May 06. 2014 6:13PM

Windham to survey residents on their vision of the future

Union Leader Correspondent

WINDHAM — Town and regional planning officials are gearing up for a townwide survey to determine residents’ vision of Windham’s future.

During a public hearing next week, the Planning Board and staff from Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) will put the finishing touches on a community survey that will be used to develop the initial phase of the town’s 2015 Master Plan.

Community Development Director Laura Scott said the public is encouraged to attend the May 14 meeting and participate in the process.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the community room at the Windham town complex.

During the April 30 meeting, SNHPC Director David Preece presented an outline of the anticipated plan process, noting that “community visioning” would be the first big step, followed by data collection and inventory, evaluating future development scenarios, future land use and finalization of the plan.

Once completed, the plan’s Phase I is expected to include demographics, existing land use and regional concerns based on citizens’ input from public hearings and the survey.

Preece said a final report would be presented during a Planning Board meeting sometime late in the year.

Several residents and board members posed questions and suggestions at the most recent board meeting.

Heritage Hill Road resident Dan Guttman asked how the survey would be presented, noting the importance of reaching a broad spectrum of Windham residents.

Preece agreed it was important to explore ways to make sure only one response per resident would be permitted, adding that an overall 20 to 30 percent response rate of survey recipients is considered a good indicator of overall citizen preferences.

Selectman Joel Desilets said he’d like to see the survey include questions about the pending Route 111 re-routing project, particularly when it comes to determining citizens’ concerns about traffic.

Scott said draft documents for the 2015 Master Plan project would be posted regularly on the Master Plan page of the town’s website,

Those with questions regarding the process should contact Scott at 432-3806 or