Proposed Fish River Lakes Concept Plan

Last Updated: October 5, 2018

Please note that the Commission has received Allagash Timberlands LP; Aroostook Timberlands LLC; and Maine Woodlands Realty Company (Irving) Petition for Rezoning, commonly referred to as the proposed Fish River Lakes Concept Plan. If you wish to receive email notices about upcoming public hearings, public comment periods, and important deadlines related to the Commission's review of the Fish River Lakes Concept Plan proposal, please enter your email in the box below and click GO. To receive these notices by mail, please contact the Commission by calling (207) 287-2631.

The petition and related materials are available for public inspection at the following locations:

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Skip to Project Information and Chronology

Irving has filed a Petition for Rezoning (ZP 768) and related concept plan proposal with the Commission. The proposal involves rezoning a portion of Irving's land in the Fish River Lakes region in Aroostook County to a Resource Plan Protection (P-RP) Subdistrict in order to implement the concept plan. This web page is intended to serve as a source of information about the concept plan proposal and the Commission’s review. This page, which will be updated periodically throughout the Commission’s review process, provides information on the following:

Documents are provided in a PDF format. To view PDF documents, you will need the free Adobe Reader.

Concept Plans and the Commission's Review Criteria

Concept plans are landowner-created, long-range plans for the development and conservation of a large area. These plans are a clarification of long-term landowner intent that indicate, in a general way, the areas where development is to be focused, the relative density of proposed development, and the means by which significant natural and recreational resources are to be protected. The Commission established the concept plan process as a flexible alternative to traditional subdivision and development regulation, designed to accomplish both public and private objectives. Concept plans are initiated by a landowner and must be approved by the Commission.

Concept plans are implemented by rezoning land to a Resource Plan Protection (P-RP) Subdistrict. Consequently, the key regulatory review criteria for concept plans are the Commission's statutory criteria for rezoning and the Commission's Land Use Districts and Standards. The Commission's Comprehensive Land Use Plan also describes concept plans in its discussion of the Commission’s lake management program. The statutes and rules containing the criteria for approval and other reference material are summarized in the following table.

Document Title and Description Links
Title 12 Land Use Law – The Commission's enabling statute, including review criteria for amendment or adoption of land use district boundaries 12 M.R.S. §§ 681 et.seq.
Refer to Section 685-A(8-A)
Commission's Land Use Districts and Standards (Ch. 10) – Contains description of the Commission's P-RP subdistrict, including a purpose statement, permitted uses, and review criteria Ch 10: Land Use Districts and Standards
Refer to Section 10.23,H (P-RP)
Commission's Rules of Practice (Ch. 4) – Addresses public notice requirements, when to hold a public hearing, and procedures for reviewing and processing a rezoning petition Ch 4: Rules of Practice (PDF)
Commission’s Rules for the Conduct of Public Hearings (Ch. 5) – Outlines how public hearings are conducted, the process for intervening and participating as a party, and the delivery of testimony Ch 5: Rules for the Conduct of Public Hearings (PDF)
Comprehensive Land Use Plan – Includes description of the Commission's concept plan process, including a discussion of the general purpose and basic requirements of concept planning
Comprehensive Land Use Plan (PDF)
Refer to Appendix C, pages C-5 through C-7
Concept Planning Overview and Guidance Document Concept Planning Overview and Guidance (PDF)
Examples of Resource Protection Plans – A complete list of resource protection plans (P-RP subdistricts) existing within the unorganized and deorganized areas of the state, including all concept plans approved by the Commission to date Resource Protection Plans (PDF)

Review Process and Public Participation

Review Process Graphic (PDF 98 KB)

The major steps of the Commission's review process are as follows:

  • Receipt of initial application. Upon receipt the Petition and Fish River Lakes Concept Plan proposal, Petition materials are made available for public inspection and review.
  • Review and acceptance of Petition as complete for processing. The LUPC staff perform an initial review of the Petition content and identify any additional information needed in order to find the Petition is complete for processing. The petitioner has the opportunity to submit additional information, as necessary. Staff then determine whether the Petition is complete and formal review (i.e., processing of the Petition) may begin.
  • Review of application by Commission staff. The LUPC staff undertake a detailed review and analysis of the Petition. This includes meetings with the petitioner, state and federal review agencies, and others to clarify issues and request more information, if needed. The Petition is provided to various state and federal agencies for review and comment. The staff also may engage independent consultants to review Petition materials or gather information on issues that staff believe necessary and legally relevant.
  • Public hearings scheduled. Once the LUPC staff complete gathering and analyzing information and the Petition is deemed complete for processing, the Commission begins its formal public hearing process. The public hearing process enables the Commission to gather information and ask questions of the petitioner and others who testify, and allows the petitioner and others the opportunity to address the Commission and answer questions. The public hearing process includes posting the proposal to public hearing, providing notice of public hearings in newspapers and to interested persons, ruling on any petitions to intervene, holding pre-hearing conferences, and hosting one or more public hearings to receive testimony regarding the proposal.
  • Commission decision. After the public hearings, the hearing record remains open for at least 10 days to allow persons to submit written comments, and for at least an additional 7 days for filing rebuttal comments. After that time, the public hearing record may be reopened by the Commission, as necessary. Once the hearing record is closed, the Commission makes a decision on the proposal.

Public Participation

A formal public review and comment period will be established as part of the Commission's review process and the Commission will hold a public hearing(s) to gather oral and written testimony from members of the public, intervenors and interested persons about the proposal.

Timetable of Events

The table below lists meetings, public hearings, and other public events related to the review of this proposal. The table also includes project updates, as well as links to certain Petition materials submitted by Irving, any procedural orders or pre-filed testimony, and any state or federal governmental agency comments. The table will be updated throughout the review process.

Project Information and Chronology

Date Project Update or Event Additional Information
7/13/2018 Written Comments
[The following documents include all written comments submitted between the closing of the comment period noon on June 22 through noon on July 13.]
6/22/2018 Written Comments
[The following documents include all written comments submitted between the hearing and the closing of the comment period on June 22.]
5/22/2018 - 5/24/2018 Public Hearing
The following document includes hyperlinks to all audio files, visual aids, and handouts that were part of the public hearing.
Hearing Record (PDF 113KB)
5/16/2018 Hearing Resources Reference Sheets
5/11/2018 Sixth Procedural Order Procedural Order (PDF 148KB)
5/2/2018 Petitioner Pre-filed Testimony Irving
  1. Witness List (PDF 100KB)
  2. Noel Musson Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 372KB)
  3. Terry Dewan Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 227KB)
  4. John Gilbert Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 304KB)
  5. Patrick Clark Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 2.8MB)
  6. Roger St. Amand Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 680MB)
  7. Anthony Hourihan Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 492KB)
  8. Ked Coffin Pre-Filed Testimony (PDF 325KB)
  9. Petitioner Pre-Filed Exhibits
5/2/2018 Intervenor Pre-Filed Testimony Fish River Lakes Leaseholders Association
  1. Witness List (PDF 101KB)
  2. Cheryl St. Peter Pre-Filed Testimony, Topic Three (PDF 5.4MB)
  3. Cheryl St. Peter Pre-Filed Testimony, Topic Two (PDF 2.4MB)
  4. Adam Jandreau Pre-Filed Testimony, Topic Three (PDF 2.4MB)

Forest Society of Maine

  1. Karin Tilberg and Jake Metzler Pre-Filed Testimony and Witness List (PDF 3.5MB)

Natural Resources Council of Maine

  1. Catherine Johnson Pre-Filed Testimony and Witness List (PDF 3.5MB)
5/2/2018 Governmental Agency Pre-Filed Comments

Aroostook County Commissioners (PDF 350KB)

Bureau of Parks and Lands (PDF 291KB)

Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (PDF 251KB)

Maine Forest Service (PDF 5.7MB)

Maine Department of Environmental Protection (PDF 203KB)

Town of Van Buren (PDF 50KB)

4/27/2018 Hearing Notice
4/12/2018 Petition Amendment
(Note: see related filing on March 29, 2018)
  1. Plan Area (PDF 197KB)
  2. Hillside Development (PDF 209KB)
  3. Yerxas & Square Lake Development (PDF 443KB)
  4. Subdivision Standards (PDF 92KB)
  5. Cluster Development Dimensional Requirements (PDF 94KB)
  6. Floodplain Changes Over Time (PDF 93KB)
  7. Uses in M-GN Affecting D-RS (PDF 101KB)
  8. Minimum Lot Size (PDF 92KB)
  9. Assurance of Public Benefits (PDF 99KB)
  10. Trail Access (PDF 141KB)
  11. CD Areas (PDF 188KB)
  12. Land Divisions (PDF 383KB)
  13. Conservation Easement (PDF 355KB)
  14. Sustainable Forestry Principles (PDF 419KB)
  15. Access Issues (PDF 107KB)
  16. Service Provision (PDF 97KB)
  17. Allowed Uses (PDF 183KB)
  18. Recreational Boating Numbers (PDF 215KB)
  19. Phosphorus (PDF 3.5MB)
  20. Roads (PDF 150KB)
  21. Other (PDF 92KB)
  22. Map Amendments (PDF 9.5MB)
4/9/2018 Fifth Procedural Order
3/29/2018 Petition Amendment
[NOTE: the updates and revisions described in the outline will be posted on the web April 13th]
3/16/2018 Fourth Procedural Order
12/12/2017 through 2/28/2018

Governmental Agency Comments Received to Date
(NOTE: See other similar items listed for 11/1/2017 through 12/11/2017 and 09/13/2107 through 10/31/2017 entries)

12/29/2017 Interested Persons Issues Lists
12/11/2017 Intervenor Issues Lists
11/1/2017 through 12/11/2017 Governmental Agency and Service Provider Comments Received to Date
(NOTE: See other similar items listed for 09/13/2107 through 10/31/2017 entry)
11/1/2017 through 12/11/2017 Public Comments Public Comments (PDF 15KB)
11/17/2017 Third Procedural Order Procedural Order (PDF 58KB)
11/2/2017 Second Procedural Order Procedural Order (PDF 55KB)
9/13/2017 through 10/31/2017 Governmental Agency and Service Provider Comments Received to Date
10/19/2017 First Procedural Order Procedural Order (PDF 83KB)
10/6/2017 Commissioner Meeting and Public Site Visit
9/6/2017 Hearing Notice Hearing Notice (PDF 41KB)
9/6/2017 Commission Response – Commission finds the petition is complete for processing Commission Memo (PDF 165KB
6/1/2017 Petition Amendment Filed with the LUPC
    Volume 3
  • Maps (PDF 17.7MB)
3/13/2015 Commission Response – (Commission staff notified the applicant that additional application materials were needed in order to find the petition complete for processing.)  
Petition Filed with the LUPC
(NOTE: This submission has been superseded by the 6/1/2017 submission.)
Notice of Filing of Rezoning Petition Notice of Filing (PDF 456 KB)
Pre-application presentation to Commission
06/12/2013 Pre-application presentation to Commission