Expanding upon the groundwork laid by the "Imagine Nashua" master planning effort, the City is entering an exciting new phase of implementation by initiating a comprehensive update of its land use regulations, in partnership with Principle Group, its selected code consultant. With Nashua identified as one of the two fastest-growing housing markets in New Hampshire as of Spring 2023, this initiative seeks to capitalize on burgeoning demand, especially in areas where private investment has been limited, while ensuring that the City's land use regulations align with the community's development objectives.
The City recently updated its Master Plan over the course of 2020 and 2021, with adoption taking place in October 2021. This comprehensive plan established the following vision:
Nashua is committed to being a welcoming, diverse, and forward- thinking city that offers a variety of economic, housing, educational, and recreational opportunities throughout a vibrant and resilient community that provides a high quality of life.
Prior to Imagine Nashua, the 2020 Housing Study, completed by the City and RKG Associates, identified five key considerations for housing: expected continued growth, balancing affordability, minimizing displacement, downtown as receiver of growth, and leveraging resources with strategic partnerships.
As with Imagine Nashua, businesses, residents and other stakeholders will be invited to engage in this work at a number of points in the process. Engagement will come as in-person community workshops, online surveys, and interactive web and special forums. Some areas of the City will get deeper attention where a clear vision was not defined during the Imagine Nashua process, and direction for redevelopment is needed. These areas include the Tree Streets neighborhood and the Amherst Street neighborhoods between Main Street and Broad Street.
We are excited to be developing an update to the community’s land use code and regulations. This comprehensive land use code update represents a pivotal next step towards implementing the vision for Imagine Nashua with innovative and responsible land use regulations that honor the city’s heritage, but also look forward to its future. This new visionary code will create a sustainable and context-sensitive blueprint for the prosperity and vitality of future generations of Nashuans. - Mayor James W. Donchess
The City recognizes the need to plan carefully for development demands and, through the master planning process, identified a number of priority redevelopment locations to focus zoning efforts on, including Amherst Street, Broad Street, East Hollis, Main Street and Northeastern Boulevard, as well as the Daniel Webster College and Beazer Sites. Each priority redevelopment location has notable conditions and influences affecting their future. East Hollis Street, for example, is a historically industrial area currently experiencing enhanced residential development activity. It’s the site of a future rail station with connection to Boston and offers an opportunity for increased transit-oriented neighborhood development. Daniel Webster Highway, a well-established, heavily used commercial corridor, needs further community visioning to inform zoning policy direction.
When complete, the new code will provide the City‘s elected and appointed officials, property owners, businesses, developers, non-profits, institutions, residents and staff with clear and concise land use regulations, packaged in a legally defensible document, that will manifest the vision articulated by the 2021 Imagine Nashua Master Plan.
The community can stay informed of upcoming events, code drafts, and project scope via the project website: www.nashuarecode.com.
Funding for this project was provided in part by the InvestNH Municipal Planning & Zoning Grant Program, funded by the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs as part of the $100 million InvestNH Initiative with ARPA State Fiscal Recovery funds.