Zoning plan good for Peterborough

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 12:40PM
A must for Peterborough

To the editor:

As an urban planner for many years in New Hampshire, I have great appreciation and admiration for the town of Peterborough.

The town’s 2015 master plan describes Peterborough the best... “a town with attractive village centers with architectural and landscape designs that reflect the heritage of the community while creating spaces that are interesting, inviting, and aesthetically rich; a mix of residential options, shops and services to meet the everyday needs of community members and a diversity of dining, gallery, and entertainment options; amenities that are oriented toward pedestrian, bicycles, and people of all abilities.”

It is known that one of Peterborough’s top priorities is “for maintaining, protecting, and enhancing the quality of our natural resources, open spaces and rural environs, with particular emphasis on protecting the quality of our water resources.

In order to reflect on the town’s history as well as embrace the future, the town needs the new zoning tool that will ensure new development is compatible with unique historic and cultural assets, and, at the same time, protect the form and architectural character of this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. A tool which will preserve small-town historic character of downtown as development pressures increase.

Form-based codes focus primarily on form – building placement, bulk, and physical form of structures. It encourages urban design, economic development, and pedestrian mobility.

Form-based zoning has many advantages over the current zoning because it simplifies the current zoning code, making the zoning user friendly and easier to review.

After looking over the proposed zoning code with the building forms which are a good representation for what already exists in town, I would strongly endorse the town of Peterborough Planning Board’s recommendation of Form-based zoning.

David J. Preece


(David J. Preece, AICP, served as the Executive Director and CEO of the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission from 2004-2017.)