The Atlantic Heights Neighborhood Association has existed for almost 20 years. It was formed to promote the interests of the residents in the Heights. For years there were monthly meetings so tenants and owners could voice their concerns and get information about city initiatives that affected neighbors. A chairperson or co-chairs ran the meetings with the help of a secretary and treasurer.
If you’ve moved in since then, you may never have seen the pot holed streets, neglected parks and dilapidated houses that gave the Heights a mixed reputation city-wide.
Lots has been accomplished as a result of the efforts of the association. All the streets but one have been redesigned and the last one, Ranger Way is scheduled for this year. All the parks have been redesigned as well. The park under the bridge and the dog park are scheduled to be redesigned once the construction on the sound barriers is complete. The neighborhood association worked hard to get the neighborhood listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
Run down rentals owned by trusts were freed up for sale to homeowners due to efforts of the neighborhood association.
A good working relationship with the city exists. Atlantic Heights has a reputation for being an active community that stands up for what the neighborhood needs. We are still working on getting emergency ingress and egress from the neighborhood and advocating to have the truck traffic rerouted off our residential streets. The question of creating a neighborhood conservation overlay versus accepting city neighborhood zoning still is up for discussion.
Other things have changed in AH that suggest the way the neighborhood association operates needs to change as well. Technology has made it possible for neighbors to stay current on AH events by following the listserv, the facebbook page and the website. People are busy and there are fewer reasons to come to meetings. The co-chairs are worn out and there are no other candidates for the positions.The small group of neighbors who still come to meetings have come up with a proposed model for the organization. This is a draft and open to your suggestions. The new plan keeps the secreatary and treasurer but instead of co-chairs, relies on volunteers to oversee specific tasks like public works, community outreach, historical and architectural concerns and website maintenance. By dividing the responsibilities into several different roles, we will create more managable leadership positions and encourage participation in areas of individual interests.
You have benefited from the efforts of the association. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ AND COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED CHANGES. THINK ABOUT WHAT PART YOU CAN PLAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION.
ATLANTIC HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
To promote, maintain and share the Atlantic Heights Community with residents and the Portsmouth Community.
DESCRIPTION OF DEPARTMENT MANAGER DUTIES:
RECORDING SECRETARY: Responsible to provide a written report to the Website Manager for posting on the Atlantic Heights website. The Secretary also ensures that the monthly reports from Managers have been incorporated in the report. Each manager is responsible to provide the Secretary with a current monthly report on the last day of each month. Residents can also provide information on events or concerns, etc to the Secretary for incorporation into the report for the Website.
TREASURER: Assumes responsibility for all Association financial matters. Keeps the books current. The Treasurer contacts the Community Events Manager to provide information on requests for money and to acquire permission to disperse funds. Reimburses expenditures with proper documentation and receipts. Receives all monies and deposits these funds into the Association account. Submits a monthly report to the Website Manager for posting on the AH Website.
COMMUNITY EVENTS MANAGER: Oversees AH community events such as the Garden Tour, Portsmouth Night Out and decorating for Christmas and other events. Residents may suggest events to the Manager which they want to sponsor. Manager provides a monthly report to the Secretary for posting on the AH website. All requests for proposed expenditures must be approved by the Manager. If approved, contacts the Treasurer for money and posts this transaction on the Website in the monthly report.
HISTORICAL PRESERVATION AND ZONING MANAGER: Monitors proposed zoning ordinances which may impact the architectural integrity of the neighborhood, organizes information and activities to engage residents in discussions about maintaining the historic integrity of the neighborhood, submits a quarterly report and timely updates to the secretary for posting on the Website.
PUBLIC WORKS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Maintains contact with the City of Portsmouth staff for new projects that the AH would like addressed and supervises ongoing projects to fruition. Provides a monthly report to the Secretary for posting on the AH website.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS: Foster and maintain communication within the AH community. To recognize neighbors who are in need and assist them. Recognize neighborhood issues that need to be addressed. Residents may bring their neighborhood concerns to the Manager. Promote and maintain contacts with Laurel Court, Condos on Ranger Way, and Atlantic Pointe to ensure relationships with them are promoted and maintained. Responsible to provide a monthly report to the Secretary for posting on the AH website.
ATLANTIC HEIGHTS WEBSITE:
Develops and maintains the Atlantic Heights Website. Posts the end of the month report from the Secretary on the Website. Posts any pertinent information that would benefit the AH residents. Posts any special meetings that may be called. Responsible to provide a monthly report to the Secretary for posting on the Website.
MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES: Each Manager is responsible to maintain contact with the City of Portsmouth staff when the city is involved or when dissemination of information is required. Pertinent information will be included in their monthly report to the Secretary. The monthly reports will be provided to the Secretary the last day of each month. Responsible to contact a Department when that Manager is affected by one of their projects.
SPECIAL MEETINGS: If a Manager determines that special communication should be conveyed to AH residents on what is occurring in their department, the Website Manager should be contacted. The date and agenda of the Special Meeting should be posted on the AH Website and posted on the AH billboard which is placed in the Park at the entrance of the Atlantic Heights.
Stephanie Krenn welcomed those in attendance.
The secretary’s report was previously posted on the AH website.
The treasury has $1187.17 in the general account and $1060.00 for the conservation overlay project.
On Wednesday, January 23, there will be an evening meeting at City Hall for public input regarding the Ranger Way improvements. The project manager will be Adam Canon. So far, the design aspect of the project has been funded.
The park under the bridge, known as Maynard Park, was discussed. While there is no time line as to its completion, some funds will be available from the state for drainage and other damage that has occurred while it has been used as a lay down area during the bridge work.
The sound barrier is expected to be completed in late spring or early summer.
Lynn Langley, who represents Atlantic Heights on the city Community Development Block Grant committee, asked attendees for suggestions for neighborhood improvements that could be submitted for potential funding. Lamp posts topped the list.
There was no further progress to report about diverting heavy trucks or the neighborhood emergency route plan.
Because the function of the AHANA has changed over the years, there was a lengthy discussion about changing the model on which the current association is based which would require rewriting the bylaws. Currently, there are two neighborhood co-chairs, a secretary, and a treasurer. It was suggested that a steering committee model might be an effective replacement. Further discussions will be taking place at future meetings.
The next association meeting will be on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 6:30.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room A, the City and CLD Consulting Engineers, Inc. will hold a neighborhood meeting to discuss the design and engineering portion of the Ranger Way Streetscape Improvements Project. The project will improve streetscape aesthetics, pedestrian safety and parking along Ranger Way in the Atlantic Heights Neighborhood. The intent of the meeting is to share a project overview and timetable, discuss existing conditions and project issues and answer questions on the project. For more information, please contact Adam Cannon at 610-7250 or email@example.com.
October 2, 2012 AHNA Meeting Updates
Ranger Way: This project will begin in spring of next year.
Trucks diverted: No action taken on recommendations yet.
Emergency road: No news to update.
Recreation park: No news to update.
Market Street project: Market Street is currently being widened between the two sets of lights by the bridge. There will be two lanes going into Maine. The project will also address drainage. Synchronizing the three sets of lights will occur at the end of the project via an underground conduit. Completion of this project is scheduled for November, with a top coat applied to the pavement in the spring.
Sound barrier: No news to update.
Schedule: No updates.
Saturday, July 14th from 9:30am to-1:00pm is the Thirteenth Annual Tour of the Backyards and Gardens of Atlantic Heights , a historic neighborhood of modest brick homes on the banks of the Piscataqua. The neighborhood, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, was built in 1919 as a self-contained community to house workers for the Atlantic Heights Ship Yard. The site of the ship yard is now where the I-95 Bridge connects New Hampshire and Maine but the neighborhood is much the same as it was in 1919. You can walk to every one of the dozen or more pocket gardens on the tour.
The tour is intended to promote a sense of community among neighbors and to showcase the way gardening has thrived as neighbors share plants and work together to beautify the public spaces in Atlantic Heights.
Look for the bright blue stakes in gardens which mark plants that have been given by one Atlantic Heights neighbor to another. The garden club has an annual plant and seed give away to encourage new gardeners so you will see some of the same varieties in several locations.
Check out the community vegetable gardens, the adopt-a-spots maintained by the garden club and the garden boxes in Big Rock Park where any neighbor can snip herbs or cut flowers for their own tables.
Resourceful gardeners have created highly individual gardens ranging from traditional cottage borders, gardens with impressive stone work or water features, imaginative gardens with artwork adding to the landscape and thriving raised beds of well-tended vegetables planted by people committed to eating locally.
These are handmade gardens which are created and tended by busy people who work hard to cultivate their gardens and the sense of community that makes Atlantic Heights unique.
Atlantic Heights can be reached by taking a left at exit 7 off I-95 and taking a right at the second traffic light onto Kearsarge Way. Proceed down Kearsarge Way to Big Rock Park on the left where maps listing the open gardens will be available. There will be an artisan fair in the park featuring the work of Atlantic Heights’ crafters and there will also be an opportunity to advance order a copy of the book Atlantic Heights: A World War 1 Shipbuilders Community.
A donation is requested so that the garden club can continue its community projects. The tour will be held rain or shine.
At the 1/9/2011 AHANA meeting, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation briefed the neighborhood on the status of a project to install sound barriers on the approach span of the I-95 bridge. The barrier will be 12 feet high and can cut down the sound impact on the neighborhood by as much as 8 decibels (just shy of 1/2 of the noise).
Renderings are provided below: