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Class VI Roads | Driveway Regulations | Land Use and Transportation Planning | Roads | Roundabouts | Scenic Roads | Transit Oriented Development

back to topClass VI Roads

  • Off-Road Building - The Issuance of Building Permits on Class VI and Private Roads, New Hampshire Town and City, May 2003
  • Building on Private Roads under RSA 674:41: When and How is it Authorized?, New Hampshire Town and City, November/December 2012
    It's sometimes referred to as a sort of "state zoning." In any town that has a planning board with subdivision authority, RSA 674:41 prohibits building on any lot unless "the street giving access" is a Class V highway or better; is shown on a subdivision or other plan approved by the planning board; or is a Class VI highway or "private road" upon which the board of selectmen has voted to authorize building permits under certain specified conditions. This statute applies even if (a) zoning frontage standards are less stringent; (b) the lot in question is "grandfathered" from zoning; (c) there is no zoning at all; or (d) there is no building permit process at all. There is also a special appeal process to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (or to the "legislative body" where no ZBA exists). Thus, the officials of virtually all towns and cities should be familiar with the statute and prepared to apply it when the occasion arises. RSA 674:41 poses no problem for lots with Class V highway frontage, but is difficult to apply for Class VI highways, and more difficult still for "private roads."
  • RSA 674:41 - Prohibition on Building
    From Where Road Law and Zoning Collide: RSA 674:41 and Other Paths Around the Rotary, NHMA Law Lecture #2, by Gary H. Bernier, Esq., and Bernard Campbell, Esq., Fall 2003
  • Class VI/Private Road Policy model
    From Where Road Law and Zoning Collide: RSA 674:41 and Other Paths Around the Rotary, NHMA Law Lecture #2, by Gary H. Bernier, Esq., and Bernard Campbell, Esq., Fall 2003
  • Class VI Highways
    Chapter 8 of A Hard Road to Travel - NH Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, Local Government Center, 2004
  • Discontinuance of Highways
    Chapter 4 of A Hard Road to Travel - NH Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, Local Government Center, 2004
  • Emergency Lanes
    From Chapter 5 of A Hard Road to Travel - NH Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, Local Government Center, 2004
  • Minimum Road Access Requirements From Chapter 7 of A Hard Road to Travel: New Hampshire Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, Local Government Center, 2004
  • RSA 674:41 - 'State Zoning'
    From Chapter III-a of Preemption of Local Regulation: Ejected from Your Own Game! NHMA Law Lecture #2, by Attorney Matthew R. Serge, Upton & Hatfield, LLP and Attorney C. Christine Fillmore, Fall 2011
  • Class VI Roads and Maintenance Issues, New Hampshire Town and City, July/August2004
    Highway repair and maintenance projects are usually well underway at this time of year, prompting questions about maintenance of Class VI roads. There are lots of misconceptions about Class VI roads, so here are some reminders.
  • Fact Sheet: Class VI Roads pdf file, January 2014, Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission
  • Sanderson v. Candia, 146 NH 598 (2001)
    The zoning ordinance at issue requires frontage on a class V highway or better. "The evident purpose of [the frontage] requirement is to insure that a dwelling may be reached by the fire department, police department, and other agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting the public peace, safety and welfare." Trottier, 117 NH at 150, 370 A.2d 275 (quotation omitted). The ordinance thus advances a legitimate public purpose.

    The plaintiff purchased the property knowing both of the ordinance's frontage requirements and that the property lacked the required frontage. Thus, she purchased the hardship of which she now complains. Under these circumstances, the plaintiff had "few, if any, legitimate investment-backed expectations of development rights which rise to the level of constitutionally protected property rights," Claridge, 125 NH at 751, 485 A.2d 287, and applying the ordinance to her land did not constitute a taking. See Trottier, 117 NH at 151, 370 A.2d 275. As we explained in Claridge, 125 NH at 751, 485 A.2d 287, "The [government] cannot be guarantor, via inverse and [sic] condemnation proceedings, of the investment risks which people choose to take in the face of statutory or regulatory impediments."
  • Webster v. Town of Candia, 146 NH 430 (2001)
  • New Hampshire's Rangeways pdf file, Bar Journal - December 1, 2001

back to topDriveway Regulations

back to topLand Use and Transportation Planning

back to topRoads

  • List of towns with Access Management regulations pdf file, as self-reported by municipalities responding to the annual OEP survey of municipal information.
  • When Does A Road Constitute A Lot Line?
    From A Hard Road to Travel, NHMA's Handbook of New Hampshire Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, 1997 Edition, H. Bernard Waugh, Jr., NHMA Chief Legal Counsel
  • Minimum Road Access Requirements
    From Chapter 7 of A Hard Road to Travel: New Hampshire Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, LGC 2004
  • Highways to Summer Cottages
    From A Hard Road to Travel - New Hampshire Law of Local Highways, Streets and Trails, Local Government Center, 2004
  • Roads - Guidance on Design, Construction and Approval for Local Planning Boards pdf fileTechnical Bulletin #12
  • Designing Safe Streets and Neighborhoods
    Local Government Commission Center for Livable Communities, Sacramento, CA
  • Suggested Minimum Design Standards for Rural Subdivision Streets pdf file
    NH DOT, December 4, 2003
  • Recommended Technical Standards for Existing Roads pdf file
    One of many guidance documents about paved roads from the UNH Technology Transfer Center
  • The NH DOT Business Information Center, Information for Municipalities
    Best Management Practices for Routine Roadway Maintenance Activities, Policy for the Permitting of Driveways and Other Accesses to the State Highway System, Suggested Minimum Design Standards for Rural Subdivision Streets, Winter Maintenance Snow & Ice Policy, and much more.
  • 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.
  • Municipal Road Files: Why Are They Important? What Should They Contain?, New Hampshire Town and City, July/August 2006
    For years, municipal attorneys and the attorneys at the New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) have advised municipalities to create and maintain files containing information about their local highways. Transportation corridors are important local assets held by the municipality in trust for the benefit of everyone, but they are adjacent to privately owned land and thus questions and disputes about the scope of the public's rights and the rights of individual landowners are inevitable.
  • Making the Connection, by Hannah Twaddell, Planning Commissioners Journal The benefits of "street connectivity" have received growing attention from planners. A look at what's behind this interest in interconnected streets.
  • Plan-link question and replies, Private Roads (here we go again) pdf fileposted on July 27, 2012
  • Russell Forest Management, LLC v. Henniker pdf file
    No. 2010-719, June 15, 2011
    In 1797, Bowers Road was laid out as a public highway in Henniker. Almost 100 years later, the 1895 town meeting voted to discontinue it. Fast forward to 2009, when Russell Forest Management, LLC bought a lot accessible only by Bowers Road and applied to the Town for a permit to build a single-family home. Selectmen denied the application under the terms of RSA 674:41 because the lot did not have frontage on a proper category of highway.
  • Gordon, Trustee v. Rye pdf file
    No. 2009-836, June 15, 2011
    In this case, the Court identified another situation for which selectmen may not use the procedures for hearings set forth in RSA Chapter 43. In addition, the Court held that selectmen have no authority to decide if a road has become a public highway by prescription; only a court has jurisdiction to make that determination.

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Transit Oriented Development

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