Survey, Master Planning, and Other Tools

Historical Resource Survey

A priority task for the heritage commission or municipal planning department is the clarification of what the community's historical resources are. This is generally accomplished by undertaking a survey or inventory of historical buildings, structures, and sites. A historical resource survey can aid in understanding the community's historic character and assist in determining which resources take preservation priority and why.  It provides ready access to accurate, usable information so that the municipality can make informed decisions in a timely way.  The historical resource survey also offers valuable guidance for a preservation chapter for the community's master plan.

Some surveys cover only a specific area of a community or a distinctive property type, such as historic barns.

How to conduct a historical resource survey 

Example of Barn Survey: Charlestown, Deerfield, and Francestown

The following is excerpted from Preserving Community Character: Preservation Planning Handbook for New Hampshire, available in our bookstore. Please call 603-224-2281 to purchase.

Master Plans, New Hampshire

Many communities have consciously implemented strategies to protect their downtowns, village centers or rural areas. Some of the most common are described at the end of this page..

In 2006, the NH Preservation Alliance published a handbook, Preserving Community Character: A Preservation Planning Handbook for New Hampshire. This was designed to meet the need for information about the preservation and planning tools and techniques available to municipalities. While often spearheaded by the local heritage or historic district commission, these strategies can be evaluated and implemented by citizen petition or other arms of local government. These tools offer an array of opportunities to protect and preserve the cultural, historical, or even natural resources of the community. Each has a different purpose and effect on the preservation of a community's character. Some can be implemented independently, while others are designed to be used in tandem. In any event, for these strategies and methods to be effective, they require support and commitment from within the community.

New Hampshire Town And City

Planning New Hampshire's Future: The State Development Plan, Regional Master Plans, Local Master Plans, Capital Improvement Plans, and Community Services Master PlanNew Hampshire Town and City, September/October 2015 By Stephen Buckley

Example of Master Plan, Dover, NH

Links To Pages Within Community Planning