Character-Based Zoning – West End

The City's Planning Department hosted a multi-day public design workshop in February 2015 focusing on expanding character-based zoning from Downtown and the North End into the West End. Compared to existing zoning, character-based zoning places increased emphasis on design features such as building siting on the lot, scale, and architectural form.

Following the workshop, a West End Vision Plan was created and character-based zoning has been proposed for this area.  These proposed zoning amendments were presented to the City Council for first reading on January 11, 2016 and will be presented to the Planning Board at its January 21 meeting.  The Planning Board will hold a public hearing at its meeting on February 18. Concurrently with the Planning Board review, Portsmouth Listens will hold a series of Study Circles meetings to review the proposed zoning changes, beginning with a kick-off event on the evening of January 20; and it is anticipated that the findings from this process will be presented to the Planning Board and City Council.

West End Character Based Zoning 


Revised Ordinance and Map Amendments adopted by City Council on July 11, 2016:

Revised Ordinance and Map Amendments dated May 2, 2016, for Public Hearing and Second Reading at the May 16, 2016 City Council meeting:

April 14, 2016 (Work Session on West End Zoning- Zoning Ordinance Amendments – West End & Islington Street)

March 17, 2016 Planning Board Public Hearing

January 11, 2015 City Council First Reading

Additional West End maps

Current projects in the West End

Portsmouth Listens kickoff meeting presentation (1/20/16)

West End Vision Plan (10/6/15)

Meeting Videos

Project Schedule


  • West End Character-Based Zoning – Public Informational Meeting, Levenson Room, Library Wednesday, June 15 – 6:30 pm
  • Public design workshop: February 20-23, 2015
  • City Council first reading: Monday January 11, 2016
  • Planning Board public hearing: Tuesday February 18, 2016 (City Council Chambers at 7:00pm)
  • Planning Board Work Session: Thursday April 14, 2016 (City Council Chambers at 7:00pm)
  • Anticipated City Council second reading: Monday May 2, 2016 (City Council Chambers at 7:00pm)