Monday, May 21, 2012

April Recount

Below is the report that the Department submitted to the City Manager for April:


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 154 Facebook (City of Dover NH Planning) friends and 300 followers on Twitter @DoverNHPlanning).

During the month of April, four (4) Planning blog posts were drafted, one looking at the relationship between planning and home improvements, two reviewing the Director of Planning and Community Development’s recent trip to the National Planning Conference. The final covered the March report to the Manager.  The blog had over 400 page views in the month of April, which brings the total page views to over 10,400 for the blog.

The Department of Planning and Community Development promoted the Dover Community Trail through the facebook fan page for the trail (with 311 fans), as well as a Sustainable Dover facebook fan page for the trail (with 136 fans).

The Director of Planning and Community Development filmed two promotional videos for Dover Download to air on Channel 22. The videos highlight the Dover2023 Community Visioning project, and upcoming Planning Board workshop topics.

The Director of Planning and Community Development and Assistant City Planner attended the thirteenth annual Dover Pride Clean Up Day, produced by Dover Main Street. The Director served as the City’s liaison with Main Street and its volunteers, and the Assistant City Planner worked alongside residents in cleaning up areas of Henry Law Park.

The Department of Planning and Community Development held three community input sessions in April as part of its Dover 2023 Community Vision project. The three were neighborhood meetings at the three elementary schools (April 10, 12 and 16). These meetings further refined and prioritized the visions elements that had been expressed at the March meetings. The information will be refined further at the May 1 and May 5th communitywide meetings.

The Director of Planning and Community Development was a featured speaker at the Dover Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs meeting. At this meeting the Director spoke about Dover 2023, and about planned transportation projects in Dover.

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

In April, Planning and Community Development staff participated in one (1) seminar. The topic was developing leadership skills. The focus was on informing Baldridge based institutions on ways to review and improve systems.

The Director of Planning and Community Development continued to be part of the team developing conference topics and themes for this year’s New Hampshire Planner’s Association annual conference in May.

The Director of Planning and Community Development continued 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. In April, the group visited Concord as part of Government Day.

The Director of Planning and Community Development attended the National Planning Conference, produced by the American Planning Association. This four day conference focused on rethinking planning initiatives and modernizing systems and techniques to communicate ideas to the public. The Director attended sessions on funding opportunities, using zoning maps to convey more than just zoning boundaries, climate change, innovative web page and tablet tools to communicate plans and planning to the public, and sessions on management strategies to bring efficiencies to plan review processes.

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.

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 continued to work with the Economic Development Director to review the proposed infill development proposal and its revisions, as presented by River Valley Development. This included attending the City Council workshop reviewing the infill opportunities.

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

Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) has completed the first quarter energy report for the City. JCI completed energy upgrades and improvements to City buildings and facilities as part of a guaranteed energy savings contract with Dover. The City is on track to save $319,463 in the first year of the contract with JCI which started in November through October, annually for a ten (10) year period. Fiscal year to date savings are $186,516. The report can be viewed at, under “Current City Reports.” The report is titled: Johnson Control M&V Report 1st Quarter Report



Planning and Community Development staff worked in April with staff at COAST to review locations for bus stops and ways to improve transit frequency. The review focused on handicap accessibility and installation of bus shelters at stops. These shelters will allow users to be protected from the elements while waiting for the bus.

Planning staff continued to work encouraging participation in May’s Bike/Walk to work week. The City has hosted a free breakfast to “green” commuters for the past two years and plans on promoting the event this year, as well.

Planning staff worked with Strafford Regional Planning Commission staff to complete an application for the designation of Route 108 from the Durham line to Portland Avenue as a scenic byway promoting the mills in Dover. This application will be forwarded to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for review and inclusion in this Federal program. Additionally, staff withed with the Commission on a Coastal Grant to review fluvial erosion concerns along the Cochecho River. Dover staff will assist the Commission with in-kind matching efforts for a grant the Commission received. Finally, Planning staff worked to educate the Commission staff regarding Dover’s Park and Ride facilities. This work included background, grants applied to fund the projects, user statistics and operations overviews.

Planning staff worked on the Community Trail, to assist in its completion. This work included working to develop bids for the construction of the connector under the Spaulding Turnpike and Whittier Falls Way. Work also included reviewing drainage and vandalism concerns along the Fisher Street to Folsom Street portion and reviewing sign needs along the whole length of the trail. Finally, staff updated trail maps online and in promotional material.

Planning staff worked with residents of the Atkinson, Belknap, Cushing and Lexington neighborhood as part of the traffic calming project contained within the CIP. This project is investigating options for traffic calming that will work best for the neighborhood. Jeffery Taylor and Associates has been retained to assist the neighborhood and staff in this project. The project is intended to be completed this summer.

In addition to the day to day activities in the Planning Department, staff facilitated the following applications before Boards and Commissions:

Planning Board
·        Continued a public hearing on renovating a former shoe factory/warehouse into 42 units of housing located at 1 Dover Street.
·        A site walk was held April 3, 2012 for the Dover Street project.

Zoning Board
·        Tabled a variance request for Salmon Falls Holdings for 46/48 Arch Street from Section 170-12 and 170-40 of the Zoning Ordinance.
o   This will allow for the erection of a 3 unit dwelling, where single family are allowed by right.
·        Granted a variance request for McQuade realty at 2 Sumner Drive from Section 170-12.A of the Zoning Ordinance.
o   This allows a Commercial Recreation facility in the Rural Industrial District.

Conservation Commission
·        A request for a NHDES Permit by Notification for John Gesek  located at 127 Spur Road. 
o   This allows a the owner to conduct work adjacent to the Bellamy River in a tidal wetland to replace six existing creosote timber pilings on a fixed pier with new pressure treated pilings in the same locations.

Transportation Advisory Commission
·        Endorsed a group of residents who wish to install walkability signs to improve pedestrian mobility in Dover.
o   This pilot project will be done in conjunction with City staff.
·        Approved a request to add a stop sign on Dover Street at Park Street.
·        Approved a request to add two stop signs on Ham Street at Park Street.
·        Approved a request to remove a one way restriction on the Woodman Park School access road.
·        Approved a request to remove a prohibition of parking on Central Avenue, southbound, near Tuttle Square (Silver Street).

Energy Commission
·        Held an organizational meeting, approving rules, identifying when meetings will occur and discussing the election of officers.

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.
Work continued on the Dover 2023 visioning sessions. Three were held at the elementary schools in April, on the 10, 12, and 16th. These sessions sought to prioritize the results from the March meetings and to refine the direction that vision elements might direct the City to take. These elements will be further refined in May.

Review, and update as needed, the Community Development Block Grant program to ensure compatibility with Best Management Practices.
The Director of Planning and Community Development and the Community Block Grant Coordinator met with representatives from HUD to discuss changes that might be put in place, which will refine the process, while still meeting federal guidelines. These include the presentation of data and the solicitation and collection of application information.

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 Planning Board reviewed these on April 24th, and is continuing to support 4 of the 5 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. The April topic is land use board orientation and sidewalks vs shoulders for roadways. The May topic will be issues facing Great Bay and the Capital Improvements Program.

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 continue to develop outreach materials for businesses on Dover’s sign regulations.

The Director of Planning and Community Development is developing an invitation to business owners. The invitation will be to meet with Planning staff and discuss the relation between developing a quality of life Dover residents would like, while being supportive of economic development.

Coordinate discussions and implementation of improved pedestrian and vehicular way finding signs in downtown Dover.
Planning staff met with residents who wish to work on this project. The project will be a pilot project, which the residents are fundraising to support.


The Director of Planning and Community Development was selected to moderate a session on using Arts and Culture in revitalizing a community as part of this year’s New Hampshire Planner’s Association annual conference in May. The session will be the closing session.

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
· Willand Pond
· Silver Street reconstruction request for proposals.
· Nelson Street reconstruction request for proposals.
· Centennial Drive
· Property at the intersection of Ham and Park Streets
· 99 Columbus Avenue
· Olive Meadow Lane

Planning staff worked with land owners of property at the following locations on development or redevelopment opportunities:
  • NH Coffee on Sumner Drive
  • Spruce Lane
  • 544 Tolend Road
  • 37 Dover Point Road
  • 28 Dover Point Road
  • Thornwood Commons project
  • 6 Dover Point Road
  • Temple Israel
  • 44 Arch Street
  • 1 Washington Street
  • 23 Horne Street
  • Various properties owned by Robbins Auto Parts Realty
  • Properties at the intersection of Oak Street and Central Avenue.
  • The Herbal Path
  • Property on Dover Neck Road
  • Property on lower Central Avenue
  • Dover Community Garden
  • Dover Fields project on Durham Road.


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