Portsmouth’s Last Chance

At the March 11th Portsmouth Town Council meeting, a discussion and vote was on the agenda regarding the by-laws for the new West Side Development Advisory Committee. This item was delayed, which gave me some time to look into this proposal.

This committee will guide and provide input to the Town Council concerning one of the last remaining undeveloped areas in Portsmouth. The area is not pristine, undisturbed open space but is instead being remediated by the Navy. The remediated land can be used as open space, hiking and bike trails or. . . it can be developed for industrial use, business or housing.

What would you like to see? Get involved. I have submitted an application for the West Side Development Advisory Committee and you can too. This is a last opportunity for more trails, shoreline access and open space. I know there are many dedicated people who would like to get involved; some have degrees, life experiences or a love for Portsmouth that would guide and provide input. The decisions made will shape what the Town will look like in the future and will determine whether the area will have a rural or industrial character.

This committee is similar to the Comprehensive Plan and Charter Review Committees, both of which determine what it will like to live in Portsmouth in twenty years. It should be noted that the present proposal is to limit the committee to seven members, which would require that four members be present to make a quorum. That would mean that three positive votes could make a decision as to the direction of our Town. I think that if there is an interest in this important committee, the membership should be expanded. I also believe that the Town
should display a map of this area as well as preliminary proposals in the Town Hall so the public can be aware and informed. David Reise is a member of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, Conservation Commission, Agricultural Committee, Charter Review and Tank Farm Restoration Advisory Board.

Portsmouth's Last Chance