land use

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.

New Hampshire’s Water Assets Under Pressure: Municipal Stormwater Systems

This is the second of a four-part series focusing on the state’s water infrastructure: public drinking water, wastewater, storm water and dams. Each article will spotlight a municipal system; address critical needs of that infrastructure system; and outline funding sources available to municipalities today that may be used to maintain and sustain these critically important infrastructure systems.

Lapse of Subdivision Performance Bond or Letter of Credit

By David R. Connell, legal services counsel with the New Hampshire Local Government Center's Legal Services and Government Affairs Department

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.

Providing Clean Water into the Future: The Benefits of Land Conservation

By Alicia Carlson and Holly Green

When you look at your local surface water supply, what do you see? If you see a shoreline surrounded by shrubs and trees, you likely have few problems with erosion and turbidity. Forested lands are an important first step in protecting surface waters. They can help to ensure a cleaner water supply than in a more developed watershed.

Legal Q & A: Condominiums and Land Use Controls

Condominiums have been around for several decades. By now most people understand that a condominium is not a type of apartment building, but a special system of real property ownership that includes individually owned "units" and areas owned in common by the unit owners ("common areas"). In New Hampshire condominiums are controlled comprehensively by RSA 356-B.

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.

Alternative Transportation: For Personal Health, Savings and the Environment

We are fortunate to live in New Hampshire, a state with many beautiful features and a relatively low population density. The downside is fewer transit options and residents frequently needing to drive significant distances to get to work and other places.

As many as 70 percent of us drive to work alone. A person who carpools can save money and reduce their carbon footprint as well. By walking or bicycling to work or wherever we need to go, we receive health benefits from the exercise, save money and benefit the environment.

The Architectural Jewels of Rochester, New Hampshire: Appreciating the Urban Landscape

Editor’s Note

In 2002, Michael Behrendt, Rochester, New Hampshire’s city planner, undertook a series of articles for the Rochester Times on the city’s architecture that continued as a biweekly series of 28 articles, rather than the planned four or five. The book, The Architectural Jewels of Rochester New Hampshire: A History of the Built Environment, was published in October 2009, building on and adding to that original series.

Mandatory Lot Merger Clauses in Zoning Ordinances: How Enforceable Are They?

RSA 674:39-a, enacted in 1995, provides a relatively simple process for an owner of two or more contiguous parcels to merge them voluntarily for purposes of land use regulation and property tax assessment. All that is required is a notice of the merger that adequately identifies the parcels, signed by the planning board or its designee and recorded in the registry of deeds, with a copy to the assessing officials. No new deed or plan is required.