VI. Planning Participation
A. Overview of the Community Involvement Effort
Since part of the Plan’s overall vision is to provide an improved area for those who live, work, and visit the Hampton Beach area, the meaningful and effective involvement of Hampton’s citizens was integral and critical to the plan development process.
The planning participation plan for the Hampton Beach Area Master Plan was aimed to accomplish the following:
- Inform the public of the Master Planning process
- Solicit relevant and timely reactions and input from the community
- Utilize the resources of the Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee
- Utilize various forms of media to present and inform the public about the Plan.
The public was involved in each step of the process through public meetings and workshops, displays, presentations, cable TV, and the local and regional newspapers. The public addressed specific concerns about their recreational, housing, business, cultural, educational, and historic needs. The Committee and other public officials were also involved with monthly meetings and various types of correspondence.
In an effort to improve the overall quality of the area, the Plan reflects the community’s concerns about the types of uses, access, safety, and sensitivity to the environment.
For example, improved parking arrangements and reduced congestion will help improve traffic flow for people who live in the area, reduced flooding of homes and businesses will increase both the quality of the area and property values, and increased streetscape improvements will make the place more user-friendly and attractive, especially to Hampton residents who typically avoid Hampton Beach during the summer.
The public outreach component focused on informing the public of the basic issues at appropriate points during the planning process. Specifically, public workshops and meetings were advertised in the local newspaper, information was posted on the local town website, and the public was invited to attend the public workshops as part of the cable TV broadcast. Although the number of viewers was not determined, there are almost 6,000 subscribers to the local cable network in Hampton.
Reporters from The Union Leader wrote several articles and attended many of the Committee and public meetings. To promote participation in these events, meeting notices were also distributed in this newspaper before each public meeting.
A presentation of boards and information was displayed at the Town Library early in the planning process and during the Town Meeting at the Hampton Town Hall. This presentation provided attendees to the Meeting with an overview of the existing conditions and issues at Hampton Beach. Copies of the draft reports were made available for public review at the Hampton Town Hall.