Home of the Open Space Committee

Pelham, New Hampshire

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The Open Space Committee is a sub-committee of the Conservation Committee.  We are dedicated to preserving Pelham's remaining Open Space.  Many of us remember Pelham when it truly was a rural community.  It was this characteristic that lead us to the decision to spend our lives here.  We want to preserve this character and to assist those who want to keep their land in open space.

We are not 'tree huggers' opposed to technological and economic growth; we understand that people need a place to live.  But we also understand the quality of life that comes with a balanced integration with nature.  We also understand the economics and benefits  of Open Space.

Our town is currently under extreme pressure regarding the development of its remaining Open Space.  Each month more proposed development sites are presented before the town Planning Board.  These are not simply one unit lots within already populated areas, but developments that strain our police and fire departments, our public services, our water supply, and our school system.  In the past 9 years, over 450 new housing units were constructed in Pelham.


More development means higher property taxes for everyone!

Studies have shown that towns with more houses and more commercial development have higher taxes than those with more open space.  By keeping some open land, the tax rate can be kept down.  It currently costs an average of $5458.50 per year to educate a child in Pelham.  If 10 homes are built on 10 acres with 2 children per household, the cost to Pelham residents is $109,1700.00 per year.  If you add services such as road maintenance, fire and police support, the total impact is even greater.


Our neighbors are not standing by idly.  There are 77 other towns in New Hampshire that have established Conservation Funds or have existing projects involving land acquisition for the conservation of Open Space.  These include some of our closest neighbors: Salem, Windam, Londonderry, Derry, Atkinson, Amherst, Hollis, Litchfield, Merrimack, and Nashua.


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Even those who are dedicated to keeping their land as Open Space are facing challenges. The Open Space Committee was established to find ways to preserve the rural characteristic of Pelham through conservation easements, private donations and town sponsored real estate transaction. We are available to help to help private landowners determine what their options are and make educated decisions regarding their land.

This web page is proposed as a vehicle to educate our community regarding the benefits of Open Space.  It is also a medium to promote our initiatives and to alert the community to issues that threaten our way of life.  Currently, the Open Space Committee is working with the Nashua Regional Planning Commission to adopt a regional network of Open Way corridors (there are four priority corridors identified in our community).


The Open Space Committee would like to thank all who supported Article 21 at the March 9, 1999 town election. 

Even though we fell short by approximately 50 votes, the results were still encouraging in that there is a significant number of people who support our mission.  For all those who do support what Article 21 stood for, please speak to your friends and neighbors and help us to educate our community regarding the benefits of open space.  Click here to read some of the postings on the Pelham message board regarding Open Space and Article 21.


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