Phone: 603-778-0885
Fax: 603-778-9183

New State Law Changes Impacting Planning Boards and ZBAs


The NH Legislature has recently passed several bills impacting Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustments (ZBAs) concerning public hearing dates, application submittals and membership. Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) recommends Planning Boards and ZBAs review their Rules of Procedures to ensure they are in compliance with the soon to be effective state laws outlined below

1. HB 136 – An act increasing the maximum period for the zoning board of adjustment to hold a public hearing.

Effective July 9, 2019

This bill amends RSA 676:7, II by increasing the number of days that a ZBA has to hold a public hearing from 30 to 45.

The text of the bill is here; its docket is here.

2. HB 245 – An act relative to the planning board's procedures on plats.

Effective July 9, 2019

This bill amends RSA 676:4, I(b) which, in part, governs when planning board applications must be filed. The current statute requires that applications be filed at least 21 days before the acceptance meeting. This bill allows a planning board to specify a filing deadline for a period of time less than 21 days in its rules of procedure.

The text of the bill is here; its docket is here.

3. HB 370 – An act relative to membership on city and town planning boards.

Effective August 20, 2019

This bill amends RSA 673:7, bringing treatment of planning board members in cities in line with that of towns. More specifically, it removes the prohibition against appointed city planning board members holding other municipal office. It permits any 2 appointed or elected members of the planning board in a city or town to also serve together on other municipal boards or commissions, except for the conservation commission, the local governing body, and local land use boards as defined in RSA 672:7.

The text of the bill is here; its docket is here.

If your Planning Board or ZBA have any questions regarding the new legislation or would like assistance, please contact Jenn Rowden, Senior Planner (; 603-658-0521).