents back York Village revitalization, October 5, 2014
Susan Morse, Portsmouth Herald

More than 50 people turned out Saturday morning to give input for what they would like to see in a revitalized York Village. Themes that emerged included connecting the village to the rest of the town by green space and walkable paths, having a reason to come downtown at night, and having sidewalks or designated areas for walking and biking to make it safer to get around a busy traffic center...more

Public input needed on master plan, York Weekly, Sept. 24, 2014
Ron McAllister, YVSC Chair and York Weekly contributor
Between February 2011 and July 2011, a series of public meetings was held at the Museums of Old York. The subject of each of these working sessions was the potential revitalization of York Village. Shortly after, the Board of Selectmen appointed its own Village Study Committee to take up the challenges identified during the initial public sessions at the Museums. Fast forward to 2014 and you see how the idea of village revitalization has evolved. more

York committee seeks public input on village master plan, Sept. 8, 2014
Susan Morse, York Weekly

The Village Study Committee will be holding a community design workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 4 at the York Public Library. This will be an opportunity for people in town to help shape the developing Master Plan for York Village, according to Ron McAllister, who heads the Village Study Committee. All are invited to attend.

Firm eyed for York Village redesign plan, July 9, 2014
Susan Morse, York Weekly
The York Village Study Committee met July 3 with members of the Downtown Revitalization Collaborative of Portland to negotiate a fee for the firm to design and develop a master plan for improvements to the center of town, according to Ron McAllister, who leads the study committee...more

York Village Study Committee to meet with development firm on master plan, July 2, 2014
Susan Morse, York Weekly
The York Village Study Committee on Thursday [July 3] is meeting with members of The Downtown Revitalization Collaborative of Portland to negotiate a fee for the firm to design and develop a master plan for improvements to the center of town...more

Survey should provide answers, York Weekly, June 25, 2014
Ron McAllister, YVSC Chair and York Weekly contributor
If you drove or walked through the village at any point last week you would have seen a surveyor with his equipment moving along York Street between Remick Barn and Moulton Lane; up and down Long Sands Road...more

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2012-2013 News

Residents offered 3 options to reconfigure York Village, Sept. 13, 2013
Susan Morse, York Weekly

A York Village Study Committee is gearing up to get public input on three suggested plans to make the downtown a more walkable, vibrant space...more

Town considers plans for York Village center, Aug. 20, 2013
Lauren Mifsud, York Weekly

At a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, York Village Study Committee and the Historic District Commission on Monday, members met to discuss the York Village Study Committee's recommendations for the center of town...more

Sidewalk improvements should be part of York Village's futureYork Weekley, July 3, 2013
Ron McAllister, YVSC Chair and York Weekly contributor

Sometimes when events happen, everyone grasps their import immediately; people pay attention, sometimes with enthusiasm and sometimes with resistance. Other times, the significance of events is not understood until much later. I've got to think that something that happened at two Board of Selectmen meetings in May is an example of the latter type of event...more

Committee presents plans for York Village center, December 5, 2012
Susan Morse, York Weekly

The York Village Study Committee has presented the Board of Selectmen with a list of recommendations to improve the village center, including burying utility lines, adding parking and improving traffic flow and sidewalks...more

Four proposals for a better York downtown, Nov. 23, 2012
Susan Morse, York Weekly

The York Village Study Committee has presented the Board of Selectmen with a list of recommendations to improve York's downtown, including burying utility lines, adding parking, and improving traffic flow and sidewalks. However, the biggest change could involve the Civil War monument park in the center of town...more

York Village Study Committee hones recommendations, July 25, 2012
Susan Morse, York Weekly

The York Village Study Committee is honing a list of recommendations to improve the downtown and hopes to present it to the Board of Selectmen by late summer or fall. The committee is currently discussing 24 potential recommendations for what it calls the "two-minute village," the area within a two-minute walk from the center of downtown at the Civil War monument at the intersection of York Street and Long Sands Road....more