Hanover, NH defines rural character
4/15/05 Plan-link posting by Anne Morris (Hanover Conservation Commission)
"Hello. Good question. In 1998/9 Hanover had exactly the same problem. We have an "urban" small section of town, and the rest is "rural". In the context of developing a revised Master Plan, we wanted to keep certain attributes in the rural area.
A citizen group, with the blessing of the Planning Board, mailed an extensive survey form to all rural landowners (two forms per household - spouses don’t always agree!). We got an excellent rate of response. The principal results were a definition of the elements of rural character: quiet, privacy, dark night sky, woods, wildlife famrs and fields. There was also a strong sense of vulnerability (risk of losing rural character if we don't take action), and a desire for proactive management of growth. This survey has become one of the foundation documents of the new Master Plan, which we are now trying to implement through zoning amendments, and revised subdivision and site plan regulations.
I believe you can see the survey results on the Hanover Web site www.hanovernh.org. Look under "Guiding Growth in Rural Hanover" in the Planning and Zoning option. The printed version has the complete survey form, all raw responses, and the analysis of the responses.
Anne Morris (Hanover Conservation Commission)