As you may have read here, HB 104 is a bill in the NH House that was heard before the House Judiciary Committee on January 9, 2019. The committee took a vote on it, on January 15th.

This bill would allow developers to usurp local control of land use. In an unanimous 18-0 committee vote, the bill was vote “ITL” (Inexpedient To Legislate).

While ITL is the committee recommendation, the full House could still vote to pass the bill unless you write and tell them NO. (see previous article linked above for how)

Rep. Sylvia advises us to watch for the Senate version. SB 557 from 2018 was in interim study and on October 29, 2018, recommended for “future legislation.” Senator Giuda has advised me that he will attempt to bring this or a similar bill, back. Rep. Sylvia stated that if the Senate version comes to the House Judiciary committee, he would like the committee recommendation to be “Indefinite Postponement” which kills the bill and any related offerings for the entire term.

We will be watching both and keep you updated on the status of each.

Info on SB 557 from 2018

Proposing the Creation of a Housing Appeals Board (which would also overrule local boards in favor of developers)

Senate Bill 557, sponsored by Sen. Bob Giuda (R-Warren), proposes the creation of an administrative tribunal to hear and decide developer appeals from local land use decisions. At present, the State Superior Court is the only forum for such appeals — an appellate track that is known to impose delay, expense and, ultimately, uncertainty. As an option available to applicants who may seek to reverse a local development denial or to modify an approval carrying undesirable conditions, the House Appeals Board would present a new option for bringing an appeal. As a housing-oriented forum, the full-time commissioners would be subject matter experts appointed by the State Supreme Court and commissioned by the governor. The proposed board is modeled upon the existing Board of Tax and Land Appeals, which offers an alternative to the State Superior Court for tax abatement appeals.

Because the delays associated with conventional appeals can often kill or harm otherwise successful development proposals, the NHHBA SUPPORTS passage of SB 557.

Of course BRA would have opposed this at the time even though the Governor requested it.