Chester Planning workshop to focus on housing needs, zoning solutions

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Photo by Barre Pinske

The third in a series of four planning workshops will focus on housing and take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 at Town Hall and via Zoom. To attend remotely, click here.

In view of the current shortage of affordable housing, the purpose of these workshops is to gather citizen’s input to assist in broadly updating Chester’s Unified Development Bylaws with a focus on implementing steps to help ease the local housing shortage.

Staff from the Mount Ascutney Regional Commission will present information on housing needs, including findings from the recent Keys to the Valley project as well as information.  Keys to the Valley is a housing initiative spearheaded by three regional planning commissions in southern Windsor County and the greater Upper Valley area. The Keys to the Valley project documents the need for homes across a two state, 67-town region, and presents a roadmap for tackling this problem at the local, regional and state level.

The study found that about a third of the region’s residents pay too much for housing.  It also found a significant need for new housing construction to address the estimated need: approximately 10,000 new units in total and 318 new units specifically in Chester by 2030.

The study also found that these new homes should be the types that are within resident’s price range.  Generally speaking, these would be of the so-called “missing middle” housing types, such as accessory dwellings, duplexes, converting large existing buildings into 3-4 apartments, and smaller homes that are suitable as starter homes or enable aging residents to downsize and remain in the community.

This discussion will help to identify what types of homes the zoning bylaws should better enable through streamlined permitting procedures and dimensional standards.

For more information on Keys to the Valley, see the project website by clicking here.

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Filed Under: Chester Planning CommissionLatest News

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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