Group seeks residents’ input on the future of Pinardville
GOFFSTOWN — The Plan Pinardville Committee is hoping residents will rally behind a plan to promote mixed-use development in town and create a more vibrant community.
The committee has been meeting since January in public work sessions, and held a weeklong series of workshops and brainstorming events in May called Planapalooza for Pinardville.
The committee will present the draft plan to the public on Tuesday. Residents will have until Aug. 15 to submit their concerns before the plan goes before the Planning Board on Sept. 12. The plan will be available at goffstown.com, at town offices and at other locations to offer the public a chance to submit comments, said Brian Rose, Goffstown planning director and committee member.
The plan has two parts — a master plan and a zoning ordinance — that will be reviewed separately by the Planning Board, he said. New zoning in Pinardville, called the Smart Code, is geared to help shape the future of specific sections in town. The goal is to incorporate smart growth designs to provide affordable housing and more livable areas in Pinardville, while taking the town’s character into consideration.
The plan, so far, has met with some resistance from the community.
At the July 2 meeting, residents commented that the committee should listen to the community, such as designing street connections.
“We decided not to make connections to Joffre, Haig and Petain streets,” Rose said. “From the beginning, it really wasn’t street connections, per se.”
The drawings in the draft are for illustration purposes only, and provide a way to look at possible development in the area, he said.
Some residents said the planning process is happening too fast, while others are afraid decisions are being made for the residents of Pinardville.
Resident Dana Benner urges residents to voice their concerns about the plan so a minority will not make decisions for the entire community.
“Rezoning will open the door to more huge apartment complexes similar to the 48 apartments being built on Moose Club,” said Benner.
He said development will mean higher taxes, more demand on services and the end to single-family neighborhoods.
The committee, however, is taking public comments seriously, and some ideas will be incorporated into the proposed plan and others are not feasible, either for economic or demographic reasons.
The committee has said some items in the plan will occur soon and others will take years or decades.
“This is a tremendous improvement over our master plan because we’re looking at a very specific section of town with very specific recommendations and guidelines,” said committee member Tony Marts.
Other resident concerns include creating access between shopping centers without going onto Mast Road, safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists, improving parking and transportation, and increasing the tax base.
The draft plan takes into account several existing and proposed areas, such as Pinardville’s last historic structure — the Ice House, which the public has said needs to be restored and preserved.
A new proposed area is Cote’s Corner, now a three-way intersection of Mast Road, Pinard Street and Laurier Street which causes traffic confusion, and is the gateway to Pinardville. The idea is to create more open space with pedestrian-friendly areas, outdoor dining and mixed-use buildings.