Future Land Use Map Categories

Residential Development and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Sending Zone

These are outlying areas that generally have moderate to severe environmental limitations, including steep slopes, rock and ledge close to the ground surface, large intact forest and agricultural ecosystems, rich wildlife and flora, and critical scenic resources. In these areas, the conservation of land is prioritized. There are many areas that are appropriate for Conservation Residential Development (CRD) designed to be compatible with conservation purposes coupled with the provision of important community identified amenities. Within these areas are opportunities to transfer the right to develop parcels to other areas in the community that are more appropriate for development.

Traditional Neighborhood, Mixed-Use Areas and TDR Receiving Zone

These areas of the community are the most developed and the best able to accommodate carefully planned growth and density. These areas can be the target of the vast majority of new smart-growth residential and mixed-use development, but only with design standards to ensure that it maintains the quality of existing neighborhoods, blends seamlessly and transitions into the existing downtown, mitigates traffic and parking issues, and provides for a healthy diversity of the built form that respects Keene’s aesthetic appeal.

More focus on design details, compatibility with historic areas, provision of green space and quality of life within these areas are key elements for encouraging a population density consistent with the principles of smart growth. Opportunities exist to transfer development rights from Residential Conservation Development regions into these areas.

Mixed-Use Commercial Areas

These are the current and proposed commercial areas of the community. The desired “level of mix” in these areas depends on their location. A plan is strongly encouraged in these areas that situates housing on buildings’ upper floors, with service retail and service uses on the first floors. It is important to focus on providing human scale and amenities, including various pedestrian, bicycle and transit options. Including alternative transportation elements along designated mixed-use commercial area corridors is consistent with Keene’s desire to provide more transportation choice and create visually appealing gateway corridors. Mixed uses on each lot and within buildings are strongly encouraged. Design details and pedestrian, bicycle and transit options are most important. Regulations should focus on design, mixed use, street orientation, access management and mitigating traffic impacts – parking requirements, minimum setbacks and traditional dimensional requirements are less important in these areas.

Business, Industrial, and Live/Work 

Industrial and residential areas were historically isolated from each other for health and safety reasons. However, many modern industrial users are much better neighbors than their predecessors were. Manufacturing is a particular target market for an emerging green economy, and these facilities are likely to be very good contributors to the local economy. Still, it is most often the case that large-scale heavy industrial operations should not be allowed in residential areas.

Access and the potential to build off of other industrial users make these areas of the community an ideal location for some of the new potential industrial users. Areas identified on the map along Key Road, Optical Avenue, Marlboro Street, as well as other business and industrial areas, are appropriate for this type of mixed use. Residential use should be allowed only as part of live/work and artists’ space, where the primary use is business, but where business owners and workers may live on the premises. Design details, mitigating traffic impacts, sensitivity to surrounding neighborhoods, and a high level of connectivity to the rest of the community are the most important development standards.

Institutional users include city offices, health care facilities, county facilities, school property, and other non-profit land users. These entities provide vital services and jobs to the community. The location and functionality of institutional land uses should be focused near downtown or, where it fits the need and scale, in village/neighborhood activity centers. Churches as an institutional use are largely compatible with any land-use type.

Manufacturing and Industrial (non-residential)

hese are the traditional industrial, research and business-park sites that should be preserved for business and industry not compatible with residential areas, though they may be located within walking distance. Traffic mitigation, transit, and site plan requirements are important in these areas.