Official website of the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives.
OSI provides information, data and guidance to assist decision-makers on issues pertaining to development, land protection, energy use and community planning. We guide the state's future growth through public policy development, education, research, and partnership building. This site provides information on our many programs.
Announcements and Notices
April 3, 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and the surrounding uncertainties, the New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) has cancelled the 2020 Spring Planning & Zoning Conference, which was scheduled on May 30, 2020. The conference will resume in Spring of 2021. In lieu of a Spring Conference this year, OSI will be partnering with the New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) to offer a Fall Planning & Zoning Conference on Saturday, October 31, 2020 in Concord. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
Temporary Modification of Municipal and Local Government Statutory Requirements for Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment
April 1, 2020
On April 1, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #23 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 concerning the COVID-19 State of Emergency in New Hampshire. Among other things, the Executive Order (1) suspends the requirement that planning boards hold at least one regular meeting in each month", pursuant to RSA 673: 10, II, (2) suspends the deadlines for accepting, hearing, and acting on planning board applications under RSA 676:4 and for zoning board of adjustment applications under RSA 676:7, (3) suspends deadlines for conducting inspections for permits and building code and fire code compliance, and (4) provides guidelines to contractors to keep construction progressing in municipalities that have adopted an enforcement mechanism pursuant to RSA 674:51, but are not presently offering any building permits and construction inspection functions.
March 24, 2020
On March 23, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #12 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 concerning the COVID-19 State of Emergency in New Hampshire. The Executive Order (1) permits and encourages state and local government bodies to conduct meetings through electric means, (2) prohibits meetings of more than 50 people, (3) waives the requirement that a quorum of a public body be physically present at meetings for the duration of the State of Emergency, and (4) waives the requirement that each part of a meeting of a public body is audible and discernible to the public for the duration of the State of Emergency as long as alternative electronic notice and telephone or video conference access is provided to the public. The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) has published updated guidance dated March 24, 2020 concerning public meetings which provides further details about the ramifications of this Executive Order.
March 16, 2020
The State of New Hampshire has published guidance for how municipalities and their public bodies including land use boards should operate in order to comply with CDC guidance on social distancing and minimization of in-person interaction during the COVID-19 public health emergency while also ensuring that local government continues functioning in accordance with RSA 91-A. The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) has also published similar guidance on its COVID-19 Municipal Resources page which it is regularly updating, as the COVID-19 public health emergency evolves.
March 10, 2020
March 16-20th is Flood Awareness Week in New Hampshire. Most communities in the state choose to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). That means they adopt and enforce a floodplain ordinance that meets minimum NFIP requirements to manage development in areas at a high risk of flooding. This year, OSI highlights five reasons why community floodplain ordinances are so important on our Flood Awareness Week webpage. The webpage also includes downloadable outreach materials that community officials and others can share to spread the word about why their local community floodplain ordinance matters.
January 7, 2020
The New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) Planning Division has published a summary of its 2019 work across the Granite State. In 2019, the OSI Planning Division fielded 850+ inquiries related to municipal planning and zoning issues, census data, and floodplain management from 68% of New Hampshire’s 234 communities. Other highlights included a record attendance of 360 local land use board members and planners at the 25th Annual Spring Planning and Zoning Conference and the publishing of the 2018 Municipal Land Use Regulation survey results in several forms including an interactive map viewer, community snapshots , and subject specific tables.
December 20, 2019
The 2019 editions of OSI’s The Planning Board in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials and The Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials are now available for download. The 2019 editions include planning related legal and procedural changes which became law during the General Court’s 2019 Legislative Session. These handbooks are designed to serve as an introduction to the organization, powers, duties, and procedures of Planning Boards and Boards of Adjustment in New Hampshire.
December 13, 2019
The New Hampshire Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) has published the 2018 edition of the annual housing supply report, Current Estimates and Trends in New Hampshire’s Housing Supply. The report shows that building permits were issued for 4,285 housing units statewide by New Hampshire's 234 communities in 2018. For a breakdown of housing permits issued through 2018 by county and municipality as well as analysis of the 2018 data see Current Estimates and Trends in New Hampshire’s Housing Supply: Update 2010 – 2018 .