Data collected from the survey will help Hamilton officials develop a new townwide Master Plan, Open Space and Recreation Master Plan and provide guidance for developing new zoning bylaws, Selectman Shawn Farrell said during the start of the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday. The goal is to help keep Hamilton a vibrant community and help manage growth in a fiscally responsible way, along with helping to protect open space and natural resources and identify things that are important to the community, Farrell said.
The survey data will be used by the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Community Preservation Act Committee, among other town boards.
Residents are encouraged to take the survey online, but there are also hard copies available at the Town Clerk’s office at Hamilton Town Hall and at the Council of Aging at 299 Bay Road. The deadline to complete the online survey or return a hard copy is May 17.
It will take about 15 minutes to take the survey and if it is done online, the survey can save your spot if you can’t finish in one sitting and want to return later.
The results of the survey will be posted to the town website and given to the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, Farrell said.
“Your opinions are valuable and important to the planning of Hamilton’s future,” Farrell said.
Farrell said in a Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle article that the last time Hamilton did a similar survey was in 2002 and the town is overdue in finding out about residents’ priorities. The survey in 2002 was done on paper, based on one survey sent to every home. The current survey, since it is online, can potentially survey multiple household members over age 18.
Many of the questions from the 2002 survey will be part of the current survey and others have been updated, Farrell said. For example, residents won’t be asked whether they support forming a Community Preservation Act Committee but instead, it asks about the direction of the committee and its spending decisions, Farrell told the Chronicle.