DURHAM

The town is looking for help from residents deciding its future and will host a visioning session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the Durham Community School’s cafeteria.

“We want to hear from you, your interests, concerns and stories of Durham,” a Durham Comprehensive Plan Committee flier notes.

The visioning plan follows a town survey conducted in November 2016, CPC Chairman Kevin Nadeau said.

Residents “indicated they value Durham’s small town rural character, open spaces and outdoor recreation opportunities. We need a strong comprehensive plan that will enable the town to grow in a way that protects what we love about Durham as much as possible,” Nadeau said.

The meeting’s goal is “to gather input from residents as we develop a vision statement for what we want Durham to be like 10 to 20 years from now,” said Nadeau.

“We learned from other towns we spoke with, as well as from our own experiences with Durham’s Town Meeting, that a professional facilitator with no vested interest in the outcome is a worthwhile investment,” Nadeau said.

The state requires each town or city to file a master plan regarding land use, natural resources protection, economic growth zones and housing developments. An earlier draft town plan was not approved as it lacked some detailed information.

Information culled from the visioning session and follow-up will help the CPC write and present a plan that the town will vote on. This vote may come at the 2018 Durham Town Meeting, he said.

A cross-section of community members

comprise the planning committee: builders, farmers, independent business owners, longtime residents and newcomers.

“I’m hoping we get a huge number of people who contribute to the process,” Durham Town Administrator Ruth Glaeser said.

Good Group Decisions, Inc. facilitator Craig Freshley will lead the Jan. 31 meeting. Freshley will be paid $850 from the town’s planning board budget. The board’s budget includes preparation and follow-up meetings and a vision statement draft.

The snow date is Feb. 2. Soup and bread will be available. The school’s address is 654 Hallowell Road.

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