FY2011 CITY COUNCIL EXPECTATIONS OF CITY MANAGER
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 142 Facebook (City of Dover NH Planning) friends and 279 followers on Twitter @DoverNHPlanning).
During the month of January, nine (8) Planning blog posts were drafted, including one on recounting the winter sign sweep; two reviewing the benefits of citizen involvement in planning activities, one announcing the availability of community development block grant applications, one welcoming our new assistant city planner, one discussing changes to FastTrans, one about discerning aesthetics in community character; one discussing the Planning Director’s Leadership Seacoast activities, and finally a blog post reviewing Planning activities in December. The blog had over 500 page views in the month of January.
The Department of Planning and Community Development promoted the Dover Community Trail through the facebook fan page for the trail (with 296 fans), as well as a Sustainable Dover facebook fan page for the trail (with 122 fans).
The Director of Planning and Community Development filmed four Dover Download video segments to air on Channel 22. The topics included land use amendments, the winter sign sweep and the capital improvement’s program.
The Director of Planning and Community Development attended the Business after Hours held by the Chamber of Commerce on January 17, 2012 at Blackman Chiropractic as well as the City Council and School Board inauguration on January 2, 2012.
Finally, this month the Department of Planning and Community Development sent out 38 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 January, the Director of Planning and Community Development staff participated in one (3) webinars. The topics were all related to performance standards and understanding your customers.
The Director of Planning and Community Development began as one of the 35 participants in the Leadership Seacoast program. This program is 9 full days, spread out over 4 months, designed to challenge personal assumptions about critical issues while exploring diverse ideas, resources and practices. This is all done with a focus of the seacoast region.
The Director of Planning and Community Development is part of the team developing conference topics and themes for this year’s New Hampshire Planner’s Association annual conference in May.
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 followed up with the School Department on the projects that had been included in the Capital Improvement’s Program. The follow up was both to understand the projects that may begin as part of the FY 2013 authorization, but also included a review of potential projects for FY14 – 19.
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 Director of Planning and Community Development attended the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours that occurred on January 17, 2012. As a result of this BAH, staff was able to assist three businesses with questions that had been asked at that session.
12. Complete the implementation of the ongoing energy efficiency improvements and provide periodic reports of energy savings.
In December, Johnson Controls, Inc (JCI). Submitted an installations report based upon the completion of the installation phase of the energy infrastructure improvements. This began the monitoring and verification process. As part of that monitoring and verification, ADI Energy, which had been retained by the City to monitor the investment, is reviewing the installation report and working to clarify benchmarks and data contained within the installation report.
Additionally, Planning and Community Development staff are working with JCI to develop the format and process by which the City will receive data pertaining to the measurements of the savings forecasted by the Performance Contract the City has with JCI.
GENERAL DEPARTMENT UPDATES:
Planning and Community Development staff conducted a sign sweep, the 9th through 12th of January. This sweep resulted in the City removing 21 illegal signs from the right of way, or utility poles. This is a reduction from the same sweep one year ago.
The Planning Department continued to work towards completion of the Community Trail. In January work on the trail included working towards an easement agreement with two abutters to the trail, as well as coordinating two separate grants to secure funds for extensions of the trail toward the south of Fisher Street.
The Planning Department applied for consideration by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for inclusion in its “Building the Capacity of Coastal Communities in New England to Address Climate Change Risks Through the Use of Role-Play Simulations” program. This program will allow staff to work with MIT graduate students to plan for climate change and work towards the City’s sustainability goals.
In addition to the day to day activities in the Planning Department, staff facilitated the following applications before Boards and Commissions:
· Granted a 90-day extension for a minor lot line adjustment plan for Fenton & David Groen, located at 67 & 75 Central Avenue.
· Held two public hearings on amendments to the Site Plan Review ordinance
o After the second, the Board approved the amendments
· Held two public hearings on amendments to the Subdivision of Land ordinance
o After the second, the Board approved the amendments
· Held its goal setting session and outlined workshop topics and land use amendments to review in 2012.
· No cases were heard
· NHDES Dredge and Fill Permit for the City of Dover located on Watson and Tolend Roads.
o This will allow the City to rehabilitate 3.7 miles of Tolend Road and Watson Road with associated drainage and slope improvements. The total impact to roadside ditch line wetlands is 37,070 square feet.
· A Conditional Use Permit was tabled for Michael and Shelby Brewer located on Fourth Street
o This would allow encroachment into the wetlands buffer for a house and driveway.
Transportation Advisory Commission
· Received an update on parking concerns at Park Street Park.
· Reviewed a request from a resident to install a yield sign at the intersection of Spruce Lane and Garrison Road (in favor of Garrison Road).
· Reviewed a request from a resident regarding traffic hazards on Portland Avenue.
· Approved a request by residents of Boyle Street to restrict parking to one side of the road.
o This will be forwarded to the City Council to update Chapter 166 of the City Code.
Ensure timely preparation and presentation of the FY13 – 18 Capital Improvements Program.
The Capital Improvement’s Program was approved by the City Council on December 14.
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 Master Plan Steering Committee held its second meeting on Monday, January 16. The Committee agreed on “Dover 2023: Building Our Tomorrow” as the name of the process to create the visioning section of the Master Plan. Roger Hawk and his team presented their proposal to facilitate this process which will include three community wide meetings to be held at Dover Middle School on Saturday March 10, Saturday April 7, and Saturday May 5, and several smaller neighborhood meetings to be held at the elementary schools after the March 10 and April 7 meetings. With the intention of maximizing citizen participation in the visioning process, the Committee agreed on a plan to market Dover 2023 which will include press releases, a website, mailings, a Dover Download video presentation, outreach to local community groups, and student participation.
The Open Space and Conservation chapter of the Master Plan is being completed and the Planning Board will have a presentation of the material at its March 13, 2012 workshop. This presentation will include the chapter information and recommendations.
Review, and update as needed, the Community Development Block Grant program to ensure compatibility with Best Management Practices.
Department of Planning and Community Development staff continued to review how neighboring communities administer their Community Development Block Grant programs. This review is part of the overall review staff is completing on our program, as well as part of the application process, which began in January and will be completed in March.
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.
The Planning Board has undertaken a review of the final 5 land use amendments suggested by the EPA Building Blocks report. These amendments act to promote alternative energy sources, reduce the City’s carbon footprint and encouraging use of sustainability through resource allocation. The City Council will review these zoning amendments.
The first 10 amendments that were approved by the Planning Board are before the City Council for its review and adoption. The City Council forwarded the amendments to a public hearing on February 8, 2012. After the public hearing the Council may vote on the amendments.
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 worked 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. There are 9 workshops scheduled with topics ranging from legislative updates, to low impact development.
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 Assistant City Planner and the Economic Development Director are working on education and outreach material to reach out to businesses regarding Dover’s sign regulations.
The Director of Planning and Community Development is conducting a review of the Department’s web site and the information contained within it and other similar sites to ensure that data is current and valuable.
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.
DEPARTMENTAL COLLABORATION & ENHANCEMENTS
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
· 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
- 385 Sixth Street
- 1 Washington Street
- 3 Dover Street
- Thornwood Commons project
- Robbins Auto properties throughout the City
- Property on Tolend Road
- 6 Brick Road
- 410 Sixth Street
- Olive Meadow Lane
- Property at the intersection of Glenwood and Whittier Streets
- Industrial property located between Maple Street and Horne Street
- Sign improvements to 184 Washington Street
- Sign improvements to 1 Waldron Court
The Department of Planning and Community Development welcomed Timothy Corwin as the new Assistant City Planner. Tim has a background in land use law, as well as experience in zoning administration. Tim will be working with the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and other boards and commissions. Tim and his family are new to Dover, and brings and energy and experience that is welcomed by all.