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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is a Master Plan?

A master plan serves as a road map for a community to follow as it considers decisions, both large and small, over the next approximately 10 years. The plan is a policy guide that provides a basis for land use regulation and other town initiatives.

The planning process includes an assessment of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs, and consideration of collective goals and desires. While the emphasis is on land use and infrastructure, it does not ignore the important social, natural resource and economic values of the community. A master plan is a method of translating a community's values into a menu of specific actions. Regular reviews will keep it current and relevant to the changing needs of the community and is closely coordinated with other municipal documents and initiatives.

A master plan is NOT a zoning ordinance, a subdivision regulation, a budget, a capital improvement program, or other regulatory document. It is meant to be the basis for the preparation of these implementation tools.

Q2. How can Hanover make use of its Sustainability Master Plan?

The purpose of the Sustainability Master Plan is to inform residents and businesses on Hanover's characteristics, trends, and policies, and to promote a higher quality of life for all — considering the natural environment — through the implementation of relevant and timely actions. The Plan will also guide municipal decision-making, such as the coordination of future residential, commercial, and industrial activities, based on a shared community vision and associated goals.

Q3. What is a Sustainability Master Plan?

Sustainability Master Plans consider a broader set of indicators than is typical for a master plan, for example, performance measures relating to preventing and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Such plans also have a greater focus on addressing challenges and opportunities more regionally and even globally. The planning process is more reliant on stakeholder engagement, with emphasis on participation of marginalized communities and a focus on transparency.

Hanover's upcoming Master Plan will have its foundations in sustainability principles to ensure the holistic consideration of social, environmental, and economic concerns. It will be guided by the following definition of "sustainability":

Meeting the needs of the town and region in the present without compromising abilities of future generations to meet their own needs in consideration of changing climate conditions. Supporting a cohesive community that can take action to balance the environment and economics, with a strong focus on justice and equity.

Q4. What does the Hanover Master Planning process look like?

  • Step 1 is the collection and analysis of current and projected data, informed by public and stakeholder input, to reveal the Town's issues and opportunities.
  • Step 2 is the establishment of a community vision and set of goals by element (e.g., land use, housing, economic development, etc.)
  • Step 3 is the preparation of the policy framework, that is - the recommended actions (either policies, programs, or projects) that will assist the Town in achieving its vision and goals.
  • Step 4 is the development of the implementation plan, which will prioritize and schedule the recommended actions.
  • Lastly, Step 5 involves celebrating the Master Plan process and moving on to implementation by the Town and its stakeholders, tracking and continuous improvement.

Q5. Who's involved?

Anyone who lives, works, and/or plays in Hanover is welcome! If you are interested in what the Town might look like 10 years from now, your vision is desired.

Q6. How can interested parties participate and learn what is going on during the Master Planning process?

Right here on! Visit the Get Involved page to find the Project's next community engagement event—whether it be a public meeting or pop-up event.

Information on specific meetings, including Advisory Committee meetings and public forums, will also be posted through other means, for example, through local newspapers, organizational newsletters, and the Town's website. If you ever want to know what is happening, please contact the Planning and Zoning Office via email, at (603) 640-3214, or visit planners at Town Hall at 41 S Main Street.


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