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September 02. 2013 10:17PM

Plaistow residents urged to pay attention to master plan

PLAISTOW — The late summer has seen a lot of activity in town focused on planning for the town's future.

August saw a joint meeting of the town's board and commission members looking at a number of long-term issues, including revamping Main Street and land use development. The planning process for possible extension of the MBTA commuter rail also kicked off with a public input session at town hall.

September looks to be just as busy, as a symposium on water use and municipal water issues is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12.

As the planning for Plaistow's future continues, Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said it's important for town leaders and residents to keep an eye on the town's master plan.

"The master plan is how we shape the agenda of the town," said Fitzgerald. While nominally the responsibility of the Planning Board, Fitzgerald said the master plan is a document that should be updated each year to assist all town boards and commissions in guiding the future of Plaistow.

The master plan looks at a number of areas, including land use, town character, historic and cultural resources, open space and recreation, natural resources, housing, transportation, infrastructure, energy, and economic development.

"These are all core themes of the master plan," said Fitzgerald. "There's a lot of information in there, and it's important to help us guide development for the town. It really helps define the quality of life for the town."

He said it's important for people concerned about the future of the town to familiarize themselves with the plan.

"I've read the master plan a number of times and I've listened to the discussion of the boards, and I wonder if that master plan is consistent with the thoughts of many board and commission members and folks in the public," said Fitzgerald. "It's important that folks take that time and look at (the plan) frequently. It is a reflection of what the town hopes to accomplish."

One of the most important aspects of the master plan is the snapshot it gives of land use, according to Fitzgerald.

With just over half of the town's land undeveloped, he said the master plan can help the town decide what land it might want to set aside for conservation or recreational purposes.

"It gives us the ability to make informed decisions," said Fitzgerald. "It gives us a chance to use resources wisely and understand how much land we have."

A copy of the master plan is available on the town's website at www.plaistow.com/Pages/PlaistowNH_Planning/Master .

aswift@newstote.com


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