Derry Master Plan “Ready for Public Hearing ” – Feb. 5

The Town of Derry Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Feb. 5, 2020, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall to adopt the revised 2020 Master Plan for the Town of Derry. This revised plan will set a roadmap plan for the Town for the next decade. The public is invited to attend this Planning Board meeting and comment. A full copy of the draft Volumes may now be found on the Planning Board page of the Town of Derry website. 

There are 3 Volumes of the December 2020 draft plan: Volume I is the Plan Summary and Implementation Program – Volume II is the Inventory and Assessment of Existing Conditions – and Volume III is the Summary of the Public Process and Community Engagement.

As outlined from the plan, there is a vast amount of useful data that both residents and businesses in the community will find extremely useful to understand the opportunities within the town including resources and the town’s direction.  

The Derry Master Plan team’s statement for the community: “The 2020 Derry Master Plan is a document intended to guide decisions and actions over the decades to come. It is in effect, the Town’s “To Do” list for the next generation. It provides recommendations for Town government as well as for potential partners such as the business community, non-profit agencies and others who may be interested in getting involved.

The plan includes proposals made at a variety of levels including policy changes, specific projects and action items – both large and small. It also identifies “low hanging fruit” or as we affectionately refer to those actions that are relatively inexpensive and easy to implement “ripe apples.” It is important to move forward with some of these so as to build on and continue the momentum generated by this process and also to instill faith in the process. 

The plan also identifies issues needing further discussion and/or study. It is intended to be visionary, at times perhaps even exceeding the Town’s immediate reach, but also practical, providing a roadmap that is doable. We have tried to be mindful of not listing so many actions that they overwhelm the municipality’s ability to move forward. We have also tried to identify priorities based on best practice, as well as, stakeholder support to help the Town select the timing of actions. 

In addition to presenting new ideas, the Master Plan also recognizes on-going efforts and supports their continuation. The plan is intended to be a living document, one that is continually updated. The Planning Department will provide annual updates on the “State of the Plan,” informing stakeholders of the status of the implementation of the various action steps. If and when conditions change, the plan may need to be adapted to reflect these changes.”

The purpose for this Master Plan is as a roadmap for the Town’s Vision and the plan itself is a document that sets the direction that the community agrees it would like to turn towards. The plan presents town residents with an opportunity to appreciate the community’s assets and for them to think of ways of building on these resources. 

A master plan in New Hampshire is also an implementation plan for a town – the end result of stakeholder input, research, inventory and assessment of existing conditions, trend analysis and best practices. Derry’s Master Plan was developed with significant input from stakeholders, including residents and Town Department staff.  The planning team points out, “Stakeholders were included in all phases of the master plan process. The first town-wide public forum was held in order to identify common values and to articulate a vision and goals that form the foundation of the Plan. Leadership interviews were held with Town Departments to understand their concerns, future needs and insight into trends, projected changes, including necessary adaptation measures.” The team further states, “A second town-wide forum was held to share the Consultant’s findings regarding the inventory and assessment of existing conditions and the vision and goals that were developed based on previous input.” 

“A final town-wide public forum was held to present the final recommendations in the form of the proposed Implementation Plan,” the Planning consultants note. “…stakeholders were asked to help identify priorities. These forums were supplemented with additional outreach activities including Comment Boards and on-line surveys. The Consultant Team also reviewed input given at other relevant forums, including the Downtown public forum.” 

The Plan is ready for residents and businesses to use and leverage to take full advantage of the Town of Derry’s vision.  The Consultant Team for the Master Plan was comprised of Community Circle who prepared and organized the Master Plan in collaboration with Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture LLC, Barrett, Planning Group LLC and the BETA Group. 

Daphne Politis from Community Circle lead the Planning, Programming, and the Public Participation for the Town’s efforts to develop the 2020 Master Plan as directed by the Derry Planning Staff including Planning Director, George Sioras, and Elizabeth Robidoux, Planning Assistant.

There were a lot of residents and business people who contributed to the plan. Were you one of them? Come to the Planning Board meeting at the Town Hall on Feb. 5 and find out what the future holds for the Greater Derry community.