MASTER PLAN FAQs:
Why do we need a Master Plan?
It is a State requirement upon which our Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations, Site Plan Regulations, Capital Improvements Plan, and other related regulations depend.
What is the Master Plan?
As defined by the State:
“The purpose of the master plan is to set down as clearly and practically as possible the best and most appropriate future development of the [town], to aid the [planning] board in designing ordinances that result in preserving and enhancing the unique quality of life and culture of New Hampshire, and to guide the board in the performance of its other duties in a manner that achieves the principles of smart growth, sound planning, and wise resource protection.”
What was the process for creating the 2005 Master Plan?
Taintor & Associates, a professional planning consulting firm, conducted extensive public outreach and coordinated with the Planning Board, and staff to create this document.
What is different with this Master Plan as compared to past plans?
This plan was formulated using more citizen’s input and it includes a new section on ‘Economic Development’ that assists the Town in working the difficult issue of balancing commercial, residential, and open land use.
Perhaps one of the most important sections is the ‘Implementation’ section, to ensure that we have a roadmap for implementing the directed changes, as brought out through the citizen input and subcommittees. The intent of this section is a long-range action program of specific actions, time frames, allocation of responsibility for actions, description of land development regulations to be adopted, and procedures, which the Town may use to monitor and measure the effectiveness of each section of the plan. (text from the state)
Who has oversight of the update?
It is the Planning Board’s statutory duty to oversee the updating of the Master Plan.
What does the Town do with the Master Plan?
The Board of Selectmen uses the Master Plan in legislative and policy-related decisions they encounter: upgrading of roads; approval of conservation land purchases; Town-wide policy decisions.
The Planning Board uses the Master Plan to guide them in judicial site plan review: assure that an application is consistent with the town’s goals. The Planning Board also uses the Master Plan in a legislative capacity: proposing amendments to the Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinance.
What is the lifespan of our current Master Plan?
The current Master Plan was initiated in 2005 and has a lifespan of 10 years.
The plan is nearing the end of its 10-year lifespan, where does it stand today?
Since 2005, the Planning Board and Community Development staff have completed an annual “Benchmark Review” to determine what goals of the Master Plan have been accomplished, what goals are no longer applicable due to changing conditions, and what goals are still relevant.
Please contact the Community Development Department at 432-3806 if you have any questions regarding the Master Plan.