We care what you think about Nashua!
This one-year initiative will combine comprehensive community engagement with major plans created in the past 20 years, to craft an innovative vision for the future of Nashua. All meeting details will be posted on the Imagine Nashua website.
After the first meeting on Nov. 5, large, virtual meetings are slated for early January and March, to drill down into the different topics – Land Use and Development, Housing, Mobility and Transit, Economic Growth and Development, Open Space and Natural Resources, and Arts and Cultural Resources – and ideas that arise. In between each of the large meetings, there will be many smaller group sessions, to engage as many cultures and community members as possible through the Imagine Nashua website via polls, surveys and community feedback.
A year from now, the committee will update the City’s Land Use Ordinances to reflect the vision and values developed by the community through this process.
Please join in for the Nov. 5 kickoff meeting at 6 pm – via Zoom or by phone (links below), and encourage your friends and family to join in.
What is Imagine Nashua?
Imagine Nashua will combine comprehensive community engagement with major plans created in the past 20 years to create an innovative vision for the future of Nashua. This plan will focus on equity, resilience, and climate protection.
Read more about the project, as explained by Sarah Marchant, Community Development Division Director, below.
What is the Nashua Master Plan?
It’s an easy-to-digest and legally defensible document that outlines a vision for the future of redevelopment in Nashua with clear strategies and tactics.
- Focus on equity, resilience and climate protection
- The process will create an inclusive citywide discussion thatengages the voices who aren’t typically at the table to achieve a more well rounded perspective on key policy decisions.Why are we doing this planning process now
The last plan was in 2000. Since then, a number of topic- and area-focused efforts have happened. Now is an important opportunity to take stock of the overarching goals and vision for the city, and to provide a consistent guide for long-term municipal policy.
What will be included in the Plan?
The City would like a focus on Equity, Resilience and Climate Protection, woven throughout the plan and used as a lens through which the plan is implemented and evaluated.
In New Hampshire, Master Plans are required to include the following elements:
- Vision and Guiding Principles
- Land Use Section: Existing conditions and the proposed location,extent, and intensity of future land use.
- Additional local elements may focus on specific local needs or policy interests such as climate action, housing, cultural resources, public health, etc.
Plan Deliverables include:
- Land Use Plan
- Updated zoning map (NOT a zoning rewrite)
- Capital Investment Priorities
- Other policies ideas, and an attractive and accessible final product.
“Imagine Nashua is the City’s first Master Planning or Comprehensive Planning process in almost 20 years; the last one was adopted in 2002 but started in 2000,” explains Sarah Marchant, AICP, Community Development Division Director. “The reason it is so important to get involved in this process is that a year from now we will be updating the City’s land use code to reflect what we hear from the community. The Land Use code are the laws and regulations which govern the what, where and how people can redevelop or develop in the City.
“Specifically, we are going to be diving deeper into six topic areas already stated, to try to understand what people love about Nashua today and what we could maybe do better in the future, to ensure the rules we have or will put in place reflect those ideas and values,” Marchant said.
She also stressed why it is so critical that the committee hears from the whole of our community. “We don’t want this document to only reflect a few people or the views of any one group. The goal is to hear from the very diverse people who make up this community, so as we build out in the future, we know what is important,” she explained.
Some questions that will be considered include:
- Do we need to invest in more sports field space or natural open space?
- Where will the new housing go that is needed to support our existing community and businesses?
- Where should we encourage job centers?
- How important is it for us to provide roadway or trail space for people to bike and walk to destinations vs. taking their car?
- How do we encourage and support the future rail service and the bus system?
- How do we best accommodate our amazing arts community in public and private spaces?
- Based on our energy goals, how can we encourage new development and redevelopment to do better?