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2015 Master Plan

2015 MASTER PLAN: The Windham Planning Board is developing a new Master Plan for the community. We need your participation – your knowledge, expertise and opinions about the future growth and development of the town. A Master Plan is about what is best for our community today and in the future.

Upcoming Planning Board 2015 Master Plan

Public Hearings/Workshops:

Chapters Adopted: 

Chapters Scheduled for Workshops:

Community Survey Results:

The Master Plan Survey was completed on July 3rd and the final results, updated as of October 17, 2014  are available here.

Community Visioning Worksop Results:

A Community Visioning Workshop  took place on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Searles School and Chapel. This workshop was an opportunity to let the Planning Board know what the Town is doing well and what can be improved upon in the following 6 areas – natural and cultural resources, economic development, transportation, housing, community facilities, and recreation. View the presentation here.

The results of the Workshop can be found here.

2015 Master Plan in the News:

  • "Master Plan Update Going out to Bid" March 14, 2014
  • "Windham residents asked for their ideas in town planning" April 29, 2014
  • "Windham to Survey Residents on their Vision of the Future" May 6, 2014
  • "Windham to survey residents on future vision" May 7, 2014
  • "Windham Master Plan 2015: Coming Soon" and "Community to be Surveyed on Uses for Former Skate Park"  May 9, 2014
  • "Windham seeks input on new Master Plan" July 9, 2014
  • "Windham Officials to Discuss Development" July 12, 2014
  • "Schools, utilities key concerns in Windham residents' survey" August 2, 2014
  • "Residents Speak Out" August 5, 2014
  • "Next Phase Up for Windham Master Plan" December 4, 2014

Phase I Information:

The Town issued a Request for Proposals for the development of Phase I of the 2015 Master Plan.

The Town entered into a contact with the Southern NH Planning Commission (SNHPC) to provide assistance to the Planning Board on the development of Phase I of the Master Plan.  The Scope of Work can be found here.

A presentation was made by David Preece, Executive Director of SNHPC at the April 30, 2014 Planning Board meeting.

If you have comments you would like to share on the 2015 Master Plan, please email 2015MasterPlan@windhamnh.gov.

Please contact the Community Development Department if you have questions on the 2015 Master Plan process or would like additional information.

General 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.”

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.

2012 Recreation Master Plan:

The Planning Board adopted the 2012 Recreation Master Plan, which was developed by the Recreation Committee. 

Please contact Cheryl Haas, Recreation Coordinator, at 965-1208 or chaas@windhamnh.gov if you have any questions on this Master Plan.

2005 Master Plan FAQs:

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. 

Topographic Map, 1953
Windham Businesses, 2005
Average Daily Traffic Volumes, 2005
Well Coverage, 2005

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)

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. 

NEW! 2005 Master Plan Goals to Take Action on in 2014

Please contact the Community Development Department if you have any questions regarding the 2005 Master Plan.