Master Plan Committee Shares Preliminary Survey Results at Community Forum
Survey Open Until Year-End
Over 70 residents attended the December 5th Master Plan community forum at Manchester Essex Regional High School where they viewed the outcomes (to date) of the Master Plan Survey, weighed in on recommendations regarding housing, economic development and land use, and considered the final steps for the Master Planning process that looks to be completed by the spring of 2018. Attendees were also able to interact with Gordon Brewster, a member of the School Building Committee, who was able to answer questions about the feasibility study and Memorial School improvement options.
Manchester’s Town Planner Sue Brown offered that – more than responding to survey results and draft recommendations – the forum provided residents an opportunity to discuss ideas with members of the Master Plan Committee, Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Finance Committee, town staff, and each other. Ms. Brown went on to say, “All means of sharing information and ideas are important and necessary to meet the varying needs of the community, but I am always struck by the power of face-to-face conversations to move people to common ground.”
Master Plan Survey Data Points
Survey respondents indicated support for commercial development that would boost tax revenues over reducing services in order to gain savings. They generally favored making no change or improving existing facilities over building new facilities, though just over half favored repurposing the Upper School Street compost site for DPW facilities with just under half indicating support for selling or leasing for commercial development. Support for the protection of natural resources was very high; other land use options supported by the majority of respondents included residential development on the current DPW site if vacated, a wider variety of housing types, and increased public access to the harbor.
Respondents supported a wide range of businesses with the exception of light industry and manufacturing, as well as a wide range of housing types with the exception of apartment buildings and a second house on a lot. Respondents were somewhat divided in their support for a new senior/community center and in developing new playing fields.
To review the Master Plan Committee presentation and other materials from last week’s community forum, please visit the Master Plan Events page on the Town website.
As of December 12th, 416 Manchester residents have taken the Master Plan survey. Whether or not you agree with the preliminary results, your response matters. Please take a moment to complete the survey before the end of the year.
A Stronger Manchester Starts With Us!