Public Hearing Residential Zoning Regulations and Map

Posted on
February 21, 2024
Planning and Zoning Commission

The Durham Planning & Zoning Commission is currently in the process of updating its Residential Zoning Regulations and Zoning Map, and is seeking input from the public.  Reasons for revising the regulations and map include the following:

  • Existing residential zoning regulations have not been updated for many years;
  • Uses permitted under the regulations should be updated to reflect modern laws and practices;
  •  Minimum lot sizes would be revised to improve housing affordability, and diversity of housing stock;
  • Alignment with the town’s Affordable Housing Plan which recommends increased density, infill development, and promoting multi-family housing;
  • Two-acre Zoning may be considered exclusionary; 
  • Alignment with Section 2.6 of the Durham Plan of Conservation & Development, which recommends that consideration be given to evaluating current lot sizes for both residential and multi-family homes;
  • Variance requests would be reduced, by reducing the number of non-conforming lots;
  • Layout and readability of the document to improve clarity for the users.

All questions related to the proposed regulation and map should be directed to Ms. Robin Newton, Town Planner at: 

Previous 2-21-24 Public Hearing

In addition, the Planning & Zoning Commission invites the public to submit verbal and/or written comments at its Public Hearing on April 17, 2024, at 7:00 PM.  For your convenience, this hearing will be conducted both in-person at Town Hall and via Zoom Teleconference.  For more information, please visit the town website at:


In March 2023, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the town of Durham undertook a project to review and update the town’s Residential Zoning Regulations and Zoning Map. 

This review included an in-depth examination of properties throughout the town; including the size of the lots, the permitted uses, the actual uses, and how this compared to the current Zoning regulations. 

One of the goals of the commission was to reduce the number of Non-Conforming lots in the town, as this would reduce the need for variance requests; and provide opportunities for smaller lots to improve the affordability and diversity of our housing stock; without compromising the soils, ground water, or environment in our town.  It should be recognized that the development any lot (regardless of size) must still comply with the minimum health standards for septic and potable water established by the state and town. 

The work of the commission culminated in the introduction of two new zoning districts (for a total of four) and the re-naming of existing districts; as well as consideration of different bulk and area requirements based on the built environment and Use Table. 

The four (4) districts being proposed would be known as: 

R-10: ¼ acre (Main Street) 
R-20: ½ acre
R-40: 1 acre
R-80: 2 acres

The proposed draft language continues to maintain the current side-yard setback protections for dwellings that were constructed prior to July 15, 1979.  

The commission also combined uses that were similar in nature; and definitions were added for uses that were previously undefined. Some of these uses include Daycare (i.e.: Child Day Care Center, Family Day Care Center, Group Home Day Care), which was updated for consistency with Connecticut’s General Statutes; Healthcare Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities (i.e.: Hospitals, Urgent Care Facilities, Nursing Homes, etc.); and Places of Worship (i.e.: Churches, Charitable/ Religious Organizations, etc.).  In updating the regulations, the commission also included references to Short-Term Rentals, Home-based Businesses, and Excavation and Earth Removal.

On behalf of the Durham Planning & Zoning Commission, 

 Frank C. DeFelice - Chair