MANCHESTER - Open flags will not be allowed to fly in Manchester.

A survey was posted to the town website this fall asking residents if they would like open flags to be flown in town. When the survey closed, there were 138 respondents, with 78 percent or 107 voting yes to open flags and 31 - 22 percent of respondents - saying no. Even though the survey indicated public opinion was in favor of open flags, the town's planning commission decided allowing the open flags would change the look of the town.

The board also decided that only three flags can be flown at a time and they can be no larger than 2 feet by 3 feet. Open flags will not be permitted. Examples of permitted flags include the American flag, the Vermont state flag or an orgnization's flag. However, If an individual or organization would like to fly a larger flag, an appeal can be requested. As a result of the decision, the sign ordinance will stay as written, with two signs of 2 feet by 2 feet allowed. If an additional sign is needed, an appeal can be filed with the development review board.

Outdoor retail space and porches was also a topic of discussion. A new definition regarding covered porches and walkways on buildings is being drafted. This is to help encourage the building of porches to add more character to the buildings. Bill Drunsic, the chairman of the planning commission, said that the areas can be used as covered walkways and for occasional and seasonal retail use.


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Allison Hopkins, the newly appointed zoning administrator and planning director, said the definition of porches and outside spaces will be changed to define the measurement of these spaces from the outside wall faces, as well as describe them as open. This definition will also include language referring specifically to outdoor seating and a prohibition of ongoing displays of outdoor goods.