Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) is seeking an intern to assist with transportation and water resource planning projects in communities within the RPC region in southeastern New Hampshire. The intern’s primary roles will be assisting staff with fieldwork inventories and data analysis for RPC’s Road Surface Management System (RSMS) and Regional Stream Crossing Assessment (RSCA) projects. Other duties will include assisting with GIS projects and other projects as needed. To the extent possible, assigned projects will be related to an intern’s areas of interest. For more details please read the full internship description.
The compensation rate for this position is up to $14.00 per hour for up to 24 hours per week. Ideal candidates would be available to start in mid-May and work through at least the end of August. For questions or to apply, please submit a resume and three references by Friday, April 19, 2019 to Christian Matthews at email@example.com.
This position will remain open until filled or the recruitment is cancelled. The RPC is an equal opportunity employer.
New Hampshire’s nine regional planning commissions (RPCs) focus on developing and implementing innovative planning strategies such as regional master plans, environmental plans, data collection and analysis, and other activities. Established by state law (RSA 36:45-58), RPCs are federally designated entities also responsible for providing regional transportation planning services such as developing and updating transportation plans and organizing transportation outreach, projects, and grant submissions. We also serve and advise communities not only by providing requested technical assistance, but also by helping to address various regional planning issues raised by our member communities each year.
In order for us to guide and support planning efforts, we rely heavily on spatial and temporal information that is robust, nuanced, and constantly updated, and on the problem-solving skills to use that information in making decisions. This reliance has made geographic information systems (GIS) an invaluable tool for all of us who support these efforts. RPCs extensively use GIS to develop and deliver effective projects, and we use spatial thinking to transform data into actionable insights and solutions.
Efforts by the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) to help member communities plan for parks and playgrounds provide a good example of how RPCs are integrating GIS technology. NRPC mapped all the parks and playgrounds in the communities and integrated data to perform an in-depth analysis of locations, materials, equipment, and maintenance and to develop case studies of successful playgrounds. NRPC also developed different decision-support tools, including an infographic that helps identifying access to parks and playgrounds in the region and a story map for the general public that shows the location and access points of all recreation areas supplemented by photographs and descriptions.
The Strafford Regional Planning Commission was recently awarded funds for a similar project in which GIS will be used to analyze access to recreation in the Strafford region. Knowing where there is and is not access will help municipal planners and decision makers prioritize funding for projects that will increase the ability of families to be active. We also aim in this project to increase awareness about obesity in children up to age 5 in the Strafford region and to build capacity for local policies and practices to promote recreation.
GIS is particularly useful for developing thematic maps to help determine the suitability of areas for conservation, recreation, or development. The Rockingham Planning Commission has been working with several communities on a build-out analysis that integrates GIS to determine current conditions, land use regulations, and growth trends and constraints to create a variety of growth scenarios. Build-out analysis is a planning tool best used for a large study area, such as a community, to help determine inappropriate development, to project maximum residential and commercial development, and to explore the impact of development on the local tax base, traffic, school enrollment, natural and historic resources, and quality of life.
The Rockingham Planning Commission build-out analysis uses spatial data related to such factors as conservation lands, water bodies, wetlands, and steep slopes, and it integrates growth factors that add sensitivity to the analysis. Future build-out scenarios can help community decision makers assess the potential long-term impacts of current land use regulations. For example, if a community were projected to grow by 150 percent in the next 25 years, the number of school-aged children might exceed the capacity of the elementary school or the phosphorus run-off from new homes and yards could affect impaired waterbodies nearby.
Rapid development and growth are among the issues local transportation planners are ready to evaluate with the help of GIS. The Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and other RPCs have worked with municipalities to tackle one of these issues by implementing bike-sharing systems. The main goal of these efforts is to increase the options for people to travel by bike, but since different communities have different needs, the programs differ somewhat from one community to the next. This work requires planning, organization, and a set of geospatial tools to give planners and designers a snapshot of current programs, track their ridership, and monitor ever-evolving mobility trends. GIS technology can help officials and decision makers prepare local transportation development scenario options for the future or for other communities that want to join the effort. To learn more, see “Bike Share in New Hampshire: Pedal-Powered Progress is Afoot” in the January/February 2019 issue of New Hampshire Town and City (https://www.nhmunicipal.org/TownAndCity/Article/821).
RPCs are constantly helping their communities?integrate and manipulate geospatial data, develop modeling tools, and generate materials such as maps that identify priority action areas, assess natural resource conditions, monitor infrastructure, help prioritize investments, and inform decision makers and the public. Some of the challenges we face are the availability, accuracy, and quality of geospatial data, but an even more challenging task is the integration of data analyses from multiple sources into one coherent planning process. Technological advancements such as cloud technology, real-time data, the Internet of Things, 3D GIS, mobile GIS, and UAVs are expected to grow, and they are also becoming key to smart planning.
The only way for the state’s RPCs to keep up with the ongoing changes in New Hampshire’s communities is to increase our GIS capabilities and develop strategies for better data generation, management and accessibility. One of our long-term goals is to make geospatial data a systematic and preferred source of information for all phases of urban, economic, transportation, and sustainable?development projects. But we cannot do this without the active participation and close collaboration of our local organizations and communities, and without raising awareness about the significant potential geospatial information has for planning.
The RPCs will continue using GIS and related visualization techniques to support communities in transferring and applying knowledge in ways that work best for them. We can help provide access to data, maps, and applications, and we can help cities and towns implement GIS projects. Such collaborations involving GIS mean we all have?an asset?in spatial modeling, decision making, and monitoring that can improve our decisions to take us toward more sustainable and smart communities.
By By Marcia Moreno-Baez, Rachel Dewey, Robert Pruyne, Sara Siskavich, and Zachary Swick
Marcia Moreno-Baez (firstname.lastname@example.org) GIS Planner, and Rachel Dewey, Data Analyst, (email@example.com) are with Strafford Regional Planning Commission and can be reached at 603.994.3500; Robert Pruyne (firstname.lastname@example.org), GIS Manager, is with the Rockingham Planning Commission and can be reached at 603.658.0520; Sara Siskavich, Assistant Director-GIS/IT Program (email@example.com) can be reached at 424.2240 x21; and Zachary Swick (firstname.lastname@example.org), is GIS Analyst with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and can be reach at 603.669.4664.
Rockingham Planning Commission is forming an electricity supply aggregation for municipal, school, and county facilities in our region. The goal of the Electricity Supply Aggregation is to purchase electricity as a group from a competitive supplier at a lower rate than each member could receive on its own. By purchasing as an aggregation, municipalities and school districts can offer electricity suppliers a larger demand than if they each tried to purchase electricity individually. The larger demand, in turn, allows suppliers to offer a better rate to the aggregation than it could to individual members. The aggregation also makes it possible for members to share the costs of documenting load data, organizing a RPF process, selecting a supplier, conducting negotiations, and managing energy contracts.
The first step is to gauge the level of interest among our member municipalities. While we do not need a firm commitment at this point, if you or your municipality are interested in participating please respond to Tim Roache, RPC Executive Director (email@example.com) to to the following questions by Friday, March 8.
Who is the default electricity supplier for your municipal/school buildings? (ex. Eversource, Unitil, NH Electric Coop)
Are any of your municipal/school electricity accounts currently with a competitive supplier?
If yes, when does your current contract end?
Do you have a current list of the electricity account numbers servicing your municipal/school buildings?
Do you currently track electricity usage for your municipal/school buildings?
Do you have any renewable energy projects planned for the next 2 years that would significantly reduce the amount of electricity you purchase from the grid?
We will hold our first informational meeting on Monday, March 18 at 10:00 AMat the Rockingham Planning Commission office, 156 Water Street, Exeter, NH (directions). We hope you can join us.
The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) is seeking a dynamic professional to provide administrative support and manage its social media and public outreach activities. RPC provides a variety of land use, transportation, economic development and environmental planning services to 27 communities in southeast New Hampshire. This position is responsible for administrative office support, coordinating public meetings and events; managing social media; preparing newsletters; updating website content and managing relations with RPC commissioners and stakeholders. The ideal candidate for this position has an Associates degree or two years of experience. Experience with Adobe Creative Suite, website management and database skills are desirable.
This position is up to 20 hours per week which will include some evening meetings. The commission fosters a work environment that encourages continued professional development in an atmosphere that promotes a healthy work/life balance. To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to Annette Pettengill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This position will remain open until filled or the recruitment is cancelled. The RPC is an equal opportunity employer.
The Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) has published the 2018 editions of The Planning Board in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials and The Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials. The handbooks are designed to serve as an introduction to the organization, powers, duties and procedures of planning boards and zoning boards of adjustment in New Hampshire. They are great resources to acquaint board members and other interested persons with the basic responsibilities of the planning and zoning board and to suggest procedures by which the work of the board can be carried out in a fair and effective manner. Both handbooks contain new legislation and amendments enacted during the 2018 Legislative Session. Hard copies can be ordered here.
The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC), with support from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), seeks responses to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from professional firms and other entities to work with RPC, NHDES, and project partners to develop a watershed management plan for Country Pond. To learn more about the project, RFQ process, contact information, and additional project information please download the RFQ here: Country Pond RFQ Final Feb 11
At the January 9, 2019, Rockingham Planning Commission meeting, our special guest Mike Dufor, Executive Director of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, provided an informative presentation on the Rising Costs of Recycling. Chances are your community is feeling the pressure of the changing recycling markets and is being forced to make tough decisions about your recycling programs. This presentation provides a clear explanation of why the recycling markets have changed and what we might do at the local and regional level to adapt to those changes. RPC hopes this presentation is just the start of a larger regional conversation and the region can work together to find innovative solutions to this problem.
If you missed this meeting and presentation you can see it on the RPC website here. Feel free to share this link with your local social media networks and neighbors. If your community has local cable access share this link to download the video for use by local cable channels.
Special thanks to the Town of Raymond and Raymond Commissioner Christina McCarthy for providing the video capability.
2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program and 2045 Plan
Notice of Comment Period and Public Hearing for the 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (Plan)
The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) announces its intent to adopt two documents:
The 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This document is developed by RPC, regional transit agencies, and NH Department of Transportation and includes a prioritized list of transportation projects to be implemented over the next four years
The Amended 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (Plan). The Plan is a document developed by the RPC that includes a set of transportation projects that can reasonably be expected to be constructed within the region over the next 20+ years.
A 30-day public comment period for the TIP and Plan documents begins Monday, January 14th, 2019 and concludes on Tuesday February 12th, 2019. A public hearing to solicit public comment is scheduled for Wednesday, February 13th, 2019, at the Kingston Community Library in Kingston, New Hampshire (2 Library Lane) beginning at 7:00 PM. The Planning Commission will meet after the public hearing to adopt the documents.
Consistent with the RPC’s Public Participation Process, this notice and comment period is also intended to meet FTA requirements for public comment on the programs of transit projects put forward by NHDOT, UNH and the COAST and CART transit systems.
Copies of the TIP and Plan, will be available the offices of the Rockingham Planning Commission offices, on the RPC website at http://www.rpc-nh.org, and will be sent to interested parties by request. Comments on the draft TIP and Plan can be submitted via the MPO’s public involvement site located at https://www.publicinput.com/3706. Alternatively, mailed and e-mailed comments will also be accepted through February 12th, 2019 until 4:00 PM and may be addressed to: