The development of Rye has been predominantly residential. There is some commercial development found along Route One, and there are small business and commercial districts dispersed throughout town and there is no traditional commercial village center. Rye’s land is gently sloping and ranges in elevation from sea level to approximately 150 feet in elevation at Breakfast Hill in the southwest corner of the town. The town is traversed from northeast to southwest by a low ridge, and five smaller ridges run from the diagonal ridge eastward to the ocean. In between the ridges are tidal and freshwater marshes, thus the roadway development in the town have followed the ridge lines.
The population of Rye is projected to increase to 5,640 by 2015. This is an increase of about 8% from the 2006 population estimate of 5,214 residents. Though future growth is projected at a similar rate, Rye’s proximity to the Portsmouth may put development pressure on the undeveloped land in town.
Approximately 19% of Rye’s land is in current use tax status. This includes 387 acres of forest and 309 acres farmland. However, this designation does not provide permanent protection and development incentives may decrease these numbers in the future.
As of 2006, the Rye Conservation Commission had met with 21 landowners to consider incorporating their land into the Open Space Plan. The committee has worked to place 70 acres of land in conservation through private conservation easements, and 65 acres through public conservation easements. In addition, the Town of Rye owns over 600 acres that have been purchased or otherwise acquired prior to the creation of the Open Space initiative.
Rye is fortunate to have three state parks within its borders. The largest is Odiorne Point State Park, which stretches across 330 acres of coastal land and water along Route 1A. The Park includes walking trails, boat launch areas, picnic areas, and the Seacoast Science Center.
The Town of Rye has numerous forested areas on both private and public property, including a town forest with trails as well as several wooded areas on conservation lands. Many of Rye’s natural resources such as beaches and woodlands provide recreational opportunities. The town forest and other conservation lands, along with a $5 million bond in 2003, has allowed the Town to add many acres to its conservation holdings. Some of these lands constitute open space for individual leisure. Trails are used for walks and skiing.
to learn more see
The Rye Master Plan