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Salisbury to hold design session on future town plans

Salisbury residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on the future of their village area Saturday during a brainstorming session at Academy Hall.

The town’s planning board received two grants within the past year to update the zoning ordinances and to hold this weekend’s design session, called a charrette, to discuss the future of the village area located at the intersection of routes 127 and 4, known as the “Crossroads.” From 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., a group of certified planners will seek input on what residents like and don’t like about the area. They’ll then spend the afternoon rendering drawings that the town can use to help update its ordinances.

There are no immediate plans to update or further develop the area, but the zoning ordinances are now outdated and any new buildings that do come in will not match what is already there, said Planning Board Chairman Doug Greiner. The drawings and new rules will help ensure the qualities of the village that residents enjoy will be maintained in the future.

“If we don’t do anything, the village is going to slowly change to something that is not what people want it to be,” Greiner said.

Jack Mettee of Mettee Planning Consultants in Dover will help lead the meeting along with a team of professional designers and landscape architects. He’s been working with the town since the fall, when the first grant was received from the New Hampshire Housing Authority. The second grant to hold the design session was received in early May. The team has held several public meetings, including a walk around the area.

Mettee and the other designers are not from Salisbury, which will give them a fresh perspective when taking in residents’ input, Greiner said. Some residents have already expressed that they like the village area the way it is and do not want to see it changed. But there is still land that could be developed in the future. The artists’ drawings will give residents a glimpse of how future changes, such as making the area more pedestrian friendly or the addition of new buildings, could enhance the area.

“We thought the best way to do this is envision what that might look like through a graphic portrayal,” Mettee said.

Some of the previous public sessions about the grants have not been well attended, Greiner said, but he hopes residents will come out Saturday to offer their input.

“They should care about the future look and feeling of their town,” he said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or
kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

Any questions as to why the Sate and Federal governments are out of money? TWO GRANTS for this town to update the zoning ordinances and to discuss the future of the village area. Is that not what the town employees are supposed to do????

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