Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Hampstead Does It

Hampstead has wide sidewalks, narrow streets, unique lamp posts, and unique use arrangements. The narrow streets, wide sidewalks, and unique lamp posts all deal with how the developer wants to structure control of those areas. Typically, rights-of-way are deicated to the city in order to forego maintenance costs and liability. However, one must also give up control of how that area is used to the city. Hampstead dedicated all the streets, sidewalks, lamps, and trees to the city except the sidewalks, trees, and lamp posts at the entrance and the cobblestone street area also near the entrance. Hampstead wanted to maintain closer control of the look and feel of the sidewalk areas near the entrance because that is the first impression visitors get when they come to Hampstead, thus only the street and associated street parking were dedicated to the city there. Also, the small cobblestone street near the entrance was not dedicated because Hampstead wanted the ability to freely close it off without a permit for events such as farmers' markets. Such closings require permits if the street is dedicated.

Overall the residences and businesses are governed by the Hampstead Residential Association and Hampstead Commercial Association respectively. There is an operating agreement between the two to ensure that they work together on certain issues. These agreements are where restrictions are implemented to control how residents and business owners use their property be it enforcing pet regulations such as leashes or music regulations at bars such as when and how loud the music may be played.

Hampstead is a great example of how a complicated list of issues can be controlled in a clear and efficient manner to ensure that uses normally in conflict can mesh comfortably into a single community development.

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