Publication Date

5-2012

Committee Members

Elisabeth Hamin - Chair, Peter Kumble - Member

Abstract

This master's project was created for the Town of Whitingham, Vermont for the purpose of guiding town planning strategies with regard to open space and natural resources. It responds to Whitingham's draft town plan created in 2010 with the assistance of the Windham Regional Commission and was originally presented to the town planning Commission in May of 2010.

Whitingham is a rural community of 1,300 residents located near the Massachusetts border. Although Whitingham's population has grown slowly over the last twenty years, it has seen a significant increase in subdivision and housing construction, particularly vacation homes. Loss of the town's rural character and changes to its open space and natural resources due to development pressures were described by town residents as one of the most pressing concerns in Whitingham's 2010 draft town plan.

This project describes the local and regional setting of Whitingham, Vermont and examines the challenges and opportunities the town must work with in order to create and implement successful long term open space and natural resources planning. In particular, this project was designed to simplify and make palatable what could otherwise seem to be a complex and daunting planning and implementation strategy. It suggests a variety of low-budget and easy to implement options aimed at the long term conservation of the town's rural character, natural resources, and open space resources.