Regional Resilience, Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
The 2020 Rockingham Planning Commission Legislative Forum scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m is POSTPONED. We apologize for the late notice; however, it was necessary due to the illness of one of our key presenters. We will notify you of the rescheduled date for the webinar on Regional Resilience, Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic as soon as possible.
Thank you for your interest in our event. We appreciate your time and look forward to holding the event soon.
You are cordially invited to the 2020 Rockingham Planning Commission Legislative Forum being held Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. We are not meeting in person at Unitil Headquarters as in years past. Instead, we will be presenting a Webinar on Regional Resilience, Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
RPC has assembled a panel of experts to discuss resilience and pandemic planning and lessons learned from our region’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Julie LaBranche, RPC Senior Land Use Planner will lead off with a regional overview of community resilience. She will highlight ongoing regional resiliency efforts across a variety of municipal sectors. Theresa Walker, REDC Disaster Response Coordinator will provide examples of local resiliency efforts by municipalities and organizations. Darren Winham, the Town of Exeter’s Economic Development Director, will summarize a multi-faceted response to support “Main Street” business through the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent recovery. The panel presentations will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions and share additional ideas.
Julie has 21 years of planning experience with particular interest in climate change planning which she began while employed by the State of Maryland and as chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program Climate Workgroup (1999-2005). Her work in the region includes assisting communities with: development of Master Plans and policies; zoning ordinances and regulations relating to land use, natural resource protection, climate change, energy, and stormwater management; and integrating land use and transportation planning concepts.
Farms and Local Food Supply – Theresa Walker, REDC Disaster Recovery Coordinator and RPC Consulting Planner
Theresa has worked with the RPC and communities in the region since 1986 on a wide variety of land use and natural resource protection projects. She currently assists the RPC with hazard mitigation planning, water quality and quantity protection planning, and municipal Master Plans. In addition, Theresa works with the Regional Economic Development Center as the Disaster Response Coordinator, assisting municipalities with resiliency and pandemic response planning.
Economics: Main Street Resiliency – Darren Winham, Town of Exeter Economic Development Director
Darren has two decades of economic development experience at the local, state, county and federal levels. Darren is the Economic Development Director for Exeter, NH and owner of DarWin Dynamic Solutions, small economic development consultancy.
A Round 1 Request for Proposals (RFP) administered by NHDES through the State Clean Diesel Grant Program opened on October 1st. NHDES will have approximately $750,000 of funding available through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. This Program provides partial funding for local/state governments and businesses operating in NH to reduce emissions through idle reduction technologies, exhaust controls, and/or replacement of older on- or off-road diesel engines/vehicles/equipment. Round 1 RFP applications will be accepted through November 16 at 4PM. If funding remains, proposals submitted after November 16, but by Tuesday, January 19, 2021 will also be considered.
The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) is seeking a full time Regional Planner to join its tightly knit, award-winning team. The RPC region is a vibrant landscape of rural, suburban and urban communities located in southeast New Hampshire just an hour north of Boston, minutes to the New Hampshire beaches and a short trip to the White Mountains. The RPC enjoys a close relationship with its member communities and federal, state and regional partner organizations in the fields of transportation, land use, environmental planning, public health, housing, and economic development.
The ideal candidate will have a background in urban planning at the municipal or regional level, experience with municipal land use boards, elected officials and municipal staff, and a familiarity with transportation and environmental planning. The Regional Planner will provide services directly to municipalities and land use boards and commissions including application and plan review, ordinance and regulation development, master plan preparation and work with other RPC staff on a variety of land use, transportation, economic development and environmental projects. Applicants must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be comfortable preparing and delivering public presentations. Availability to attend evening meetings is required. The RPC fosters a work environment that encourages continued professional development in an atmosphere that promotes a healthy work/life balance.
Qualifications: A bachelors or master’s degree in Urban or Environmental Planning or a related discipline and at least three to five years of relevant professional work experience, a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation. Attendance at evening meetings is required. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.
To apply, submit a succinct cover letter describing why you should be considered for this position. Include a resume with relevant experience. Submit both documents via email to Annette Pettengill at apettengill@theRPC.org. This position will remain open until filled or the recruitment is cancelled. The RPC is an equal opportunity employer.
The next meeting to the Rockingham Planning Commission/ Metropolitan Planning Organization is Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 7:00PM. This meeting will feature a public hearing on the MPO Public Participation Plan. To accommodate the public hearing we will be using the Webinar feature of Zoom.
The Exeter Household Hazardous Waste Collection event has been scheduled for October 17 from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm. This event is for residents living in Exeter, Stratham, Newfields, East Kingston, Epping, Seabrook and South Hampton ONLY.
Due to COVID-19, there are several changes in place for this year's event:
A user fee of $10 to offset the costs will be collected during online registration (plus Eventbrite fee of $2.24)
Please wear a mask and do not exit your vehicle
When you register, you will first fill out a survey letting us know what items you will be dropping off (this is the same survey that was previous collected on paper at the event), then you will follow a link to the Eventbrite event registration where you will select a drop off window of 1 hour and pay the user fee.
The Rockingham Planning Commission announces the release for public comment of a draft update to the agency’s Public Participation Plan (PPP). This plan sets out the policies, goals and approaches for public participation as part of transportation planning activities conducted by the Rockingham Planning Commission.
A 45-day public comment period for the Draft Public Participation Plan begins Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 and concludes on Friday, October 16th, 2020. A public hearing to consider the updated plan and any received comments is scheduled for Wednesday October 14th, 2020, beginning at 7:00 PMand held virtually given public meeting restrictions due to COVID19. The Planning Commission will meet after the public hearing to vote on adoption of the Public Participation Plan.
The Rockingham Planning Commission is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) serving twenty-seven (27) communities in southeastern New Hampshire. The core role of the MPO is to ensure local input in the planning and programming of federally funded transportation projects. As part of this role, the MPO is required to implement a proactive public participation process that provides complete information, timely public notice, full public access to key decisions, and early and continuing participation of the public in developing plans.
Hard copies of the document are available at the RPC offices and will be sent to interested parties by request. Written comments will also be accepted through close of business on October 16th, 2020 and may be provided through the publicInput.com link above or in email or hard copy addressed to:
The Rockingham Planning Commission is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the region and, in that regard, is responsible for identifying and addressing transportation service and infrastructure needs at the regional level. This includes the development and maintenance of the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) which establishes regional transportation goals and project priorities to meet these goals over the next 20 years. The highest priority projects from the LRTP are submitted to NH DOT as part of the Ten Year Plan (TYP) process and proposals selected for inclusion in that document undergo early preparation work. Once a project in the Ten Year Plan advances to the first four years, it is included in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) where funding is dedicated specifically for design, engineering, and construction.
The Rockingham Planning Commission is updating the list of transportation projects in the Plan and prioritizing projects in to recommend for the next State Ten Year Plan cycle that NHDOT will begin this fall. These updates require community involvement in identifying local transportation issues and needs throughout the region, which are then prioritized and submitted to NHDOT for the Ten Year Plan. Please visit the MPO Project Solicitation and Selection page of the website to review the current process and project lists to ensure that priorities from your community are included.
In that regard, please confirm via email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) or letter from City Council/Selectboard or Community/Agency Administrator the following by September 1, 2020:
That any project in your community that is currently on the Long Range Plan Project List remains a local priority (please provide any updated information available).
If there are multiple projects listed for your community, please establish the relative priority of each.
Full details on the project solicitation and selection process are available on the Project Solicitation and Selection page of the RPC website and will be kept updated as we get further into this process.
Please contact Dave Walker (658-0514 or email@example.com) at RPC if you have any questions about the information in this letter or need assistance with project information and submittals. Given the ongoing pandemic, RPC staff will be available for virtual meetings in July and August with interested Town Administrators and other community staff to discuss the process and potential projects. Given the important role of the legislature in the Ten Year Plan process, it is also recommended that you make your local legislators aware of the transportation needs and priorities of your community.
Public Hearing Notice: Wednesday, June 24 at 5:30 pm. "Due to UNH budget reductions and the conclusion of NHDOT supplemental construction mitigation funding provided by the Little Bay Bridge project, Wildcat Transit will be making service reductions on all routes effective with the planned restart of service for the 2020-21 academic year in late August. Wildcat Transit will reduce service frequencies during both full service (including weekends) and reduced service periods. Visit our website at www.unh.edu/transportation for schedule details." Click this link for more information (PDF).
In this newsletter: Remote Meetings, Highlights from the RPC Annual Meeting, NH Planners Assoc Spring Conference, North Hampton and Little Boar's Head Village District: Coastal Hazards and Adpatation Master Plan Chapters, Hayden and Quinlan Award Nominations Deadline Extended, Amtrak Enters Phase 1 of Restoration of Downeaster Service, Composting: A Way to Reduce Trash in our NH Landfills, and more!
The Rockingham Planning Commission is extending the deadline for nominations for the James Hayden Award and Daniel Quinlan Award. Due to the current challenges we are facing during the health crisis, we recognize that it may have been difficult to coordinate and develop submissions for the awards. In addition, we have decided to push back the awards ceremony to Fall 2020 in the hopes that we could have an in person gathering to present the awards. Therefore, the nominations will NOW be accepted through Saturday June 20, 2020.
Descriptions of these awards are provided below. If you know an individual or organization that has made a valuable contribution to the region in the spirit of these awards, please let us know.
James Hayden Award
The James Hayden Award was established in remembrance of Jim Hayden, RPC Commissioner from Newfields and longtime District Conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service) for Rockingham County for many years. Jim retired from the SCS in the mid 1980s and became RPC Commissioner in 1988. He was instrumental in the development of the County Soil Survey and in efforts to protect the natural resource base of the County and region in the face of extensive development. He contributed to the creation of many of the essential tools that most towns still use today in planning, including wetlands, shoreline and aquifer protection overlay zoning and also promoted the use of soil and resource mapping in community and site planning. Accordingly, the Hayden Award is intended to recognize those in the region who have made significant contributions to their communities or the greater region in natural resource conservation and planning.
Daniel Quinlan Award
The Daniel Quinlan Award was established in memory of Dan Quinlan, long serving RPC Commissioners and twice RPC Chairman from Windham. Dan was exemplary over many years in service both to his Town (as library Trustee, Planning Board member and other roles) and to the regional community as RPC Commissioner and Master Plan Committee, Regional Impacts Committee and Chair for two terms. He worked to ensure the best for the Commission, but also to ensure that the Commission did its best to serve his community and region. His skill was to bring people together to solve problems. The Quinlan Award is given in recognition of those in the region who made significant contributions to sound community and regional planning and have fostered intermunicipal cooperation and collaboration in the region.