2021 A Guide to Effective Code Enforcement Virtual Workshop

Building inspectors, code enforcement officers, fire chiefs, health inspectors, and various other municipal officials are responsible for the enforcement of a variety of codes, regulations, and ordinances related to the use of land. These include both local regulations, such as zoning ordinances, site plan and subdivision regulations, health regulations, and the conditions of approval that accompany many land use board approvals, as well as state law, such as the State Building and Fire Code and statutes governing junkyards.

2020 Land Use Law Conference

Full day virtual conference for municipal land use officials including members of planning and zoning boards, planners, land use administrators, select boards, town and city councilors, building inspectors, code enforcement officers and public works personnel. Presentations will focus on the legal authority and procedures these land use boards must understand with content structured to be beneficial to both novice and experienced municipal officials.

Legal Q and A: Records Compiled for Enforcement of Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations: To What Extent Are They Exempt from Disclosure?

Although law enforcement records are not included as such in the list of government records exempt from disclosure under the Right to Know Law, RSA 91-A:5, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has long recognized that certain law enforcement records may be withheld from public disclosure in accordance with the exemption for such records in the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This exemption has been important for police departments, but until now, of little interest to other municipal officials and employees.

Legal Q and A: Hawkers, Peddlers and Door-to-Door Solicitors

Warm weather and extended daylight signal the return of people selling goods and services from temporary locations on public property or by door-to-door solicitation. These people are known by the traditional term “hawkers and peddlers.” Solicitors also include those advocating and/or raising funds for charitable, religious, and political organizations. People often find these activities annoying in public spaces and an invasion of privacy when solicitors ring the doorbell. They complain to municipal officials, who in turn must determine what, if any, action to take.

Legislature Douses Local Fire Sprinkler Requirements

The New Hampshire legislature this year passed two bills intended to prohibit municipalities from requiring fire suppression sprinklers in residential dwellings. One of those bills was vetoed by the Governor and is currently awaiting override votes in the House and Senate. Whether that bill ultimately becomes law or not, the ability of municipalities to require sprinklers for new homes has been severely restricted.

The Taser®: When is Deployment Prudent?

By Jack Ryan

Over the past few years, use of the Taser electronic restraining/compliance device has become more common among law enforcement agencies nationwide. Recent literature from the U.S. Department of Justice indicates that electronic control devices (ECD) are being used by 11,500 agencies, with approximately 260,000 of the devices deployed.

It’s Mud Season: Weight Restrictions on Local Roads

Q. Do local officials have the authority to keep certain vehicles off of local roads?

Land Use Violation Enforcement Costs Can Be Recovered

Q. We have been dealing with a land use violation in our code enforcement department. We have alerted the owner to the problem, and have tried to resolve the issue by seeking his voluntary compliance. Unfortunately, the owner has ignored our letters and calls and we think that an action in court will be required. Is there any statute that describes how to seek enforcement in these cases?

Regulating Salvage Facilities: Balancing Community and Business Interests

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.

State Building Code Update

September 14, 2003 came and went almost unnoticed in the building community. That was the date when contractors were required to begin complying with the state building code. There was not much fanfare surrounding the date, however, since the state fire marshal’s office had taken the position that the state building code has been enforceable since September 14, 2002. But this past summer, even before compliance was mandatory, the legislature passed amendments to the state building code. The amendments became effective on July 14, 2003.