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Aesthetics | Capital Improvements Program | Community Profiles/Community Surveys | Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive (RSA 79-E) | Developments of Regional Impact | Excavation | Fiscal Impact of Residential Development | Floodplain Development | Greenways | Home Occupations | Impact Fees | Innovative Land Use Planning | Integrated Land Use Development Permit | Junkyards | 2012 Livable Walkable Communities Toolkit | Master Plan | Neighborhood Heritage Districts | New Urbanism | NH Citizen Planner Collaborative | Noise Control | Paper Streets | Pedestrian/Transit Oriented Development | Personal Wireless Service Facilities | Planning History | Preliminary Review | Rural Character | Signs | Special Event Ordinance | Sprawl/Smart Growth | Storage Containers/Storage Trailers | Street Naming | Street Tree Ordinance | Tax Increment Financing | Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) | Urban Growth Boundary/Urban Service District Zoning

back to topAesthetics

  • §2.23 Zoning for Aesthetics
    (From Loughlin, 15 New Hampshire Practice: Land Use Planning and Zoning, Ch. 2, Purposes and Limits, §2.23 (LexisNexis Matthew Bender)
  • Asselin v. Town of Conway, 137 NH 368, 628 A.2d 247 (1993)
    The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld an ordinance that prohibited internally lit signs. An expert testified that internally illuminated signs appear as disconnected squares of light with an overall effect of creating a visual block of the natural environment of the mountain town, and appear to bob around through windshields. "The evidence supports a finding that the restriction on internally lighted signs is rationally related to the town's legitimate, aesthetic goals of preserving vistas, discouraging development that competes with the natural environment, and promoting the character of a 'country community'."
  • "The State zoning enabling act grants municipalities broad authority to pass zoning ordinances for the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. Asselin v. Town of Conway, 137 NH 368, 371, 628 A.2d 247 (1993); see RSA 674:16, I (1996). In enacting a zoning regulation, a town may consider the knowledge of town selectmen and planning board members concerning such factors as traffic conditions and surrounding uses resulting from their familiarity with the area involved. Quirk, 140 NH at 129, 663 A.2d 1328. Furthermore, a municipality may exercise its zoning power solely to advance aesthetic values because the preservation or enhancement of the visual environment may promote the general welfare. Asselin, 137 NH at 371-72, 628 A.2d 247." [Richard Taylor & a. v. Town of Plaistow
    Argued: February 9, 2005 Opinion Issued: April 22, 2005]
  • Zoning for Aesthetics
    From Part III, Section C. of Innovative Land Use Controls: Reexamining Your Zoning Ordinance, NHMA Law Lecture #3, Fall 2012 by Attorney Keriann Roman, Drummond, Woodsum & MacMahon and Christopher G. Parker, AICP, Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Dover

back to topCapital Improvements Program

back to topCommunity Profiles/Community Surveys

Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive (RSA 79-E)

  • RSA 79-E
  • Listing of municipalities that have adopted the provisions of RSA 79-E pdf file
  • Who is using NH's Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive?

    Since 2006, New Hampshire towns and cities have had the option of adopting the Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive, found in state law at NH RSA 79-E. Designed to encourage economic activity while preserving the unique historic and cultural character of towns and villages, the incentive offers property owners a break on their property taxes if they redevelop an under-utilized property. This past fall, a group of graduate students in Plymouth State University's Historic Preservation Program took a close look at the incentive and asked who was using it and to what degree?

    Their results are now available in an online report, A Tool for Your Town: New Hampshire's Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive pdf file. The report explains the incentive process, tallies which New Hampshire towns and cities have adopted it, and highlights success stories in Berlin, Concord, Nashua and Somersworth. It also identifies common challenges for communities and developers and offers a series of recommendations for expanding the incentive's use. "The students' research showed that many towns, cities and developers are unaware of the value of the community revitalization incentive," said Professor Elizabeth Muzzey, who is also the State Historic Preservation Officer. "Their report will hopefully go a long way in changing that."

    Drew Bedard, Martha Cummings, Alison Keay and Joanna Synder authored the report as part of their coursework in Plymouth's Historic Preservation Program.

back to topDevelopments of Regional Impact

  • RSA 36:54-58
  • Developments of Regional Impact Review Guidelines pdf file Southern NH Planning Commission
  • Understanding Developments of Regional Impact, New Hampshire Town and City, May 2008
    Land use boards are faced with the challenge of ensuring that developments bring positive benefit to the local community. As if weighing the merits locally weren't hard enough, there is also the issue of regional impact to consider. In an effort to get the word out about the Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) process, the New Hampshire Association of Regional Planning Commissions presented a session at the New Hampshire Local Government Center Annual Conference last November. Through the session, the regional planning commissions hoped to dispel myths about the issue and provide resources to help local governments to implement the process. What struck this observer was the obvious level of frustration among municipal officials and local planning staff from municipalities that had not been properly notified in the past about projects in neighboring communities.
  • Regional Impact Committee, Strafford Regional Planning Commission
  • H. Charles & Ann Royce v. Town of Jaffrey, Planning Board pdf file - Cheshire County Superior Court, August 23, 2006
    (Though not precedent setting, this case is informative regarding an analysis of a proposed development and whether it could reasonably be expected to impact on a neighboring municipality. The decision also addresses what factors a board may consider beyond the six contained in the statute "but not limited to" additional considerations.)
  • Developments of Regional Impact - Summary of Sample Regulations pdf file, Jennifer Czysz, Senior Planner, NH Office of Energy and Planning

back to topExcavation

back to topFiscal Impact of Residential Development

Floodplain Development

back to topGreenways

back to topHome Occupations

  • Sign Regulations and Home Occupations: Accessory Uses, Difficult Issues
    Presenters: Attorney Diane M. Gorrow and Attorney Maureen L. Pomeroy,
    Soule, Leslie, Kidder, Sayward & Loughman, PLLC
    NHMA law lecture #2, Fall 2011
    Accessory uses are subordinate and incidental to principal uses, but they can generate their own major land use control issues. This lecture examines the authority of municipalities to regulate signs on town and private property, state laws on political signs and signs in right-of-ways, and the many constitutional limitations on regulation. This lecture also reviews the often controversial use of residences for home occupations and problems created by expansions of those businesses.
  • APA PAS Report #391, Home Occupation Ordinances, Butler and Getzels, October 1985

back to topImpact Fees

  • List of towns with an Impact Fee Ordinance pdf file, as self-reported by municipalities responding to the annual OEP survey of municipal information.
  • List of towns with both a Growth Management Ordinance and an Impact Fee Ordinance pdf file, as self-reported by municipalities responding to the annual OEP survey of municipal information.
  • Chapter 106 (SB 291) 2012
    This bill provides that if a municipality has collected impact fees for improvements to municipal roads, it may spend those fees on state highways within the municipality "for improvement costs that are related to the capital needs created by the development." However, the municipality is not allowed to collect additional fees for improvements to state highways, or to adopt "new impact fees devoted to assessing impacts to state highways." The new law also requires every municipality with an impact fee ordinance to prepare an annual report listing all expenditures of impact fee revenue for the prior fiscal year, identifying the capital improvement projects for which the fees were assessed, and stating the dates upon which the fees were assessed and collected. The report must enable the public to track the payment, expenditure, and status of individually collected fees.
    • Summary of the bill from Innovative Land Use Controls: Reexamining Your Zoning Ordinance, NHMA Law Lecture #3, Fall 2012 by Attorney Keriann Roman, Drummond, Woodsum & MacMahon and Christopher G. Parker, AICP, Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Dover.
  • Michael Clare, Trustee of Horizon Realty Trust v. Town of Hudson pdf file
    Argued: January 20, 2010 Opinion Issued: June 16, 2010
    Properly account for the actual work done for which the impact fees were collected and keep detailed invoices showing how and where the impact fees were spent.
  • Impact Fee Comparison, City of Dover, June 16, 2010
  • Demystifying Impact Fees, New Hampshire Town and City, May/June 2013
    The development of land often creates an increased need for capital improvements such as new or improved roads and intersections, water and sewer extensions, and street lighting. New Hampshire towns and cities may charge the developer for these costs in two different ways: off-site exactions and impact fees. This article looks at what impact fees are, how they work, and what has changed over the past year.
  • Court Upholds Planning Board's Ability to Set and Adjust Impact Fees, New Hampshire Town and City, January 2006
  • Edwin and Stephanie Simonsen v. Town of Derry, November 15, 2000
    • Excerpt from LGC Law Lecture #1, Fall 2005: Off-site Exactions and Impact Fees: Balancing Municipal Interests and Private Property Rights outlining the history leading up to Simonsen and the resulting 2004 legislation amending RSA 674:21.
  • Chapter 199, 2004, (SB 414)
    This bill amended RSA 674:39 (exemption from subsequent zoning and planning regulations) in several ways. First, it excepts impact fees from the permanent exemption that attaches upon substantial completion of improvements on a subdivision plat or site plan. Second, it authorizes planning boards to define "substantial completion of the improvements," and allows the planning board to include such definition, as well as a definition of the term "active and substantial development or building," either in its subdivision and site plan regulations or as a condition of subdivision or site plan approval. Third, it provides that if the board fails to specify what constitutes "active and substantial development or building" in its regulations or as a condition to approval, the subdivision or site plan will automatically be entitled to the statute's four-year exemption. Finally, it reorganizes RSA 674:39 and makes some technical changes.
  • Impact Fee Development - A Handbook for New Hampshire Communities pdf file - Southern NH Planning Commission
  • Impact Fee for a town-wide road plan? (Plan-link posting and reply January 2008)

back to topInnovative Land Use Planning

  • Administering Innovative Land Use Controls Chapter III from Innovative Land Use Controls: Reexamining Your Zoning Ordinance, NHMA Law Lecture #3, Fall 2012 by Attorney Keriann Roman, Drummond, Woodsum & MacMahon and Christopher G. Parker, AICP, Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Dover.
  • Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques Guide - To address the need for guidance and technical assistance on Innovative Land Use Controls authorized by RSA 674:21, the New Hampshire Regional Environmental Planning Program (REPP) has produced a guide with model ordinances and regulations on a number of innovative land use techniques.
  • In 1990, the Merrimack County office of UNH Cooperative Extension provided a series of fact sheets about innovative zoning which are provided here for historical reference.
    • Introduction
    • Incentive Zoning
    • Phased Development
    • Transfer of Development Rights
    • Planned Unit Development
    • Cluster Development
    • Performance Standards/Impact Zoning
    • Environmental Characteristics Zoning
    • Accessory Dwelling Unit Standards
    • Floating Zone - A Flexible Zoning Technique
  • Access Management Guidelines pdf file Nashua Regional Planning Commission, April 2002
  • NH DOT Citizen's Guide to Transportation Series brochure, Access Management pdf file
  • List of towns with Access Management regulations pdf file, as self-reported by municipalities responding to the annual OEP survey of municipal information.

Integrated Land Use Development Permit

  • Integrated Land Development Permit and More, August 12, 2013, Atty. Justin L. Pasay
    In June 2013, the New Hampshire Legislature passed Ch. Law 270 (SB 124), which created an Integrated Land Development Permit ("Integrated Permit") pursuant to new RSA chapter 489. As designed, the Integrated Permit will be sought, at the discretion of the applicant, as an alternative to the process of seeking various individual land development permits or approvals from the Department of Environmental Services.

back to topJunkyards

  • APA PAS Report #421. A Survey of Zoning Definitions, December 1989RSA 236:90-110 Control of Junk Yards and Automotive Recycling Yards (state licensing)
  • RSA 236:111-129 Motor Vehicle Recycling Yards and Junk Yards (local licensing)
  • JUNKYARDS: Local Zoning Not Preempted By State Licensing Scheme, New Hampshire Municipal Association Town and City Counsel, May 1997
  • Section F. JUNKYARDS, from Local Land Use Regulation – A Bird's Eye View, NHMA Law Lecture #1, 1995
  • Regulating Salvage Facilities: Balancing Community and Business Interests, New Hampshire Town and City, September 2005
    Requirements surrounding the location and operation of salvage facilities frequently raise legal questions. When the State Legislature drafted the salvage facility laws, it attempted to balance two interests. First, it recognized that a “clean, wholesome, attractive environment" promotes the health and safety of its citizens. Such an environment is “essential to the maintenance and continued development of the tourist and recreational industry." Second, the Legislature understood that the maintenance of legal salvage facilities is a business and should be encouraged. These interests are hardly contradictory. Indeed, state and local governments have enacted regulatory schemes concerning the establishment and maintenance of salvage facilities that advance both goals. The following is a brief overview of the statutory requirements.
  • New Hampshire Green Yards Program - Working with motor vehicle recyclers to improve environmental practices at their salvage yards!
  • Local Regulation of Junkyards and Junky Yards, New Hampshire Town and City, June 2007
    New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) Legal Affairs and Government Services attorneys have received many questions from local officials about the regulation of junk. These officials are attempting to prevent harm to persons and the environment while fairly and effectively responding to citizen complaints. The issue is complex, and municipalities must deal with accumulations as small as an individual property owner with unsightly piles in the yard to large commercial junkyard operations that are many acres in size. Our research into these issues has resulted in a new publication titled, How to Regulate Junk and Junkyards: A Guide for Local Officials.

back to top2012 New Hampshire Livable Walkable Communities Toolkit

The updated 2012 New Hampshire Livable Walkable Communities toolkit has been prepared for use statewide as a resource for incorporating livable, walkable community principles into local, state and regional planning programs, policies and statutes.

The original Livable Walkable Communities Toolkit was created in 2004 as a resource for improving the livability and walkability of New Hampshire communities. An underlying goal is to increase rates of physical activity throughout the state. Through a process of community engagement and assessment of the built environment, the Livable Walkable Communities (LWC) Program brings together citizens and stakeholders to develop and act on specific strategies to improve the livability and walkability of New Hampshire's communities.

The updated toolkit identifies the key principles and recommendations for planners and municipalities, as well as coalitions and individuals. With this update the Livable Walkable Communities Advisory Coalition hopes the benefits of livable, walkable communities will be a priority for all new Hampshire Communities. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Jillian Harris, Regional Planner, at jharris@snhpc.org, or 603-669-4664.

back to topMaster Plan

back to topNeighborhood Heritage Districts: A New Tool for New Hampshire Communities

  • Neighborhood Heritage Districts (also known as Conservation Districts) are found throughout the country, but until recently New Hampshire lacked information to help municipalities establish them. The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources was honored to receive a Johanna Favrot grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, matched in-kind by funds from the DHR and the National Park Service, to develop a legal framework and to prepare a citizen handbook for establishing and administering these districts. The DHR is pleased to announce the availability of Neighborhood Heritage Districts: A Handbook for New Hampshire Municipalities pdf file.

back to topNew Urbanism

back to topNew Hampshire Citizen Planner Collaborative

The New Hampshire Citizen Planner Collaborative began to develop in 2007 with several state organizations and municipal land use board members who wanted to create alternative opportunities for lay citizen planners (land use boards) to gain access to existing training and create a "one-stop shop" for those board members to find future training opportunities and network.

back to topNoise Control

back to topPaper Streets

  • Paper Streets The Gap Between Dedication and Acceptance, New Hampshire Town and City, April 2007
    Any area shown on a recorded map or plat at the registry of deeds as a highway, but which does not have any physical improvement constructed on the face of the earth may be called a “paper street." For the purposes of this article, also included in this category are those roads which do exist on the ground in some form, but which have not been formally accepted as a public highway. Each “paper street" presents vexing problems for affected landowners, municipal officials, land surveyors, conveyancing attorneys and financial institutions.

Pedestrian/Transit Oriented Development

Personal Wireless Service Facilities

General Resources

  • New Hampshire Cell Tower Locations - GRANITView II, the statewide GIS mapper. On the "Map Layers" tab in the lower left corner, expand "Base Layers", and cell towers will appear as an available layer. To download the cell towers data, go to the NH GRANIT website.
  • Chapter 12-K Deployment of Personal Wireless Service Facilities (see links under Web Resources below to definitions in the Federal Telecommunications Act that are referred to in the state statute, 12-K:2)
    • Upgrades to Wireless Infrastructure New Hampshire Town and City, January/February 2014
      An article outlining the changes to RSA 12-K in 2013 as a result of SB 101, Chapter 267, which makes changes as to how municipal officials and local land use boards review proposals to collocate and modify "personal wireless facilities." The new law was effective on September 22, 2013.
    • Plan-link posting and reply pdf file on April 16, 2014, regarding "single or successive modifications" and the 2013 revisions to RSA 12-K.
  • Telecommunication Facility Site Description Form pdf file
  • Planning for Wireless Telecommunications
    In 2000, the New Hampshire legislature passed HB733 creating a new statute, RSA 12-K to address the rising proliferation of cell towers and wireless communication facilities. In response to section 8 of the statute, OEP produced a technical bulletin to assist communities in addressing wireless communication facility development which has been revised and amended several times since its initial publication.
  • List of municipalities with Personal Wireless Service Facility regulations pdf file, as self-reported by municipalities responding to the annual OEP survey of municipal information.
  • Telecommunication Consultants pdf file
  • FCC fact Sheet: Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule - Preemption of Restrictions on Placement of Direct Broadcast Satellite, Broadband Radio Service, and Television Broadcast Antenna.
  • The Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996
    • 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(C)(i) ["the term 'personal wireless services' means commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services;"]
    • 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(C)(ii) ["the term 'personal wireless service facilities' means facilities for the provision of personal wireless services;"]
  • BBC news article How mobile phone masts 'vanish'
  • Wireless Facilities: Managing the Approval Process to Protect Municipal Interests and Comply with State and Federal Law pdf file, By: Katherine B. Miller, Esquire, Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, PLLC
    We rely on our cell phones and hand held devices more and more, and the laws are changing to make the process of approving new towers and antennae quicker. This will speed the build-out of additional infrastructure for personal wireless services, improving our ability to stay connected, but it also poses challenges for local land use boards tasked with reviewing applications and following those new laws. Local land use boards, such as Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment, must apply complex federal, state and local laws, and they must balance the needs of their communities with the rights of the applicants. This article covers the legal and practical aspects of local land use board actions on applications for cell towers and antennae. (These materials were originally presented by Kate Miller at the NH Office of Energy and Planning's annual Spring Planning and Zoning Conference in May 2014.)
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure In New Hampshire: Wireless Facility Siting, Cable Television, Right-Of-Way Management & Local Government pdf file, By: Robert D. Ciandella, Esquire (Robert D. Ciandella is a partner with Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, PLLC and Chairman of the firm's Telecommunications Practice Group. Katherine B. Miller, also a partner with the firm and member of the practice group, assisted in preparing this outline.)
    Municipalities should treat their telecommunications infrastructure as a valuable asset which corresponds to economic development. This outlines how municipalities can practically and comprehensively address telecommunications infrastructure issues including rights-of-way issues, cable franchising issues, wireless zoning issues, and telecommunications planning issues. (These materials were originally presented at the April 10, 2014, meeting of the Central NH Regional Planning Commission.)

Court Decisions

  • Neil Nevins & a. v. New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development & a.
    Argued: November 14, 2001 Decided: March 11, 2002
    (Case involving the communications tower on Mt. Kearsarge)
  • Federal Court Upholds Only One of Five Reasons to Deny Cell Tower Permit, USCOC of New Hampshire, RSA #2, Inc., (dlb/a US Cellular) v. City of Franklin, New Hampshire Town and City, March 2006
  • New Cingular v. Candia, NH, et al. pdf file
    09-CV-387-SM 08/11/10 United States District Court District of New Hampshire Civil No. 09-cv-387-SM Opinion No. 2010 DNH 145
  • New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, v. Town of Greenfield pdf file
    09-CV-399-SM 09/09/10 United States District Court District of New Hampshire Civil No.09-cv-399-SM Opinion No. 2010 DNH 162
    • ZBA's cell tower decision reversed for inadequate written findings (NHMA summary)
    • On September 9, 2010, the US District Court for the District of New Hampshire granted summary judgment in favor of AT&T and against the Town of Greenfield and its Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) in a case in which AT&T challenged the denial of its application for an area variance to install a 100-foot cell tower in a residential area. The court found in favor of AT&T because the "ZBA's public-interest determination relies on circular reasoning and fails to recognize that enhanced cellular telephone service and co-location are decidedly in the public interest." The court concluded that, "[c]areful review of the record… demonstrates that the ZBA's determinations either fail to satisfy the written-decision requirement, or are not supported by an adequate quantum of evidence," and that the "fundamental problem with the ZBA's decision is that it fails to put the correct evidence on the proper scales in the first instance." The court ordered the ZBA to "promptly authorize construction of the subject tower as proposed." [Arent Fox LLP]
    • Because the defendant ZBA's denial of a variance for a 100-foot cell tower failed to satisfy the written-decision requirement of the Telecommunications Act and was not supported by substantial evidence, the court granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and ordered the defendants to authorize construction of the tower, as proposed by the plaintiff. 26 pages. Chief Judge Steven J. McAuliffe. [NHBA]
  • Industrial Communication and Electronics, Inc. v. Alton
    US District Court, District of NH, No. 07-cv-082-JL, October 4, 2010
    • The abutters to the site of a proposed cell phone tower moved to stay the court's order approving a settlement agreement, reached between the wireless services provider and the town to resolve the provider's claim under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which provided that a variance would issue for the tower. The court had approved the settlement over objections by the abutters, who had intervened in the case but had never presented any of their own claims for relief; the abutters then brought an action in state court challenging the variance under state law. In denying the motion to stay, the court ruled that neither the fact that the provider and the town were invoking its order approving the settlement as a defense to the state-court action, nor the fact that the abutters had appealed that order to the court of appeals, justified the requested relief. 18 pages. Judge Joseph N.
      Laplante. [US District Court Bar News, September 2010]
  • Industrial Communications and Electronics, Inc. v. Alton, et al.
    US Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, No. 10-1738, May 19, 2011 (errata 5/31/14)
  • Industrial Communication and Electronics, Inc. v. Alton
    US District Court, District of NH, No. 07-cv-107-JL, September 21, 2012
    • The plaintiffs, providers of wireless services, brought a claim against the Town of Alton under 704(a) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, claiming that its refusal to allow them to construct a proposed wireless tower was an effective prohibition on the provision of wireless services in violation of the Act. At trial, the claim was defended by a married couple who own property abutting the site, and who had intervened in the case, rather than by the Town. Following the trial, the court found and ruled that the Town's refusal to allow the tower amounted to a violation of the Act. In reaching this conclusion, the court rejected the abutters' arguments that (1) the acquisition of one of the plaintiff providers by another provider during the pendency of the litigation, but after the denial, meant that the plaintiff could not show a coverage gap without accounting for the coverage by the acquiring provider, (2) a three-tower solution, which had never been proposed during the lengthy process before the Town boards, was a feasible alternative to the plaintiffs' single proposed tower, and (3) the plaintiffs could not prevail on their claim because they had not proposed lower heights during the process. 85 pages. Chief Judge Joseph N. Laplante. [US District Court Bar News, September 2012]
  • New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC v. Stoddard pdf file
    US District Court, District of NH, No. 11-CV-388-JL, February 16, 2012
    • ZBA decision to grant rehearing may violate FCC "Shot Clock" for cell tower application if case is prolonged past 150 days (NHMA summary)
      The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA) is intended to facilitate the national growth of the wireless telecommunications industry, including a mandate to municipalities to accommodate construction of telecommunications towers. 47 U.S.C. 332§ (7). Among other restrictions, the TCA provides that land use boards must act on applications for cell towers within "a reasonable period after the request is duly filed." In 2009 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order, known as the "Shot Clock Ruling," which creates presumptions that (a) 90 days is a reasonable period to make a decision on an application for a new antenna on an existing facility (known as "co-location"), and (b) 150 days is reasonable for construction of a new wireless tower. If those deadlines are not met, applicants may sue in federal or state courts, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. §332©(7)(B)(v), and the court will presume that the delay is unreasonable unless the municipality can prove otherwise.
    • The initial application review and any rehearings by the board must take place within the 90 or 150 day time periods in order to avoid unreasonable delay. "Accordingly, the Shot Clock Ruling's 150-day deadline for the processing of wireless communications facility siting applications encompasses not only the time it takes a local government to reach an initial decision on an application, but the time it takes to complete the rehearing process set forth in N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§677:2 and 677:3 as well."

NH Division of Historical Resources "Section 106" review forms


back to topPlanning History

  • Municipal Planning in New Hampshire in the 20th Century
    An Account from the Capital City of Concord, NH
    Notes and Talking Points - R. P. Raymond
    NHPA Presentation - Annual Meeting December 10, 2010
  • Around the Planning World in 90 Minutes
    OEP Spring Planning and Zoning Conference, April 2005
    Joanne Cassulo, Senior Planner - NH Office of Energy and Planning; and Sandrine Thibault, AICP, Principal Planner - NH Office of Energy and Planning

back to topPreliminary Review

back to topRural Character

back to topSigns

  • Carlson's Chrysler v. City of Concord pdf file
    Argued: April 3, 2007 Opinion Issued: November 8, 2007 (electronic signs, commercial speech)
    • Summary of the case pdf file (Ben Frost Plan-link posting 11/9/07 (see additional analysis in the NHMA law lecture on signs below)
    • See Sign Regulations and Home Occupations: Accessory Uses, Difficult Issues
      Presenters: Attorney Diane M. Gorrow and Attorney Maureen L. Pomeroy, Soule, Leslie, Kidder, Sayward & Loughman, PLLC
      NHMA law lecture #2, Fall 2011
      Accessory uses are subordinate and incidental to principal uses, but they can generate their own major land use control issues. This lecture examines the authority of municipalities to regulate signs on town and private property, state laws on political signs and signs in right-of-ways, and the many constitutional limitations on regulation. This lecture also reviews the often controversial use of residences for home occupations and problems created by expansions of those businesses.
  • Sample sign ordinance, simple and fairly restrictive pdf file

back to topSpecial Event Ordinance

  • Examples of local ordinances
  • Special Events: Whose Party Is This, Anyway?, New Hampshire Town and City, October 2009
    As local officials, we are often asked for permission to use public facilities. This may involve indoor events, such as an anniversary party in the town hall, or an educational talk in the library, or an evening of training at the fire department. Outdoor events may involve use of sports or recreational facilities for adult league play, or a summer road race on local roads, a soccer or tennis camp operated by a private vendor on a public facility, or outdoor concerts at a local park. Most of these requests are routinely granted, because they add to the quality of community life. However, the potential for injury and liability is always present, so thought should be given to how the events are organized so that all of the persons and entities involved are adequately protected against an unreasonable risk of loss.
  • Special Event Permits: A Useful Tool, New Hampshire Town and City, May 2009
    In the 1800s, it was not at all unusual for traveling revival meetings to go from town to town, setting up huge tents for outdoor events led by the famous preachers of the day. These events could be held over several days and brought hundreds of people together in one place to hear sermons and lectures. The circus was also popular for many years as traveling entertainment, moving from town to town, bringing hundreds of circus performers, workers and animals to put on the show and also visitors to town to see the show.

back to topSprawl/Smart Growth

  • RSA 9-A State Development Plan
  • RSA 9-B State Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Policy
  • Managing Growth In New Hampshire: Changes & Challenges pdf file, December 2000
  • Report to Governor Shaheen on Sprawl pdf file, December 2001
    New Hampshire Council on Resources and Development 2001 Annual Report on Growth Management
  • Report to Governor Shaheen on Sprawl pdf file, December 1999
    New Hampshire Council on Resources and Development 1999 Annual Report on Growth Management
  • Achieving Smart Growth in New Hampshire - July 2005. A limited number of these CDs remain. If you would like one please contact OEP.
    • I. Futures and Options: The Challenge of Growing Smarter
    • II. Smart Growth is Here
      • Principle 1: Maintain Traditional Compact Settlement Patterns
      • Principle 2: Foster the Traditional Character of Downtowns, Villages and Neighborhoods
      • Principle 3: Incorporate a Mix of Uses
      • Principle 4: Preserve New Hampshire's Working Landscape
      • Principle 5: Provide Choices and Safety in Transportation
      • Principle 6: Protect Environmental Quality
      • Principle 7: Involve the Community in Planning and Implementation
      • Principle 8: Manage Growth Locally, but Work With Neighboring Towns
    • III. Three Pilot Communities Consider Smart Growth Options
    • Credits/Acknowledgements
  • New Hampshire Cost of Sprawl Impact Model
    This model has been designed as a decision-support tool for New Hampshire's dedicated local and regional planners, to provide a mechanism to evaluate the financial impact on local governments related to new development. While this model should not take the place of an evaluation of impacts of a proposed development in your community, it does provide an estimate of selected fiscal impacts.
  • The Myth of Smart Growth pdf file- Eben Fodor, December 2012
  • The Smart Growth Network (SGN)
    A partnership of government, business and civic organizations that support smart growth. Since its creation in late 1996, the Network has become a storehouse of knowledge about smart growth principles, facilitating the sharing of best practices and acting as a catalyst for implementation of ideas.
  • Getting to Smart Growth II pdf file, by ICMA and the Smart Growth Network
    Getting to Smart Growth II: 100 More Policies for Implementation is the newest primer in the ongoing series from the Smart Growth Network and ICMA, and follows on the heels of the extremely popular first volume of Getting to Smart Growth. The publication serves as a road map for states and communities that have recognized the need for smart growth but are unclear on how to achieve it.

    Like the first volume pdf file, Getting to Smart Growth II provides 10 policy options to achieve each of the 10 Smart Growth Principles. These policies are supported with 'Practice Tips' which offer additional resources or brief case studies of communities that have applied the approach to achieve smart growth. Features of the new volume include:
    • An entirely new list of 100 policies for implementation
    • More case studies and examples in each chapter
    • An appendix listing funding resources for smart growth projects.
  • New England Resources
  • Innovative Permitting Initiative within the Department of Environmental Services
    The New Hampshire Department of Environment Services (DES) is embarking on an exciting new agency initiative to improve our technical assistance and permitting programs to achieve superior environmental results, streamline our permitting procedures, and improve coordination with other agencies and municipalities.

back to topStorage Containers/Storage Trailers

back to topStreet Naming

  • RSA 231:133 Names; Changes; Signs
  • Bureau of Emergency Communications (9-1-1) Mapping GIS/Addressing
  • The Thorny Issue of Street Names and Address Numbers, New Hampshire Town and City, January 2008
    The idea is deceptively simple: street names and numbering systems should be clear and logical so that emergency workers can respond quickly to a call for help. Reducing response time for emergency calls is the purpose of New Hampshire's coordinated statewide enhanced 911 system (E-911). RSA 106-H:1. However, a drive through many older New Hampshire communities or a glance at a newspaper is all it takes to see that there are still quite a few confusing street names and numbering patterns. This is hardly surprising in a state where streets have been developed, changed and extended for well over 350 years.

back to topStreet Tree Ordinance

back to topTax Increment Financing

back to topTransfer of Development Rights (TDR)

back to topUrban Growth Boundary/Urban Service District Zoning

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NH Office of Energy and Planning
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor  |  107 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155  |  fax: (603) 271-2615