growth management

Regional Planning Commissions: Supporting New Hampshire Communities

In 1969 the State of New Hampshire demonstrated support for local control by enabling municipalities to create regional planning commissions. Prior to then, a number of nonprofit organizations such as the Upper Valley Development Council, Inc. (1963) and Nashua Commission (1959) began forming around the state to meet the growing need to plan for development across municipal borders.

Mosaic Parcel Map: From Tax Assessment to Disaster Recovery-More

By Stephan W. Hamilton

When the July 2008 tornado ripped through the Granite State, it left a scar across the landscape that measured 50 miles. State and local officials charged with recovery efforts were confronted with a challenge: how to place a dollar amount on the collective damage in order to apply for federal disaster relief.

Balancing Agricultural Use with Growth and Development: An Overview of New Hampshire Law

Throughout the 20th century, residential and commercial development extended into rural areas of New Hampshire, encountering preexisting agricultural uses that were often regarded as incompatible with the new subdivisions and shopping centers. Pesticides and fertilizers; farm equipment and animals; dwellings crowded with seasonal workers; retail roadside stands—all were seen by newcomers as detrimental to property values when conducted near residential developments.

Meeting the Workforce Housing Challenge: A Guidebook for New Hampshire Municipalities

New Hampshire has long faced a housing shortage that threatens to constrict economic growth in the state and change the very character of the communities where we live. Many municipal employees and young adults can no longer afford to live in the communities where they work or grew up. To address this problem, in 2008 the New Hampshire Legislature passed a law that requires every community to provide “reasonable and realistic opportunities" for the development of affordable housing. But this obligation is not new law. In 1991 the New Hampshire Supreme Court said the same thing.

Sandown’s First Open Space Development: Twelve Lots, 34 Acres Preserved

In the 2008 town election, Sandown residents adopted an innovative land use ordinance. If the one subdivision that has been designed under the new ordinance is an indication of things to come, Sandown can look forward to the preservation of more green space and a more ecologically-friendly and creative use of our remaining undeveloped land.

The Housing and Conservation Planning Program New Partnership Yields Grant Program for New Hampshire Cities and Towns

By Jennifer Czysz

Additional housing or conservation? Historic preservation or new development? Economic growth or quality of life? These do not have to be either or choices. In July 2007, Governor Lynch signed the Housing and Conservation Planning Program (HCPP) into law. This new program, housed at the state Office of Energy and Planning (OEP), provides grants that address both local housing and conservation needs in communities.

CommunityViz: Exploring New Techniques to Help New Hampshire Communities Shape Their Growth

The Jordan Institute of New Hampshire and the Orton Family Foundation of Vermont are currently piloting use of an innovative software planning tool, CommunityViz, in New Hampshire’s I-93 Expansion Corridor.

New Laws Require Updates to Zoning Ordinances

By Cordell A. Johnston, Esq.

November heralds the arrival of the most special time of the year: zoning amendment season! For most towns, the deadline to post notice of proposed zoning amendments is in early January, and the process of drafting the amendments necessarily begins a few months earlier.

Age-Restricted Housing in New England

Forty years ago President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act prohibiting discrimination in housing based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status (families with children). Although other federal laws prohibit age discrimination in employment, age discrimination was not addressed in the Fair Housing Act.