In the fall of 2012, the City of Dover began looking at ways to rezone the gateways that lead into downtown. The recommendations that resulted from the Gateway Rezoning Study were presented to the Planning Board last fall and adopted by City Council in February. The recommendations were adopted as presented, with one major exception. It became clear during the Planning Board hearings that the team's recommendation to rezone the properties along Silver Street missed the mark. Residents expressed concern that the rezoning would detract from the historic residential character of Silver Street, instead of enhancing it. Instead, it was suggested that the City take a holistic view of not just the properties along Silver Street, but those neighborhoods extending to Fisher Street on the south side, and towards Washington Street on the north side.
Based on this feedback, Planning Department staff applied for and received a Community Planning Grant to have a consultant work on this project. Staff identified the areas around Silver Street which share a common historic heritage and could benefit from a single zoning district designed to support and enhance their historic character. On the north side of Silver, the study area includes approximately that area bounded by Washington Street, Arch Street, and Atkinson Street. To the south, the study area includes approximately that area bounded by Silver Street, Rutland Street, Fisher Street, and Central Avenue. View the initial map of the study area.
It is expected that the resulting zoning district will still retain the core tenets of the City’s desire to promote context sensitive development in Dover. The goal is to work with the neighborhood to develop regulations which respect Dover’s character and while providing citizen developed land use regulations that reflect the character and desires of the property owners.
On April 23rd, a neighborhood meeting was held to present the concepts of the district to residents and property owners. Over 75 people attended the meeting and offered feedback on the character and land use patterns they feel are present in the neighborhood. Feedback was also offered on expanding the boundaries of the district. Staff worked with the consultant to develop preliminary zoning regulations for neighborhood review. That review took place on June 2nd, and resulted in consensus on proposed uses and dimensional regulations.
A third neighborhood meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 16th, 6:00 PM at the Woodman Park School. The purpose of this meeting is to finalize the front yard setback requirement, and to discuss the proposed architectural design standards which staff has developed based on feedback received at the June 2nd neighborhood meeting.
For more information on this project, please feel free to e-mail Tim Corwin at email@example.com.