Developments of Regional Impact

When a proposed development has the potential to impact neighboring communities, RSA 36:54-58 allows local land use boards to seek professional consultation from the Commission for development review. This includes subdivisions, site plans, excavation permits, zoning board decisions or even building permits.

When the Commission receives these notifications the professional planning staff provides guidance to the local land use board on the potential regional impacts. Commission professional planning staff may be hired by planning boards to assist with the review of applications. RSA 676:4 authorizes the planning board to request special studies and to obtain independent review of documents. RSA 676:4 also provides for the cost of these services to be passed on to the applicant as part of the required fees.

This assistance can be tailored to meet the needs of the planning board for the specific application in front of them. This could include attending planning board meetings, participating in site visits, drafting correspondence to the applicant for planning board review, reviewing the application for completeness, and reviewing application material.

As a reference for municipal boards, the Commission maintains Guidelines to Determine Developments of Regional Impact (updated April 2010).

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