HB331 relative to time limits on design review.
Chaptered Law 0229
This bill permits the planning board to establish rules of procedure relating to the design review process and to determine when the process has ended.
HB1157 relative to requirements for approval of village plan alternative subdivisions.
Chaptered Law 0063
This bill modifies the existing language within RSA 674:21, VI(b) to require that the recorded easement placed upon the conservation land associated with such a subdivision must include language stating the easement's restrictions are enforceable by the municipality.
HB1259 authorizing communities to establish municipal housing commissions and affordable housing revolving funds.
Chaptered Law 0391
This bill enables municipalities, through legislative body action, to create a housing commission as they would a heritage, historic district, or agricultural commission. The bill provides requirements for board membership and meetings, and defines their powers. Additionally, it grants municipalities the right to establish a revolving fund to facilitate affordable housing transactions. A community may create a revolving fund after an affirmative legislative body vote, as they would for recycling, public safety, or ambulance revolving funds.
HB1260 relative to growth management ordinances.
Chaptered Law 0360
This bill is a rewrite of the existing growth management statutes. The amendments to RSA 674:22 and 23 now require termination dates for all growth management ordinances (GMOs) to ensure they do not artificially restrict growth in perpetuity. Communities will now be required to demonstrate a specific need to control growth or the timing of development, utilizing "competent data." Additionally, the planning board is to actively work to remedy the existing problem or inability to provide the appropriate community services demanded by the growing population. This plan is to be reviewed annually to ensure progress. The new language added to 674:22 clarifies how and why GMOs were intended to be employed - to slow down growth and institute the needed capital improvements in order to "catch up" with local growth. The statutes related to interim GMOs, 674:23, were amended through this bill to call out specific findings that must be reported to the community justifying an interim GMO, how it shall be applied in the community, along with a recommended course of action to remedy the situation that perpetuated the need for the GMO.
Communities with a GMO in place prior to the bill's effective date, have until June 1, 2010 to amend their ordinance in conformance with the act. If a municipality adopted an interim growth management ordinance under RSA 674:23 prior to the effective date of this act, that ordinance shall remain in effect until one year after its passage or until the municipality's next annual meeting, unless the ordinance prescribes an earlier expiration date, and unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the ordinance is illegal or is otherwise unenforceable. Otherwise the bill takes effect upon its passage.
HB1295 establishing a commission to study issues relating to stormwater.
Chaptered Law 0071
The study commission's primary function is to review the effects of stormwater and stormwater management on water quality, water supply and quantity, terrestrial and aquatic habitat, flooding, and drought hazards. To do so they will also review the relationship between land use change and stormwater; the adequacy of federal, state, and local regulations and practices that pertain to stormwater management; State and municipal infrastructure construction and maintenance practices; role of design, construction, and maintenance practices by residential, commercial, and industrial property owners; and the effects of climate change on stormwater and stormwater management.
HB1349 relative to membership on the council on resources and development.
Chaptered Law 0150
CORD is a multi-agency body, managed by OEP, that has recently been meeting 6 times a year to consider requests to surplus certain state lands, monitor smart growth and advise OEP's Conservation Land Stewardship Program. Current law specifies Commissioners or Assistant Commissioners as members, though senior staff often attend instead. While this seems appropriate when the agenda involves fairly ministerial matters, it makes it hard to achieve a quorum, as the attendee may not have authority to vote. This bill makes membership more flexible, with standard "Commissioner or designee" language. Though not stated in the bill, on matters involving broader policy considerations, OEP will work to have Commissioners or Assistant Commissioners attend. The bill also updates the membership to reflect the reorganization of homeland security.
HB1352 relative to the comprehensive state development plan.
Chaptered Law 0248
The State Development Plan is the responsibility of OEP, and a new plan is nearing completion. Current law contains a conflict in filing requirements: RSA 9-A:3 calls for revision and filing every 2 years; RSA 9-A:1, V calls for revision every 4 years. This bill makes clear it is a 4 year requirement. The change was requested by OEP.
HB1408 relative to the right-to-know law.
Chaptered Law 0303
This bill clarifies the manner in which the right-to-know law applies to both governmental records kept in electronic form and electronic communication used to transact governmental business. In particular, it states that a meeting quorum is achieved "whether in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner" that entails group communication of public matters. However, so long as no decisions are made, chance encounters are not a meeting quorum.
HB1579 establishing a commission to study issues relating to land development and its regulation in New Hampshire.
Chaptered Law 0294
This bill establishes a commission to study issues relating to land development, its effects upon water quality and quantity, and the consistency of local, state and federal regulatory programs regulation. The anticipated outcome is to identify opportunities for integration of land use controls, open space protection techniques, and environmental and public health protection laws to promote land development patterns that maintain ecosystem health and integrity while providing desirable communities in which to live and work.
In addition to creating this study commission, the bill was amended to add a registry of deeds filing charge creating a dedicated revenue source for the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) trust fund.
HB1581 relative to the formation of stormwater utility districts.
Chaptered Law 0295
This bill permits any NH municipality to create a stormwater utility districts, as Chapter 329 did for the City of Manchester in 2007. Once established these districts, that will operate similar to existing sewer districts, can construct and maintain municipal stormwater systems.
HB1601 relative to … and to certain requirements under the comprehensive shoreland protection act.
Chaptered Law 0005
The comprehensive shoreland protection act component of this bill simply delays implementation of the CSPA changes that were to go into effect on April 1, 2008 (established through 2007's Chapter Laws 267 and 269) to July 1, 2008. This was done through first repealing the new language, restating the pre-April 1, 2008 language, and then reintroducing the new language, with a new effective date. Visit the CSPA Web site for new program details and permit information.
SB342 establishing a mechanism for expediting relief from municipal actions with deny, impede, or delay qualified proposals for workforce housing.
Chaptered law 0299
This bill codifies holdings of Britton v. Chester, a 1991 state Supreme Court case that requires all municipalities to provide "reasonable opportunity" for the development workforce housing, including rental housing. Key here is a set of definitions and standards to assess what is a reasonable opportunity for workforce housing and creates and expedited process to allow for redress. It creates no greater burden on a municipality than already exists as a result of Britton v. Chester. Instead, it is left to the municipality to choose how to provide a "reasonable opportunity" for workforce housing such as where workforce housing is permitted, so long as it is allowed within a majority of the land areas where residential uses are permitted.
Applicants proposing to develop "workforce housing," as defined by this bill that are denied or have severe conditions placed upon them that jeopardize the development's affordability, may appeal and be either heard by the court or a court appointed referee within six months.
The bill becomes effective July 1, 2009 allowing one full town meeting cycle for communities wishing to amend their regulations.
SB352 relative to shoreland protection.
Chaptered Law 0171
This bill builds upon and clarifies Chapter Laws 267 and 269 of 2007. Important modifications were made to the percentage of vegetation within the natural woodland buffer that must remain unaltered to ensure that small lots can comply with the statutes. For lots with one-half acre or less of land within the natural woodland buffer, the vegetation within at least 25 percent of the area outside the waterfront buffer shall be maintained in an unaltered state. Lots greater than one-half acre of land within the natural woodland buffer remain virtually unchanged; the vegetation within at least 50 percent of the area outside the waterfront buffer, exclusive of impervious surfaces, shall be maintained in an unaltered state.
The impervious surface language has been modified, but given provisions now placed in the administrative rules, functionally remains unchanged. There is a maximum permitted impervious surface area of 20 percent within the protected shoreland. This maximum can be increased up to 30 percent with the provision of a stormwater management system and permanent maintenance of a 50-point tree score in the waterfront buffer.
Additional changes allows the placement of certain herbicides within a waterfront buffer with a special permit and also requires that shoreland permit applicants provide notice to abutters.
Visit the CSPA Web site for more information.
SB361 relative to the widening of I-93.
Chaptered Law 0329
This bill directs the commissioner of transportation to expedite completion of the widening of Interstate 93 from Manchester to the Massachusetts border once work has commenced on any one of the construction projects.
SB381 relative to conservation commissions.
Chaptered Law 0317
This bill allows conservation commissions to contribute money from the conservation fund to certain qualified organizations for the purchase of property interests to be held by the organization when such purchase carries out the purposes for which conservation commissions are established. This bill also authorizes conservation commissions to purchase interests in land outside the boundaries of the municipality.
SB403 relative to large withdrawals of water from aquifers within municipal boundaries.
Chaptered Law 0266
This bill simply clarifies the membership of the commission to study issues relating to stormwater enacted by HB 1295.