Manchester commission seeks public input on zoning

This article by Cherise Madigan originally appeared Dec. 13 in the Manchester Journal.

MANCHESTER — How do you hope Manchester will look and operate in the future?

For the first time since zoning was adopted in 1970, Manchester’s Planning Commission hopes to institute a new zoning ordinance that will result in changes to every district.

Their goal: to increase density in downtown Manchester while preserving the rural character of outlying lands.

A draft of the ordinance was presented to the community in May, formulated in conjunction with consultant Brandy Saxon of PlaceSence. Since May, the Planning Commission has held public meetings twice a month to finalize the ordinance and hear feedback from citizens.

Now, the commission is nearing the end of that “painstaking” process according to Zoning Administrator Janet Hurley. A public hearing will be held in January, she said, to incorporate community feedback before presenting the ordinance to Manchester’s Selectboard, which will then have between 15 and 120 days to adopt or reject the proposed ordinance.

Before that happens, Hurley says, the commission hopes to hear as much public input as possible.

“If people have feelings about what Manchester should look like, or what’s important for the economic well being of Manchester, this is pretty critical stuff,” she said. “Manchester adopted zoning in 1970, and it hasn’t changed much since then. In the interim, we’ve seen a lot of subdivision in the outer areas. If that’s allowed to continue I think we would lose the character of Manchester that draws people here.”

Read full story at the Manchester Journal.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/redjar