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Wow....what a meeting last night....

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Just tell us that staff is not caught in the middle of all this!

Wow......Trouble in River City indeed!
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,494
Points
41
All of the elements for a Perfect Storm of planning: cell towers in residential districts; public safety; exempt town councilors; impassioned citizen-planners.

I'm glad I wasn't on the planning equivalent of the "Andrea Gail" for this meeting.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,946
Points
40
SGB said:
Just tell us that staff is not caught in the middle of all this!

Wow......Trouble in River City indeed!
Except for coming up with the 20 non-binding review comments, no....staff is safe. It's purely the latest in the conflicts between the Planning Board and Town Council.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
The situation is somewhat the same here, but with a couple of twists. First, there is the college that claims it is exempt from having to have its plans reviewed by the city because it is a state entity. Never-the-less, they do submit their plans to the plan board to be reviewed, so it hasn't blown up into a big fight. The other problem is a city administrator who does not want to have some city projects reviewed by committees. The rest of the staff is adamant that it be done, and it usually is.

It is deplorable that any government would exempt itself from the same rules it imposes on others, or that it would deny the public the normal avenues to protest a project within the city. The worst part of this is that their stupidity seems to have cost you a seasoned (and good?) plan commissioner.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,946
Points
40
The statute in question is:

674 : 54 Governmental Land Uses. –
I. In this section, "governmental use' means a use, construction, or development of land owned or occupied, or proposed to be owned or occupied, by the state, university system, or by a county, town, city, school district, or village district, or any of their agents, for any public purpose which is statutorily or traditionally governmental in nature.
II. The state, university system, county, town, city, school district, or village district shall give written notification to the governing body and planning board, if such exists, of a municipality of any proposed governmental use of property within its jurisdiction, which constitutes a substantial change in use or a substantial new use. Written notification shall contain plans, specifications, explanations of proposed changes available at the time, a statement of the governmental nature of the use as set forth in paragraph I, and a proposed construction schedule. Such notification shall be provided at least 60 days prior to the beginning of construction. Either the governing body or planning board of the municipality may conduct a public hearing relative to the proposed governmental use. Any such hearing shall be held within 30 days after receipt of notice by the governing body or planning board. A representative of the governmental entity which provided notice shall be available to present the plans, specifications, and construction schedule, and to provide explanations. The governing body or planning board may issue nonbinding written comments relative to conformity or nonconformity of the proposal with normally applicable land use regulations to the sponsor of the governmental use within 30 days after the hearing.
II-a. Any use, construction, or development of land occurring on governmentally owned or occupied land, but which is not a governmental use as defined in paragraph I, shall be fully subject to local land use regulations.
III. This section shall not apply to:
(a) The layout or construction of public highways of any class, or to the distribution lines or transmission apparatus of governmental utilities, provided that the erection of a highway or utility easement across a parcel of land, shall not, in and of itself, be deemed to subdivide the remaining land into 2 or more lots or sites for conveyance for development purposes in the absence of subdivision approval under this title. For purposes of this subparagraph, "transmission apparatus' shall not include wireless communication facilities.
(b) The erection, installation, or maintenance of poles, structures, conduits and cables, or wires in, under, or across any public highways under RSA 231, or licenses or leases for telecommunication facilities in, under, or across railroad rights of way. For purposes of this subparagraph, "structures' shall not include wireless communications facilities.
IV. In the event of exigent circumstances where the delay entailed by compliance with this section would endanger public health or safety, the governor may declare a governmental use exempt from the requirements of this section.
The issue here is that in 1995 the Town Meeting voted to have all town projects follow all zoning and regulations. The Town Council changed policy on that last year, and voted to follow the statute.....hence the struggle between the boards.

Yes, he was for the most part a good Planning Board member.....a bit old school, but I think every board should have one of those. I have a feeling he'll be back.
 

Bullwinkle

Cyburbian
Messages
176
Points
7
Keep your head down in this fight, and good luck.

What is it about New Hampshire Planning Boards? Some of my 'best' experiences were in New Hampshire. At one Planning Board meeting in a town just north of Londonderry which shall remain nameless (but it starts with a B and ends with a W), the chairman recessed the meeting and asked the applicant to step out into the hall. We all sat meekly in the meeting room while they yelled at each other in the hallway for 10 minutes. Fortunately, the state police post was in the same building, or I think they would have come to blows.

That same Planning Board was called "a pimple on the ass of progress" by an angry applicant - one the funniest quotes I've heard in a long time. And, no, his project was not approved.
 
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