FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Q: Why is the City updating its land use regulations?

    A: The intent of the project is to update the City’s land use regulations to become easier to navigate and to more closely align with Keene’s Master Plan Goals of prioritizing smart redevelopment while protecting the distinctive character of this community. It has been over 45 years since a comprehensive update of these regulations has been undertaken. Although changes have been made since this time, nearly a half-century of piecemeal amendments has led to layers of regulations that can be difficult and confusing to understand and can add time and expense to the permitting process.

     

    This need to update these regulations was identified as the priority implementation strategy in the 2010 Master Plan as well as an important economic development goal in the 2017 Keene Economic Development Action Plan.

     

    This update will provide Keene with a modern set of tools to responsibly build for the future. It will create a more user-friendly experience, reduce confusion and encourage new construction and redevelopment. In addition, the revised regulations will clarify the process of applying for a permit or submitting a subdivision application, for example.

  • Q: How will the new land use regulations shape the future of Keene?

    A: How the City of Keene looks and feels, now and into the future, is largely determined by our Code of Ordinances and land use regulations. These regulations and standards govern a broad range of activities including permissible land uses, building densities, aesthetics, setbacks, street widths, parking requirements, natural resource protection, etc. They are a critical tool for guiding development in a manner consistent with our community vision and to encourage economic development and job opportunity.

     

    Updating the City’s zoning regulations will help Keene meet the needs of an evolving, 21st century population, helping to ensure continued sustainability and economic development well into the future.

  • Q: Who’s been charged with updating the land use regulations?

    A: The Community Development Department has taken the lead on managing this update for the City and is working in partnership with staff from other City Departments throughout the process. City staff will regularly provide updates to the City’s land use boards and committees.

  • Q: Will it cost me more money to apply for a permit?

    A: The City does not plan to increase the fee for permits through this project.

  • Q: How will the city be seeking/incorporating public input throughout the process?

    A: The City will seek input and feedback from the public through numerous public meetings and informal surveys to ensure transparency and collaboration throughout the process. A schedule of opportunities to be involved or share feedback on this project is available via the "Meetings & Events" link at the top of this page.

  • Q: How long will it take the City to update the regulations??

    A: The City is working with a land use planning and design consultant throughout 2018 to develop a set of revised land use regulations. It is anticipated that a draft set of regulations will be available for adoption in the summer of 2019. The City may choose to delay the effective date of the revised regulations until six months after adoption. This six-month period would provide time for the community to become familiar with and try out the new regulations.

  • Q: How long will it take the City to update the regulations?

    A: The City is working with a land use planning and design consultant throughout 2018 to develop a set of revised land use regulations. It is anticipated that a draft set of regulations will be available for adoption in the summer of 2019. The City may choose to delay the effective date of the revised regulations until six months after adoption. This six-month period would provide time for the community to become familiar with and try out the new regulations.

  • Q: I am a property owner in Keene. How will the updated regulations impact me?

    A: Most owners of residential properties will not be directly impacted by the updated regulations.  Owners that choose to make improvements to their building or site that would require a building permit or planning approval, will experience a more streamlined and easier to navigate process than current conditions. This project will organize the City’s multiple land use regulations into one regulatory document that incorporates graphic illustrations to demonstrate concepts and enhance readability. In addition, this project aims to increase options for administrative review of projects, which would serve to streamline the timeframe for approvals and potentially reduce costs.

  • Q: As a resident/business owner in Keene, how will the updated regulations impact me?

    A: Most business owners will not be affected by the updated regulations unless they decide to make qualifying changes to their building or site after the revised regulations take effect. As one of the goals is to make Keene’s land use regulations more business friendly, this project should have a positive impact on property owners seeking to develop or redevelop land or buildings. Ultimately, the updated regulations will reduce potential confusion and frustration by providing an easier to understand set of land use regulations and a more user-friendly process for obtaining development permits. In addition, this project aims to increase options for administrative review of projects, which would serve to streamline the timeframe for approvals and potentially reduce costs.

CONTACT:

Tara Kessler, Senior Planner

tkessler@ci.keene.nh.us

Tel: (603) 352-5440

Community Development

Keene City Hall - 4th floor

3 Washington St

Keene, NH 03431

 

© Created in 2018