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Sunset provisions

Tom R

Does anyone have a good example of requirements to "sunset" or require a new review of recorded subdivision plats?

mike gurnee

KS has it in the enabling legislation:
"...development rights...shall vest upon recording of a plat.... If construction is not commenced on such land within five years of recording a plat, the development rights in such shall expire."
There is no elaboration on the procedure, so we added to our zoning code in a section on vesting of development rights, "The zoning board may recommend and the city commission may approve voiding such plats or portions of plats if they do not conform with the zoning or subdivision regulations after such five year period and if no construction activity has commenced."
We haven't used this tool yet, perhahps this year.


A shadow of my former self
Staff member
New Hampshire RSA 674:39 is OK...but unfortunately there aren't any definitions, particularly for "substantial completion." The text of the law follows:

674:39 Four-Year Exemption. - Every plat or site plan approved by the planning board and properly recorded in the registry of deeds shall be exempt from all subsequent changes in subdivision regulations, site plan review regulations, and zoning ordinances adopted by any city, town, or county in which there are located unincorporated towns or unorganized places, except those regulations and ordinances which expressly protect public health standards, such as water quality and sewage treatment requirements, for a period of 4 years after the date of recording; provided, however, that once substantial completion of the improvements as shown on the plat have occurred in compliance with the approved plat, or the terms of said approval or unless otherwise stipulated by the planning board, the rights of the owner or the owner's successor in interest shall vest and no subsequent changes in subdivision regulations or zoning ordinances shall operate to affect such improvements; and further provided that:

I. Active and substantial development or building has begun on the site by the owner or the owner's successor in interest in accordance with the approved plat within 12 months after the date of approval, or in accordance with the terms of the approval, and, if a bond or other security to cover the costs of roads, drains, or sewers is required in connection with such approval, such bond or other security is posted with the city, town, or county in which there are located unincorporated towns or unorganized places, at the time of commencement of such development;

II. Development remains in full compliance with the public health regulations and ordinances specified in this section; and

III. At the time of approval and recording, the plat or site plan conforms to the subdivision regulations, site plan review regulations, and zoning ordinances then in effect at the site of such plat.

IV. As part of its approval of a plat or plan, the planning board may, with due regard to the scope and details of a particular project, specify the threshold level of work which shall constitute "active and substantial development or building" for purposes of fulfilling paragraph I of this section, or may, for good cause extend the 12-month period set forth in paragraph I.