Many factors contribute to the increasing development pressures in Hanover: a strong economy, the presence of Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the rapidly changing school situations in Vermont and New Hampshire, and the nation-wide attraction of a non-urban quality of life. The rural parts of Hanover are experiencing dramatic changes in development, extending ever-further from the center of town.
The pace of development has resulted in noticable changes to Hanover's landscape that concern many residents. Local scenic quality, which is highly valued by most people, has become increasingly vulnerable to compromise under these circumstances.
To address these concerns, the Select Board appointed a Scenic Locales Committee in September 1997. Its scope of work was as follows:
to review the Master Plan to establish criteria for designating specific areas in Hanover as "scenic locales"...to develop specific criteria and attach specific weights to these criteria, which should result in a prioritized ranking system
once complete, to inventory specific sites for consideration. Community input should be sought in developing a comprehensive list of sites
to rank each site based on the criteria developed
to establish guidelines for town utilization in considering acquisition, negotiating conservation easements, etc. for protecting these scenic locales
to identify existing or potential new funding sources which could be developed and/or utilized to acquire prioritized locales as they become available