DURHAM, N.H. –The University of New Hampshire Master Plan Steering Committee has developed language to limit potential development along Main Street in the recommendations it will make to UNH President Mark Huddleston next fall.
The draft master plan will no longer show any planned development in the area north of Main Street bounded by Mast, Spinney and O’Kane roads and Route 4. The draft also will include language that limits any unanticipated changes in this area to those that sustain and when possible enhance the educational, agricultural and aesthetic value of the land.
The area where the Leavitt Center and West Edge parking lot are currently located would be available for “potential public-private partnerships developed in collaboration with Durham.”
The revisions came after some 600 people who attended two public forums on updates to the master plan expressed objections to the possibility that the university might at some future date lease land currently in use by its agricultural programs for commercial development.
The committee also scheduled additional forums Tuesday, April 24, from 12:40-2 p.m. in the Granite State Room of the Memorial Union Building and an evening forum specifically for town residents at 7 p.m. in the Huddleston Hall ballroom.
The master plan is intended to set guidelines for the use of university lands over the long term in support of its missions of teaching, research and service. Most of the steering committee’s work has focused on academic and co-curricular uses of the campus, such as the siting for a possible center for the performing arts, as well as graduate housing. The Master Plan Steering Committee is advisory to the president, who ultimately will present the plan to the trustees of the University System of New Hampshire.
While the master plan update was originally intended to be completed by June, the final draft will be made available for public comment in the fall before being presented to President Huddleston.