For the past seven years I have worked closely with Steve on Every Acre Counts: The Newfound Watershed Master Plan, an ~$750,000 project designed to permanently protect the clean water and high quality habitat of the 100-square mile, nine-town Newfound Lake watershed (see more). Steve’s leadership in crafting the project’s vision, consulting on land-use planning and making multiple contributions to our many studies and reports has been invaluable. His knowledge of current regulatory requirements, combined with his passion for and commitment to cutting-edge concepts such as Permaculture and Low-Impact Development, bring a powerful skill set to the challenges of sustainable development. Steve’s ability to hear and address local concerns and issues and to facilitate complex discussions with large public groups and Town boards has earned him the trust and respect of everyone he meets. He is organized, clear on his commitments, prompt with his deliverables, and responsive to changing project requirements. On top of all this, he has a calm and thoughtful demeanor and an easy-going way that comes in handy when his clients are grappling with controversial topics.
After earning a Permaculture Design Certification from Steve Whitman and Josh Trought at D'Acres in 2012, I invited Steve to New Durham to talk to us about integrating permaculture concepts into our municipality. His presentation was clearly presented, dynamic, and sparked interest among many members of our town government. His presentation changed the paradigm in our town that has allowed me as a Planning Board member to carry that vision forward.
In 2013-14, Steve assisted the Alton Planning Board to address Workforce Housing with a Community Planning Grant funded by the NH Housing Finance Authority. Steve guided the community public outreach sessions, did an analysis of Alton’s existing housing stock, preformed an analysis of the Town’s land use regulations, and worked with the Planning Board to craft an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance for Workforce Housing. In very trying and politically difficult circumstances, Steve was able to maintain a professional and calm demeanor. He was very responsive to following up on questions raised during the process from start to finish. Due in large part to his diligent efforts, the community was successful in adopting the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance for Workforce Housing he crafted. Steve was a joy to work with and we would not hesitate to work with him again.