Potential Land Use Options to Increase Town Revenues Weighed
Master Plan Community Open House June 21
On May 18, residents and other stakeholders with an interest in housing and neighborhood issues met to assist Master Plan Committee members and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in assessing potential land use options offered as ideas to increase town revenues for funding infrastructure and facility needs.
Based on goals developed during Visioning for the Master Plan and working with the Master Plan Committee and Town Planner Sue Brown, MAPC developed and shared ideas for commercial, mixed use, housing, resource preservation, open space, and bike and pedestrian uses, along with the projected revenues and other impacts of each potential project. Following a lively discussion on the options presented, each attendee identified their top five top ideas.
Main points from the meeting included general support for increasing bike and pedestrian connections between the downtown, beaches and other natural resource areas; appropriately designed mixed uses downtown offering more dining and service options; a greater diversity of rental and housing options to better serve all life stages and offer a greater range of affordability; better management of existing parking and peak traffic, including investigating the use of shared parking at the Manchester Athletic Club and other Limited Commercial District sites; and support for considering environmentally sensitive developments within the Limited Commercial District, including offices, a mixed-use village, and assisted living facilities.
A second work group meeting on May 25 focused on opportunities for economic development to increase town revenues, provide additional services to residents, and create a more vital, walkable and sustainable downtown and harbor.
Following a brief presentation on the local work force and economy, the Master Plan Consultant Team led participants in discussions about types of development that might benefit Manchester; where the different development options would be most appropriate; how development could honor the town’s historic development pattern, its natural resources and sense of place; and the current challenges for development.
Ideas stretched from the Limited Commercial District, to the current DPW site, to the downtown, and onto the harbor, and included health and wellness services, senior and community housing, assisted living facilities, small-scale hotel, mixed use retail, office and residential, parking garage, fitness facilities, areas for trades services, and restaurants.
Participants also shared ideas centered on solutions for any resulting increase in vehicles, including drop-off centers with shuttles, bike sharing stations, parking garage, and increased connectivity. Scale, design, low-impact development, and the mix of uses in the downtown were also discussed.
Please join friends, neighbors and others at the Community Master Plan Open House on Wednesday, June 21 at 6 pm at the high school dining hall to add your thoughts and ideas to these critical community discussions. Remember, A Stronger Manchester Starts With Us. For more information, please email Town Planner Sue Brown or call 978-525-6436.