Future Land Use & Policy

Future Land Use Map is an illustrated community vision for the future that will guide Keene’s physical growth and change. This map provides the city with a basis for making consistent decisions on capital investments, and it is a tool for potential developers to use in creating their development proposals.

Specific land-use development proposals are not automatically compatible with surrounding development simply because they fall within a broad land-use designation. The scale of the proposal, intensity of use, proximity to other uses, access, water management, probability of alternative development scenarios on the site, and influence on traffic patterns and other aspects of the physical environment are just some of the site factors that have to be considered through the Planning Board site plan and subdivision review process.

Since the Future Land Use Map reflects preferred land-use patterns and general community connections, it is not site prescriptive. Specific development proposals are judged against the pattern as well as the standards for site plan and/or subdivision, or other applicable regulations at the time of submission.

The map may be amended over time to maintain consistency with the community’s vision for the future. It also provides a measurement of success in the completion of the master plan. Zoning map amendments should be anticipated as part of implementing the Future Land Use Map and this master plan. We anticipate that changes to policies and land-use regulations will also be implemented to achieve the kind of community envisioned by citizens of Keene and the region. With consistent use, the Future Land Use Map will result in an aggregation of decisions that support the master plan’s strategies.

The Future Land Use Map shows:

The concentration of high-density, mixed-use development and high- to medium-density neighborhoods in the urbanized area within the Bypass; noted as the primary growth area on the map.

  • Secondary growth areas that consist of single-family, low- to medium-density development.
  • Expansion of mixed-use areas for commercial and industrial economic development.
  • Areas for continued preservation of open space, agriculture and rural-residential uses.

Given limited supply of large areas of readily developable land and the community’s desire to concentrate land within existing developed areas, land-use issues are mainly concerned with redeveloping and enhancing the existing available land and infrastructure. In some areas, recommendations focus primarily on maintaining or enhancing existing conditions: residential neighborhoods, downtown, and existing commercial areas. Public input revealed a strong desire for change in some of these areas, particularly along main community transportation corridors leading to downtown, within neighborhoods, along West, Winchester and Marlboro streets, Gilbo Avenue and the commercial area south of 101 between routes 10 and 12.