Governmental Use of Property

Section 674:54

    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, the community college system of New Hampshire, 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, community college system of New Hampshire, 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.
II-b. The construction and operation of any solid waste disposal facility on land owned or occupied by any city or town within another city or town shall be subject to local land use regulations to the same extent as if the land were owned and occupied by a private entity. Nothing in this paragraph shall affect the construction and operation of a solid waste facility on land owned by a solid waste management district formed under RSA 53-A or RSA 53-B or any combination of municipalities authorized by an act of the general court, if the land is located within a city or town that is part of the district.
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.

Source. 1996, 262:1. 1998, 281:2. 2007, 29:1, eff. May 14, 2007; 361:32, eff. July 17, 2007.