6Mar2018... 0738h

04/12/2018   1352s







AN ACT relative to voting on variances.


SPONSORS: Rep. J. Belanger, Hills. 27; Rep. Gauthier, Sull. 3


COMMITTEE: Municipal and County Government






This bill establishes requirements for zoning boards of adjustment voting on variances.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

6Mar2018... 0738h

04/12/2018   1352s 18-2035





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to voting on variances.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


168:1  Variance; Procedure.  Amend RSA 674:33, I to read as follows:

I.(a)  The zoning board of adjustment shall have the power to:

[(a)] (1) Hear and decide appeals if it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of any zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to RSA 674:16; and

[(b)] (2) Authorize, upon appeal in specific cases, a variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance if:

[(1)] (A) The variance will not be contrary to the public interest;

[(2)] (B)  The spirit of the ordinance is observed;

[(3)] (C)   Substantial justice is done;

[(4)] (D) The values of surrounding properties are not diminished; and

[(5)] (E) Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship.

[(A)] (b)(1) For purposes of [this] subparagraph I(a)(2)(E), "unnecessary hardship'' means that, owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area:

[(i)] (A)  No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that provision to the property; and

[(ii)] (B) The proposed use is a reasonable one.

[(B)] (2) If the criteria in subparagraph [(A)] (1) are not established, an unnecessary hardship will be deemed to exist if, and only if, owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area, the property cannot be reasonably used in strict conformance with the ordinance, and a variance is therefore necessary to enable a reasonable use of it.

(3)  The definition of "unnecessary hardship'' set forth in[ subparagraph (5)] subparagraphs (1) and (2) shall apply whether the provision of the ordinance from which a variance is sought is a restriction on use, a dimensional or other limitation on a permitted use, or any other requirement of the ordinance.

(c)  The board shall use one voting method consistently for all applications until it formally votes to change the method.  Any change in the board's voting method shall not take effect until 60 days after the board has voted to adopt such change and shall apply only prospectively, and not to any application that has been filed and remains pending at the time of the change.

168:2  Reference Changed.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 674:33, V to read as follows:

V.  Notwithstanding subparagraph [I(b)] I(a)(2), any zoning board of adjustment may grant a variance from the terms of a zoning ordinance without finding a hardship arising from the condition of a premises subject to the ordinance, when reasonable accommodations are necessary to allow a person or persons with a recognized physical disability to reside in or regularly use the premises, provided that:

168:3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


Approved: June 08, 2018

Effective Date: August 07, 2018