Legislative Update to RSA 128: Town Health Officers

During the past year, the local health officer has fulfilled an important role in New Hampshire’s cities and towns by responding to COVID-19 concerns and questions. Often, health officers were on the front lines investigating sanitary conditions and COVID-19 cases. Many took on the role of learning the executive orders and reopening guidance, which required them to perform compliance inspections and respond to COVID-19 concerns in businesses, housing complexes, schools, community centers, and other public locations.

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.

Fostering Greener Yards: A Look at the State's Motor Vehicle Salvage Yard Program

Since 1965, all municipalities in New Hampshire have had the responsibility to license automotive recycling facilities, also known as junkyards, at the local level.  This responsibility is contained in RSA Chapter 236 sections 111 through 129.  It applies to all municipalities, whether or not there is a local zoning ordinance.

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.

Local Regulation of Junkyards and Junky Yards

New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) Legal Affairs and Government Services attorneys have received many questions from local officials about the regulation of junk. These officials are attempting to prevent harm to persons and the environment while fairly and effectively responding to citizen complaints. The issue is complex, and municipalities must deal with accumulations as small as an individual property owner with unsightly piles in the yard to large commercial junkyard operations that are many acres in size.