Welcome to the NHOSI planning news page! This page is intended to provide planning related news for those involved with planning in New Hampshire.
Notifications regarding updates to this page will be sent out weekly through the Plan-Link Listserv. If you are not a subscriber to the Plan-Link Listserv, please visit NH OSI's Plan-Link webpage.
New Hampshire’s Housing Appeals Board now open for business
January 13, 2021
New Hampshire’s newly established three-member Housing Appeals Board has begun accepting planning and zoning appeals, ushering in what proponents of the panel see as an important change to help meet the state’s affordable housing shortage.
$12.3 million awarded to four affordable housing projects in New Hampshire
January 13, 2021
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston has awarded more than $12.3 million in grants, loans, and interest-rate subsidies to four affordable housing projects in New Hampshire, which will create or preserve 128 rental and homeownership units for individuals and families earning up to 80% of the area median income.
As Climate Change Drives Migration To N.H., Towns Face Tension And Opportunity
January 12, 2021
Studies show that climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in the coming decades. And by some measures, New Hampshire and Northern New England could be ideal places to move. However, becoming a climate haven, takes infrastructure upgrades to water, sewer and road systems, and investments in affordable housing and zoning to keep vulnerable people from being displaced.
What Can Your Regional Planning Commission Do For You?
January 11, 2021
The primary role of a Regional Planning Commission (RPC) is to support local municipalities in their planning and community development responsibilities. This is done in a variety of ways such as assisting communities in preparing local planning documents, providing technical assistance and guidance to local land use boards, helping to secure funding for transportation and other infrastructure projects, working with municipalities to obtain and administer state and federal grant programs, and reducing costs to municipalities through regional coordination.
Redevelopment plan brings new storyline for movie complex in Derry
January 10, 2020
Derry is saying goodbye to its only cinema complex, Derry Five Star Cinema, after the property was sold to a Nashua businessman. The new owner plans to convert the 34,000-square-foot cinema building at 10 Ashleigh Drive to accommodate other uses including retail in some of the 12 theater bays, or industrial uses.
Bubble dome inflated in Hooksett, indoor turf field to open in February
January 10, 2021
A year and a half after contentious Planning Board hearings, the white bubble-like “sports dome” was inflated in Hooksett last weekend. The facility, the NH Sportsdome, will cover an artificial turf field. A separate building houses locker rooms, and there will be space for dozens of cars to park outdoors.
Durham bridge project to connect two neighborhoods, open 2,000 acres for hiking
January 9, 2021
The idea to install a pedestrian bridge between Durham’s Faculty neighborhood and Orchard Drive has been discussed as far back as 1969. Fifty-two years have passed, but this year the plan to install the pedestrian bridge over the Oyster River will become reality after a successful private fundraising effort. It will open up about 2,000 acres of public land filled with walking and hiking trails that is now difficult to access because of the Oyster River
$500,000 donation to save Concord’s Gasholder building raises hopes, but doesn’t guarantee its future
January 8, 2021
An anonymous donation of $500,000 has given new hope to the idea of saving Concord’s gasholder building, although the fate of the historic building is far from settled. The donation was announced Friday at the final meeting of the ad-hoc Gasholder Committee, which recommended that the city council accept a report outlining a multi-year, multi-million-dollar plan to save the building as a cornerstone of neighborhood development.
Proposed Legislation Would Offer Incentives To Municipalities To Build More Housing
January 4, 2021
Legislation being considered in the State House this year would encourage cities and towns to build more housing as a way to address the state’s growing housing crisis. The proposed bill focuses on a number of areas, including free training for members of zoning and planning boards, modifying the appeal process for zoning decisions, allowing municipalities to use revitalization districts to increase workforce housing, and increasing tax incentives for housing development.
Tamworth deemed economic revitalization zone
January 4, 2021
Tamworth has become the first municipal-wide Economic Revitalization Zone in New Hampshire. The economic revitalization zone program is one whose goal is to enrich the economic development and diversity in a given location or zone -- in Tamworth’s case, that zone encompasses the entire town -- through the issuance of business tax credits to qualified businesses for projects that improve infrastructure and create new incremental jobs.
Distribution center to take place of Granite Woods in Hooksett; another planned in the area
January 3, 2021
Developers are proposing to build a massive 500,000 square foot distribution center called Granite Woods Commerce Park on 60 acres of land off Interstate 93 in Hooksett once envisioned to become an outdoor concert venue. Another developer is proposing a 594,000 square foot distribution center across the highway at 39 Hackett Hill Road.
90 apartments proposed for Laconia site
December 31, 2020
A developer is seeking a zoning variance in order to build a 90-unit apartment complex in Laconia’s South End, arguing the waiver is necessary to make the project profitable. Del R. Gilbert & Son Block Co. Inc. is seeking the variance to build a cluster of three 30-unit apartment buildings on 9.4 acres off Province Street, which abuts St. Lambert’s Cemetery, and the Happy Tails Dog Park.
Census Missed Year-End Deadline For Delivering Numbers For House Seats
December 30, 2020
Saddled with delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute changes by the Trump administration, the first set of 2020 census results were not ready for release by Thursday's year-end deadline for numbers that determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College for the next decade.
Tiny house living is quiet and cozy, but legally difficult in New Hampshire
December 29, 2020
Although there are ways for the seven cabins at the Walden Eco Village in Peterborough to get into compliance, a former casita (or tiny house) resident of the Eco Village acknowledged there was very little hope that he’d be able to return to his 140-square-foot rental. The nine similar rentals on site were not permitted, and don’t meet several criteria of the town’s building code for residences, including the 400-square-foot minimum for studio/one-bedroom residences.
New Hampshire’s Estimated Population Gain Is the Largest in New England
December 23, 2020
The population of New Hampshire grew by 5,500 (0.4 percent) to 1,366,000 between July of 2019 and July of 2020, according to new Census Bureau estimates. This was the largest population percentage increase in New England. In contrast, the region as a whole and four of its six states lost population between July 2019 and July 2020.
New Hampshire Executive Council OKs start of Capitol Corridor design
December 22, 2020
The prospect of bringing commuter rail service to the Capitol Corridor between Lowell, Mass., and Nashua and Manchester brightened last week after the Executive Council authorized the New Hampshire Bureau of Rails and Transit to contract with AECOM Technical Services Inc. to undertake the development and engineering phases of the project.
Expansive Fitzwilliam solar project gets official green light from SEC
December 22, 2020
A large solar project in Fitzwilliam has officially received the go-ahead from the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). The SEC had already voted in October to approve the 30-megawatt Chinook Solar Project. Last Thursday, the committee issued a written order granting the project a certificate of site and facility, which allows it to proceed.