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Benefits of Membership with UVLSRPC

Any municipality or county in the planning region and having a planning board, by ordinance or resolution, may become a member of the Commission. Communities in the region are able to benefit through membership. The State of New Hampshire does not provide funding to Regional Planning Commissions for basic planning services to communities other than a small amount for technical assistance from the Office of Energy and Planning. Membership dues allows the organization to leverage general operating expense funds and provide a mechanism to leverage funding for regional projects such as Transportation and Hazard Mitigation Planning.   

The Commission strives to provide services to member communities that demonstrate sensitivity to local needs and flexibility in addressing changing development pressures. Some of the services the Commission is committed to providing member communities include:

Base map for community each year 

The Commission will provide one large format map for any community that request it, showing aerial and road overlays.  

Representation on the Commission 

Each member of a regional planning commission is entitled to 2 representatives on the Commission. A municipality with a population of over 10,000 but less than 25,000 shall be entitled to have 3 representatives on the Commission and a municipality with a population of over 25,000 shall be entitled to have 4 representatives on the Commission. Population shall be deemed to be determined by the last federal census. Representatives to the Commission shall be nominated by the planning board of each municipality from the residents thereof and shall be appointed by the municipal officers of each municipality. Representatives may be elected or appointed officials of the municipality or county. In any county or counties in which a regional planning commission has been formed, the county may, by resolution of its county commissioners, become a member of the Commission and shall be entitled to appoint 2 representatives on the Commission. The terms of office of members of a regional planning commission shall be for 4 years, but initial appointments can be for 2 and 4 years. In municipalities entitled to 3 or more representatives, initial appointment shall be for 2, 3 and 4 years. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments. Municipalities and counties may also appoint alternate representatives. A representative to the Commission shall, when acting within the scope of his/her official duties and authority, be deemed to be acting as an agent of both the Commission and of the municipality or county which they represent. 

Representation on statewide initiatives

A number of organizations either through their own bylaws or through statewide initiatives request that the Commission appoint a member to represent the region on their board, commission or committee. When appropriate the Commission appoints Commissioners to sit on these boards, commissions or committees and provides a leading role in guiding the future of these initiatives. For a complete list of statewide assignments click here.

Information on funding sources 

The Commission provides resources to municipalities and assistance when available through grant writing and access to grant funding. The Commission uses many venues to distribute information about funding such as the Newsletter, the E-Bulletin and periodic emails to Commissioners to distribute to the communities.

Reduced Contractual Service Charges 

Member communities who contract with the Commission for services are charged a reduced hourly rate from non-member communities. 

Review and comment on 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).

Assistance with subdivision and site plan review

Planning boards should review their subdivision regulations periodically for needed updates, for example, master plan changes, best management practices, and updates to state requirements. For member communities, Commission staff is available to provide a cursory review of subdivision regulations and provide feedback in these general areas, as well as to review and provide comment on regulations drafted by the planning board itself.

Assistance with reduced hourly rate for circuit rider contracts 

Circuit Rider contracts are yearly contract with a municipality where professional planning staff work directly with the Planning Board or municipal planning staff on a regular basis. The Commission provides a reduced hourly rate for circuit rider contracts because the consistency of the yearly contract assists the Commission in budgeting both workload and income and expenses.

Newsletter and E-Bulletin

Commission has published a newsletter for member communities and partner organizations for many years. 

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