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Village Design Model Ordinance


Village Plan Alternative Subdivision

The village plan alternative ordinance for New Hampshire towns is based on the best examples of village ordinances from other states as well as guiding principles found in several resources devoted to designing mixed-use villages in a rural context. 

The ordinance includes design standards based on Traditional Neighborhood Design, a set of principles meant to create physical settlements that provide a mix of uses, protect environmental resources, and facilitate neighborhood social functions. The ordinance includes provisions to require design at the human scale by providing for pedestrian access, clear delineations of public and private spaces, and connections between residential and small-scale retail areas to facilitate the business of daily life. The ordinance contains provisions to protect open space, provide access to parks and recreation, and preserve and enhance the rural, small town character of New England towns. 

There are three key features of the village plan alternative. First, the entire density permitted by existing land use regulations must be located within 20 percent or less of the entire parcel available for development. Second, the village plan alternative must comply with existing subdivision regulations relating to emergency access, fire prevention, and public health and safety, however, lot size setbacks, dimensional requirements having to do with frontage and setbacks, density regulations, and lot size regulations, shall not apply. Third, an application made under the village plan alternative ordinance must be given expedited review. 

The design section is set up to be illustrated by each town with photographs and drawings based on the best examples of Traditional Neighborhood Design in the Seacoast area. These illustrations will help developers, planning and zoning boards, citizens, and other stakeholders visualize the elements of a village design necessary to achieve the public and private purposes of this ordinance.

Model Ordinance

Download Village Design Model Ordinance (PDF 667K)


For additional information contact Julie LaBranche at 603-778-0885 or email her at jlabranche.

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