2021 Comprehensive Plan 

Kennebunk's Comprehensive Plan outlines a vision for the future of the Town. It provides a framework for zoning and ordinances and gives guidance to municipal officials, staff and community stakeholders regarding the development of the Town. 

The Town appointed a Comprehensive Plan Committee that worked diligently over the last several years to update this plan (which was last approved in 2003 and amended in 2011). After a public hearing was held for citizens to provide feedback, a final draft of the Plan was submitted to the State of Maine's Municipal Planning Assistance Program in December 2021. 

The Plan was reviewed for consistency with Maine's Growth Management Act using criteria outlined on a self-assessment checklist (PDF), and the voters of the Town will ultimately vote on acceptance of this Plan in June of 2022. 

View or download a complete draft of the plan, or view the plan chapter by chapter using the links below. 

Group at Open House
Group at Open House
  1. Community Development


    Physical Address
    Kennebunk Town Hall, Second Floor
    1 Summer St.
    Kennebunk, ME 04043

    Phone: (207) 985-2102 ext. 1303
    Fax: (207) 985-4609


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  1. Chapter 1: Vision Statement
  2. Chapter 2: Public Participation Summary
  3. Chapter 3: Regional Participation Plan
  4. Chapter 4: Historical & Archaeological
  5. Chapter 5: Water Resources

Since the creation of Kennebunk's first Comprehensive Plan in 1991, the Town's pattern of growth has (mostly) aligned with that Plan's vision. 

Residential growth has, in general, followed a pattern that clusters housing in designated growth areas near services and infrastructure and preserves open space and rural areas. 

"Small town charm" including historic homes, good schools, walkable neighborhoods; proximity to the beach, open space and recreational opportunities have all made Kennebunk a nationally-recognized place to live and to visit. 

The population in 1991 was 8,300 and according to the 2020 census, is now approximately 11,500. The State projects a 7.8% population growth within the next 10 years. 

To maintain the Town's look and feel in the future, it will be important to balance the location and aesthetics of new development, including needed affordable housing, with preservation of wetlands and open space. 

Read the Vision Statement (PDF)

  1. Chapter 6: Natural Resources
  2. Chapter 7: Agriculture & Forestry
  3. Chapter 8: Marine Resources
  4. Chapter 9: Population & Demographics
  5. Chapter 10: Economy

This chapter includes a discussion of soils, topography, freshwater and coastal wetlands, wildlife and fisheries habitat, and the role that the "Beginning with Habitat" database plays in identifying vulnerable resources worthy of protection. 

This chapter also covers Kennebunk’s Open Space Plan (PDF), dune ecosystems, and scenic vistas.

Read Chapter 6: Natural Resources (PDF)

Open House
Group at Open House
Group at open house
  1. Chapter 11: Housing
  2. Chapter 12: Recreation
  3. Chapter 13: Transportation
  4. Chapter 14: Public Facilities & Services
  5. Chapter 15: Fiscal Capability & Capital Improvement

This chapter contains a synopsis of the recent rise in real estate prices, both in Kennebunk and in the Northeast, and the factors contributing to this increase, which impact the ability of middle-class and income-constrained families to afford housing.

Definitions of “affordable,” “subsidized,” and “workforce” housing are provided, with references to Town Zoning ordinances designed to enable construction of homes suitable for middle and lower-income buyers and renters. 

There is detail about the number and location of residential units approved by the Planning Board in the past 5 years, and the number of units and associated acreage needed if the state’s 10 year 7.8% growth prediction proves accurate.

Read Chapter 11: Housing (PDF)

  1. Chapter 16: Climate Change & Sea Level Rise
  2. Chapter 17: Existing Land Use
  3. Chapter 18: Future Land Use Plan
  4. Chapter 19: Evaluation

This chapter identifies concerns associated with rising global temperatures that are causing sea level rise, changes in storm intensity, and threats to animal habitat. 

Shoreline property and public infrastructure are increasingly threatened by higher annual tides, storm surge and storm intensity. Roads and evacuation routes will need to be evaluated along with potential future capacity of existing stormwater facilities.

Read Chapter 16: Climate Change and Sea Level Rise (PDF)

Have questions or comments? Please give us your feedback! Join the conversation on the Community Voice page where you can log in and post questions or comments for the Committee to consider. 

Reasons for a Comprehensive Plan (PDF)- Click to enlarge

Reasons for a Comprehensive Plan_State Planning Office