Cottage Court Ordinance
What is a Cottage Court?
Cottage courts are groupings of small houses around a shared public space. Considered a type of “missing middle” housing, they can be built as for-sale or rental units. Homes in a cottage court development are typically limited in size (for example, 1,200 square feet or less), oriented around shared green space, and have parking screened from the street.
Housing Listening Session November 28, 2023 - Thank you to all who attended!
This was an open house style event to hear from residents about issues, ideas, and opportunities for housing in Keene. Feedback will be used to help craft an ordinance to encourage new housing development in areas of the city where supporting infrastructure such as city water and sewer service already exists (also called "infill development"). Learn more about this project.
Using the feedback from this listening session and input received from other stakeholders, the city's consultant will work with staff to develop a proposal and present it to the Joint Planning Board and Planning, Licenses, and Development Committee on Monday, January 8 at 6:30 pm at City Hall in the 2nd Floor Council Chambers.
Save the date! On January 9, from 3:30-5:30 pm, the city will hold a public workshop on the proposal for community input and feedback. This workshop will be held at the Hannah Grimes Center located at 25 Roxbury Street in Keene. Learn more.
Neighborhood Parking Project
The City is using grant funding to explore sustainable parking and transportation options that will enable continued residential development in neighborhoods near downtown. The goal is to improve parking and transportation for the community while facilitating needed housing development. Staff will evaluate and recommend parking and transportation changes for implementation in the next few years.
Public Open House - Wednesday, January 24th, 2023, 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM at the Keene Public Library in Heberton Hall, 60 Winter Street
The project will be introduced to the public, including how expanded parking options relate to potential housing solutions. Residents and all attendees are encouraged to share their needs and concerns with respect to parking in the project focus area.
Housing Needs Assessment Report (Final)
- Executive Summary and Introduction
- Demographic & Economic Profile
- Housing Inventory & Analysis
- Housing Market Trends
- Community and Stakeholder Input
- Housing Needs Assessment
- Housing Resiliency
- Key Housing Challenges and Needs & Housing Strategy
- Appendices: Data Sources, Survey Results, and Resiliency Mapping Analysis
Housing Needs Assessment Project
The City of Keene is hired Camoin Associates to complete a comprehensive housing needs analysis for the City of Keene that articulates the critical issues, opportunities, and solutions to address the community’s housing needs. The assessment documents existing housing conditions within the City of Keene; identifies market and other forces that affect housing supply and demand now and over the next 10 years; and identifies gaps or deficiencies in maintaining equitable access to safe, resilient, and reliable housing to as many City residents as possible.
This project began in late October/early November 2022 and concluded with the City Council vote to accept the report on June 15, 2023.
Community Housing Open House April 20th - Thank you for attending!
A Community Housing Open House was held on Thursday, April 20 from 3:30-5:30 pm at the Hannah Grimes Center. Attendees learned about Keene's proposed housing strategy and were asked to provide feedback using dot stickers and an online poll.
Community Housing Workshop February 7th - Thank you for attending!
Thank you to everyone who attended the Housing Workshop on February 7. The goal of this workshop was to hear from as many people as possible about housing-related issues, concerns, and ideas. Input from this workshop will inform the housing needs analysis as well as the proposed housing strategy in the final report. Attendees also got a preview of the data collected so far from the project consultant firm, Camoin Associates.
Click HERE to view the presentation slides from the workshop.
Regional Housing Needs Assessment (Southwest Region Planning Commission)
Draft City of Keene Housing Inventory (February 2020)
The consultant gave two presentations to the Joint Committee of the Planning Board and the Planning Licenses and Development Committee on March 13, 2023, and April 10, 2023, and gave a final presentation to the City Planning Licenses and Development Committee on June 7, 2023.
Today, the City is experiencing significantly different demographic trends and socioeconomic circumstances than the decades following World War II, which is when many of the City’s residential zoning districts last underwent a comprehensive update. These years were characterized by substantial in-migration and rapid housing development. During this era, the paradigm for planning and land use regulation was focused on limiting or in some instances controlling growth. In more recent years, the City’s growth rates have sharply slowed and are projected to stay low over the next thirty years. Keene faces considerable challenges including a rapidly aging population, slow economic recovery, loss of youth and young professionals, and increased competition in an increasingly globalized society. Housing has been identified as a critical challenge for many years and is now at the crisis stage, affecting the local economy and workforce retention and recruitment.
The highest priority implementation strategy of Keene’s Comprehensive Master Plan is to “Rewrite the City’s Land Use and Zoning Regulations to Proactively Achieve the Community’s Vision for the Future.” In May 2021, the City made major strides toward this goal with the adoption of a comprehensive land use code update that combined the City’s zoning and land use regulations into a single document, the Keene Land Development Code (LDC). This effort was focused mainly on re-organizing and streamlining regulations, in addition to creating new form-based zoning districts in the downtown. The next phase of this project involves reexamining the City’s residential and other zoning districts outside the downtown and assessing how well the City’s regulations align with the community’s Master Plan goals, including those related to housing.
Housing Survey Results
Thank you for taking the Housing Resilience Survey!
Building on regional housing efforts, the City of Keene is working to understand the resiliency of Keene’s housing stock and housing needs in Keene, including those due to aging infrastructure and the impacts of climate change. This survey helped describe current housing supply and affordability and inform future action by the City. The survey closed on February 17. Thank you for your participation!
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City of Keene Community Development Department