Peterborough: A look at zoning laws

  • Peterborough residents, including formed ZBA Chair Jeanne Dietsch, gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016, to exchange ideas about the future of zoning and development in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Sue Chollet addresses Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Sue Chollet works with Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Sue Chollet works with Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016, to exchange ideas about the future of zoning and development in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Carol Ogilvie addresses Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016, to exchange ideas about the future of zoning and development in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Abby Meyer and other Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016, to exchange ideas about the future of zoning and development in Peterborough. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Carol Ogilvie addresses Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Carol Ogilvie addresses Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Sue Chollet addresses Peterborough residents gathered in the ConVal High School cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/10/2016 7:11:16 PM

Existing zoning laws in Peterborough do little to address changing needs in the community, according to a steering committee looking to increase housing options in town.

“We’re looking to expand the choices in living for the people of Peterborough,” said Sue Chollet, a member of the steering committee for Peterborough’s New Villages project. “The goal is to write new zoning to help create new housing options.” The group met with community members in a forum at ConVal high school Thursday.

“People have different housing needs at different stages of their life,” said Carol Ogilvie, who is also a member of the steering committee. “And unfortunately, standard, traditional zoning has not done a very good job of creating those various opportunities for people. They certainly are very good at giving the suburban lifestyle opportunities in Peterborough, and the surrounding regions, but [after that] the options become very limited, very quickly.” 

The steering committee was formed after the town was awarded a Municipal Technical Assistance Grant aimed at creating zoning that will allow for varying housing options.

Current zoning ordinances allow for single or half-acre lots in the family and general residence districts, and three-acre lots in the rural district. This has lead to a surplus of large, detached, single-family homes.

What new zoning could do is make housing for people looking for smaller homes within walking distance of amenities.

Abby Meyer, a resident, said, “That’s what this is about really ... especially in a town like Peterborough that has such a walkable downtown area.”

“Current zoning does not give you smaller homes with a neighborhood feel,” said Ogilvie.

She said that representatives from the town’s four biggest employers – ConVal schools, Monadnock Community Hospital, New Hampshire Ball Bearings and RiverMead Lifecare – have representatives on the steering committee. The mean wage at these companies is $36,210 per year, and Peterborough is looking to make housing affordable for those workers.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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