Update: Girard at Large weighs in on the SNHRPC [AUDIO]
First let’s look at this notice from the SNHPC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 16, 2014
Jack Munn, AICP, Chief Planner
Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission
Phone: (603) 669-4664
Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission Seeks Public Review of DRAFT Regional Comprehensive Plan 2015
Between July 23 and August 21, 2014, the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) is seeking public review and input on the DRAFT Regional Comprehensive Plan 2015: Moving Southern NH Forward.
This plan is advisory only and applies to the SNHPC Planning Commission Region which includes 14 municipalities located within portions of Merrimack, Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. These municipalities include the City of Manchester and the towns of Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Chester, Derry, Deerfield, Goffstown, Hooksett, Londonderry, New Boston, Raymond, Weare and Windham.
This DRAFT Comprehensive Plan is the result of a major two-year effort involving extensive public outreach through public visioning workshops; community events; social media; and public surveys. The development of the plan also reflects the hard work of a volunteer Project Leadership Team made up of planning commissioners, town planners and community representatives, including residents and businesses from around the region.
SNHPC is interested in hearing from all residents and businesses within the SNHPC Region. The DRAFT Plan can be viewed on the SNHPC website and CDs of the plan will also be made available at all local libraries in the region.
A public presentation and hearing on the DRAFT Comprehensive Plan is also scheduled with the SNHPC Planning Commission on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM in the SNHPC Conference Room at 438 Dubuque Street, Manchester, NH. This Public Hearing is open to the public. Individuals requesting assistance or special arrangements to attend the meeting should contact Linda Moore, Office Administrator at (603) 669-4664 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Regional “Master” Plan has been developed with very little public input. Out of the 600 or so participants, perhaps only as few as 100 were actual citizens who were NOT connected to planning organizations or other special interest NGOs who influence the process.
The effort to create a Regional Master Plan for 2015 was done under the Granite State Future program. If one explores the link from the SNHPC‘s website to Granite State Future, one arrives at a page with this explanation:
MOVING SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE FORWARD
The Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission is facilitating A Granite State Future for the communities in the Southern New Hampshire Region. A Leadership Team and a Public Outreach and Engagement Subcommittee serve as advisory bodies for guiding the project. These advisory bodies are made up of citizen representatives from the different communities in the region, as well as representatives from businesses, organizations and local government.
An extensive public outreach campaign is being undertaken to reach all sectors of our region in every community. SNHPC encourages input and involvement from everyone in the region. The ultimate goal for this project is to develop a regional plan and vision for the future that addresses everyone’s individual interests and shared interests and identifies actions and recommendations that work to save taxpayers money, create better communities and to promote working together with neighboring towns and cities.
We’ve already proven that it is not community-based program, but a top down program devised by the RPCs, with input mostly from American Planning Association, local planners and NGOs and business, all enabled by grants from HUD, EPA, DOT.
We’ve shown how there were fewer participants from the true public sector partaking in the visioning sessions.
We’ve shown how these plans seek to cover every aspect of one’s life from housing and the prevention of sprawl through urbanization, land use, farming, health, education (Annenberg), healthy eating (children in schools), mental health, broadband, energy usage, gasoline, cars, water (including your private well), bike, transit, and more — while remaining a layer of government that is often unseen and therefore uncontrolled by the voters.
And we have shown that once the RPCs convince a town to accept the money from the federal government, it is NO LONGER AN ADVISORY PLAN. In order to benefit from the federal funds, HUD requires mandatory changes in the zoning and planning of each town in question. Sometimes these changes are voted on at the once-yearly town meetings and sometimes not. Further, legislation filed that the RPCs support would take the right to vote on zoning changes away from the townspeople.
Please examine these files to see what they have in store for the region covered by the SNHPC for 2015. Keep in mind that it is usually thought to be a ‘done deal’ unless opposition is mounted, so if you don’t like what you see, it is imperative to attend the public meeting and presentation on August 26, 2014.