Ch 1 - A Vision and Future Land Use Plan For Conway

Ch 1 - A Vision and Future Land Use Plan For Conway

1. Introduction

Since the initiation of the master plan update process in late 2001, the Planning Board has been grappling with a wide variety of transportation, community design, infrastructure, recreation and development related issues. The planning process provided a variety of opportunities for the residents of Conway, and other individuals, to offer direction, input and suggestions about updating this master plan.
This chapter of the master plan addresses the collective vision of the residents of Conway about how land should be preserved or developed in the community. The issues discussed in this chapter are based in part on RSA 674:2; the enabling legislation that outlines master plan requirements in New Hampshire. The statute requires that municipal master plans include, at a minimum, “a vision section that serves to direct the other sections of the plan,” and “a land use section upon which [other] sections shall be based.” The statute also suggests a more comprehensive approach by recommending that other sections (such as population, economic activity, transportation, housing, implementation etc.) be included in master plans. These recommended sections are included in this master plan.
This chapter presents goals, objectives, policies and direction for guiding development and maintaining the intrinsic character and quality of life in Conway. The methods used to encourage public involvement, which played a significant role in the preparation of these policy statements, are also highlighted.
It is understood that Conway will continue to change and that the town needs to manage growth in a fashion suited to Conway’s unique economic, environmental and political features. The policy statements presented in this master plan reflect the values of Conway residents and other interested individuals about their future vision of Conway and how they would like to manage growth.

2. Public Involvement in the Planning Process

In order to prepare a master plan that reflects the issues, desires and visions of the community, it is important to involve the public throughout the planning process. The Planning Board determined that the best procedure for public involvement would require a variety of different approaches. Rather than holding a series of meetings at the beginning and end of the planning process, it was decided that various public outreach efforts (including issue identification sessions, visioning workshops and a charrette) would be used to solicit input, discussion, review and feedback from the public. Additionally, due to the village-centered community identity of Conway, it was determined that holding public meetings in each of the villages would attract a more diverse group of residents to participate in discussions about the future of Conway. It was also felt that varied locations for meetings would encourage a discussion of specific development and planning issues relating to the different villages of Conway. The approaches used to involve the residents of Conway in the process of preparing this master plan update are outlined below:
  • Issue Identification Sessions

A total of three issue identification sessions were held. Each session was held in different school facilities to encourage attendance by individuals within each of Conway’s villages. This also promoted the identification of issues at the village level. Sessions were held in early 2002 at Kennett High School (January 15), Pine Tree School (January 29), and John Fuller School (February 7). These sessions provided an opportunity for residents and other interested individuals to discuss important strengths and concerns within the community. Over one hundred residents and stakeholders attended these sessions. The issues identified by participants were grouped as follows: transportation, environment, economic, land use, government/administrative and other. Handouts outlining baseline economic, demographic and housing conditions were provided to participants in order to encourage discussion (a copy of this handout entitled Master Plan Update – Baseline Conditions Summary is contained in an Attachment to this master plan).

  • Vision Forums

Three vision forums were held at different venues during late April and early May, 2002. Based on discussions conducted during the issue identification sessions, the vision forums provided participants with an opportunity to share their future vision of Conway. Participants were encouraged to suggest alternative approaches for dealing with issues confronting the town. They were also provided with an Issue Identification Summary Report handout that highlighted topics discussed during the issue identification sessions (a copy of this handout is contained in an Attachment to this master plan).

Each vision forum was divided into three parts. In the first part, a discussion was held with all participants relative to a long-term (ten to twenty years) vision for the town and/or specific areas of the community. Possible methods for achieving these different visions were also briefly discussed. In the second part, participants were divided into smaller groups and provided graphic materials such as maps and various colored markers. The groups were then asked to indicate on the maps where they would like to see various types of future development, open space or other activities in Conway. Once completed, a designated group member presented a summary of each group’s vision. The third and final part of the forum involved distributing disposable cameras to participants with the request to take photographs of places, buildings, open space, and other aspects of Conway that they liked or disliked.  Participants were also asked to provide commentary about each photograph. A total of fourteen cameras were returned with comments.

  • Charrette – Designing Conway’s Future

Building on the results of the issue identification sessions and the vision forums, a charrette entitled Designing Conway’s Future was held on Saturday, June 22 at the Fox Ridge Resort. The purpose of Designing Conway’s Future was to provide residents with an opportunity to discuss a clear and realistic vision of future development activities and generally provide input into the planning process. Specifically, residents were encouraged to work with community planners and landscape architects to designate development and land preservation sites as well as provide conceptual design ideas.

Residents were encouraged to drop-in between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to provide their input and work with the planning team. A Saturday was selected in order to provide residents who were unavailable during weekdays a chance to offer comments and suggestions. Following the drop-in session, the planning team presented graphic and text-based design elements and concepts that were discussed during Designing for Conway’s Future. The text-based elements and concepts were divided into affinity clusters as well as village-specific concepts. The clustered design elements and concepts included: Center Conway, North Conway, Conway Village, open space, aesthetics, transportation and other design issues.

  • Planning Board Meetings

Beginning in January, 2002, the Conway Planning Board initiated regular monthly workshops to discuss procedures and issues relative to updating the master plan as well as reviewing and discussing various draft chapters of the master plan. In all, the Planning Board held over thirty public meetings, workshops and forums. At all of the meetings, no matter the purpose, people were encouraged to attend and offer suggestions and comments on the items discussed or material that had been presented at previous meetings.

  • Posting of Master Plan Update Material

Draft materials, prepared for public meetings and draft chapters of the master plan update, were posted on the town’s website ( The website also presented contact information so residents and stakeholders could provide feedback or obtain more information.

3. A Vision for Conway

The Town of Conway has changed significantly over the past twenty to thirty years. As an outdoor, recreation and retail destination the character of each village and therefore, the town as a whole, especially in terms of land use, will continue to change in the future.
During the master plan update process, public discussions about the future of Conway involved a variety of residents and stakeholders (business people, municipal officials, environmental advocates and others). While residents and stakeholders in Conway have experienced differences of opinion on many issues (most notably the proposed bypass issue)[1], the participants demonstrated some consensus regarding goals for Conway’s future. These goals and policies, which are discussed on the next several pages, should not be regarded as an inflexible blueprint for the future development of Conway, but rather as a framework or guide for directing and managing future land use changes within the community.
During the preparation of this master plan update, it was determined that an overall vision for the future of Conway should be articulated. The Planning Board created the following statement as an overall vision or guideline for Conway’s future:
Recognizing that our natural beauty is our greatest asset, our commitment is to balance growth with the needs of the environment and the community.
As outlined on the next several pages, a general goal was established for various planning-related issues (e.g. housing, economic development, recreation, etc). Each issue area’s goal is supported by primary objectives and recommendations for attaining these goals. It should be noted that the goals and objectives are based upon comments and suggestions received during the different public meetings highlighted earlier, and were then refined by the members of the Planning Board to reflect their  understanding of specific planning-related issues.

A. Housing Goal

Due to increasing demand for housing caused by the centralized location and recreation aspects associated with Conway, coupled with a lack of housing units within lower price ranges, the Town of Conway should support the development of a range of housing choices for all ages and income levels.
Primary Objectives
  1. The town should encourage the development of affordable housing. Ideally, the town should participate in a regional housing initiative with other communities and agencies in the Mount Washington Valley to produce an equitable, coordinated approach to encourage affordable housing.
  2. Encourage the development of residential units above existing and new commercial business establishments within the villages.
  3. Consider the development of a limited number of higher-density residential developments in close proximity to commercial business establishments along Route 16.
  4. Consider the development of housing for elderly residents due to the changing demographic patterns.

B. Economic Development Goal

Recognizing that the key economic character of the community is its tourism-based economy, future economic development initiatives should strive to diversify the employment and business establishment base within Conway.
Primary Objectives
  1. As Conway’s economy is focused across such a narrow group of sectors, the town should support economic development incentives which encourage diversification of the local employment and business establishment base.
  2. The town should work with the North Conway Water Precinct (NCWP) and the Conway Village Fire District (CVFD) to ensure that water and sewer infrastructure are in place within the Conway’s industrial zones in order to improve the potential for light industrial, distribution and/or office establishments.

C. Municipal Services and Infrastructure Goal

Coordinate and harmonize existing municipal services and infrastructure providers in order to provide citizens with a high quality and efficient infrastructure and service network.
Primary Objectives
  1. The Conway School District should prepare a comprehensive capital improvements plan that addresses the town’s future educational infrastructure needs.
  2. The Conway School District should work with the town to identify potential sites for any new facilities, especially a high school. Facilities should be designed in a flexible fashion to serve as an educational facility and as a multi-purpose community center that can accommodate performing arts, cultural activities and public gatherings.
  3. The town should continue to support water and sewer interconnections between the Conway Village Fire District (CVFD) and the North Conway Water Precinct (NCWP). The Board of Selectmen should work with both the CVFD and the NCWP by informing residents and property owners in both service areas about the advantages of inter-connected water and wastewater systems in terms of resource protection and future economic opportunities; developing funding solutions that recognize the difference in tax bases and financing capabilities between the two service areas; and applying for state and federal financial support that is accessible only through the town (i.e. CDBG and CDAG grants).
  4. The Board of Selectmen should work with both the CVFD and NCWP to plan, coordinate and establish water and sewer improvements on a town-wide scale. Priorities for water and sewer improvements include improved treatment capacity for Conway Village and then line extensions to land designated for industrial use along East Conway Road.
  5. Explore opportunities for enhancing coordination and cooperation between Conway’s current fire and emergency service providers.
  6. Consider the changing demographic characteristics of the town’s population such as the shifts in age groups, decreasing household size, the reductions in the number of young singles and families, and the growing number of near seniors and seniors when broadening and/or altering municipal services and infrastructure.

D. Roadways and Transportation Goal

The town should use roadway improvements to enhance the character of Conway’s villages, as well as introduce mechanisms and infrastructure to promote and encourage transportation system use by pedestrians and bicycle users.
Primary Objectives
  1. The town should continue to work with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to reinvent Route 16. Modifications to Route 16 could include landscaped medians, consolidated driveway access points and shared parking.
  2. Consider revising the town’s parking standards to encourage a more flexible, usable and visually appealing parking system throughout Conway. Adopted measures should include the sizing of parking lots based on reasonable demand, shared parking facilities, encouraging landscaped parking facilities, and placing lots at the back or side of buildings to discourage the visual blight of endless parking lots.
  3. Incorporate traffic calming measures in various locations throughout Conway to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety and livability in high traffic neighborhoods. Specifically, center island treatments should be incorporated in Conway Village and North Conway Village to act as visual gateways and to slow the pace of traffic.
  4. Consider adopting new street cross-section plans in both Conway Village and North Conway Village.
  5. Consider adopting a policy that would permit a decrease in street width in certain locations for environmental and safety reasons.
  6. Design and incorporate measures to improve way-finding (directional signs) in Conway Village and North Conway Village. Measures may include improving signage, lighting and streetscapes.

E. Recreation Goal

Promote and support a variety of recreational opportunities, including outdoor activities, for Conway residents of all ages and income levels.
Primary Objectives
  1. Support and work with the Conway Recreational Access Committee to create a network of multipurpose trails to connect Conway’s significant athletic, recreation, and open spaces, as well as its schools, libraries, and other public facilities
  2. Insist that all state road enhancement projects accommodate bicycle lanes.
  3. Prepare and adopt a bikeway plan that accommodates both roadside and off-road bikeways.
  4. Investigate the feasibility for developing a municipal skateboard park.

F. Sense of Community Goal

The Town should preserve and enhance the unique design characteristics, features and identity of each village while at the same time creating locations in Conway which connects and bonds the community.
Primary Objectives
  1. Design and construct identifiable gateways that signify the entrance to Conway and each of its villages along major roadways.
  2. Recognize and address the issues and concerns of both year-round and seasonal residents.
  3. Examine the feasibility and potential for the development of a centralized community gathering area and/or facility to be used as the primary location for major public events by all members of the community.

G. Land Use Goal

Regulations, policies and guidelines used to manage land development in Conway should change. In non-village portions of the town these changes should focus on targeting areas for medium and low-density residential development, commercial and light industrial development, and limited development (protected areas). Village areas should be designated for a mix of high density residential, commercial and institutional uses.
Primary Objectives
  1. Existing land use patterns in Conway have been created by a multitude of decisions by individuals and various governing bodies over the last two centuries. Changes concerning how land can be developed in the future should, to the extent possible, seek to balance community needs and impacts with the rights of private property owners, while protecting the environment and natural resources.
  2. Revise the zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and site plan review regulations to achieve the objectives outlined in the master plan. The revised land use regulations should consider environmental, social, fiscal and economic impacts in evaluating development proposals.
  3. Zoning districts for North Conway Village and Conway Village should contain a higher density mix of residential, commercial and institutional uses. Incentives should be provided for incorporating residential units above existing or proposed commercial establishments. Performance standards for these areas should be developed that define the limits of possible development related impacts such as noise and parking. These zoning areas should incorporate the main corridor through each village as well as the adjacent streets and neighborhood.
  4. Center Conway Village should be designated as a residential growth area. Although residential development would be the primary use, there should be opportunities for limited neighborhood commercial and institutional development.
  5. Areas to the south of Center Conway Village and Conway Village (Eaton Road area) and west of the Saco River (West Side Road area) should be designated for low density residential development. Cluster development should be encouraged.
  6. Water and sewer infrastructure should be extended to the industrial zone along East Conway Road. Performance standards that define the limits of possible development related impacts such as noise, traffic, air pollution, etc., should be incorporated as part of revised land use regulations.
  7. Development in the Green Hills area north of East Conway Road and east of the Route 16 should be limited to protect farmlands, woodlands, open space, wildlife habitat and scenic areas.
  8. Encourage the permanent protection of environmentally significant lands to avoid incremental deterioration of qualities which make Conway a desirable community.
  9. The Route 16 “Strip area” should contain commercial and retail uses based on development standards that address building size and design features that are comparable with the character of Conway. A limited number of high density residential developments should also be considered for this area.
  10. A local area plan should be prepared for the Route 113/302/16 bypass intersection prior to amending any development provisions affecting that area. This will help protect the area from inappropriate developments and commercial uses that may gravitate to the area.
  11. An area along Route 302, beginning on the east side of Route 16 and extending into Redstone, should be designated for large commercial, retail, automotive and complementary commercial and service uses.
  12. The Board of Selectmen should open a dialogue and establish a memorandum of understanding that involves the town, the CVFD and the NCWP in order to coordinate water and sewer infrastructure and municipal planning efforts among all parties.
  13. Develop a plan for the redevelopment and eventual reuse of the Kearsarge Metallurgical Brownfield site for passive recreational uses that provide connections to the surrounding neighborhoods.
  14. The town should encourage new commercial development to be constructed on existing sites (infill/redevelopment) rather than on raw undeveloped land.
  15. Review land use regulations to ensure that wetlands are appropriately protected. This may include a requirement for comprehensive wetland surveys of potential residential and non-residential sites over three acres in size as a part of development reviews.
  16. Review existing policies for aquifer protection and water conservation.

4. Future Land Use in Conway

The goals and objectives identified in this master plan provide a framework for managing the future development of the town. It is important to recognize that Conway is a community that contains a variety of distinct villages. Therefore, any land use plan for Conway should strive to protect and enhance the unique characteristics of each village while prescribing land use patterns that enhance the entire town and unify the community.
This section presents a plan that illustrates future land uses within Conway. The land use plan should not be regarded as a rigid blueprint for future development in Conway. Rather, it provides guidance for the orderly development of the community. It should be noted that the elements contained within the land use plan were derived from information, suggestions and comments provided by Conway residents during the meetings and forums held throughout the master plan update process. Future land use patterns are identified on Map 1-1 entitled Future Land Use Conditions.
The map presents the following land use categories:
  • The high density mixed use category applies to North Conway Village and Conway Village. Development in these areas should complement the already established dense mixture of land uses and encourage additional residential and commercial opportunities. The mix should include residential units above existing or proposed commercial establishments, small commercial and business service operations, single and multi-family dwellings, and other compatible uses.
  • The commercial and retail zone extends from the intersection of Route 302 and Route 16 and then north along Route 16 to the southern edge of the North Conway Village (“The Strip”). The recommended uses are essentially unchanged from the existing Conway Zoning Ordinance (Highway Commercial Zone). Under the Future Land Use Plan this area would continue to accommodate commercial, retail, service, and hospitality establishments. It should be emphasized that these types of land uses should be concentrated within this area (through infill, redevelopment of existing underutilized properties and finally through the development of vacant land) in order to reduce the potential homogenization of non-residential land uses elsewhere in Conway. In addition to nonresidential uses within the area, limited high-density multi-family residential land uses should also be encouraged.
  • The large scale commercial area generally extends from the East side of Route 16 south along Route 302 into Redstone. This area includes the Mountain Valley Mall, Shaw’s, Wal*Mart and Crest Motors. The purpose of this area is to accommodate larger commercial, retail, automotive and service establishments.
  • Assuming water and sewer infrastructure are eventually made available to the industrial area along East Conway Road, the boundaries of this area would essentially remain unchanged from the existing Conway Zoning Ordinance. The existing industrial area along Hobbs Street (zoned Industrial 1 under the April 9, 2002 Zoning Ordinance) could be considered a performance based zoning overlay (which defines the limits of possible development related impacts such as noise, traffic, air pollution, etc.) and generally be targeted for assembly, warehousing and other non-noxious industrial uses. While development proposals in the industrial area along East Conway Road would be evaluated based on specific performance standards, a broad range of light manufacturing and industrial uses would be encouraged in contrast to just the assembly and warehousing uses in the Hobbs Street industrial area.
  • The neighborhood residential category applies to Center Conway Village. Residential uses should be predominant in this area. Some limited commercial or institutional uses should be encouraged to serve the neighborhood. Limitations relative to water and sewer infrastructure dictate lower development densities than the high density mixed use areas.
  • Medium density residential zones should be located to the north and south of Conway Village, as well as to the north of the North Conway Village. The medium density zone would be limited to residential uses.
  • Map 1-1 future land use
  • Residential planned unit development area applies to land parcels along West Side Road. This large land area would contain primarily single family residential dwellings. However, in order to preserve the scenic value of the area and to protect existing open space, there should be some options to permit residential clustered development[2]. Incentives, such as density bonuses, could be established to encourage residential cluster developments. In order to provide oversight and guidance, it is recommended that any proposed cluster development plan be subject to a site plan review by the Conway Planning Board.
  • The planned unit development category applies to two different locations. One area includes property within Intervale, east of Route 16. This area serves as Conway’s northern Gateway. The other area includes the triangular portion of land east of Route 16, west of Route 302 (in Redstone) and north of Route 113 (East Main Street). This triangular shaped area serves an important function in that it provides a scenic buffer between the commercial land uses in North Conway Village (along Route 16) and Conway Village, and the neighborhood residential land uses in Center Conway Village. There, however, are opportunities for limited planned unit development within nodes in this area. Site plan review of prospective developments by the Conway Planning Board should also be required for this type of development in this location in order to preserve the existing scenic and environmental integrity of the area.
  • Low-density residential development generally involves areas south of Route 113, Center Conway Village and the proposed bypass.
  • The final land use identified on the map is the limited development area which is generally located north of East Conway Road (and the industrial area) and east of Route 16 and North Conway Village. This area would limit, but not entirely restrict, development in order to protect farmlands, woodlands, open space, wildlife habitat and scenic areas. Rigorous performance standards should be established for these areas which would permit certain types of development that would not place undue strain on natural resources.
Identifiable gateways have been proposed for the major vehicular access points to Conway. These major access points would include Route 16 in Conway Village (from Albany), Route 113 (from Fryeburg), and Route 16 in North Conway (from Bartlett). Gateways are generally symbolic structures, signs or landscaped areas created at major access points of a community that provide a sense of arrival and/or welcome to visitors.
The Special Highway Corridor District (SHCD), as established in the existing Conway Zoning Ordinance, runs the entire length of the proposed Conway bypass from the Conway/Albany town line in the south to just north of North Conway Village. The purpose of the SHCD is to allow for appropriate development along the bypass which is compatible with the scenic rural landscape along the corridor. The SHCD applies to all properties within five hundred feet of the edge of the bypass right-of-way.
Although the underlying zoning takes president (for minimum lot sizes and setbacks, etc.), the SHCD incorporates some additional site development requirements. For example, upon development of a property within the SHCD, a vegetative buffer is required within one hundred feet of the bypass right-of-way for industrial, commercial, and multi-family residential land uses and within seventy-five feet for single family residential land uses. Furthermore, properties are subject to additional requirements relative to lot coverage, signage, lighting, building heights and parking.
The transitional area is a small area generally located at the intersection of the proposed Conway bypass and Route 113. This area was highlighted since it represents the nexus between two major roadways (Route 113 and the Conway bypass) and two different types of land uses (limited planned unit development and neighborhood residential). Typically, intersections of two major transportation corridors offer numerous opportunities for non-residential development (commercial, retail and service). Due to the significance of the intersection on surrounding land uses and the limited scope of the master plan to adequately address the issues relative to this small geographic area, no specific future land use recommendations are proposed. However, it is strongly urged that the town prepare a local area plan to address land use issues in and around this area before revising the development provisions that affect this section of the community.

5. Recommended Changes in Parcel Sizes

This section examines current land use conditions within selected areas of Conway. This analysis is based on parcel data from the town’s assessment database and the use of a geographic information system (GIS) for mapping and analysis purposes. The purpose of this analysis is to compare existing land use conditions with proposed future land uses. Information within this section is provided for both non-residential and residential parcels. However, due to the abundance of residential properties throughout Conway, most of the analysis focuses on the average and median size of residential parcels in the community[3]. It should be noted that an extensive analysis of the existing use of land in Conway is provided in Chapter 9, entitled Land Use and Community Design Features.
In terms of current minimum lot size requirements, with the exception of the Industrial 2 district (outlined in the Conway Zoning Ordinance) and properties within the Kearsarge Lighting District (both which require a minimum parcel size of two acres), minimum parcel sizes are consistent across all zoning districts and are based on the availability of municipal water and sewer. The Conway Zoning Ordinance states that the minimum lot size for land serviced by both municipal water and sewer infrastructure is one-half acre (approximately 20,000 square feet) for the first unit developed. Each additional dwelling unit requires 10,000 square feet of land. Lots serviced by municipal water, but without sewer infrastructure require a minimum lot size of one-half acre of qualified[4] land per dwelling unit. For parcels not serviced by municipal water or sewer infrastructure, a minimum of one acre of qualified land is required.
From a town-wide perspective, the average parcel in Conway is 6.97 acres with the median being 0.8 of an acre (meaning that there are some relatively large land parcels in Conway). However, it is interesting to note the differences between Conway’s various geographic areas. Generally speaking, the village areas exhibit higher densities (smaller average parcel size) as compared to the more rural areas in the south and western part of Conway (with larger average parcel sizes). The following summarizes the current land use requirements of selected areas of Conway (as shown on Map 1-1) as well as potential direction for future land use conditions based on suggested land use policies. Detailed information for each of the areas is provided in Tables 1-1, 1-2 and 1-3 at the end of this chapter.
  • Residential Planned Unit Development (West Side)

In this area, along both sides of West Side Road, there are approximately 5,780 acres located on 1,349 parcels of land. It was determined that 701 of these parcels, under 5 acres, were classified for single family residential uses. These parcels contain about 665 acres. The average parcel size is 0.9 of an acre and the median parcel size is 0.8 of an acre. About 321 of the residential acres are considered undeveloped. As previously noted, it is recommended that this area primarily be devoted to single family residential land uses. It is also recommended that residential uses should be permitted at a density level of about one (1) acre per unit. However, this area could also include some options and/or requirements for cluster types of residential development (density bonuses) which could decrease lot sizes to between 0.5 acres and 0.8 acres per parcel.

  • Neighborhood Residential (Center Conway)

This portion of the town, which includes Center Conway, currently contains about 283 acres of land that are located on 111 parcels. Approximately 70 acres have been developed as single-family houses with the average lot size being 1.1 acres and the median lot size being 0.7 of an acre. It is recommended that this area be primarily used for residential purposes with some limited neighborhood commercial uses. In order to retain and complement the existing residential village character of the area, lots should remain at least one acre in size.

  • Low-Density Residential (South Conway)

The portion of the town, identified as South Conway, contains approximately 11,435 acres on 756 parcels of land. About 7,726 acres are classified as undeveloped. Residential properties, smaller than five (5) acres, have an average parcel size of 1.5 acres and a median parcel size of 1.2 acres. The primary use of this portion of town, as outlined on Map 1-1, would remain single family residential (2+ acre minimums). There may be opportunities to incorporate cluster type development (similar to the West Side area) that could reduce lot sizes to between 0.5 to 0.8 of an acre. However, since a municipal sewer infrastructure is currently not available in this area, independent sewage disposal systems (ISDS) would typically be needed for a high density or cluster development.

  • North Conway Village

This portion of Conway contains a mix of retail, business, recreation and residential land uses. It is estimated that there are 372 parcels in this portion of town on 236 acres. Approximately 78 acres are devoted for single family residential uses and 122 acres for single and multi-family uses. Average parcel size for single family use is about 0.4 of an acre and about 0.5 of an acre for single and multi-family use. As the amount of undeveloped land in North Conway Village is relatively low at 29.8 acres, and to preserve the dense village character of the area, future development density should remain high at 0.25 to 0.5 of an acre per parcel.

  • Conway Village

This mixed use area of Conway contains about 326 acres over 371 parcels of land. In terms of residential land uses, about 117 acres are devoted to single family land uses that represent an average parcel size of 0.6 of an acre and median parcel size of 0.5 of an acre. When multi-family and mobile homes are included in residential land uses the amount of total land in residential use increases to 146 acres and the average lot size remains basically the same. Similar to North Conway Village, with the amount of undeveloped land at approximately 30 acres, future development density should remain high, at 0.25 to 0.5 of an acre per parcel, in order to preserve unique village characteristics.

  • Large Scale Commercial

This area, which has been designated for large commercial, retail and automotive uses, represents about 134 acres. Currently only about 17 residential parcels, under 19 acres, are located in this area. Currently the average residential parcel size is about 1.1 acres which is primarily due to the lack of water and sewer infrastructure in the area. With future land uses in the area targeted for large commercial, retail and automotive establishments which typically require large parcels of land, future development density should remain relatively low at two (2) to five (5) acres per parcel. Furthermore, performance standards should be incorporated in the area to encourage consolidated driveway access points (thereby reduce the number of “curb cuts”) which helps to minimize traffic impacts on local roads.

Table 1-1. Parcel Attributes for Specific Portions of Conway by Geographic Area or Zone
Town of Conway
  N. Conway Village Center Conway Conway Village South Conway ** West Conway ** Large Commercial Total
# Parcels 372 111 371 756 1,349 61 3,020
Total Acres 236.1 282.7 326 11,434.6 5,780.5 134 18,193,9
Average Parcel Size 0.6 2.5 0.9 15.1 4.3 2.2 N/A
Median Parcel Size 0.4 0.9 0.5 1.6 0.8 1.1 N/A
Undeveloped Acres 29.8 78.6 30.3 7,726 2,678 16.8 10,559.5
Table 1-2. Single Family Residential Parcel Attributes by Geographic Area or Zone
Town of Conway
  N. Conway Village Center Conway Conway Village South Conway ** West Conway ** Large Commercial Total
# Parcels 176 61 195 225 701 10 1,368
Total Acres 78.7 69.7 117.2 340.7 664.8 9.2 1,280.4
Average Parcel Size .4 1.1 0.6 1.5 0.9 0.9 N/A
Median Parcel Size .3 0.7 0.5 1.2 0.8 0.9 N/A
Undeveloped Acres 29.8 78.6 30.3 295.9 321.4 16.8 772.8
Table 1-3. Residential* Parcel Attributes by Geographic Area or Zone
Town of Conway
  N. Conway Village Center Conway Conway Village South Conway ** West Conway ** Large Commercial Total
# Parcels 221 70 240 246 735 17 1,529
Total Acres 121.5 82.1 146.2 362 684.5 18.8 1,415.1
Average Parcel Size 0.5 1.2 0.6 1.5 0.9 1.1 N/A
Median Parcel Size 0.4 0.7 0.5 1.2 0.7 0.9 N/A
Undeveloped Acres 29.8 78.6 30.3 295.9 323.1 16.8 774.5


Source: RKG Associates, Inc.

Note: Does not include road, water or condominium parcels.

*Note: Includes single family, multi-family and mobile home properties.

**Note: Excludes properties over five acres.

Prepared for Town of Conway Planning Board by RKG Associates, Inc.

[1] It should be noted that although debate between the state and representatives from the town relative to the proposed bypass is ongoing, the master plan update assumes that the bypass will be constructed based on the proposed and permitted design.
[2] Clustered residential developments are typically planned and developed as a contiguous site with units grouped together in fairly close proximity to one another with a central common open space as a focal point within the development. These types of developments, if designed properly, require smaller developed area when compared to traditional large lot single family residential developments.
[3] The average was calculated by adding up the number of acres for all parcels and dividing the sum by the total number of parcels. The median represents the mid-point of lot sizes, that is 50% of the lots are smaller and 50% are larger.
[4] According to the Conway Planning Director, qualified land is defined as being suitable for development based on soil suitability requirements.