Planning and Community Development

Facilities & Hours of Operation:

Planning Department Planning 288 Central Ave
View Map
(603) 516-6008

Monday - Thursday

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Welcome to the Department of Planning and Community Development

As the Dover community addresses the issues that are developing in conjunction with the COVID-19 outbreak, I wanted to alert you to some changes to the Planning Department’s normal operating procedures.

Beginning March 18th, City Hall will be open for staff only. The public will be able to communicate and conduct business via phone and email, but not in person. We will not be holding in person non-noticed meetings with the public, but are happy to schedule phone call “meetings”. If you need to communicate with staff, you may email or call, during normal business hours.

We will hold the ZBA meeting on Thursday the 19th and expect to have the Planning Board meeting on March 24th. Staff will coordinate entry to the building, on Hale Street. Any person above 10 will be placed in the Council Conference Room until needing to approach the podium. Board members will be spread out and we will clean surfaces as needed.

Any plans submitted for review, or in process as of March 17th will continue to be processed. Any comments or changes can be documented via PDF transmittal, but hard copies will need to wait until April 6th. New plans, requiring Planning Board approval, will not be accepted until April 6th. Technical Review meetings have been curtailed until April 9th. If you have a plan waiting for signature by the PB Chair, staff will be in touch with an update this week.

Zoning Board applications will be accepted via mail for the April 16th meeting. If you are considering submitting one, please coordinate with Elena before March 26th.

Customary Home Occupation, Accessory Dwelling Unit, Sign Permits and Impact Fees may be submitted via mail and we will process and respond by phone and email.

We will coordinate with Inspection Services on Certificates of Occupancy/Completion.

Site Inspections, for off-site improvements, for conditions of approval or code enforcement will be evaluated on a case by case basis, and performed with public and staff safety in mind.

Thank you for bearing with us and being flexible with your needs. 

To review all of the City's actions and information regarding COVID-19, click here


In Dover, Planning and Community Development is administered by the Planning Department. The department has worked to implement changes to the land use regulations, which are geared toward promoting smart growth. This type of growth looks to balance environmental needs with human/economic needs. 

Using the Web, we hope to serve you in the best possible manner. If we can be of service, please do not hesitate to call or email our office.

Recreation Chapter of the Master Plan Update

The City is updating its Recreation Chapter of the Master Plan. 

For more information or questions, please contact City Planner Donna Benton at

Land Use Regulations 

Interested in developing in Dover?

We have created a handbook in Dover to assist property owners and developers in developing and redeveloping their property. View it here.

The City of Dover's land use regulations can be found in the following chapters of the City Code:

Chapter 153, Site Review Regulations. View online here.

Chapter 157, Subdivision of Land. View online here.

Chapter 170, Zoning. View online here.

Mission Statement

To facilitate the process of determining Dover’s long-range development goals and advocate the implementation of these goals once they are established with particular emphasis on economic development; to serve the public as a source of information and data about the community; to develop and fairly administer regulatory processes that apply to development and construction with an emphasis on assisting the public, and to provide expertise for special projects with emphasis on GIS, economic development, transportation and land use.  

Major Service Responsibilities for the Planning Office

  • Maintain and implement the City’s Master Plan
  • Maintain and administer the approval process for development and subdivision of land 
  • Staff the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and City Council for their respective land use and development issues
  • Serve as an information source on the City and development process for the public, City departments and applicants
  • Represent the City on regional and state committees and projects
  • Conduct research and grant writing
  • Conduct special projects as assigned by the City Manager or any of the City’s Boards and Commissions  

Boards Served

  • Planning Board
  • Cochecho Waterfront Development Advisory Committee
  • Community Trail Advisory Committee
  • Conservation Commission
  • Energy Commission
  • Open Lands Committee
  • Transportation Advisory Committee

Planning Department Documents

Click here to view a list of all Planning Department documents.

Planning Department Forms