Municipal, Zoning & Land Use
Many people, whether entrepreneurial or simply looking to do something fun in their new home, have different ideas and ventures that they want to engage in. This is a solid and admirable motivation, but you have to make sure that you can get to your goal. One potential hurdle is that municipalities institute various levels of regulation for properties in their community, in the hopes of encouraging development and safeguarding the sanctity of the various properties.
From Master Plan documents to Zoning Ordinances, the municipalities throughout New Hampshire have the authority to shape and guide the land usage within it. Various levels of review can be necessary from simply acquiring a building permit, or getting a special exception, all the way to obtaining a variance from the local Zoning Board of Adjustment. Appeals of these decisions may also be necessary, and that also lands people in the various municipal boards, or even our Superior Court, with clear, distinct, and quite short timelines in order to do so.
Most municipalities have various departments and officials that oversee various aspects of this process, but you may not find the complete guidance that you need. A building permit, as an example, is filed with the town and approved by its officials, whereas in circumstances necessitating a site plan, the municipality's planning board must give approval at a properly noticed meeting. In some of those cases, in which a planning board or other department is making an interpretation of the zoning ordinance, the matter may find itself in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Unfortunately for some people, the information and guidance to get through this process may not be readily available, such that people forego various rights, without even knowing that they did.
Our attorneys at Martin, Lord & Osman, P.A. are familiar with these systems and work with our clients to shape their plans and goals for their property to follow the least restrictive path necessary, and if our clients find themselves in a heated debate, we vigorously and zealously advocate for their interests.