Hampton Beach Master Plan: Public Input

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C. Public Input

Residents, business and property owners, and key stakeholders provided a collective source of information that helped to form the recommendations and options as well as reinforce some of the proposed uses.

Group or Method

Type of Involvement

Meetings and Workshop

Provided the community’s views on the Hampton Beach area’s existing and potential uses

Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee (HBMPAC)

Helped direct the planning process

Cable Television

Broadcast public meetings that were held at the Hampton Town Hall to residents of Hampton

Interviews with key agencies and users

Provided direct input into specific issues, goals, and needs of the area

Meetings and Workshops

A series of six public meetings were held during the development of the Hampton Beach Area Master Plan. The results of the public input at these meetings are summarized below. This section will be updated during the final planning stages of this project.

Planning Board Meeting (January 17, 2001)

The consultant team made a slide presentation of the existing conditions and issues to the planning board at one of the board’s regularly scheduled meetings; a discussion followed the presentation. This meeting was broadcast on the local cable television station.

Hampton Chamber of Commerce Meeting (January 24, 2001)

The consultant team made a presentation of the issues and opportunities at the Hampton Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business-after-Hours social; a question and answer period followed the presentation.

Existing Conditions and Vision (February 13, 2001)

The first of these meetings served as a forum both to present an assessment of the existing conditions and solicit feedback on key issues to help determine the future vision of the area. The meeting began with a slide presentation and discussion by the consultant team. Following this, the attendees divided into separate groups to discuss key issues, and the goals and vision of the area. This meeting was broadcast on the local cable station. Common ideas revolved around the following elements:

Issues and Needs


Need for state and local agencies to provide improved service, coordinate actions, and accommodate needs of the visitors.

Economy and business

Need to increase investments and longer visits.


Improve signage, access and egress; provide transit options; and improve pedestrian safety.

Land Uses

Provide places to walk; improve appearance of beach and adjacent area; and enhance residential areas.


Need better building code and enforcement, both on and off-season.

Year-round Issues

Provide more services and events, especially for residents and at the State Park.


Reduce litter; many environmental constraints restrict building improvements.

Infrastructure and Public Facilities

Need facilities that can support fire, police, and medical needs.


Land Uses

Make the area more affordable for families and retain existing mix and separation of uses.


Ensure funds and management authority are adequate to serve the needs of users.


Provide pedestrian controls and a walking pier.


Establish a healthy investment climate and consolidate parcels.

Year Round Uses

Promote and enhance year-round uses and activities for residents and visitors.


Establish a coordinated transportation system; improve public transit; reduce vehicle dependency; improve signage, access, and mobility.


Reduce beach area parking issues by providing satellite parking or a parking garage with mixed use at top level.

Economy / Business

Enhance established businesses and provide a balance of tourism.


Support growth with appropriate facilities; and rebuild and modernize the Seashell Stage area.

Design / Character

Establish and preserve nostalgic look; and establish uniform standards and aesthetics for building appearance.

Open Space

Provide more green and shaded areas, walking paths, and retain charm.


Improve cleanliness of the Beaches; and preserve and enhance the long-term stewardship of environmental resources.


Establish education programs focused on dune/beach system and marsh and estuary system.

Needs Assessment and Recommendations (April 17, 2001)

A public meeting was held at the Hampton Town Hall on April 17, 2001 at which the consultant team presented an assessment of the needs and recommendations, and identified a future vision for the Hampton Beach area. This meeting began with a slide presentation of the needs and recommendations, then, separate groups discussed their 50-year vision of the Hampton Beach area. This meeting was broadcast on the local cable station. The following paragraphs summarize the general concerns of the participants.


Recognize the importance of the various state and local jurisdictions, reduce public annoyances such as trash and cruising, and promote more community involvement and outreach.


Recognize key parcels for development, utilize the Town’s lease buyout money, change the image by establishing long-term and year-round businesses, and provide development incentives.


Protect and enhance water and air quality, minimize sewer disposal impact on the marsh, build infrastructure to meet impacts of storms, and provide low-impact uses at natural resource areas.


Promote alternative modes of transportation, properly manage parking lots, and establish designated areas for bicycles, roller-blades, and skateboards.

Summary of Draft Plan (June 7, 2001)

The consultant team made a presentation about the overall planning effort and general conclusions and recommendations of the Draft Plan during the Hampton Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Summer Cookout. After the brief presentation, there was a long question and answer period.

A diverse group of business owners and seasonal and year-round residents attended this event at a local beachfront restaurant. Most of the comments and questions focused on the pedestrian boulevard, cruising impacts, parking, and the establishment of new and year-round businesses such as hotels and retail shops.

Summary of Draft Plan (September 15, 2001)

The consultant team made a presentation about the overall planning effort and general conclusions and recommendations of the Draft Plan at a public meeting held at the Hampton Fire Station at Hampton Beach. Many concerns, issues, and suggestions were made after the consultant’s presentation, and are summarized below.


Important to maintain consensus; new Hampton River bridge should be in first phase of the project; there are many out of town property owners and residents that will not be informed about the Plan and meetings; and question of who has final vote of Plan.

Land Use

Will building heights increase; utilization of parking garages due to lack of developable land.


Possibility of gambling at Hampton Beach; impacts of casino in Salisbury; economic impacts/benefits of tourists; regional economic impacts.


Water retention in State Park parking lots need to be reduced and managed; increased pollution from jet skis and runoff into Hampton River; impacts from increased development on geologic land feature (barrier island).


Address two-way traffic on Church Street; need direct access to Brown Avenue from Town parking lot; need bike lanes on new bridge; contact NHDOT and Hampton Public Works about transportation improvements; address regional transportation issues such as lights on Routes 286 and 101 that create backups, only a few boats cause bridge open.

Update of Plan (September 24, 2001)

The consultant presented a brief summary and update of the Master Plan to the Hampton Board of Selectmen at Hampton Town Hall on September 24, 2001.


Interviews, both by phone and in person, were held with the key stakeholders, representatives, and agencies directly involved with using or planning for the Hampton Beach area as well as with those groups who could support its revitalization. Their valuable input helped determine the most appropriate and compatible uses for this important area. Interviews were conducted with the following groups and individuals:

Citizen-At-Large Representative

Hampton Town Planner

Commercial Fisheries Industry Representative

Hampton Water Works

Conservation Commission, Town of Hampton

NH Coastal Program

Hampton Chamber of Commerce

NH Dept. of Environmental Services, Wetlands Bureau

Hampton Beach Precinct

NH DRED, Division of Parks & Recreation, Seacoast Regional Office

Hampton Beach Casino

NH State Representative

Hampton Fire Department

NH State Senator

Hampton Marina

Preston Real Estate

Hampton Planning Board

Rockingham Planning Commission

Hampton Planning Department

Salisbury Planning Department

Hampton Police Department

The Ashworth By The Sea

Hampton Recreation Department

Zoning Board Representatives

Hampton Selectmen Representative


The wide range of organizations and individuals actively participating in the planning process underscores the fundamental importance that Hampton Beach has in the Town, region, and the State. Perhaps the greatest success of this effort has been to bring together so many ideas on how to best revitalize Hampton Beach.


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