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Introduction To The Project
Plan NH selects CHICHESTER for Community Design Charrette
October 17-18, 2014

Who is Plan NH?

Plan NH is a 25-year-old non-profit who raises awareness of the impact of what we build, where we build and how on the health and vitality of our communities.  Plan NH’s membership is made up of planners, designers and developers who want that impact to be positive.

What is a charrette?

A charrette is a brainstorming session – for Plan NH, it is around the design of a downtown or neighborhood.  A team of about a dozen volunteers from the membership come together to look at the area and, based on what they see and hear in the community, develop recommendations for safety, walkability, economic development, overall improvement – or whatever the town is looking for.

Plan NH has conducted over 50 charrettes since 1996 all throughout the state.  (Chichester will be #58). (To see more about this program and where they have been, check out and click on charrettes.)

The Historical Society and the Heritage Commission, with the support of the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board, applied to Plan NH for a charrette to address the town’s center –  the historic part of Main Street – how can this be a true town center once again?

What’s going to happen here?

Late morning on Friday, October 17, the Plan NH team (volunteers from the planning, design and development professions) will gather at the Chichester Grange Hall, and meet town leaders.  They will go on a tour of the target area, and look at it and its challenges, as well as its role in the rest of the town.  Later, the team will meet with Chichester citizens in two (one in afternoon, one in evening) listening sessions, with a community pot luck supper in between.

Through a series of questions, the team will learn about Chichester – your social, economic, environmental and governance sectors, what your vision is for each, and what you see (or would like to see) happen with your town center to support these visions.  They will also explore how this all fits into the overall vision of the town’s Master Plan.  YOUR voice and thoughts and ideas are critical to the success of this.  This is for EVERYONE, not just a few.  YOUR participation and contributions to the conversations are essential.

On Saturday, from what the team learns and discovers, recommendations will be developed for achieving what you want in your future for a town center for Chichester.  They will share their findings at a presentation on Saturday afternoon which will be open to everyone.  (A printed report will be prepared and available within a few weeks following.)

Will this cost me anything as a taxpayer?

No tax money will be used.  The Chichester Historical Society and Heritage Commission are raising the $5000 donation to Plan NH  from private sources, and are seeking additional contributions of time, meals and other items to help the process run smoothly.  (The donation is $5000, but the estimated volunteer time of the professionals will exceed $40,000.)

How can I help?

The Historical Society and Heritage Commissions are seeking 50 people to each donate $100 – or any affordable amount.  The donation is tax deductible.  Pledge forms are available from the Historical Society and Heritage Commission.   Checks may be made out to the Chichester Heritage Commission and will be deposited into the non-lapsing fund of the Heritage Commission.

If you cannot give money, we also need food for the team’s Saturday breakfast, for Friday and Saturday lunches, and an all-community pot luck supper on Friday.  In addition, we are looking for donations of bottled water and snacks for the team members throughout the two days.  

Some team members may be traveling a distance for this, so we are looking for 6 – 10 guest rooms (room only – no meals necessary!) in private homes.

We could also use the talents of a videographer and/or photographer throughout the event.

More information, updates and schedules will appear in the Valley Sun in September.  You may also check the Heritage Commission or Historical Society web pages.  

To speak to a live person about this, contact

•     Bernie Reinhardt, Historical Society President, at 736-7074, OR
•     Lucille Noel, Heritage Commission at 798-5709, OR
•     Members of the local Planning Team, Historical Society or Heritage Commission.

This is for all of us, a chance to help shape the future of our town’s center.
Please attend a listening session on Friday and share your ideas.
And please come to the pot luck supper Friday evening
to talk further about these ideas with your friends and neighbors.
We hope you attend the presentation on Saturday afternoon, and then start to think about
what YOU can do to help move the recommendations forward.

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