Hampton Beach Master Plan: Planning Process

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C. Planning Process

The planning process is designed to better understand the desires and needs of the community and users of the area. The aim of the process is to fully understand the issues, interpret the information, illustrate the conditions and potential options for revitalization, and ultimately provide strategies for improving the overall quality of life in and around Hampton Beach.

The process for creating the Master Plan required several other key steps to develop a full program of actions. It included five phases:

  1. Existing Conditions – Existing resources, uses, and activities that have shaped the area were documented. Information from the Town, State, public agencies, the public, and key stakeholders was assessed.
  2. Needs Assessment – The consultant conducted a needs analysis of current conditions and trends, and provided recommendations needed for improvement. The assessment includes both an analysis of data from the town and state agencies, and interpretation of existing land use and transportation information.
  3. Plan Development - Initial strategies were presented to provide some direction and options for revitalization of and improvements to Hampton Beach.
  4. Draft Master Plan – The strategies and recommendations from the previous phases were detailed and refined after discussion and review with the public. The results of this Report were derived in part from several sources:
  • Meetings with the public
  • Meetings with the Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee (HBMPAC)
  • Interviews with key stakeholders in Hampton Beach
  • Interviews with town, state, and federal officials
  • Previous reports, studies, and legal documents
  • GRANIT, Rockingham Planning Commission, and Hampton GIS data bases
  • The Cecil Group consultant team
  1. Final Master Plan – The Plan was refined based on comments from a public hearing, and state and local agencies. These comments were discussed and incorporated into the Plan.



The planning effort was overseen by the Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee, which consisted of 19 representatives from various state and town committees, boards, and agencies, and several residents (see Table 1).


Table 1. Members of the Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee



Mr. Warren Bambury

Rockingham Planning Commissioner

Mr. James Barrington

Hampton Town Manager, Ex-officio

Mr. Rusty Bridle

NH State Representative

Ms. Diane Flint Hardy

Park Planner, NH DRED, Div. Parks & Recreation

Mrs. Sheila Francoeur

NH State Representative

Mr. Tom Gillick

Planning Board Chairman, Ex-officio

Mr. Brian Goetz

Hampton Water Works

Mr. John Grandmaison

The Ashworth By The Sea, business owner

Mr. David Hartman

NH Coastal Program, Ex-officio

Mrs. Beverly Hollingworth

NH State Senator

Ms. Jennifer Kimball

Hampton Town Planner

Ms. Diane LaMontagne

Citizen-At-Large Representative

Mrs. Vivianne Marcotte

Conservation Commission, Town of Hampton

Mr. Tom Mattson

NH DRED, Div. Parks & Rec., Seacoast Regional Office

Ms. Allison McLean

NH DRED, Div. Parks & Recreation, Co-chairperson

Mr. David Murphy

NH Coastal Program

Mr. Bruce Nickerson

Zoning Board Representative

Mr. "Doc" Noel

President, Hampton Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Peter Olney

Planning Board Representative

Mr. Robert Preston, Jr.

Preston Real Estate

Mr. Richard Roy

Citizen-At-Large Representative

Mr. Peter Tilton

Commercial Fisheries Industry Representative

Mr. Robert W. Varney

State of New Hampshire, Ex-officio, Dept. of Environmental Services

Ms. Dori Wiggin

NH Dept. of Environmental Services, Wetlands Bureau

Mr. Skip Windemiller

Hampton Beach Precinct Commissioner

Mr. James Workman

Selectmen Representative, Co-chairperson


This Committee guided and reviewed the planning efforts throughout the year-long process. The Committee met once a month to provide direction to the Master Plan, insights about the area, feedback on issues, and input from the various members who were also involved with other town committees. Minutes were recorded at each monthly meeting and mailed to the members before the following meeting. Members of the Committee also participated visibly in all the other meetings with public and town officials. A summary of planning participation is presented in Section VI.

The NH Division of Parks and Recreation with the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) has several members on the Committee and has partially funded the project. DRED also manages the Hampton Beach State Park, Hampton Harbor State Marina, North Beach, and associated areas and facilities. The Project was professionally staffed by the consultant team, The Cecil Group, Inc., which includes members from Rizzo Associates, Appledore Engineering, Economic Research Associates, and Dr. Laurence Goss.


Goals and Objectives

A list of goals and objectives was assembled from initial comments and documents associated with the Hampton Beach Area Master Plan. The purpose of these goals and objectives is to identify key purposes behind the planning process, provide a basis for direction during the planning process, and served as a reference throughout the preparation of the Plan. This list was revised based on the comments and direction of the Committee.

Community Character

  • Hampton Beach should be restored as a family-oriented, high quality resort community for visitors.
  • Hampton Beach should be improved and be considered an integral part of the entire Hampton community.
  • Hampton Beach should be a pleasant year-round neighborhood for its permanent residents.
  • The historic character of Hampton Beach should be enhanced where appropriate.
  • The visual quality of Hampton Beach’s townscape and architectural character should be improved.

Land Use

  • The natural setting of Hampton Beach is its greatest asset; the surrounding beach, marshes, inlets, and waterways should be protected and enhanced.
  • Land use should be organized to create appropriate relationships in terms of the scale, intensity, and types of uses.
  • The State Park and its facilities are a fundamental asset and attraction; they should be enhanced to serve as high quality amenities and resources for the public to appreciate and use.
  • Zoning regulations should both promote the best long-term organization of uses within Hampton Beach and establish site planning standards that create better relationships between buildings, parking, and open space.


  • The investment climate at Hampton Beach should be improved to encourage appropriate redevelopment and property improvements.
  • Hampton Beach should better serve as a tourist destination by consistently improving amenities and services that promote increased expenditures and an expanded season.
  • As a major source of tax revenues, the Town should support public and private reinvestment that improves Hampton Beach as both a seasonal and year-round business location.

Traffic and Transportation

  • Traffic congestion in Hampton Beach should be reduced.
  • The supply and location of parking should be improved to better serve all users.
  • Hampton Beach should be enhanced as a pedestrian environment.
  • Hampton Beach should be an excellent and safe community for bicycling.
  • Public transit should be enhanced to reduce vehicle trips and parking problems.


  • The quality of the environment is fundamentally linked to the character and quality of Hampton Beach as a place to live and visit. The quality of the natural areas should be extensively protected and enhanced.
  • Within developed areas, environmental impacts should be controlled to improve water quality, minimize flooding, reduce runoff, and protect other natural resources.

Facilities and Infrastructure

  • The street and sidewalk infrastructure of Hampton Beach should be thoroughly upgraded to fully meet the needs of vehicles and pedestrians.
  • The utility infrastructure in Hampton Beach should be upgraded to meet appropriate contemporary standards.
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