Upcoming Webinar: ABCs of RPCs
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
Join Nathan Miller, AICP, Deputy Executive Director with the Southern New Hampshire RPC, and Stephen C. Buckley Esq., NHMA’s Legal Services Counsel and Chair of the New Hampshire Association of RPCs (NHARPC), who will outline the strategic partnerships and current program of work of the RPCs on behalf of their member communities, and by extension, all cities and towns across New Hampshire. The webinar is open to NHMA members and is of interest to all municipal officials and employees and members of the New Hampshire Association of Regional Planning Commissions.
Mid-State RCC Transportation Needs Assessment
The Mid-State Regional Coordinating Council, as part of the Coordinated Transit and Human Services Transportation Plan update, is seeking the public’s input regarding access to transportation across the region. The Mid-State RCC region consists of Belknap County, Merrimack County (excluding Hooksett) and the towns of Hillsborough, Deering and Windsor from Hillsborough County. This plan update will help to ensure that evolving transit and human service needs are continually met by the appropriate federal transit funding. Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MidStateRCC
Commuter Challenge Summary
Warner River Designation Update
The Warner River project has come along way since the public hearing in July 2017. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services officially nominated the river to the Rivers Management and Protection Program. The project is now in the hands of the New Hampshire legislature. Sporting a bill number of SB 445, armed with thirty-four letters of support, multiple sponsors and strong local support, the project flew through a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on January 16th, 2018. Pending a favorable vote in the full senate, SB 445 will appear in the House Resource, Recreation and Development Committee before going to the full house and finally, to the governor.
CNHRPC Brownfields Assessment Program Update
CNHRPC continues to be busy with the 2015 brownfields assessment grant. To date, five sites in Pittsfield, Boscawen, and Bradford have been assessed under the 2015 grant. All of these sites have finished Phase I assessment work and have either completed Phase II work or have developed scopes of work to conduct Phase II work over the next year. In addition to reuse planning for these sites additional properties across the region have been identified as potential sites that will require additional funds for assessment activities. To address this issue CNHRPC applied for an additional $300,000 in brownfield assessment grant funds in an effort to replenish funds spent to date and we are happy to say we have been awarded our second brownfields grant! With this next grant, we hope to do some reuse planning work on our initial sites but for the most part we will look to assess new sites. Please be on the lookout for solicitation letters coming to your community sometime over the next few months as we continue to work towards brownfields revitalization across the region.
New Hampshire State Clean Diesel Program
NHDES will have funds available in the fall of 2017 through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program to help diesel equipment owners in New Hampshire to reduce emissions. This program provides partial funding for local/state governments and businesses to reduce emissions through idle reduction technology, exhaust controls, or replacement of older diesel engines with newer engines. A draft application and additional information on the State Clean Diesel Program is available on NHDES’ Diesel Vehicles website http://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/air/tsb/tps/msp/diesel-vehicles/index.htm. Please contact Elizabeth Strachan Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Take the Concord Area Transit Survey!
The survey can be access here.
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N.H. Drought is Widespread; Conserving Water is Key
The New Hampshire Drought Management Team, coordinated by New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and composed of state and federal agency representatives and stakeholders, met on July 19, 2018, to discuss drought conditions and impacts. Currently, the U.S. Drought Monitor categorizes 62% of the state, mostly in the southern half, as moderate drought and the remainder of the state as abnormally dry. Based on this development, the team agreed that the most important recommendation right now is for the public to be mindful about outdoor water use and conserving resources. Recommended steps to take include reducing or eliminating landscape watering, limiting any watering to between 7 PM and 5 AM, and suspending the washing down of large outdoor surfaces such as cars, homes and driveways. Currently, 47 community water systems have imposed outdoor water use restrictions and the number is expected to increase as drought persists.
Dr. Mary Stampone, New Hampshire State Climatologist, confirmed that drought conditions are not as severe as they were at this same time of year during the 2016 drought, but she said this drought has come on just as quickly and is more widespread. She stated that the development of the drought is a result of below average rainfall in the late spring and early summer coupled with high temperatures, while the 2016 drought was compounded by an early spring and a less-than-average snowpack. Dr. Stampone made it clear that while rain is in the forecast for the upcoming week, there is an equal chance of above or below average rainfall and a likelihood of above average temperatures for the upcoming month, meaning that drought conditions may continue through August.
Homeowners on private wells and many smaller community water systems can be more susceptible to the impacts of drought, as they often do not have the resources larger water systems have to manage drought, such as full-time staff, the technology to track water source levels, or a diversity of water sources on which to rely. Also, finances for well improvements or to drill a new well may be very limited; therefore, during a drought, these water users need to curb water use early. Conservation tips and drought emergency guidance for homeowners on private wells, community water systems, municipalities and the public may be found on the NHDES Drought Management webpage. Go to the “A-Z list” at www.des.nh.gov and scroll down to Drought Management.
NH-MS4 Municipalities Blog
This NH Stormwater Regional Coalitions Blog, NH-MS4, is for the New Hampshire Seacoast Stormwater Coalition and the Nashua/Manchester Regional Stormwater Coalition communities, and it is hosted by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ Watershed Assistance Section. Please visit this site for meeting information, resources and updates related to New Hampshire MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer, Systems) municipalities.
Tiny Houses, and the Not-So-Tiny Questions They Raise
Zoning Practice, November 2015
American Planning Association
Issue Number 11, Practice Tiny Houses
The New Law on Accessory Dwelling Units
Below is NHMA’s four page handout The New Law on Accessory Dwelling Units (click to view). This handout is meant to provide a basic Do’s and Don’ts for the new Accessory Dwelling Unit statue. The last page contains proposed language for a simple zoning amendment that would allow an ADU by right under a local zoning ordinance.
CNHRPC Member Communities
Click on the towns below to access that towns official web site.