TITLE I
THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT

Chapter 9-A
STATE DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Section 9-A:1

    9-A:1 Comprehensive Plan. –
I. There shall be a comprehensive state development plan which establishes state policy on development related issues and proposes new or expanded programs to implement such policies. The plan shall provide a basis for identifying critical issues facing the state, determining state priorities, allocating limited state resources, and taking into account the plans of various state, regional, and local governmental units.
II. The comprehensive development plan shall establish policies in areas related to the orderly physical, social, and economic growth and development of the state.
III. The comprehensive development plan shall include:
(a) State policies to provide for the orderly growth and development of the state and to maximize smart growth.
(b) Goals and policies which are relevant to the topical areas included in the plan, including but not limited to:
(1) An overall vision section that serves as the direction for the other sections of the plan. This section shall contain a set of statements which articulates the desires of the public relative to the future. It shall contain a set of guiding principles and priorities to implement that vision, with special emphasis on maximizing the smart growth principles in RSA 9-B.
(2) A land use section which examines the state's role in land development and in funding projects and programs which affect land uses.
(3) A transportation section which considers all pertinent modes of transportation and provides a framework of policies and actions which will provide for a safe and adequate transportation system to serve the needs of the state.
(4) A public facilities section which examines the projected needs of state institutions and coordinates with other governmental units, whether federal, county, local, special districts, or school districts, as to their needs as well.
(5) A housing section which sets forth approaches to meeting the need for affordable housing.
(6) An economic development section which proposes actions and policies to suit the state's economic goals and needs, based on the current and projected economic strengths and weaknesses. The section shall reference the economic development strategy and operating plan and process developed by the division of economic development under RSA 12-O:24 through 12-O:28.
(7) A natural resources section which identifies trends in land protection, open space, farm land preservation and protection, and proposes policies and actions necessary at the state level to protect those resources which are perceived to be of statewide significance.
(8) A natural hazards section which identifies actions to improve the ability of the state to minimize damages from future disasters that affect land and property subject to such disasters.
(9) A recreation section which assesses current and future recreation needs within the foreseeable future and identifies policies and a plan of action to support them at the state level.
(10) A utility and public service section which details state level policies and actions necessary to assure adequate service to the citizens of the state.
(11) A regional concerns section which describes specific areas of the state with potentially unique concerns and identifies policies and actions which may reasonably be undertaken to assist in addressing those issues.
(12) A section which identifies state policies and actions necessary to protect cultural and historic resources of statewide significance and assist in their rehabilitation or preservation, and generally assure their availability for future generations of state citizens.
(13) An implementation section, which is a long range action program for assessing the effectiveness of each section of the plan.
IV. The comprehensive development plan shall serve as the basis for policy and program development by the various departments of state government. State agencies shall develop and regional planning commissions and local planning boards are encouraged to develop plans which are consistent with the policies and priorities established in the comprehensive development plan.
V. The comprehensive development plan shall be renewed or revised every 4 years, beginning on October 1, 2003, and the plan transmitted to the general court.

Source. 1985, 270:4. 2000, 292:5. 2002, 229:4. 2008, 248:2, eff. June 24, 2008. 2014, 275:4, eff. July 28, 2014. 2017, 156:58, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 9-A:2

    9-A:2 Office of Planning and Development. –
The office of planning and development, under the direction of the commissioner of business and economic affairs, shall:
I. Assist the commissioner in preparing, publishing and revising the comprehensive development plan.
II. Develop and maintain a technical data base of information to support statewide policy development and planning.
III. Coordinate and monitor the planning efforts of various state agencies and departments to ensure that program plans published by such agencies are consistent with the policies and priorities established in the comprehensive development plan.
IV. Coordinate and monitor the planning efforts of the regional planning commissions.

Source. 1985, 270:4. 2002, 229:5. 2003, 319:9. 2004, 257:44, eff. July 1, 2004. 2017, 156:64, eff. July 1, 2017. 2021, 91:196, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 9-A:3

    9-A:3 Repealed by 2008, 248:1, eff. June 24, 2008. –

Section 9-A:4

    9-A:4 Consultation With Other Agencies. –
I. In preparing the state development plan, the office of planning and development shall consult with the chief executive officers of the various departments and agencies of state government with responsibilities which are relevant to economic development.
II. The office may also consult with officials of regional and local planning and development agencies and representatives of business and industry.
III. All state agencies and departments shall provide the office of planning and development with such information and assistance required by the office to fulfill its responsibilities under RSA 9-A:2. The office shall maintain the confidentiality of any information which is protected by law.

Source. 1985, 270:4. 2003, 319:9. 2004, 257:44, eff. July 1, 2004. 2017, 156:64, eff. July 1, 2017. 2021, 91:197, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 9-A:5

    9-A:5 Commission on Rural Affairs Established. –
There is established a commission to study and make recommendations relating to public policy that specifically affects rural areas and rural people.
I. The members of the commission shall be as follows:
(a) One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.
(b) One member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
(c) Eight public members drawn from, respectively, the areas of health care, agriculture, natural resources, business, public safety, telecommunications, youth services, and local government, appointed by the governor.
(d) Two members appointed by the chancellor of the university system of New Hampshire, one of whom shall be an employee of the UNH cooperative extension.
(e) One member appointed by the chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire.
II. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation. Legislative members of the commission shall serve a term coterminous with their term in office. Non-legislative members appointed under subparagraphs I(c), (d), and (e) shall serve for a term of 3 years, except that the initial appointment of such members shall be for staggered terms of one, 2, and 3 years. No member shall serve more than 3 consecutive terms.
III. The commission shall study and recommend actions:
(a) To expand economic and social opportunities for rural communities and their residents.
(b) To promote equal treatment of and effective delivery to rural areas by government agencies and the private sector.
(c) To assess the effectiveness of programs designed to promote rural viability.
(d) To provide a collective voice for rural areas.
IV. The commission shall have the authority to accept and expend funds from any public or private source, including private gifts, grants, and donations. The funds shall be used exclusively to further the purposes of the commission, which may include the payment of mileage to members of the commission.
V. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named senate member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Four members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.
VI. Beginning September 15, 2015, and each September 15 thereafter, the commission shall submit an annual report of its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to at least the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library.

Source. 2014, 209:1, eff. July 11, 2014.