The Planning Department is working with a consulting team to develop a "form-based" zoning ordinance as an alternative to the zoning regulations that currently apply in the City's historic downtown area. The goal of this project is to protect the heritage of the City's built environment by providing appropriate development standards for future infill and redevelopment projects. Compared to conventional zoning, form-based zoning focuses less on specific land uses, and instead emphasizes building placement, scale and design. The project will address issues that affect the form and character of the downtown, including building height, volume, scale, massing and architectural design.
The project is being funded in part by a Community Planning Grant provided by New Hampshire Housing. Work on the project began in February 2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Click on the tabs below for more information and check back often for project updates.
- Public Process
- Project Schedule
- Charrette Meeting Videos
Throughout the Form-Based Zoning planning process there will opportunities for public input and dialogue. In June, the City's consultant team facilitated a five-day public design charrette to produce a community vision plan and a draft form-based zoning ordinance for the downtown. Everyone with an interest in the future development of the downtown was encouraged to participate. For more information, check out the detailed charrette schedule and the list of questions and answers about the charrette.
- Opening Session: Thursday, June 6, 2013, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall
- Interim Pin-Up + Review: Saturday, June 8, 2013, 6 p.m. - 7:30pm at the former Connie Bean Center, 143 Daniel Street
- Open Studio: Friday, June 7 - Monday, June 10, former Connie Bean Center, 143 Daniel Street
- Closing Session: Monday, June 10, 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall
All of these sessions were open to the public, and people were invited to visit and participate as much as you wish and are able to. The Opening and Closing Presentations were broadcast live on Channel 22 and archived recordings of those meetings are available on the City's web site.
The scope of work for the project includes:
- a comprehensive inventory of the existing buildings and streetscapes in the project area;
- a public process including a multi-day design charrette (workshop) in June;
- a proposed form-based zoning ordinance for presentation to the Planning Board and City Council.
The Form-Based Zoning project began in February, 2013 and is expected to continue through the end of the year. Key dates are outlined below.
- May 2, 2013: Project Kick-Off Meeting
- June 6 -10, 2013: Multi-Day Charrette (see the Public Process tab for more information)
- September 2013: Discussion draft of Form-Based Zoning Ordinance (see Documents tab for more information)
- October 2013: Revised draft Ordinance, start of approval and public hearing process
- December 2013: Final adoption of Form-Based Zoning Ordinance
- Form-Based Zoning Presentation to the HDC on 11.13.13
- Character-Based Zoning Amendments
Closing Session June 10, 2013
June 8, 2013
Opening Session June 6, 2013