Monday, November 7, 2011

October Doings

From time to time, I presume you'd like to read what we were up to the previous month, in the Department. This is one of those times. The first section concentrates on the goals the City Manager has been given, the second section is department specific goals, and the third section is collaborations with other departments. Enjoy....

4. Continue to communicate with the community through hosting of periodic ward and neighborhood meetings such as quarterly Dover Discussions along with exploring new methods to increase interaction and participation by citizens in local governance and community forums.

The Department of Planning and Community Development continued to update its blog, face book page and twitter feed to communicate with the public. The Department of Planning and Community Development has 129 Facebook (City of Dover NH Planning) friends and 259 followers on Twitter @DoverNHPlanning).

During the month of September, eight (8) Planning blog posts were drafted, including one on looking at the Apple Harvest Day, Riding mass transit, rails to trails projects, social communities, two on the Capital Improvements Program, one on how buildings evolve, and one on the proposed redistricting of Dover’s ward boundaries.

The Department of Planning promoted the Dover Community Trail through the Facebook fan page for the trail (with 284 fans), as well as a Sustainable Dover Facebook fan page for the trail (with 116 fans).

The Director of Planning and Community Development continues to act as an advisor to the Dover Listen’s committee, and attends their monthly meetings.

The Director of Planning and Community Development attended the October 20 and 27 Citizen’s Leadership Academy sessions. On the 20th, discussion focused on arts, culture, planning, economic development and welfare topics.

Planning staff worked to educate Council and School Board candidates, as well as the public at large on the City’s regulations pertaining to election signage/political advertising. This work entailed site investigations of sign placement, as well as meeting with various candidates and having electronic conversations with candidates about acceptable locations for signage.

The Director of Planning and Community Development met with Somersworth’s interim Director of Development Services, Portsmouth and Farmington’s Planning Director, and Rochester’s Director of Development to review regional needs and issues that all communities.

Finally, this month the Department of Planning and Community Development sent out 22 letters to new homeowners congratulating them on their purchase, as well as informing them of the current zoning for their property and alerting them to the various methods the department uses to inform and update the public.

8. Attend workshops and participate in other education opportunities to further continuing professional development.

In October, the Director of Planning and Community Development attended a session at UNH where officials from the Government Accounting Standards Board meet with planners and local finance officers from NH to talk about a proposal that would compel local government to look at its future financial condition.

The Director of Planning and Community Development participated in a webinar devoted to increasing public participation in planning through the use of innovative communication strategies.

9. Develop a closer working relationship with the School Department and all other City Departments. Further explore and pursue opportunities where City and Schools can combine and/share services for the benefit of the community and report to the City Council.

The Planning Department worked with the School Department to finalize its submissions for the Capital Improvement’s Program. Additionally, the two offices worked together to understand the use and regulations around impact fees. This discussion led to a proposed expenditure of impact fees for automotive classrooms at the Regional Career Technical Center.

10. Support local businesses to aid in the community’s economic growth by working in conjunction with local economic development groups and business organizations.

The Department of Planning and Community Development assisted the Economic Development Director with supporting the proposed development of the Parking Lot Redevelopment Bid that was solicited in July.

12. Complete the implementation of the ongoing energy efficiency improvements and provide periodic reports of energy savings.

The Substantial Completion documents were signed in October. This starts the annual clock for Johnson Controls Inc (JCI) to document the energy savings stipulated in their contract with the City. The Department of Planning and Community Development is working with JCI’s thermo technicians to assure they have access to the data needed for the Monitoring & Verification portion of the contract. Johnson Controls is now down to a punch list of items that require attention.

City staff met with both the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services compliance contractor and the EPA hired auditor for the Waste Water Treatment Plant blower project. The purpose of these meetings was to assure compliance with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Davis Bacon requirements.



In spite of the continuing economic woes on the national and regional levels, the City of Dover has seen a recent surge in commercial development in the past six months.  The Planning Board has reviewed five significant commercial site plans in 2011.  These projects represent a variety of retail, office and warehouse development. In July the Planning Board approved a 9,000 square foot dialysis treatment center at 343 Sixth Street on property owned by Summit Land Development. Just up the street from this project is a new dental office being constructed by Howard Dental at 385 Sixth Street. This 5,544 square foot facility was approved by the Planning Board on September 13, 2011 and broke ground in October.  Another project approved in the north end of Dover was the redevelopment of the Citgo station at 874 Central Avenue.  The property owners, Aranco Oil Company, are planning to construct a new 2,800 square foot convenience store and gas station on the site.  The Planning Board approved this project on September 13, 2011.  The last two projects are located on Knox Marsh Road.  On September 27, 2011, the Planning Board approved a site plan to build 18,500 square feet of self storage units at 1 Lilac Lane as part of the New Meadows project.  The last project is the largest and is coming before the Planning Board in November.  FW Webb is proposing the construction of a 65,000 square foot building that would house a warehouse, distribution center, and product showroom and office space.  This facility would be located at 218 Knox Marsh Road.  FW Webb is a plumbing supply company that currently has a 16,500 square foot facility at 10 Sumner Drive.

These five projects total just over 100,000 square feet of commercial space in Dover.  It is projects like these that will help improve the economy of Dover and the region.

Ensure timely preparation and presentation of the FY13 – 18 Capital Improvements Program.
The Capital Improvement’s Program was presented to the City Council and Planning Board on October 19, 2011. The presentation included an overview of the CIP book, an introduction to the concepts and ideas behind capital improvements planning and an overview of year one projects.

Coordinate update of Land Use and Transportation chapters of the Master Plan, through development and implementation of Speak Out Dover and associated survey programs.
The steering committee for the Open Space and Conservation Master Plan chapter has completed its first draft of the upcoming chapter. Once that chapter has been completed, work will begin on organizing Speak Out Dover sessions and associated programs for laying the baseline for the Land Use and Transportation chapters.

Review, and update as needed, the Community Development Block Grant program to ensure compatibility with Best Management Practices.
A review of the process and outreach models used for CDBG programming for the upcoming grant round, which begins in February has begun. Additionally, staff is reviewing comments from the Department of Housing and Urban Development review of the City’s required reporting on the status of our CDBG program to discern areas to improve.

Promote streamlining plan review through use of electronic means amongst internal staff (smart board at TRC etc).
Pricing of the installation of a smart board in the Second Floor conference room in City Hall has placed this project on hold.

Analyze the City Code to ensure that City regulations encourage sustainable practices in city operations and encourage green practices by residents and business owners.
Planning staff recommended 10 of the 15 land use amendments suggested by the EPA Building Blocks report These amendments were presented to the Planning Board on October 11, 2011, and act to promote alternative energy sources, reduce the City’s carbon footprint and encouraging use of sustainability through resource allocation.

Develop educational opportunities for staff and board/commission members that are low resource cost, whether through staff presentations to boards/commissions, or web based education.
The Director of Planning and Community Development will be working with the Planning Board Chair to develop an educational program for the 2012 workshops that occur the second Tuesday of the month for Planning Board members.

Increase outreach and education to business and residents on benefits of infill development and transit oriented development as means to develop and redevelop in Dover’s urban core.
The Director of Planning and Community Development and the Economic Development Director have discussed options for increasing education about signage for the business community.

Coordinate discussions and implementation of improved pedestrian and vehicular way finding signs in downtown Dover.
Notes and ideas from the May wayfinding meeting have been reviewed, by planning staff and are being coordinated for follow up.


The Planning Department worked with the Community Services Department to identify needs on the Community Trail. This work included inspecting the work being completed under the Spaulding Turnpike, the parking lot off Watson Road, and preparation for paving on Washington Street.

Planning staff worked with the City Clerk’s office to review and submit data to the Attorney General’s office regarding the proposed ward boundary changes. This data included identifying the census blocks and tracts that each ward will encompass.

Planning and Community Services staff worked to review the current situation at Willand Pond and review opportunities surrounding the pond, both preservation and recreational in nature.

Planning and Community Development staff assisted the Community Services and Inspection staff with a review of outstanding issues on several projects, and took the lead on reaching out to the developers. The plans/projects are as follows:
·  Gladiola Way
·  Cedar Cove
·  Nye Lane/Pacific Landing
·  Willand Pond

Planning staff worked with land owners of property at the following locations on development or redevelopment opportunities:
  • NH Coffee on Sumner Drive
  • Technical Review for 218 Knox Marsh Road
  • Technical Review for 78 Horne Street
  • 222 Central Avenue for redevelopment
  • Intersection of Court Street and Central Avenue for redevelopment
  • 547 Central Avenue redevelopment
  • 343 Sixth Street
  • Thornwood Commons project
  • Cocheco Falls Milworks
  • Strand Theater for redevelopment
  • 6 Brick Road
    • Residents at 4 and 12 Brick Road
    • Residents at 2, 4, and 8 Floral Avenue
  • 44 Dover Point Road
  • 13 Whittier Street
  • K9 Kaos
  • Robbins Auto properties throughout the City
  • 3 Washington Street redevelopment
  • 63 Broadway
  • Property on Long Hill Road
  • 200 Dover Point Road


** Planning Department Statistics

Current month
Planning & Zoning Applications - Total

    - Major Subdivision Applications

    - Minor Subdivision Applications
    - Minor Lot Line Adjustment Applications
    - Site Plan Applications

    - Conditional Use Permit Applications

    - Extraction Permit Applications

    - Zoning Variance Applications

    - Zoning Special Exception Applications

    - Zoning Appeal Applications

   - Sign Permit Applications
   - Customary Home Occupation Applications
   - Zoning Violations Investigated

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