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Community invited to give input on future of Pinardville at forums May 3 to 7

It’s being billed as a “Planapalooza for Pinardville,” a week-long series of workshops and events designed to get people thinking about and creating a vision for the part of town that is both a tightly knit neighborhood of single-family homes and a dense collection of commercial buildings.

The idea is to get as much participation as possible from town planners, architects, engineers, artists, business owners and homeowners who would contribute in creating a master plan for the future of Pinardville, said town planner Brian Rose.

The project, Rose said, is being financed through a $50,000 grant from the New Hampshire Housing Authority.

“We were one of about 18 or 20 cities and towns that got a community planning grant issued through New Hampshire Housing,” Rose said. “When we got this grant, we said we really need to focus on Pinardville because it’s been so long since anyone’s ever really thought about how it can be developed or redeveloped. I think there are a lot of ideas that people have about Pinardville that they’ve never given voice to. What we’re looking for is community involvement.”

Planapalooza for Pinardville is scheduled to run from Friday, May 3, to Tuesday, May 7. The opening presentation and hands-on design workshop will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on May 3 at the Goffstown Harvest Christian Church meeting hall, 542 Mast Road. Subsequent events will take place at 542 Mast Road, all in the evening hours.

“If the lights are on, come on in and join us,” said Rose. “Every event is open to the public, and we want people to participate as much as possible.”

In addition to creating a master plan, Rose said another objective is to create what he describes as a “smart code” for Pinardville, which is different from a typical zoning code because “it focuses on buildings and their relationships to one another and their sizes.”

According to Rose, the main goal of the smart code is to “get more flexibility into our regulations.”

A lack of flexibility in the traditional zoning code is something everyone complains about, Rose said. “We don’t want that.”

Rose cites the densely populated residential section where homes sit on small lots.

“If someone wants to build a small shed on their property, half the time I have to send them to the Zoning Board,” Rose said. “I would like to see it made so it’s not so hard.”

The master plan will be adopted by the Planning Board in the latter part of the year, Rose said. The smart code, once written, would be placed on the ballot for the voters to consider.

Topics to be covered at the Planapalooza include community design, character and land use, open space uses, housing, economic development, utilities, civic buildings and natural resources.

One component of the project will be to examine the aesthetics of Pinardville, and see what can reasonably be done to enhance the look of the area.

“There are things we can look at that can help, like sidewalk and street improvements, landscape improvements, lighting, adding trees,” said Rose. “People wouldn’t have to make changes to their buildings necessarily. I can’t see us going in to the businesses there and saying, ‘You’ve got to change your facade.’”

Rose said he would “love to have a conversation about some type of public gathering space where we could have Pinardville events. I think it would be awesome to have an open area or plaza space.”

He acknowledged that because of the density of commercial and residential buildings there, such an idea “may just be pie in the sky,” but he said it’s worth discussing.

“I think there are a lot of ideas that people have about Pinardville that they’ve never given voice to,” he said. “What we’re looking for is community involvement.”..

     

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