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The City of Concord is undertaking an overhaul of its zoning ordinance. The new ordinance will be an engaging, illustrated document that will clearly guide new development with a “character-based” approach to zoning regulation. The transition to character based zoning is a popular trend for urban centers like Concord that want to encourage dynamic, pedestrian-oriented development that meets the changing social, cultural, and economic needs of its community. The regulating tools of character based zoning focus on the physical form and character of the neighborhood that the community wants to create or preserve, rather than on the separation of uses as is found with more conventional ordinances. 

The project is intended to be completed over two years. The first year will focus on transitioning to character based districts for the downtown commercial and residential neighborhoods of Concord and Penacook, along with the reorganization of the existing code into a character based zoning format. The second year will focus on creating a new vision and codes for the commercial corridors, transitional areas, and performance districts. The project overall will be focused on commercial and residential districts within the Urban Growth Boundary. The process will include public participation in the form of community meetings, design charrettes, and online methods of gathering feedback and sharing project deliverables.


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Update and modernize existing standards to encourage redevelopment. Reduce the need for variances. Encouraging new development compatible with existing neighborhoods. 


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Create new standards to enhance and expand the walkable, livable urban fabric of the City. Enhance amenities for existing residents. Attract a new population of young professionals and families. 


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Re-organize content into a more readable, user-friendly format.

Create flexible standards that are easier to understand and administer.

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