Open Space Appendices
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36-A:5 Appropriations Authorized
I. A town or city, having established a conservation commission as authorized by RSA 36-A:2, may appropriate money as deemed necessary for the purpose of this chapter. The whole or any part of money so appropriated in any year and any gifts of money received pursuant to RSA 36-A:4 may be placed in a conservation fund and allowed to accumulate from year to year. Money may be expended from said fund by the conservation commission for the purposes of this chapter without further approval of the town meeting.
II. The town treasurer, pursuant to RSA 41:29, shall have custody of all moneys in the conservation fund and shall pay out the same only upon order of the conservation commission. The disbursement of conservation funds shall be authorized by a majority of the conservation commission. Prior to the use of such funds for the purchase of any interest in real property, the conservation commission shall hold a public hearing with notice in accordance with RSA 675:7.
III. In the municipality that has adopted the provisions of RSA 79-A:25, II, the specified percentage of the revenues received pursuant to RSA 79-A shall be placed in the conservation fund.
Source. 1963, 168:1. 1973, 550:4. 1987, 318:2. 1988, 120:1, e$ June 18, 1988
- 1988. Paragraph III: Added.
- 1987. Designated the existing provisions of section as par. I, in that paragraph rewrote the first sentence, inserted "and any gifts of
Since 1974 there have been five surveys of Hanover residents in which some portion of the questionnaire elicited public opinion about land use, open space, conservation and related matters. In 1974, 1981 and 1994, the Planning Board sent forms to a statistically significant sample of Hanover residents. Each time, the surveys asked similar questions to allow the Planning Board to track changes in needs and opinions.
In 1998, the Scenic Locales Committee, under the auspices of the Select Board, surveyed 1200 randomly selected residents to establish the importance of the scenic qualities of the town, and which areas were the most significant. Finally, in 1999, at the request of and supported by the Planning Board, a citizen group surveyed rural residents on land use issues. One of the four sections of this Guiding Growth in Rural Hanover survey focused on open space.
The responses to each survey reflected strong citizen concern for the future of Hanover's landscape, support for conservation, and strong desire for higher levels of municipal action. The three Planning Board surveys showed increasing support over time. The Scenic Locales survey elicited a list of more than 200 sites located within the town's 49 square miles that were highly valued by one or more people. Eighty-one % of the responders to the Guiding Growth in Rural Hanover survey thought the town should do more to preserve open space. Seventy-seven % supported increased development restrictions and 60% supported a 1% tax to finance greater municipal conservation activity.
In commenting on an early draft of this report, officials of Dartmouth College (the town's largest employer and landowner) affirmed their longstanding commitment to preserving Hanover as a community, and to the value of open space in the community.
In 1999, residents acted in concert with the opinions they had expressed in the surveys when they voted at Town Meeting to establish a Conservation Fund as defined by state law (RSA 36-A:5; see Appendix I). A different but equally significant demonstration of support for protection of open space occurred in 1999 when $500,000 was raised through private donations from approximately 500 people in only two months in response to an unexpected opportunity to purchase 112 acres of open space, impending development of which had presented a crisis for the conservation community for many years.
- Connecticut River Corridor Management Plan Volume 1 River Overview and Volume 4 Upper Valley Region The Connecticut River Joint Commissions, 1997.
- Guiding Growth in Rural Hanover: Citizen Meetings and Community Survey on the Future of the Less Developed Parts of the Town. Guiding Growth in Rural Hanover Committee. 1999.
- Habitat Assessment and Inventory of the Mink Brook Nature Preserve: Observations and Descriptions of Soils, Indigenous Mammals, and Tree, Shrub, and Herbaceous Species. Hanover Conservation Council. 1999.
- Natural Communities and Rare Plants of Hanover, New Hampshire. The Nature Conservancy. 2000.
- Something for Everyone: the Scenic Locales Committee Report for the Town of Hanover, NH. Scenic Locales Committee. 1998.
- Town of Hanover Surveys of Resident Opinion (1974, 1984, 1994).
The Open Space Committee issued copies of the draft Open Space Priorities Plan to the Select Board and the Planning Board for their review, as specified by the Memorandum of Understanding (see Appendix II). It also made copies available to the public by placing a reference copy and a circulating copy in the Etna and Howe libraries; putting the text onto the town's website; and having copies available in the Planning and Zoning Office in the Municipal Building and at the public hearings. Public notices of availability were printed in the Valley News as part of the three announcements of the public hearings on October 4 (Trumbull Hall, Etna) and October 11 (Howe Library). Notices were placed on the door of the Etna Post Office, and at the intersections of Greensboro and Etna Roads, and Ruddsboro and Etna Roads. An announcement letter was printed in the forum section of the Valley News on October 10. An additional presentation and discussion of the draft plan took place at a noticed Planning Board meeting on October 10. The plan was also discussed at Conservation Commission meetings on October 18, and approved on December 20.
Approximately 9.0 people attended the three public meetings at which the draft plan was discussed. All questions and comments were recorded. In addition, a total of 16 letters and a few personal communications were received. Each gave evidence of careful thought and, in many cases, of a generous amount of time on the part of the commentator. To each responder, the Open Space Committee is grateful.
Approximately 45 separate suggestions for additions to the open space plan were offered, ranging from short trail connections to a new area equivalent in size to the Monahan Valley or Lord's Hill areas. Most suggestions have been incorporated into the final open space report, along with the recommendations that separate, detailed trails and historic/cultural sites plans be developed in the future that would give further consideration to these and other suggestions.
Policy suggestions included determination of the appropriate use of recreational trails by mountain bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and a request for evaluation of the tax impact of implementing the Open Space Priorities Plan. The committee recommends that the trails question be addressed in the context of the trails report cited above. Fiscal impact is briefly considered at the end of this report.
Several commentators noted typographical errors, and offered refinements of wording, all of which have been given close consideration and, for the most part, incorporated.
All comments noted at the public meetings and received in writing are on file for public reference in the Planning and Zoning Office.