Dover NH Planning

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The City of Dover is currently undertaking an effort to update the zoning for the areas surrounding Silver Street, the goal of which is to celebrate and support some of Dover’s most historic neighborhoods. The project is an offshoot of the Gateway Rezoning Study which resulted in the rezoning of Broadway, Portland Avenue, and Central Avenue to the Central Business District. The Planning Board also considered rezoning Silver Street; however, “residents expressed concern that this would detract from the historic residential character of Silver Street, rather than enhancing it,” said Tim Corwin, Assistant City Planner. Instead, it was suggested the City take a broader view of Silver Street to include the surrounding neighborhoods.

Based on this feedback, Planning Department staff and the project consultant worked this past winter to identify the areas around Silver Street which share a common historic heritage and which could benefit from a single zoning district designed to support and enhance their historic character. The identified areas are primarily residential and exhibit a rare collection of Victorian architecture.

“Their original residents were likely senior managers and foremen from the mill facilities that lined the Cochecho River, as well as other community professionals,” said Christopher Parker, Director of Planning and Community Development.

The bulk of the structures in what staff is tentatively calling the “Heritage Residential District,” date from the Civil War era to the early 1900s. Although there has been some in-fill development, the primary structures are characterized by wide porches, bay windows, steep roofs, and intricate and involved woodwork. Collectively they create very walkable, pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. It is the intent of the proposed zoning district to retain, supplement, and replicate these distinct architectural buildings as a tribute to the history of the City of Dover.

“The idea is not to create a historic district overlay designed to regulate home improvements,” said Jeff Taylor, project consultant. “Rather, the idea is to use context sensitive zoning regulations to ensure that any new construction fits in with the historic character of these neighborhoods.”

Corwin says that draft zoning regulations for the “Heritage Residential District” have been prepared and are ready to be vetted by the neighborhood’s property owners and residents.

“As with other projects undertaken by the Planning Department, public input drives both the process and the product,” Corwin said. “Public participation is key to ensuring that any zoning changes enacted reflect the values of the community.”

To present their ideas, Planning Department staff and the project consultant have scheduled a neighborhood meeting for Wednesday, April 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Silver Fountain Inn, 103 Silver St., hosted by the Silver Inn Fountain proprietors, Jim and Pam Pidgeon.

For questions or comments about the project, please contact Tim Corwin, Assistant City Planner, by phone at 516-6008 or by e-mail at t.corwin@dover.nh.gov.

Come & help improve downtown pedestrian/vehicular traffic flow.

Your feedback is highly important for the future success of the Downtown Dover. Please plan to attend the second Public Workshop for the Dover Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicle Access and Streetscape Study. Contact Christopher Parker, Director of Planning & Community Development at 603-516-6008 with any questions.

Monday, April 21 at 6pm

City Council Chambers, City Hall | 288 Central Avenue

Planning Staff and Residents of the Silver St area are reviewing zoning options to celebrate the residential heritage of the area. For more information and a map, check out http://1.usa.gov/1m5cbbB

On Monday evening, April 21, 2014, the City of Dover will be hosting the second public workshop for the City’s ongoing Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Streetscape Study.  The workshop is intended to explore and refine potential solutions to vehicular circulation issues and pedestrian comfort and safety in downtown Dover. A previous workshop, held on January 21, afforded an opportunity for the general public to learn about, and contribute its opinions on, the existing conditions downtown. The upcoming workshop will also draw upon findings from a series of meetings held during the last several months by the City and its consultant team with various stakeholders and the City’s Transportation Advisory Committee.

At the April 21 workshop, the City’s consultants will present three design and circulation alternatives (having different approaches to traffic circulation, streetscape character, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities) and discuss their relative implications. Workshop participants will then break into groups to explore each alternative and record their preferences, reactions, and recommendations. One important issue to discuss at the April 21 workshop will be whether downtown’s major streets— Chestnut Street, Main Street, Central Avenue, and Washington Street—should remain one-way in some fashion, or be changed to two-way traffic flow.

According to Christopher Parker, AICP, Dover’s Director of Planning and Community Development, “the Cecil Group has done a thorough review of the existing conditions downtown, looking at traffic counts, travel lane usage as well pedestrian patterns. Through this they have developed three alternatives that are ready for public review.” 

The workshop will begin at 6 pm, in City Council Chambers (288 Central Avenue, Dover). The City is very interested in hearing from the public, and all are welcome to join. Parker notes that, “we don’t want to have these suggestions reviewed blindly, we need the public to see options and to give feedback. The users of the downtown includes residents, businesses owners and consumers, and we want to understand how changes may or may not impact the vibrancy of downtown.”

Parker continues, “From this point, the consulting team will work on a preferred alternative, which will be reviewed for costs and efficiency of implementation. This proposal will be reviewed by the public at a workshop in the late spring.” This subsequent public workshop will allow the public to review the preferred design, which will include more detailed streetscape components such as trees, paving, and furniture; pedestrian amenities such as enhanced crosswalks and narrower crossing distances; and a refined traffic circulation plan.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT

The City’s Downtown Pedestrian and Vehicular Access and Streetscape Study is intended to continue the revitalization of Dover’s historic urban core. The study focuses on rebalancing the downtown circulation and streetscape network so that future conditions may support a mixed-use environment that is more convenient, pleasant, and economically vibrant. The study is envisioned to result in a revitalization plan with four key goals:

  • Create a more attractive pedestrian-oriented environment,
  • Make vehicle circulation more clear and convenient,
  • Simplify links to parking, and
  • Expand bicycle and transit links to and through the downtown. 

The City of Dover’s Planning Department is guiding this study. The Cecil Group, a professional planning and design firm, has been retained to help carry out the planning study, along with firms RSG and Gibbs Planning Group. Concerned about pedestrian safety on Chestnut Street, the City Council approved the study’s funding in December of 2012 as part of the FY14-FY20 Capital Improvement Program.

The report and design plans are expected to be complete by the end of August 2014. The following schedule provides the expected timeframes for key milestones in the planning process:

  • December 2013 thru January 2014 – Data Collection and Evaluation of Existing Conditions
  • February 2014 thru April 2014 – Development and Refinement of Alternatives
  • May 2014 thru June 2014 – Development of Preferred Design
  • June 2014 thru September 2014 – Development of Final Report

Once a final report has been submitted, staff will review implementation items for insertion into upcoming Capital Improvement’s Programming requests.

For more information, please contact Christopher Parker, AICP, Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Dover, 603.516.6008, c.parker@dover.nh.gov.

Have an opinion of how the PD should look? Share it on 4/22 @ 6 pm

Follow along: http://1.usa.gov/1edu401

Tonight, the ZBA approved both applications.

On Tuesday, the Planning Board heard from the following organizations seeking funding under the CDBG Program, and the amount being requested:

Public Service Funding

  • Dover Welfare Security Deposit Program ($9,000)
  • Community Partners ($11,140)
  • My Friends Place (MFP) ($7,000)
  • MFP Transitional Housing ($3,000)
  • Cross Roads House ($12,000)
  • AIDS Response ($15,000)
  • A Safe Place ($3,500)
  • Homeless Center for Strafford County ($7,000)
  • CASA ($2,000)
  • Tri-City Consumers Actions ($3,000)
  • Total requests:  $72,640      
  • Amount Available $48,407

Administration

  • Administration ($83,135)
  • Master Plan ($23,405)
  • Total   $106,540
  • Amount Available $106,540 

Public Facilities/Economic Development

  • CAP Weatherization ($25,000)
  • Dover Children’s Center ($33,500)
  • Dover Housing Authority ($220,000)
  • Southeastern Services ($17,500)
  • Economic Loan Pool ($39,305)
  • Economic Loan Admin ($30,063)
  • Total Request $365,368
  • Amount Available $377,763

The Planning Board will continue to review requests at the March 25th meeting

Agenda: http://1.usa.gov/1i4iwAC