Hampton Beach Master Plan: Planning Issues and Process
Hampton Beach Issues
Most of the planning issues are due to the existing conditions of the infrastructure, regulations, and programs that evolved over the past hundred years. The core of Hampton Beach is as dense as many larger cities, and is on top of and next to a very fragile and dynamic coastal beach and wetland system. Furthermore, additional influences outside of state and town control, such as the conversion of seasonal homes to year round residences, have placed additional burdens on the infrastructure. Although the State and Town have periodically invested in various infrastructure improvements, these public investments have not attracted private investment that helps to support the local economy or improves the quality of the area’s built environment.
The planning process was designed as a participatory project involving key stakeholders and jurisdictions. This process has been a useful tool in building an understanding of facts, trends, options and solutions for the needs of Hampton Beach. The project has been jointly sponsored by the Town of Hampton, the State of New Hampshire through its Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Parks and Recreation, and the New Hampshire Coastal Program. The process has been guided through the input of the Hampton Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee (HBMPAC) that was specifically established for this purpose.
A consultant team led by The Cecil Group, Inc. was selected to provide planning and technical assistance for the Master Planning process. This planning and design firm was supported by a team of specialists, including Rizzo Associates (transportation and utilities), Appledore Engineering (environmental and coastal planning), Economic Research Associates (economics) and Dr. Laurence Goss, a specialist in regional tourism economics.
As part of this process, there were public meetings and workshops, interviews with key local and state officials, working meetings with participating public agencies, and monthly meetings with the Advisory Committee. Furthermore, a series of reports and documents were generated to communicate the existing conditions, needs assessment, and strategies for revitalization.
Completion of this Master Plan signifies the first important step in implementation of a revitalization process for Hampton Beach. A large number of residents, businesses, public agencies and elected leaders have participated in the development of this Plan. Through this process, an opportunity has been created for a shared understanding of the conditions, issues, and needs for the future. The same participants and any other interested individuals will be involved in the next steps in implementation, shaping the specific initiatives to achieve the plan recommendations through an open, public process.