The NH RSAs describe the Master Plan as: The purpose of a municipal Master Plan, as stated in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) 674:2,I is to “set down as clearly and practically as possible the best and most appropriate future development…, to aid the 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…[to] achieve the principles of smart growth, sound planning, and wise resource protection.” The information compiled for the Master Plan needs to include sections on the vision of the community and land use (RSA 674:2, II (a), (b)). Additional sections which can be included are transportation, community facilities, economic development, natural resources, natural hazards, recreation, utility/public service, cultural and historic resources, regional concerns, neighborhood plan, community design, housing, and implementation (RSA 674:2, III). The public is invited by the Planning Board to participate in the process (RSA 674:3, III). A Master Plan is typically updated every five to ten years (RSA 674:3, II). A Town’s Master Plan is the basis upon which the Zoning Ordinance, Site Plan Review Regulations, and Subdivision Regulations are written and revised (RSA 674:2, II). A current Master Plan should be in place before a Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is developed (RSA 674:5). How does a Master Plan benefit our community? There are multiple benefits of having an updated Master Plan. We have prepared a fact sheet that explains what a Master Plan is in plain language and describes the benefits of a current Master Plan. This informational sheet is perfect for distribution to both Town Boards and interested residents.
For more information, contact Stephanie Alexander.