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March 27, 2008
Eyes on the future
Hollis committee plans for town growth
HOLLIS, New Hampshire (STPNS) -- After three years of work and a final report in hand, the Hollis Strategic Planning Committee believes it can offer some valuable insight into the future of the town.
In 2005, selectmen created the committee to develop a growth impact analysis of the town at build out, or the point when all available land is developed.
The findings are likely to pique the interest of many community members and town officials, said Dan Harmon, chairman of the committee.
With the inevitable growth of Hollis, ?the character of the town will be different,? Harmon said. ?It will alert people.?
After the growth impact analysis, the committee released a survey to all residences in town in the hope of determining the community consensus about the town?s future.
With a 33 percent response rate, Harmon felt the committee developed a good sense of the community perspective.
Harmon said preservation of the rural character of the town was a major concern.
According to the survey results, 96 percent of respondents selected ?rural character? as what they liked most about living in Hollis. And 57 percent cited ?loss of rural character? as a factor that might influence them to leave.
Equipped with this information, committee members compared and contrasted the community vision with the growth analysis and devised recommendations to help maintain a town consistent with its residents? outlook.
?We tried to interpret the results of the growth analysis in the context of the survey,? Harmon said. ?We made sure it was the views of residents that was reflected in the report.?
The committee created topical reports to focus on particular areas of interest, including: governance, historic resources, land preservation, public schools, recreation facilities, transportation, housing, business, utilities, community facilities, drinking water and elderly services.
Harmon said the key question is how the town will handle growth.
? ?Our recommendations will help the town to answer that question ? they will provide a long-term roadmap.?
Mark LeDoux, selectman and member of the strategic planning committee, agreed.
LeDoux said the committee has developed ?a sense of long-term thinking that can yield some pretty good suggestions.?
The information will be of value to the selectmen and other areas of town government.
?It allows us to redraft or make modifications to the long-term plan (for the town),? LeDoux said.
He feels the information will ultimately serve the members of the community by offering insight into the future of Hollis.
The committee will present its final report to selectmen and the planning board on Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the town hall community room. The presentation will be open to the public.
Additional information can be found at the committee?s website, www.hollisgrows.com.
If you go
What: Hollis Strategic Planning Committee final report presentation
When: Monday, March 31
Where: Town hall community room
Time: 7 p.m.
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