Zoning change for downtown to go on Jaffrey warrant

  • Properties abutting Main Street in Jaffrey from its intersection of Goodnow and School Street to its intersection with Highland Avenue will be rezoned as general business A – a new zoning district – if voters pass a corresponding warrant article in March.  Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The dark grey on the map represents the current general business district, with the lighter grey representing the proposed general business a district.  Courtesy image

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:9PM

A proposed plan to create a new business zoning district to provide additional business space in downtown Jaffrey has officially been added to the town warrant. 

All four planning board members in attendance at a Monday night public hearing agreed to add the proposal to the warrant.  

“The goal is to encourage economic development in that area with mixed use,” said board chair Tim Gordon. “We need to take steps so that when this town catches fire… we have a plan.”

If passed, the planning board proposal would create a general business A zoning area and rezone the following areas from residential: properties abutting Main Street from the intersection of Goodnow and School Street to the area of of Main Street’s intersection with Highland Avenue, and some properties in the area of the Ellison Street/Turnpike Road/Stratton Road triangle. 

General business A is a more restrictive area than the currently established general business zoning area that canvases much of the downtown area, according to Planning & Economic Development Director Jo Anne Carr. Things like automotive repair shops, commercial parking, chain restaurant and retail, and commercial parking wouldn’t be allowed in general business A.

“It allows people with small businesses to operate legitimately in that area without having to get a special exception or variance,” said Carr. “It allows for business growth within proper zoning.”

Carr said the zoning change began in effort to provide additional land area to the general business district, as she has been running out of room downtown to place small businesses interested in moving to town. Rezoning also allows for more opportunities for properties like St. Patrick School. 

Creating the new district allows for those areas of town to “protect the integrity of the existing building stock and neighborhood character while making lightly commercial, multifamily and mixed uses available in the area near downtown,” according to a summary sheet handed out by Carr during the hearing. 

The plan also calls for the rezoning of a number of other parcels of land throughout town.

The most notable sweeping change is rezoning a swath of land on the northwest side of Route 202 from industrial to general business. 

Carr said there were a number of parcels throughout town that were zoned as two different things or zoned incorrectly; corrections have been made to put them in one zoning district. 

More information and a map about the changes can be found at www.townofjaffrey.com/planning-economic-development/pages/planning-board-proposed-zoning-updates.