Storm Surge Speakers Series Features Rick Taintor speaking on Zoning and Resilience

Monday August 23, 2021

Community planner and Newburyport resident Rick Taintor takes the podium for the next Storm Surge Speaker Series program at 7 pm, Tuesday, August 31 at the Newburyport Senior Community Center. In keeping with the overall theme of the series Towards a Resilient Newburyport, Taintor will discuss how local municipal zoning regulations and site development standards will be important tools for our communities as we address the climate crisis.

Climate change is leading planners to broaden the range of issues addressed by zoning. Communities are expanding flood hazard zones in response to rising sea levels, and enhancing landscaping standards to better manage stormwater. Parking requirements are being changed to promote a wider range of choice in transportation mode. New energy policies are being used to encourage a shift away from fossil fuel use. Taintor will provide examples of the ways in which climate-friendly zoning policies are being implemented in communities around New England and across the country.

Taintor has 40 years of experience as a professional community and regional planner, including 18 years as a municipal planner and 22 years as a consultant to municipalities and state and federal agencies. He was the Planning Director for Framingham, MA in the 1980s, and for Portsmouth, NH from 2009 to 2017.

He will be joined by three other professional planners from our area who will answer questions during a post-presentation discussion. Jennifer Hughes, Environmental Program Manager at the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, who was a panelist for our first program in the series, will return. She will bring a regional perspective on how zoning and other regulations can address resilience issues. Nicholas Cracknell, AICP, Principal Planner for Portsmouth, NH, also served as a planner in Amesbury, Newburyport and Georgetown. He will provide his insights on incorporating climate- and resilience-oriented regulations in the context of an historic community. Andrew Port, AICP, will provide his insights into the zoning implications and recommendations of Newburyport’s 2020 Climate Resiliency Plan. Andy has been Newburyport’s Director of Planning & Development since 2010 and is a member of the City’s Resiliency Committee.

Storm Surge will share questions from community members with the panel in advance of the program. Send your questions to

All COVID-19 protocols will be followed. Please register in advance for this free event by visiting

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