A significant element of the report is a breakdown of the results of the commercial zone survey. All property owners and voters were polled, and 20.5% responded. The returned surveys are on file at the town office and may be reviewed during regular hours.
Because, as the report concludes, “no overwhelming number of responses indicated the need for a Commercial Zone in the Town of Halifax, the current members of the commission have decided to not go forward in this matter.” Chris Estep expressed some concern that this leaves the rural residential district as a de facto commercial district. Without specific guidelines for commercial and light industrial development, he noted, major changes can legally be effected anywhere within the residential district. “What does rural residential mean?” Estep asked.
“Let’s be realistic here,” responded Norman Fajans. “How many people would want to bring an industry to Halifax? You can’t get a tractor-trailer on a lot of these roads.” Estep pointed out that the economy will not always be in the doldrums and that the town will need guidelines for future development.
As the report states, the commission will in fact be considering “recommendations to include added restrictions to our existing zoning.” Survey results showed a modest preference for such restrictions.
Alboum also reported to the board on a Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Planning Process meeting he attended. The meeting was conducted by Dinah Reed, of the Windham Regional Commission, at the Halifax town office and was attended by various town officials. Participants discussed how to handle such events as flash floods, ice storms, fires, and high wind damage.
Finally, board members resumed work on the new town plan. They reviewed the changes proposed to date and approved them with only minor modifications.