City of Concord_ New Hampshire by fionan


									Concord Master Plan Summary of a Meeting on Alternative Future Growth Scenarios Maximizing Economic Development Opportunities September 22, 2004 A second meeting on the revision of the Concord Master Plan relative to an alternative future growth scenario for maximizing economic development opportunities was convened on September 22, 2004, in the City Council Chambers at 37 Green Street at 7:00 PM. Present at the meeting were Planning Board Vice-Chair John Swope; City Councilors Jim Bouley, Marjory Swope and Jan McClure; EDAC Chair John Hutsen and EDAC members M.T. Mennino, Tim Sink, John Sokul, Bill Norton, David Feller, and Chris Carley. Doug Woodward, City Planner, Steve Henninger, Assistant City Planner, Ken Lurvey, Business Development Director, Roger Hawk, Community Development Director, and Matthew Walsh, of the Community Development Department were also present as was Bob Monson of the Concord School District. Copies of an agenda were made available to everyone in attendance as were copies of a list of key economic development issues that had been prepared by the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) prior to the February 7, 204 public forum, and a summary of the previous meeting related to economic development on August 24, 2004. Attendees also were provided with a Preliminary Summary of Key Findings and Recommendations prepared by Richard Paik, Vice-president of Bonz and Company, Inc., the City’s economic development planning consultants, as part of the City’s Economic Development and Tax Base Expansion Plan. Doug Woodward called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM and welcomed those in attendance. He outlined the agenda for the evening, and referenced the minutes of the August 24, 2004 meeting which summarized the prior discussions relative to the future growth scenario for maximizing economic development opportunities. He also described the results of a random sample community survey that had been conducted in late May and early June 2004. The summary of the results had recently been made available to the Planning Board and were being posted on the Master Plan website. He noted that one in five households had received a survey and there had been response from about one-third of the recipients which is considered to be an excellent response. Mr. Woodward reviewed the profile of the respondents, noting the diversity in neighborhood of residence, age of respondent, and type of housing, as well as information relative to number of school age children and employment status. Response to questions related to economic development were reviewed which revealed that the respondents thought that arts and entertainment, educational and institutional, and medical service uses were desirable for future economic development in the City, and that Downtown, Downtown Penacook, the Opportunity Corridor, and Route 106 were the most desirable locations for future economic development. 86.5% of the respondents were either satisfied with the level of growth under current land use plans and regulations, or preferred that the City’s growth be less than that projected from the current plans and regulations.

Summary of a Meeting on Alternative Future Growth Scenarios relative to Maximizing Economic Development Opportunities September 22, 2004

Doug Woodward then introduced Richard Paik, Vice-president of Bonz and Company, Inc., the City’s economic development planning consultants. Whereas Mr. Paik had just met with EDAC immediately prior to this meeting, Mr. Woodward asked if anyone had any further questions of Mr. Paik relative to his Preliminary Summary of Key Findings and Recommendations. As there were no further questions, Mr. Paik left the meeting. Ken Lurvey then summarized the key findings and conclusions of the EDAC meeting held earlier in the evening, as follows:  Retain existing businesses  Quality of life is important to economic development  Focus on redevelopment  Garvins Falls should be viewed as having long term value  Incentive for redevelopment include TIF’s and BID’s  Minimize disincentives for redevelopment such as impact fees, off-site improvement, and environmental cleanup by having the City absorb these costs  A redevelopment authority could do land banking and be proactive  Medical uses can successfully locate in the Opportunity Corridor  Offices should be allowed in industrial districts  There is an unmet market for high end housing  Workforce housing is not an urgent issue Other points raised during the ensuing discussion include the following:      The Creative Economy Tax base for the Merrimack Valley School District The value of the surrounding dense residential neighborhoods to the Downtown economy The intended abandonment of leased office space by the State of New Hampshire as the Office Park South is renovated The need for flexible reuse of existing obsolete industrial space.

There was discussion about the changing nature of what is considered to be industrial. Mr. Woodward spoke of the earlier Zoning Ordinances which contained a district for heavy industry that included the tannery in Penacook and Swenson’s quarry. There are industrial service uses that have unsightly characteristics, and do not always provide good tax base, but are needed by other businesses and the public. It was suggested that a reclassification of uses be done for industrial districts. Mr. Woodward then used a Zoning Map of non-residential districts to lead a discussion of the current districts including the location and uses allowed therein. In Penacook, there was discussion of what would the appropriate land use category if Hoyt and/or Beede were to go out of businesses. These sites would not be perceived as prime for industry, but could be valuable for other purposes. Steve Henninger noted that the current Master Plan contains language that indicates the City will reassess the land use classification if either or both should cease to function.


Summary of a Meeting on Alternative Future Growth Scenarios relative to Maximizing Economic Development Opportunities September 22, 2004

It was suggested that the strip commercial district that was enacted in the recent rezoning for Village Street and Fisherville Road should be removed with commercial use concentrated in nodes and mixed use be promoted in this area. Mcguire Street was discussed, particularly as regards changes to the former Rock of Ages facility south of Concord Electric. This area is now in transition. Attention turned to the Opportunity Corridor and the recent presentation by the City’s consultants. Discussion focused on appropriate uses for Hall Street, the rail yard, and Basin Street. Medical services have generally maximized the use of available land along Pleasant Street and the Opportunity Corridor was seen as a good location for the expansion of medical uses. A location for a 4-year college was raised with the indication that 60 acres will be needed, although it was also suggested that such a college needed to be in or around Downtown. Again, the Opportunity Corridor was suggested as a possible site. The possibility of re-considering the conservation of land west of Exit 16 was raised. Upcoming decisions will determine the fate of these parcels. Mr. Woodward noted that the Housing and Open Space groups have been discussing the concept of a new village such as 2020 had once recommended. There was discussion about the commercial centers of the existing villages such as McKee Square, and the ability to do mixed use. Mr. Woodward noted that mixed use is now allowed in locations like McKee Square, and that it may take more than zoning to bring about changes. Mr. Woodward reminded everyone of the second round of meetings on the future growth scenario relative to maximizing housing opportunities and open space protection will be held respectively on Tuesday September 28, 2004 and on Thursday September 30, 2005 at 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers. He thanked everyone for attending and participating, and the meeting ended at 8:40 PM. Prepared in accordance with the requirements of RSA 91-A,

Douglas G. Woodward Clerk of the City Planning Board


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