- The Lakes Region Plan ( 2015-2020) is reviewed and rewritten every five years, as they are for all the regional planning commissions in NH. As part of the NH Listens/Granite State Future program that began in 2012, community discussions occurred in all the listening sessions, comments were received in the comment boxes in all 30 member communities, community of place meetings were held as were community of interest meetings. There were 20 or so focus groups, UNH surveys and more, for the purpose of composing this 5 year plan. The LRPC also reviewed the Master Plans in the member communities as well as many other planning documents and data from other sources, before the LRPC Commissioners approved the document. It was not created in a vacuum.
- The school district has engaged consultants to perform an independent study of demographic needs for the K-12 student population. Two public forums have been held to date.
- The Planning Board and School District continue to work on strategic and master plans.
- The BoS have developed a vision for the future.
- The School Board and BoS have a subcommittee working on common interests and are now focusing on joint marketing and a marketing plan for the future.
- The BoS have invited the Laconia Area Land Trust to speak with us about ideas for affordable housing next week.
- We are working with the Planning Board to seek innovative ways to attract families and businesses.
The Lakes Region Plan was completed and filed with the NH OEP and remains a valuable planning resources for all member towns and cities. What is unfortunate is that some may have not fully participated in the Granite State Future process due to concerns that our participation would lead to loss of local control. Also unfortunate is that words like " sustainability" and " regionalization" have been hijacked and forced out of any meaningful conversation.These are not just buzz words or "planner speak." We have got to participate in a regional approach to problem solving and create viable, long lasting solutions,
The news found in all these " conversations"and reports has more positives than negatives. Many more actually.
Lets not be afraid of what the future may hold and get stuck in the false belief that we can do nothing to help create it.