KITTERY, Maine Voters in November will have a chance to shape the future of Maine's oldest town when they choose whether or not to approve the 2015-2025 comprehensive plan, a massive document charting the waters of community character, development, zoning, natural resources and more.

The plan begins with, "Kittery is a special place." It's a community of contrasts, it states, between its scenic waterfront vistas, residences, outlet malls and the major employment center that is Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

On Nov. 6, the ballot will include a local question asking voters if they want to approve the updated comprehensive plan. Its adoption would put the action items in motion, some of which the town has already begun work on.

Over the last several years, Kittery has taken opportunities to determine a direction for the future of the community through a comprehensive planning process. The most recent effort was a 2000 update to the comprehensive plan adopted in 2002. That effort continued with the most recent update voters will be asked to ratify.

Three sizable public meetings were held to gather resident input, as well as workshops with the Planning Board and Town Council.

Town Manager Kendra Amaral said while the plan identifies nearly 400 action items, the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee whittled that to a five-year action plan believed to be "reasonable" and "advancing the comp plan in a very material and noticeable way."

Some of the goals in the five-year action plan are: Document scenic vistas and establish an inventory of historic resources, outreach to business and industry sectors, a housing plan, parking conditions, communication with residents, planning and town management processes, long-range plan for the Rice Public Library, Foreside land use, climate adaptation study, strategy for open land acquisition, protecting existing open lands, Route 1 corridor strategies, support for maritime-based economy, and others.

Amaral said many of the action items the town already has a leg up on, such as the housing plan and parking review. The town formed an inclusionary housing working group, and soon, a public hearing will be help on changing parking conditions in the Foreside to better suit residents, customers and employees.

The town also obtained a federal grant to conduct a transportation study in partnership with Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

"We identify very specific objectives that we want to try to achieve under each goal," Amaral said, noting abbreviated versions of the plan are available on the town website. "This is not going to sit on our shelves."

Amaral said the plan targets areas of potential growth in town, such as the business park zone, Route 1 and the bypass. The Foreside is a secondary focus. It's also been noted having a comprehensive plan in place generates more eligibility for grant programming and public funds.

At recent public meetings addressing the proposal to rezone the business park in between Route 236 and Dennett Road to neighborhood mixed-use, several residents expressed concerns about the nature of the proposal not being included in the comprehensive plan. But Amaral said rather, the town designed the whole proposal to tie into the plan. The plan, she said, notes the town doesn't want to see major growth in areas like Kittery Point or rural parts.

At the Oct. 9 candidates forum featuring those running for Town Council, the five candidates were generally in agreement that the comprehensive plan should be approved.