ARTICLE V - GENERAL REGULATIONS
Section 501 Non-Conforming Uses
The following provisions shall apply to all non-conforming uses
501.1 All uses existing at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance, or during the year preceding its adoption, of any buildings or premises may continued without restriction.
501.2 A non-conforming use may be continued but may not be extended, expanded, or changed unless to a conforming use, except as permitted by the Board of Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance.
501.3 Any non-conforming structure damaged by fire, flood, explosion, or other casualty may be reconstructed and used as before if such reconstruction is performed with 12 months of such casualty, and if the restored structure has no greater coverage and contains no greater cubic content than before such casualty.
501.4 In the event that any non-conforming use, conducted in a structure or otherwise, ceases, for whatever reason, for a period of one year, or is abandoned for any period, such non-conforming use shall not be resumed. *3/12/68
501.5 Structures on a lot that is non-conforming because it does not meet the existing dimensional requirements for frontage and/or lot size can be expanded if the expansion meets current zoning. *3/10/98
Section 502 Water Recreation and Water Storage Facilities
502.1 Any facility for water recreation or storage such as, but not limited to, commercial swimming pools, swimming clubs, fishing ponds, reservoirs, fish hatcheries, sewage lagoons, and farm ponds, but excepting private swimming pools, as described in 502.2, shall comply with the following requirements.
A. The facility shall conform with the setback requirements of the North Hampton Zoning Ordinance.
B. The facility shall be enclosed by a fence no less than four feet high which prevents uncontrolled access by small children. This requirement may be waived in writing by the Planning Board.
C. The owner of a facility shall submit a plan to the Planning Board showing the size of the facility, proposed use, parking arrange-ment, and the use and location of buildings on the site, surround-ing properties and their usage, and any other pertinent information or any other information requested by the Planning Board. The Planning Board, based on consider-ations of the health, safety, and welfare of the community, the general scheme of development of the area, and the usage of adjoining land, shall either approve or not approve said plan. No building permit shall be issued for a structure to be built in conjunction with said facility prior to Planning Board approval. A building permit shall not be required for fishing ponds, reservoirs,
fish hatcheries, sewage lagoons, and farm ponds where no structures are involved.
502.2 Private swimming pools when located on a residential lot, in association with a single family dwelling, shall not require Planning Board approval, but must meet the following requirements:
A. Above ground pools that are commercially prefabricated and can be readily disassembled and removed, shall not require a building permit, though any construction in conjunction with such pool shall comply with Section 701 of the Zoning Ordinance. All such pools shall be enclosed by a fence no less than four feet high which prevents uncontrolled access by small children. This requirement may be met by the use of removable ladders on pools having outside walls at least four feet high.
B. In ground pools and above ground pools that are not commer-cially prefabricated and/or cannot be readily disassembled and removed, shall require a building permit as defined in Section 701. In addition, such facility shall comply with the setback requirements of the North Hampton Zoning Ordi-nance, and shall be enclosed by a fence no less than four feet high which prevents uncontrolled access by small children, or have removable ladders as described in 502.2(a). *3/5/74
Section 503 Manufactured Housing and Recreational Vehicles
Shall not be permitted elsewhere than in those areas where they are specifical-ly identified as a permitted use in Section 405. Manufactured housing located on individually owned lots shall comply with all building codes, lot size and frontage requirements, space limitation, and other controls. The Building Inspector may permit the temporary location of manufactured housing elsewhere than those areas where permitted for a temporary purpose found by him not to be injurious or offensive to the neighbor-hood. Any temporary location shall be limited to the time specified in the permit. This section shall not affect the temporary placement of recreational vehicles in a manufactured housing park for a period not to exceed six months. The occupants of a
single-family dwelling may, without permit, park one unoccupied recreational vehicle on the lot where they reside. *3/13/84
Section 504 Trailer Parks
Trailer Parks, as defined as any land rented for the parking or temporary location of one or more manufactured houses, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, tent campers, or pickup campers, shall not be permitted unless they were in existence prior to March 8, 1955, and those trailer parks so existing shall be limited in land area to that actually being legally occupied by a manufactured house, recreational vehicle, travel trailer, tent camper, or pickup camper as of March 6, 1973; or so legally occupied any time during the twelve months immediate-ly preceding March 6, 1973. *3/13/79
Section 505 Temporary Structures
505.1 Temporary structures shall only be allowed by permit and in conjunction with construction work and only during the period that the work is in progress. The permit allowing the construction shall note approval of any temporary structure.
505.2 Any vehicle, whether or not powered and whether or not licensed, shall be considered to be a temporary structure. Such vehicle shall be allowed only under the provision of Site Plan Review Regulations or as follows: *3/11/97
A. In an Industrial Business Zone, each lot may have one vehicle as described in Section 505.2 for periods not to exceed a total of 90 days annually. A permit shall be required for each use. The permit will be issued by the Building Inspector’s office only if it feels such use of a vehicle would not be detrimental to the area. *3/11/97 and *3/9/99
B. A permit for more than one temporary structure used for storage only and meeting all other ordinances, will require Planning Board approval. *3/11/97
505.3 Residing in any temporary structure, or a basement, or foundation before completion of a permanent structure shall not be permitted.
505.4 No part of Section 505 shall apply to Manufactured Housing or to Recreational Vehicles as defined in Section 302 and regulated in Sections 503 and 504. *3/8/77
505.5 Temporary structures, including but not limited to tents, may be placed in the Industrial Business Zone for display purposes for resale, or as a display model for the sale of similar structures for a period not to exceed one year. Said structures may be heated and have telephone and electricity but shall not have water or sewerage disposal or holding facilities. They shall meet all the setback requirements of permanent primary buildings, but may not be used for any purpose except display. Prior to placing of said structures, a permit for each structure shall be obtained from the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall certify to the safety of the structure before the public is admitted. Permits may be renewed yearly for a maximum of four
years after which the temporary structure must be completely removed. The annual renewal fee shall be as set by the Board of Selectmen. *3/9/82, 3/11/97 and 3/9/99
A. Temporary structures constructed of expendable materials without foundations may be placed in the IB Zone for sales purposes not to exceed one year by permit issued by the Planning Board. Said structures may be heated and have installed utilities but not sewerage disposal. They shall meet all setback requirements of permanent primary buildings. Prior to placing of said structures, a permit for each structure shall be obtained from the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall certify to the safety of the structure before the public is admitted. Permits may be renewed yearly at the discretion of the Building Inspector for a maximum of four years after which the temporary structure must be completely removed or approved by
the Planning Board by formal Site Plan Review. The annual renewal fee shall be as set by the Board of Selectmen. *3/11/97 and 3/9/99
B. Temporary structures included but not limited to tents constructed of expendable materials may be placed in the IB Zone for short special sales or promotions, not to exceed one week, by permit issued by the Building Inspector. Not more than three (3) such special permits may be issued for the same property during any calendar year and the weeks shall not be consecutive. A permit shall be required for each structure. *3/11/97 and 3/9/99
505.6 If a temporary structure becomes unsafe or obnoxious and the public health, welfare or safety is endangered, the Building Inspector shall immediately revoke the permit. The unsafe structure will then be removed from the site or the unsafe conditions eliminated and/or repaired. A new permit will then be issued but only after all provisions of Section 505.5 have been complied with. *3/10/81 and 3/11/97
505.7 If a temporary structure becomes unsafe and the public safety is endangered, the Building Inspector shall immediately revoke the permit. The unsafe structure will then be removed from the site or the unsafe conditions eliminated and/or repaired. A new permit will then be issued but only after all provisions of Section 505.5 have been complied with. *3/10/81
Section 506 Signs and Billboards Amended 3/14/2006
This ordinance regulates all new or materially altered signs in the Town of North Hampton.
A. The primary purpose of a sign is to convey information.
B. Depending on their size, density (of both the letters on individual signs as well as overall signage in the town), and character, signs may attract or repel visitors, affect the visual quality enjoyed daily by residents, affect the safety of vehicular traffic, and define the character of the area. Thus signage may impact prosperity, aesthetics, public health, safety and welfare.
This ordinance does not regulate the specific content of signage. This ordinance only regulates aspects of the time, place and manner of signage for the following purposes:
1) Maintain and enhance the visual quality or aesthetics of the community;
2) Improve pedestrian and motorist safety by minimizing distractions and obstacles to clear views of the road and of directional or warning signs;
3) Improve motorist safety by encouraging fewer words per sign;
4) Protect and enhance the visual and scenic quality of the community’s night sky by limiting light pollution emitted from signs and restricting the hours of lighting of signs;
5) Protect and enhance economic viability by assuring that North Hampton will be a visually pleasant place to live, work and shop;
6) Protect property values and private/public investments in property;
7) Protect scenic views of the natural landscape and significant historical areas of the Town of North Hampton, which contribute to both the economic viability of North Hampton and the welfare of its residents;
8) Avoid personal injury and property damage from structurally unsafe signs; and
9) Provide businesses with effective and efficient opportunities for identification by reducing competing demands for visual attention.
A. Abandoned sign. An abandoned sign is:
1. Any sign that does not display a well-maintained message for a consecutive 120-day period;
2. Any sign the owner of which cannot be located after reasonable efforts have been made; or
3. Any sign no longer fully supported, by the structure designed to support the sign, for a consecutive 120-day period.
4. Any sign no longer advertising bona fide business and or products sold.
B. Agriculture. Land and associated buildings whose primary use is to produce crops or livestock or to provide boarding or storage facilities for agricultural products or animals.
C. Billboard. A sign that directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment conducted, sold or offered at a location other than the premises on which the sign is located.
D. Conditional use. A use that, because of special requirements or characteristics, may be allowed only after review by the Planning Board and granting of a conditional use permit in order to protect the public welfare.
E. Directional sign. A sign on private property without a commercial message that gives direction such as entrances, exits, or street numbers.
F. Electronic message board. A sign with a fixed or chaning display/message composed of a series of lights that may be changed through electronic means. A time and/or temperature sign which does not display any other changeable message shall not be considered an electronic message board.
G. FeatherFlag or Feather-flag style Banner. A lightweight portable advertising medium, mounted on a pole, that resembles a sail.
H. Government sign. A sign authorized by this municipality, another governmental agency, the State of New Hampshire, or the federal government.
I. Ground sign. A sign supported by one or more uprights, poles, pylons, or foundation elements in or upon the ground and not attached to a building.
J. Inflatable advertising device. An air-filled or helium-filled structure – including, but not limited to those in the likeness of a figure such as an animal, character, or hot air balloon – intended to draw attention to a particular business.
K. Materially altered. Any change in construction materials for the supporting structures,the location, lighting, dimensions or form (shape, proportions). Reuse of the same supporting structure and replacement with a new sign of the same dimensions of the previous sign by a new tenant that does not change construction materials of the supporting structures, location, lighting, or form shall not be considered materially altered.5/10/2011
L. Monument sign. A freestanding sign supported primarily by an internal structural framework or integrated into landscaping or other solid structural features other than support poles. The base of the sign structure shall be on the ground or a maximum of 12 inches above the adjacent grade. The width of the top of the sign shall not be greater than the width of the bottom of the sign.
M. Person. Any individual or entity, including a firm, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, trustee, and their legal successors.
N. Pole or pylon sign. A type of ground sign that is supported by or suspended from a free-standing column. All such signs must meet all standards for ground signs.
O. Political sign. Banners, placards, roadside signs and the like promoting political candidates or positions on political issues.
P. Projecting sign. A sign affixed to any part of a building or a structure that extends beyond the building or structure by more than twelve inches.
Q. Promotional sign. A sign that advertises a special or temporary event.
R. Residential neighborhood identification sign. A sign at the entrance of a residential neighborhood identifying the neighborhood.
S. Roof sign. A sign erected, constructed, or maintained upon, or which projects above the roofline of a building.
T. Sandwich-board sign. Any A-frame style sign, typically temporary and portable, having two sides, and less than six (6) square feet in total surface area per side.
U. Seasonal sign. A sign that specifically relates to one of the seasons of the year, including but not limited to the harvest season of a particular agricultural product of a seasonally-based recreational activity.
V. Sign. An object, including a structure, movable object, wall or image displaying any message visible to the public. Notices legally placed on public property and removed on a daily basis are not considered signs. Letter individually painted on or attached to a face of a building that identify only the address of the occupant are not considered a sign.
W. Special event sign. A sign for events such as festivals, benefits, and other limited term events.
X. Wall sign. A sign attached to, painted upon, place against, or supported by the exterior surface of any building.
Y. Window sign. A sign affixed to the interior or exterior of a window or placed immediately behind a windowpane so as to attract the attention of person outside the building.
506.3 Conditional Use Permit
Any signs, banners, flags, or other advertising devices covered under this ordinance shall require the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit by the Planning Board pursuant to RSA 674:21 and in accord with procedures established by the Planning Board, unless the proposed sign fully complies with the provisions of this ordinance, in shich case the Building Inspector may issue a sign permit. If the Building Inspector issues a permit for a fully compliant sign, he shall submit a record of such permit to the Planning Board, which shall include the dimensions of the sign, the lighting(if any)of the sign and a photograph or accurate and to scale rendering of the sign. If the applicaton requires a waiver of any provision, no matter how minor, the applicant shall apply to the Planning Board, which shall
consider the application for a waiver during a regularly scheduled public hearing with notice to abutters and the public. (3/11/2008)
Change of tenant.
1. Ground, monument, pole, or pylon signs.
a. A proposed sign of this type that is a material alteration of an existing sign shall require either 1) approval of the Building Inspector if the proposed sign fully conforms to the provisions of this Section 506 or 2) approval of the Planning Board if the proposed sign requires a waiver from any provision of this Section.
b. A new tenant's reuse of the same supporting structure and replacement with a new sign of the same dimensions as the existing sign that does not change construction materials of the supporting structure, the location, lighting, or form (shape, proportions) of the existing sign shall not be considered materially altered.
2. Wall signs. A new tenant's replacement of an existing wall sign shall be considered a material alteration and shall require either 1) approval of the Building Inspector if the proposed sign fully conforms to the provisions of this Section 506 or 2) approval of the Planning Board if the proposed sign requires a waiver from any provision of this Section.5/10/2011
A. Appeals. Any persons aggrieved by a Planning Board decision on a Conditional Use Permit may appeal that decision to the Superior Court, as provided for in RSA 677:15. A Planning Board decision on the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit cannot be appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (RSA 676:5 III).
506.4 Signs authorized without a sign permit:
Subject to other applicable requirements and permits, the following signs are authorized without a permit:
A. Small sign. One sign per parcel, not illuminated, constructed of weather resistant materials, and not exceeding three square feet in area is allowed without a permit.
B. Warning signs such as “beware of dog” are not limited to one per parcel, but are limited to no more than two small signs in any 500 linear feet on the parcel, unless otherwise regulated under state law.
C. No trespassing signs may be posted as follows, pursuant to this ordinance and RSA 635:4. A person may post his land to prohibit criminal trespass and physical activities by posting signs of durable material with any words describing the physical activity prohibited, such as “No Hunting and Trespassing” printed with block letters no less than 2 inches in height, and with the name and address of the owner or lessee or such land. Such signs shall be posted not more than 100 yards apart on all sides and shall also be posted at gates, bars, and commonly used entrances. This section shall not prevent any owner from adding to the language required by this section.
D. “For Sale” signs. Signs pertaining to the lease, sale, or use of the land or buildings on which it is placed, including signs advertising products or articles sold or produced on the premises may be posted subject to the restrictions of the small sign provision above.
E. Governmental signs. Governmental signs do not require a permit. These signs include highway, park, or other regulatory or informational signs of municipal, county, state or local government.
F. Directional signs. Signs that provide driving directions do not require a permit; however, only one entrance/exit sign is allowed per legal driveway and a directional sign may not exceed 1.5 square feet not block the sightlines of drivers entering or exiting the property.
G. Warning signs. Signs exclusively devoted to warning the public of dangerous conditions and unusual hazards such as drop offs, high voltage, fire danger, and explosives do not require a permit. Warning signs shall not exceed three square feet.
H. Historical, Cultural and Natural Site signs. A sign erected by a governmental agency, which exclusively denotes a recognized historical, cultural or natural site, does not require a permit. This sign shall not exceed three square feet unless otherwise provided by state or federal law.
I. Banners. Banners used on a private residential property, such as those used for family events or birthdays, do not require a permit so long as they remain in place for no longer than seven day. Banners shall be no larger than thirty square feet. For example, a banner with dimensions of 3 feet by 10 feet, or five feet by six feet, or 2 feet by 15 feet would be permitted. Banners used by a non-profit organization for a special event coordinated with the Town do not require a permit, so long as they do not
obstruct the view of motorists and remain in place no longer than seven days.
J. Political signs. Political signs, during periods specified by the Board of Selectmen, do not require permits. Political signs should not be placed in areas where they will create a traffic safety hazard due to obstruction of the sightlines at intersections or driveways. Political signs are not regulated by this ordinance. Please refer to RSA 664:17.
1) Governmental flags. National, state, and local flags do not require a permit. A flagpole may not exceed 30 feet above ground level for the purposes set forth in this ordinance.
2) “Open” flags. Flags noting that a business is open to customers do not need a permit provided that they are put up and taken down consistently with the hours of operation of any business that displays them. Open flags shall be no large than nine square feet.
506.5 PROHITIBTED SIGNS
A. Inflatable advertising devices. Inflatable devices, such as, but not limited to, inflatable animals, characters, or large balloons, shall not be allowed in the Industrial Business Residential zone due to their negative effect on the scenic and aesthetic qualities of the town and potential safety hazard. An individual balloon or group of balloons,
which when inflated, no dimension of which is greater than two feet, placed at a height no greater than twelve feet above ground level, is permitted so long as the balloon(s) does not become a safety hazard by obstructing the view of motorists or remain in place longer than seven days.
B. Billboards. No billboard not existing at the time of the adoption of this ordinance shall be permitted. A billboard is defined as that type of sign that advertises goods, products, merchandise, business, or any other sort of enterprise or adventure not actually available at the premises where the billboard is located.
C. Portable sign. A portable sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure and designed to be transported by means of wheels shall be prohibited.
D. Vehicles. No vehicle which is used primarily as an advertising display may be parked on any street or parking lot or any place within the Town of North Hampton, except vehicles displaying temporary political advertising that shall be placed and removed within the period designated by the Board of Selectmen for each election. For the purposes of the subparagraph “vehicle” includes but is not limited to vans, trailers, automobiles or trucks with signs or placards on their exterior or interior.
E. Electronic message boards and flashing or neon signs. Signs containing electronic message boards shall be prohibited. Signs that flash, rotate, or otherwise create movement are prohibited. Neon signs on the outside of a building or visible through a window are prohibited.
F. Roof sign. A sign erected, constructed or maintained upon, or shich projects above the roof-lne of a building are prohibited. (3/11/2008)
G. Internally Lighted Signs. Internally lighted signs are prohibited.*3/10/2009
H. Feather Flag or Feather-flag style Banner. A lightweight portable advertising medium, mounted on a pole, that resembles a sail.
506.6 SIGNS AUTHORIZED WITH A PERMIT: PROVISIONS ON SIZE AND PLACEMENT
The following provisions shall apply to all signs:
A. Sightlines. No sign shall project within the limits of a public highway (except when put up by the State or Town authorizes having jurisdiction over such highway) or be placed so as to obstruct the view at any highway intersection or so as to endanger traffic.
B. Height, ground sign or braced sign. It shall be unlawful to erect any ground sign, or any sign supported by uprights or braces or cables placed upon the ground and not attached to a building, whose total height is greater than twelve feet, as measured from the top of the sign, nor less than 6 feet, as measured from the top of the sign.
C. Height, monument sign. It shall be unlawful to erect any monument sign whose total height is greater than ten feet as measured from the top of the sign.
D. Monument sign. A monument sign including its base may be no greater than ten feet in heights and shall be located at least ten feet back from the property line. A monument sign shall be allowed an area no larger than 60 square feet not including the structural support of the sign. The structural support may not be larger than 50 percent of the sign. A monument sign must not impair a motorist’s visibility of oncoming traffic. The Building Inspector will inspect the placement of the monument sign to determine whether the sign impairs the visibility of a motorist exiting the business where the sign is located.
E. Size, I/BR District. No ground sign or any sign supported by uprights or braces or cables placed upon the ground and not attached to a building, with an area in excess of 32 square feet shall be permitted in the Industrial/Business zone, unless the ground sign is a monument sign. The area of the supporting structures shall be large enough to safely support the sign and to provide adequate stability for the sign. In order to encourage the gradual improvement of the aesthetics of the town’s public streets and roads by encouraging a more consistent pattern of signage in keeping with the rural character of the town, monument signs are encouraged. A monument sign shall be allowed an area no larger than 60 square feet, no
including the structural support for the sign.
F. Size, Multi-tenant I/BR District. Multi-tenant signs are discouraged because they are visually distracting to motorists and may create a hazardous driving situation. Multi-tenant signs are permitted an area of 32 square feet, unless the sign is a monument sign. A multi-tenant monument sign shall be allowed an area no larger than 60 square feet.
G. Size, Districts Other than the I/BR District. No such sign advertising a business with an area in excess of (18) eighteen square feet shall be permitted in any district other than the IB/R District. This section does not apply to home occupation signs.
H. Size, Home Occupation. No such sign advertising a home occupation with an area in excess of four (4) square feet shall be permitted outside the Industrial Business/Residential District. Only one such sign shall be permitted in conjunction with any building or buildings on the same parcel of land.
I. Visibility of Letters and Numbers. Letters and numbers on a sign shall be clearly visible. Letters of the name of the business or product advertised should be no smaller than 6 inches high, as recommended by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, but may be larger. It is recommended that business owners convey a clear simple message containing the name of the business and the nature of the business and avoid secondary information where possible. Guidelines to improve the visibility and legibility of a sign are contained in the site plan regulations.
J. Pylon or pole signs. Pylon or pole signs, as defined under “Definitions” above, must meet the requirements of the section regarding ground signs. Pylon signs may be no larger than 32 square feet.
K. Wall signs. No more than one wall sign, as defined under “Definitions” above, not to exceed twelve square feet, is permitted for each business. If a business that is a tenant of a building does not have a ground sign, the wall sign size may be increased to a maximum area of twenty-four square feet.
L. Special Event signs. Temporary signs for business-related special events or promotions shall be allowed for a period not to exceed fourteen days and not more frequently than once a year, and they are subject to these restrictions:
1) They shall be placed on private property only, not in public rights of way.
2) They shall in no way impede sightlines at any driveway entrance or exit.
3) They shall be no larger than 24 inches wide by 36 inches high. (This does not apply to persons or animals serving as animated signs.)
4) No electrical devices shall be used in conjunction with these types of signs.
5) A maximum of one such sign shall be allowed per business.
6) The signs shall be removed each day when the business is not operating.
M. Seasonal signs. Temporary signs that advertise a seasonal event, activity, or harvested product, such as but not limited to “ice skating” or “pumpkins” shall be allowed for a period not to exceed one month.
Seasonal signs must be durable in nature, and shall be no larger than 30 square feet. A business may be allowed on seasonal sign in addition to other allowed existing signs. Seasonal signs must meet all other restrictions concerning sightlines, height, and placement concerning ground and wall signs.
N. Sandwich Board signs. Temporary A-frame sandwich board signs are allowed, one per business, and shall be no larger than 24 inches wide by 36 inches high and must meet all of the restrictions listed above for special event signs, except that they may be allowed for an indefinite permit period. Sandwich board signs shall be taken in each day at the close of business.
O. Window signs (Permanent). Permanent window signs such as, but not limited to, glass etchings, advertising the name of the business or type of business or services offered by the business may occupy no more than 50 percent of the area of any window.
P. Window signs (Temporary). Window signs advertising specific items for sale in the store are permitted; however, window signs shall not occupy more than fifty percent of the area of any window in which the signage is placed. Window signs may not be larger than six square feet, for example, a sign with dimensions of two feet by three feet.
Q. Color. Colors of signs shall be muted and unobtrusive. Excessively bright colors, such as those often used by franchiese, are not acceptable. (3/11/2008)
R. Only one ground sign, monument sign, pole sign, or multi-tenant sign is permitted per business. No more than one wall sign is permitted for each business. If a business that is a tenant of a building does not have a ground sign and is not included on a multi-tenant sign, the wall sign size may be increased to a maximum of twenty-four square feet. (3/11/2008)
506.7 INSPECTION AND COMPLIANCE
It shall be the responsibility of the Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer to ensure compliance with this ordinance within the Town of North Hampton.
If the Building Inspector finds that any sign does not comply with this ordinance or is in his opinion unsafe, or in disrepair, then he shall immediately notify the owners to correct the improper condition. Owners or any other persons violating any of the provisions of the zoning ordinance shall be subject to a fine as provided for in Section 703 of this ordinance as authorized by RSA 676:17, and may also be subject to other enforcement procedures as authorized by RSA 676. Per the provisions of 676:17 (II), in the event that any legal action is brought by the Town to enforce this ordinance by way of injunctive relief or to seek the payment of any fine levied per RSA 676:17, the Town shall recover its costs and reasonable attorney’s fees actually expended in pursuing the legal action if it is found to be a
prevailing party in the action. *3/13/2007
506.9 NON-CONFORMING STRUCTURE
All legally existing signs which did not conform to the provisions of this ordinance on March 14, 2006, shall be considered non-conforming structures.
Section 507 Home Occupation
Any home occupation otherwise allowed as either a Permitted Use of Special Exception under the terms of this Ordinance shall be permitted as a special exception if it complies with the requirements of this section. *3/9/99, 3/08/2005
507.1 The home occupation shall be carried on by a member of the family residing in the dwelling unit with not more than two employees who are not part of the family residing in the dwelling. *3/08/2005
507.2 The home occupation shall be carried on wholly within the principal or accessory structures.
507.3 Exterior displays or signs other than those permitted under Section 506, exterior storage of materials, and exterior indication of the home occupation or variation from the residential character of the principal structure shall not be permitted.
507.4 Objectionable noise, vibration, smoke, dust, electrical disturbance, odors, heat, or glare shall not be produced.
507.5 Articles not produced on the premises shall not be sold on the premises. *3/12/68
507.6 The home occupation shall result in no detriment to property values in the vicinity or result in a change in the essential characteristics of any area or neighborhood on account of the location or scale of buildings, other structures, parking areas, access ways, or the storage of vehicles. *3/08/2005
507.7 The home occupation shall not create a traffic safety hazard or result in a substantial increase in the level of noise of traffic congestion in the vicinity. *3/08/2005
Section 508 Agriculture
Until the early 20th Century, the Town of North Hampton was a rural community of farms, and the majority of its residents grew most of the food that they and their livestock consumed. Though times have changed, the residents of North Hampton continue to value the rural aspects of the town. They wish to encourage the establishment of new farms and agricultural activities, and to facilitate the continued operation and maintenance of its existing well-managed farms. The purpose of this Section 508 Agriculture of the North Hampton Zoning Ordinance is to promote agricultural activities in Town, while ensuring that these activities are suitable for the context in which they occur.
This Article is based on the provisions and authority of New Hampshire:
RSA 21:34-a I-VI Farm, Agriculture, Farming
RSA 432:33 Right to Farm; Immunity from Suit
RSA 672:1 (III-b) Declaration and Purpose
RSA 672:1 (III-d) Declaration and Purpose
RSA 674:21 Innovative Land use Controls
RSA 674:26 Districting Under Interim Zoning Ordinance
RSA 674:32-a through c, Agricultural Uses of Land
A. Agriculture or Agricultural Operation. “Agriculture” and “Agricultural Operation” mean any farming activity that involves the cultivation of plants or the raising of livestock – including animals or poultry as defined in RSA 21:34-a.
B. Farm Stand. “Farm Stand” means a temporary or permanent structure located on a property and used to display and sell agricultural products.
C. Plant Cultivation Operation. “Plant Cultivation Operation” means an agricultural operation consisting of the cultivation and tillage of soil for the purpose of producing crops.
D. Animal Husbandry Operation. “Animal Husbandry Operation” means an agricultural operation concerned with the production and care of domestic animals.
E. Farmers’ Market. “Farmers’ Market” means an event or series of events at which two (2) or more vendors of agricultural commodities gather for purposes of offering for sale such commodities to the public. Commodities offered for sale must include, but are not limited to products of agriculture.
F. Accessory Structure. “Accessory Structure” means a building or structure, detached from but located on the same lot, which is incidental and subordinate to the principal building.
G. Animal Density. “Animal Density” means the number of animals or poultry in an animal husbandry operation.
H. Agricultural Product. “Agricultural Product” means any agricultural commodity or product derived from crops grown under cultivated conditions or livestock and poultry raised for human or livestock consumption.
A. Provided that the agricultural activity complies with all provisions of this ordinance, it is permitted in all districts in the Town of North Hampton (I-B/R, R-1 and R-2).
B. Permitted Uses
The following operations are permitted under this Article:
1. Plant Cultivation Operations consisting of:
a. The cultivation, conservation, and tillage of the soil;
b. The storage, use of, and spreading of fertilizer, lime, wood ash, sawdust, compost, animal manure, and, other lawful soil amendments;
c. The production, cultivation, growing, harvesting, and sale of any agricultural, floricultural, viticultural, forestry, or horticultural crops including, but not limited to forestry or lumbering operations; berries, herbs, honey, maple syrup, fruit, vegetables, tree fruit, grapes, flowers, seeds, grasses, nursery stock, sod, trees and tree products, Christmas trees grown as part of a commercial Christmas tree operation, trees grown for short rotation tree fiber, compost, or any other plant that can be legally grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence;
d. Irrigation of growing crops from private water supplies or public water supplies where not prohibited by state or local rule or regulation.
2. Animal Husbandry Operations consisting of:
a. The raising and sale of livestock, which shall include but not be limited to dairy cows and the production of milk, beef animals, swine, sheep, goats, as well as domesticated strains of buffalo or bison, llamas, alpacas, emus, ostriches, yaks, elk (Cervus elephus canadensis), fallow deer (Dama dama), red deer (Cervus elephus), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus);
b. The breeding, boarding, raising, training, riding instruction, and selling of equines;
c. The commercial raising, harvesting, and sale of fresh water fish or other aquaculture products;
d. The raising, breeding, or sale of poultry, game birds and eggs;
e. The raising of bees and the sale of honey;
f. The raising, breeding, or sale of domesticated strains of fur-bearing animals.
3. The operation of roadside Farm Stands
4. The operation of Farmer’s Markets
5. Any practice on the farm incident to, or in conjunction with such farming operations, including, but not restricted to:
a. Preparation for market, delivery to storage or to market, or to carriers for transportation to market of any products or materials from the farm;
b. The transportation to the farm of supplies and materials;
c. The transportation of farm workers;
d. Forestry or lumbering operations;
e. The marketing or selling at wholesale or retail, on-site and off-site, any products from the farm;
f. The use of dogs for herding, working, or guarding livestock, as defined in RSA 21:34-a, II (a)(4);
g. The production and storage of compost and the materials necessary to produce compost, whether such materials originate, in whole or in part, from operations of the farm.
508.5 General Requirements
A. Public health, safety, and welfare
Nothing in this ordinance shall apply to any aspect of an Agricultural Operation determined to be injurious to public heath or safety under RSA 147. Nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to modify or limit the duties and authority of the Department of Environmental Services under RSA 485 or RSA 485-A or the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food under Title XL.
B. Restrictions and Lot Size Regulations
1. Plant Cultivation Operations. All Plant Cultivation operations may be conducted on lots of any size provided that these plant cultivation operations comply with provisions of this ordinance and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets: “Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture.”
2. Animal Husbandry Operations (Not Otherwise Prohibited under Section 405.3):
a. Lots of Four (4) Acres or More.
All Agricultural Operations, including Animal Husbandry, may be conducted on lots consisting of four (4) acres or more provided that these Agricultural Operations comply with the provisions of this ordinance and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets: “Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture.
b. Lots of Less Than Four (4) Acres.
(1) Roosters. Regardless of the number of animals or poultry on a lot of less than four (4) acres, husbandry of poultry that includes one (1) or more roosters shall require a Conditional Use Permit as provided under subparagraph (4) below.
(2) Animal Husbandry Operations involving no more than four animals, no more than 12 poultry per lot, and no roosters may be conducted on lots consisting of less than four (4) acres provided that these Operations comply with the provisions of this ordinance and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets: “Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture.
(3) Conditional Use Permit Required. Animal Husbandry Operations involving more than four animals per lot or more than 12 poultry per lot or one (1) or more roosters may be conducted on lots consisting of less than four (4) acres provided that these Operations comply with the provisions of this ordinance and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets: “Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture and the Planning Board approves a Conditional Use Permit for these Operations.
(4) Conditional Use Permit Review. The following process shall be used by the Planning Board in considering applications for Conditional Use Permits under this paragraph:
(a) Application. An application shall be submitted to the Planning Board. The application shall contain details of the type and extent of the Animal Husbandry Operations proposed for the property, including the quantity and type of animals and/or poultry, location of pens or shelters, location of manure storage and plan for manure disposal. A hand-drawn not-to-scale rendering of proposed operations shall be acceptable for the application.
(b) The Planning Board shall refer all applications for Conditional Use Permits under this Section to the Agriculture Commission for its advice and comments.
(c) The Planning Board shall conduct a public hearing for which proper notice has been given to abutters and the public. Notice standards shall be the same as those that apply to Site Plan Review Applications.
(d) The Planning Board shall have authority to impose reasonable conditions of approval that the Board deems appropriate under the specific circumstances presented in the application process and shall provide a written notice of decision to the applicant within five (5) business days of the date of the decision.
(e) Fees. In order to encourage agricultural activities and reduce the financial burden on applicants, application fees for a conditional use permit for Animal Husbandry Operations shall be limited to the fee for certified, return-receipt-requested notifications to abutters in the Site Plan Review process.
(f) Animal Density. Animal Density permitted on lots of less than four (4) acres shall be determined by best management practices for manure handling based on the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture manual entitled “Best Management Practices for Handling of Compost, Fertilizer and Manure,” AND The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension publication entitled “Guidelines for Space and Housing of Farm Animals,” by David C. Seavey and John C. Porter. In considering Animal Density the Planning Board shall give due weight to the area of contiguous upland in the parcel on which the Animal Husbandry Operation is proposed.
(g) Burden of Proof. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant to demonstrate and specify the manner in which the operation shall be conducted in compliance with the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets: “Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture” AND to demonstrate that the Animal Husbandry operation shall not cause pollution, soil degradation, unreasonable odor, unreasonable noise and disturbance of the peace.
C. Accessory Structures:
1. All structures erected to be used in the pursuit of agricultural activities and raising of animals and poultry shall be sited in the rear of the property, unless a conditional use permit is approved by the Planning Board to allow siting in an alternate location;
2. All structures erected to be used to house poultry shall be built above ground.
3. All structures erected to be used to house animals and poultry shall be situated on the property in a manner designed to avoid or minimize the spillage of noise, odors and other nuisances onto neighboring properties;
4. All structures erected to be used in the pursuit of agricultural activities shall adhere to Section 406 (Yard and Lot Requirements) and Section 407 (Height Regulations) of the North Hampton Zoning Ordinance.
Fencing shall be erected where necessary to prevent animals and poultry from intruding on abutting properties or roadways in compliance with NH RSA 635:3-Tresspassing Stock.
E. Temporary Farm Stand:
1. A temporary or seasonal Farm Stand shall be a temporary and moveable structure which remains in place during the time period the agricultural products offered for sale at the Stand are in season and available. Farm Stands that are erected as permanent structures shall conform to Sections 406 (Yard and Lot Size Requirements) and 407 (Height Regulations) of the North Hampton Zoning Ordinance.
2. Temporary and moveable Stands shall be located at least 15 feet from nearest edge of roadway surface, providing that siting of the stand does not create a road or traffic hazard, does not impede the flow of traffic on the adjacent road, does not reduce the sight lines on the adjacent road and does not conflict with State DOT regulations;
3. Farm Stands shall be limited to 80 square feet of gross floor or ground area and shall be of a style consistent with a New England farm setting. Colors used on the stand shall be subdued and compatible with other structures on the property where the stand is located.
4. Off road parking shall be available to farm-stand customers consistent with NH DOT guidelines;
5. Farm Stand Signage shall comply with North Hampton Zoning Ordinance 506.6 M (Seasonal signs) but is exempt from the one-month time frame limitation. Signs that advertise harvested products or agricultural events or activities may be displayed as long as the products are available for purchase or the events or activities are in current occurrence.
6. Items for sale at a Farm Stand shall be agricultural products grown, harvested, raised or produced by the farm owner or neighboring farm owners.
508.6 Administration and Enforcement
The Planning Board shall be responsible for the administration of this ordinance.
B. Manuals and Guideline Publications:
Copies of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets: “Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture” and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension publication entitled “Guidelines for Space and Housing of Farm Animals” shall be kept on file in the Administrative Office of the Town and at the North Hampton Public Library and shall be available for public use. These publications are also available on line at:
Violations to this Zoning Ordinance shall be enforced by the local code enforcement officer and/or in conjunction with provisions to resolve complaints specified in RSA 431:33-35 and in Free Mediation Complaint Resolution: New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and Food & Markets:” Manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture.”
D. Penalties and Fines:
Any violation of this ordinance shall be subject to civil fine or criminal penalty as provided by law. The Select Board or its designee is hereby designated as the proper local authority of the Town to institute appropriate action.
E. Conflicting Provisions:
Where these regulations are in conflict with other local, state or federal ordinances, the more stringent shall apply.
If any part of this ordinance shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional, it shall not be held to invalidate or impair the validity, force or effect of any other part of this ordinance.5/10/2011
Section 509 Family Day Care
Family day care shall be permitted as a special exception, granted by the Zon-ing Board of Adjust-ment, provided that it complies with the conditions set forth below. No Planning Board approval is required.
509.1 The family day care shall be carried on by a member of the family re-siding in the dwelling unit.
509.2 No more than six preschool children on a full-time basis and three school age children on a part-time basis shall be cared for.
509.3 A license from the Bureau of Child Care Standards & Licensing, Division of Public Health Services of the N.H. Department of Health and Welfare is required.
509.4 Additional considerations shall include the impact on the neighborhood, traffic impact, adequacy of drop-off and pick-up area and provision for a safe outdoor play area. *3/13/90
Section 510 Dumping and Disposing of Garbage
Dumping or disposing of garbage, refuse or glass without burying or covering the same is prohibited except in a municipal dump duly regulated. *3/12/68
Section 511 Excavations
No excavation permit shall be issued except upon application to and approval by the Planning Board. All excavations must meet the require-ments and standards of RSA 155:E and the North Hampton Excava-tion Regu-lations. *3/12/91
Section 512 Motor Vehicle Refueling Facilities *3/9/2004
This Section is intended to protect, preserve and promote public health, safety and welfare and to reduce environmental hazards to health, safety and welfare (including but not limited to traffic congestion and blight), insofar as they are affected by structures, equipment and premises used by and for retail outlets for refueling motorized vehicles. Pursuant to RSA 674:33.IV, this Section is further intended to define specific rules to govern decisions about granting permits for the establishment of such facilities as a Special Exception for land use in the Industrial-Business/Residential District. To achieve the above aims, this Section provides for control of the number and capacity of such facilities throughout the town.
512.1 Upon adoption of this ordinance any facility that offers on-highway motor vehicle fuel of any kind for sale to the public shall be permitted in the Town of North Hampton only as a Special Exception and only in the Industrial-Business/Residential District.
A. “Motor vehicle” includes but is not limited to cars, trucks,buses,motorcycles, motor scooters, recreational vehicles, and motor homes. It does not include aircraft, farm tractors, or construction equipment that is not licensed for travel on public roads.
B. “Fuel” includes, but is not limited to gasoline of all grades, diesel, ethanol, methanol, liquid propane gas, hydrogen, or any substance dispensed for use in a motor vehicle as a source of energy for such a vehicle.
512.3 The total refueling capacity of all such facilities in the Town of North Hampton, as measured by the total number of vehicles that may receive fuel simultaneously at all these facilities combined, shall be limited to the number at the time of the adoption of this ordinance -- that is, 36 vehicles.
512.4 The total number of tanks, underground or aboveground, that are installed for active use at all such facilities combined in the Town of North Hampton and their total capacity shall be limited to the total number and capacity, as recorded in the facility information records of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, at the time of the adoption of this Section of the Zoning Ordinance -- that is, 8 tanks in total with 93,000 gallons of combined total capacity.
512.5 If the total refueling capacity of all such facilities falls below 36 vehicles, a person may apply to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a permit to install additional refueling capacity at a facility located in the Industrial-Business/Residential Zone only provided that the total refueling capacity shall not exceed 36 vehicles as a result of approval of the application.
512.6 If the total number of installed, active tanks for such facilities falls below 8 or their total combined capacity falls below 93,000 gallons, a person may apply to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a permit to install a tank or tanks to replace a tank or tanks that have been permanently closed, as determined by the facilities information records of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, only in the Industrial-Business/Residential Zone and provided that the total number and combined capacity of all tanks installed for active use in the Town shall not exceed limits stated in Section 512.4 above as a result of approval of the application.
512.7 Applications for permits under this Section 512 shall be granted only for sites with conforming frontage on Lafayette Road and at least one other town road and approved driveway permits on both Lafayette Road and at least one other town road.
512.8 No more than two (2) such facilities shall be permitted at any one intersection, and no additional refueling facilities shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of any intersection site at which two (2) such facilities are in existence or operating.
512.9 Installation of any new refueling system or any component of such a system, as provided in section 512.5-6 above, shall use the best available technology, equipment, and methods to protect the environment. This section is intended to cover all elements of the refueling system, aboveground and underground, from orifices used for filling storage tanks to nozzles for dispensing fuel into vehicles, and it includes but is not limited to alarms and devices for detecting leakage, recovering spilled fuel, and extinguishing fires.
512.10 Any facility that has the capability to dispense fuel to motor vehicles, but that does not have an approved site plan for that use at the time of the adoption of this ordinance -- e.g. an airport, school bus terminal, truck dispatching facility, heating oil distribution business, or construction firm – shall not sell motor-vehicle fuel to the public, unless the Zoning Board of Adjustment approves a permit for that use and the Planning Board approves a site plan for that use.
Section 513 Accessory Apartment
Accessory apart-ments shall be permitted as a special exception, granted by the Zoning Board of Ad-justment, provided that it com-plies with the con-di-tions set forth below.
513.1 The property must conform to the dimensional requirements of a single-family lot.
513.2 The existing dwelling must have existed prior to the adoption of this ordinance.
513.3 The apartment must be contained within the existing single-family dwelling.
513.4 The dwelling to which an accessory apartment is added must be owner-occupied and a minimum of 2,000 square feet in total floor area.
513.5 The size of the apartment shall be between 400 and 800 square feet.
513.6 No more than two bedrooms are permitted in the accesso-ry apartment.
513.7 The owner shall provide evidence to the Building In-spector that septic facilities are adequate for both units accord-ing to the stan-dards of the Town and the N.H. Water Supply and Pollu-tion Control Divi-sion. If deemed
necessary by the Building Inspec-tor, such evi-dence shall be in the form
of certifica-tion by a State of N.H. licensed sep-tic system design-er. The Building Inspector shall indicate his ap-proval in writing to the Zoning Board of Adjust-ment.
513.8 The apartment shall be designed so that the appearance of the building remains that of a single-family dwe-lling. Any new ent-rance shall be located on the side or rear of the build-ing. *3/13/90
Section 514 Floodplain Development Ordinance
This ordinance, adopted pursuant to the authority of RSA 674:16, shall be known as the Town of North Hampton Floodplain Development Ordi-nance. The regulations in this ordinance shall overlay and supplement the regula-tions in the Town of North Hampton Zoning Ordinance, and shall be considered part of the Zoning Ordinance for purposes of administra-tion and appeals under state law. If any provision of this ordinance differs or appears to conflict with any provision of the Zoning Ordinance or other ordinance or regulation, the provision imposing the greater restriction or more stringent standard shall be controlling.
The following regulations in this ordinance shall apply to all lands designated as special flood hazard areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its "Flood Insurance Study Rockingham County NH dated May 17, 2005, or as amended" together with the associated Flood Insurance Rate Maps dated May 17, 2005 which are declared to be a part of this ordinance and are hereby incorporated by reference.
514.1 Definition of Terms: The following definitions shall apply only to this Floodplain Development Ordinance, and shall not be affected by, the provisions of any other ordinance of the Town of North Hampton.
A. Area of Shallow Flooding means a designated A0, AH, or V0 zone on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with a one_percent or greater annual possibility of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet_flow.
B. Area of Special Flood Hazard is the land in the floodplain within the Town of North Hampton subject to a one_percent or greater possi-bility of flooding in any given year. The area is designated as zone A on the FHBM and is designated on the FIRM as zones A, AO, A1-30, or V1-30.
C. Base Flood means the flood having a one_percent possibility of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
D. Basement means any area of a building having its floor subgrade on all sides.
E, Building - see "structure".
F. Breakaway wall means a wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and con-struction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation.
G. Development means any man_made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation, or drilling operation.
H. FEMA means the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
I. Flood or Flooding means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
(1 the overflow of inland or tidal waters.
(2 the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
J. Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (Floodway Map) is an official map of the Town of North Hampton, on which FEMA has delineated the "Regula-tory Floodway". This map should not be used to determine the correct flood hazard zone or base flood elevation, the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) will be used to make determinations of flood hazard zones and base flood elevations.
K. Flood Elevation Study means an examination, evaluation, and determi-nation of flood hazards and if appropriate, corresponding water surface elevations, or an examination and determination of mudslide or flood _ related erosion hazards.
L. Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) means an official map incorporated with this ordinance, on which FEMA has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the Town of North Hampton.
M. Flood Insurance Study _ see Flood elevation study.
N. Floodplain or Flood_prone area means any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source (see definition of "Flood-ing").
O. Flood proofing means any combination of structural and non_struct-ural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitation facilities, structures and their contents.
P. Floodway _ see Regulatory Floodway.
Q. Functionally dependent use means a use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximi-ty to water.
R. The term includes only docking and port facilities that are necessary for the loading/unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship building/repair facilities but does not include long_term storage or related manufacturing facilities.
S. Highest adjacent grade means the highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.
T. Historic Structure means any structure that is:
1) Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
2) Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily deter-mined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
3) Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
4) Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
a) By an approved state program as determined by the Secre-tary of the Interior, or
b) Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
U. Lowest Floor means the lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; provided, that such an enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable non_elevation design require-ments of this ordinance.
V. Manufactured Home means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities. For floodplain management purposes the term "manufactured home" includes park trailers, travel trailers, and other similar vehicles placed on site for greater than 180 days.
W. Mean sea level means the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929 or other datum, to which base flood elevations shown on a commu-nities Flood Insurance Rate Map are referenced.
X. l00-year flood - see base flood
Y. Recreational vehicle means a vehicle which is (a) built on a single chassis; (b) 400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection; (c) designed to be self propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and (d) designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use. *3/8/94
Z. Regulatory floodway means the channel of a river or other water-course and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without increasing the water surface eleva-tion. These areas are designated as floodways on the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map.
AA. Special flood hazard area means an area having flood, mudslide, and/or flood_related erosion hazards, and shown on an FHBM or FIRM as zone A, AO, A1-30, or V1-30.
BB. Structure means for floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
CC. Start of Construction includes substantial improvements, and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, placement, or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excava-tion; or the placement of manufactured home on a foundation. Perma-nent construc-tion does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the
erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or part of the main structure.
DD. Substantial damage means damage of any origin sustained by a struc-ture whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
EE. Substantial Improvement means any combination of repairs, recon-struction, alteration, or improvements to a structure in which the cumulative cost equals or exceeds fifty percent of the market value of the structure. The market value of the structure should equal: (1) the appraised value prior to the start of the initial repair or improvement, or (2) in the case of damage, the value of the structure prior to the damage occurring.
For the purposes of this definition, substantial improvement is considered to occur when the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of the building commenc-es, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the structure. This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include any project for improvement of a structure required to comply with existing health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which are solely necessary to assure safe living conditions or any alteration of a historic struc-ture, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.
FF. Water surface elevation means the height, in relation to the Nation-al Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929, (or other datum, where speci-fied) of floods of various magnitudes and frequencies in the flood-plains.
The building inspector shall review all building permit applications for new construction or substantial improvements to determine whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding. If a proposed building site is located in a special flood hazard area, all new construction or substantial improvements shall:
A. be designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent floatation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy,
B. be constructed with materials resistant to flood damage,
C. be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damages,
D. be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment, and other service facilities that are designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
Where new or replacement water and sewer systems (including on-site systems) are proposed in a special flood hazard area the applicant shall provide the Building Inspector with assurance that these systems will be designed to
minimize or eliminate infiltration of flood waters into the systems and discharges from the systems into flood waters, and on_site waste disposal systems will be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during periods of flooding.
For all new or substantially improved structures located in Zones A, A1-30, or A0, the applicant shall furnish the following infor-mation to the building inspector:
A. the as-built elevation (in relation to NGVD) of the lowest floor (including basement) and include whether or not such structures contain a basement.
B. if the structure has been floodproofed, the as-built eleva-tion (in relation to NGVD) to which the structure was flood-proofed.
C. any certification of floodproofing.
For all new construction or substantially improved buildings located in Zones V1-30 the applicant shall furnish the building inspec-tor records indicating the as-built elevation of the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of
the lowest floor (excluding pilings or columns) in relation to NGVD and whether or not the struc-ture contains a basement. The Building Inspector shall maintain the above information for public inspection, and shall furnish it upon request.
The Building Inspector shall not grant a building permit until the applicant certifies that all necessary permits have been received from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law, including Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 U. S. C. 1334.
A. In riverine situations, prior to the alteration or relocation of a watercourse the applicant for such authorization shall notify the Wetlands Board of the New Hampshire Environmental Services Department and submit copies of such notification to the Planning Board, in addition to the copies required by the RSA 482-A:3. Further, the applicant shall be required to submit copies of said notification to those adjacent communities as deter-mined by the Planning Board, including notice of all scheduled hearings before the Wetlands Board and for hearings before the Planning Board regarding Section 409 - Wetlands Conservation District.
B. The applicant shall submit to the Planning Board, certifica-tion provided by a registered professional engineer, assuring that the flood carrying capacity of an altered or relocated watercourse can and will be maintained.
C. The Planning Board shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any floodway data available from Federal, State, or other sources as criteria for requiring that all development located Zone A meet the following floodway requirement:
"No encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development are allowed within the floodway that would result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the base flood discharge."
D. Along watercourses that have not had a Regulatory Floodway desig-nated, no new construction, substantial improvements, or other devel-opment (including fill) shall be permitted within zones Al_30 on the FIRM, unless it is demonstrated by the applicant that the cumula-tive effect of the proposed development, when combined with all existing and anticipated development, will not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than one foot at any point within the community.
A. In special flood hazard areas the Building Inspector shall deter-mine the 100 year flood elevation in the following order of precedence according to the data available:
1) In zones Al_30 and Vl_30 refer to the elevation data provided in the community's Flood Insurance Study and accompany-ing FIRM.
2) In unnumbered A zones the Building Inspector shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any 100 year flood elevation data available from any federal, state or other source including data submitted for development proposals submitted to the community (i.e. subdivisions, site approvals).
3) In zone A0 the flood elevation is determined by adding the elevation of the highest adjacent grade to the depth number specified on the FIRM or if no depth number is specified on the FIRM at least 2 feet.
B. The Building Inspector's 100 year flood elevation determination will be used as criteria for requiring in zones A, Al_30, and A0 that:
1) all new construction or substantial improvement of residen-tial structures have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the 100 year flood elevation;
2) that all new construction or substantial improvements of non_residential structures have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated to or above the 100 year flood level; or together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:
a) be floodproofed so that below the 100 year flood eleva-tion the structure is watertight with walls substantially imperme-able to the passage of water;
b) have structural components capable of resisting hydro-static and hydrodynamic loads and the effects of buoyancy; and
c) be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this section;
3) all manufactured homes to be placed or substantially im-proved within special flood hazard areas shall be elevated on a perma-nent foundation such that the lowest floor of the manufac-tured home is at or above the base flood level; and be securely an-chored to resist floatation, collapse, or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not limited to, use of over_the_top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces;
4) recreational vehicles placed on sites within Zones A1-30, AH, and AE shall either (i) be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days, (ii) be fully licensed and ready for highway use, or (iii) meet all standards of Section 60.3 (b) of the National Flood Insurance Program Regulations and the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes in Paragraph (c) (6) of Section 60.3. *3/8/94
5) for all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flood-ing are permitted provided they meet the following requirements: (1) the enclosed area is unfinished or flood resistant, usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access or storage; (2) the area is not a basement; (3) shall be designed to automat-ically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwater. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria: A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot
of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided. The bottom of all openings
shall be no higher than one foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwa-ter.
6) proposed structures to be located on slopes in special flood hazard areas, zone A0 shall include adequate drainage paths to guide flood waters around and away from the proposed structures.
The following regulations shall apply to coastal high hazard areas, designated as V1-30 on the Flood Insurance Rate Map:
A. All new construction or substantial improvements are to be elevat-ed on pilings and columns so that:
1) the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the pilings or columns) is elevated to or above the base flood level;
2) the pile or column foundation and structure attached thereto is anchored to resist floatation, collapse, and lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loads acting simultaneously on all building components. Water loading values used shall be those associated with the base flood. Wind loading values used shall be those required by applicable state and local building standards.
B. A registered professional engineer or architect shall develop or review the structural design, specifications and plans for construc-tion, and shall certify that the design and methods of construction to be used are in accordance with accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of this item.
C. The space below the lowest floor must be free of obstructions or constructed with non_supporting breakaway walls, open lattice_work, or insect screening intended to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement, or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system. For the purposes of this section, a breakaway wall shall have a design safe loading resistance of not less than 10 and no more than 20 pounds per square foot. Such enclosed space shall be usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access, or storage.
D. The use of fill for the structural support of buildings is prohibit-ed.
E. Man_made alterations of sand dunes which would increase potential flood damage is prohibited.
F. All new construction or substantial improvements within zone Vl_30 on the FIRM shall be located landward of the reach of mean high tide.
514.9 Variances and Appeals
A. Any order, requirement, decision or determination of the building inspector made under this ordinance may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as set forth in RSA 676:5.
B. If the applicant, upon appeal, requests a variance as authorized by RSA 674:33, I(b), the applicant shall have the burden of showing in addition to the usual variance standards under state law:
1) that the variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, or extraordinary public expense.
2) that if the requested variance is for activity within a designated regulatory floodway, no increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge will result.
3) that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
C. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall notify the applicant in writing that: (i) the issuance of a variance to construct below the base flood level will result in increased premium rates for flood insurance up to amounts as high as $25 for $100 of insurance coverage and (ii) such construction below the base flood level increases risks to life and property. Such notification shall be maintained with a record of all variance actions.
D. The community shall
1. maintain a record of all variance actions, including their justification for their issuance.
2. report such variances issued in its annual or biennial report submitted to FEMA's Federal Insurance Administrator.
Section 515 Ordinance For Outdoor Lighting
All public and private outdoor lighting installed in the Town of North Hampton shall comply with the requirements specified below.
The intent of this ordinance is to maintain the rural character of the Town of North Hampton, in part by preserving the visibility of night-time skies, and to minimize the impact of artificial lighting on nocturnal wildlife. This ordinance recognizes the importance of lighting for safety and security while encouraging energy efficiency, and promotes good neighborly relations by preventing glare from outdoor lights from intruding on nearby properties or posing a hazard to pedestrians or drivers.
- A. This Article is an innovative land use control provision adopted under the authority of RSA 674:21, and is intended as an “Environmental characteristics zoning” provision as defined in RSA 674:21(I)(j).
- B. The Planning Board may adopt regulations, in addition to or instead of existing Site Plan Review and Subdivision Regulations, needed to implement this Article, including but not limited to regulations that ensure that such lighting approved under this Article remains in compliance with applicable provisions of this Article.
- Direct Light: Light emitted directly from the lamp, off of the reflector or reflector diffuser, or through the refractor or diffuser lens, of a luminaire.
- Fixture: The assembly that houses the lamp or lamps and can include all or some of the following parts: a housing, a mounting bracket or pole socket, a lamp holder, a ballast, a reflector or mirror, and/or a refractor or lens.
- Lamp: The component of a luminaire that produces the actual light.
- Luminaire: A complete lighting assembly that includes the fixture and its lamp or lamps.
- Flood or Spotlight: Any light fixture or lamp that incorporates a reflector or a refractor to concentrate the light output into a directed beam in a particular direction.
- Glare: Light emitting from a luminaire with intensity great enough to reduce a viewer’s ability to see and, in extreme cases, causing momentary blindness.
- Height of Luminaire: The height of a luminaire shall be the vertical distance from the ground directly below the centerline of the luminaire to the lowest direct-light-emitting part of the luminaire.
- IESNA: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
- Indirect Light: Direct light that has been reflected or has scattered off of other surfaces.
- Light Trespass: The shining of light produced by a luminaire beyond the boundaries of the property on which it is located.
- Lumen: A unit of luminous flux. One foot candle is one lumen per square foot. For the purposes of this ordinance, the lumen-output values shall be the initial lumen output rating of a lamp.
- Outdoor Lighting: The night-time illumination of an outside area or object by any manmade device located outdoors that produces light by any means.
- Temporary Outdoor Lighting: The specific illumination of an outside area or object by any manmade device located outdoors that produces light by any means for a period of less than seven days with at least 180 days passing before being used again.
515.4. Outdoor Lighting Design
- A. Any luminaire emitting more than 1800 lumens (with 1,700 lumens being the typical output of a 100-watt incandescent bulb) shall be fully shielded so as to produce no light above a horizontal plane through the lowest direct light-emitting part of the luminaire. (Such fixtures usually are labeled Dark Sky Certified or Compliant.)
- B. Any luminaire with a lamp or lamps rated at a total of more than 1800 lumens, and all flood or spot lights with a lamp or lamps rated at a total of more than 900 lumens, shall be mounted at a height equal to or less than the value 3 + (D/3) where D is the distance in feet to the nearest property boundary. The maximum height of the luminaire shall not exceed 20 feet.
- Any luminaire with a lamp or lamps rated at 1800 lumens or less, and all flood or spot lights with a lamp or lamps rated at 900 lumens or less, may be used without restriction to light distribution or mounting height, except that, to prevent light trespass, if any flood or spot light is aimed, directed or focused so as to cause direct light from the luminaire to be directed toward residential buildings on adjacent or nearby land, or to create glare perceptible to pedestrians or persons operating motor vehicles on public ways, the luminaire shall be redirected, or its light output reduced or shielded, as necessary to eliminate such conditions. [Note: This exempts most residential front-door lights, but not so-called yard-blaster wide-area flood lighting.
- Any luminaire used to illuminate a public area such as a street or walkway shall utilize an energy efficient lamp such as a low pressure sodium lamp, high pressure sodium lamp or metal halide lamp. Mercury vapor lamps shall not be used due to their inefficiency and high operating costs and toxic mercury content. New installation of mercury vapor lighting shall not be permitted after the effective date of this ordinance, and the public shall be encouraged to remove and safely dispose of existing mercury vapor bulbs as soon as practicable.
- Luminaires used in public areas such as roadway lighting, parking lots and for exterior building illumination shall be designed to provide the minimum illumination recommended by the IESNA in the most current edition of the IESNA Lighting Handbook.
- to protect light-sensitive wildlife habitats such as Pine Barrens, artificial lighting in or on the periphery of areas identified as such by the NH Fish and Game Department shall be minimized and fully shielded to prevent any emission above a horizontal plane through the lowest light-emitting part of a luminaire.
- whenever practicable, outdoor lighting installations shall include timers, dimmers, and/or motion-sensors to reduce overall energy consumption and eliminate unneeded lighting, particularly after 11 p.m.
- moving, fluttering, blinking, or flashing lights or signs shall not be permitted, except as temporary seasonal holiday decorations. Neon signs are not permitted. Signs may be illuminated only by continuous direct white light with illumination confined to the area of the sign and directed downward. This requirement for direct white light prohibits internally-lit signs, which are inherently impossible to shield.
- luminaires mounted on a gas station canopy shall be recessed in the ceiling of the canopy so that the lens cover is recessed or mounted flush with the ceiling of the canopy and fully shielded. Luminaires shall not be mounted on the sides or top of the canopy, and the sides or facia of the canopy shall not be illuminated.
A. Luminaires used for public-roadway illumination may be installed at a maximum height of 25 feet and may be positioned at that height up to the edge of any bordering property.
- B. All temporary emergency lighting needed by the police, fire or other emergency services, as well as all vehicular luminaires, shall be exempt from the requirements of this ordinance.
C. All hazard warning luminaires required by federal regulatory agencies are exempt from the requirements of this article, except that all such luminaires used must be red and must be shown to be as close as possible to the federally required minimum lumen output requirement for the specific task.
D. Luminaires used primarily for signal illumination may be mounted at any height required to ensure roadway safety, regardless of lumen rating.
E. Seasonal holiday lighting and illumination of the American and state flags shall be exempt from the requirements of this ordinance, providing that such lighting does not produce glare on roadways and neighboring residential properties.
F. Installation prior to the enactment of this ordinance are exempt from its requirements. However, any changes to an existing lighting system, fixture replacements, or any grandfathered lighting system that is moved, must meet these standards.
515.6. Temporary Lighting
- A. Any temporary outdoor lighting for construction or other purposes that conforms to the requirements of this article shall be allowed. Non-conforming temporary outdoor lighting may be permitted by the planning board after considering:
- 1. The public and/or private benefits that will result from the temporary lighting.
- B. Any annoyance or safety problems that may result from the use of the temporary lighting.
C. The duration of the temporary non-conforming lighting.
- . 515.7 Public Area and Roadway Lighting
- E.Insallation of any new public area or roadway lighting fixtures other than for traffic control shall be permitted only by decision of the planning board, following a duly noticed public hearing.
516 Small Wind Energy System
This small wind energy systems ordinance is enacted in accordance with RSA 674:62-66, and the purposes outlined in RSA 672:1-III-a. The purpose of this ordinance is to accommodate small wind energy systems in appropriate locations, while protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare. In addition, this ordinance provides a permitting process for small wind energy systems to ensure compliance with the provisions of the requirements and standards established herein.
Meteorological tower (met tower). Includes the tower, base plate, anchors, guy wires and hardware, anemometers (wind speed indicators), wind direction vanes, booms to hold equipment for anemometers and vanes, data loggers, instrument wiring, and any telemetry devices that are used to monitor or transmit wind speed and wind flow characteristics over a period of time for either instantaneous wind information or to characterize the wind resource at a given location. For the purpose of this ordinance, met towers shall refer only to those whose purpose are to analyze the environmental factors needed to assess the potential to install, construct or erect a small wind energy system.
1. Modification. Any change to the small wind energy system that materially alters the size, type or location of the small wind energy system. Like-kind replacements shall not be construed to be a modification.
2. Net metering. The difference between the electricity supplied to a customer over the electric distribution system and the electricity generated by the customer’s small wind energy system that is fed back into the electric distribution system over a billing period.
3. Power grid. The transmission system, managed by ISO New England, created to balance the supply and demand of electricity for consumers in New England.
4. Shadow flicker. The visible flicker effect when rotating blades of the wind generator cast shadows on the ground and nearby structures causing a repeating pattern of light and shadow.
5. Small wind energy system. A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind generator, a tower, and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity of 100 kilowatts or less and will be used primarily for onsite consumption.
6.System height. The vertical distance from the ground level to the tip of the wind turbine blade at its highest point, top of helix system or top of any other wind energy producing device permitted herein.
7.Tower. The monopole, guyed monopole or lattice structure that supports a wind generator.
8.Tower height. The height above grade of the fixed portion of the tower,
excluding the wind generator.
9.Wind generator. Blades and/or mechanical and electrical conversion components mounted on the tower associated with the conversion of the kinetic energy of wind into rotational energy used to generate electricity.
C. Procedure for Review:
1. Building Permit: Small wind energy systems and met towers are an accessory use permitted in all zoning districts where structures of any sort are allowed. No small wind energy system shall be erected, constructed, or installed without first receiving a building permit from the building inspector. A building permit shall be required for any physical modification to an existing small wind energy system. Met towers that receive a building permit shall be permitted on a temporary basis not to exceed 3 years from the date the building permit was issued.
2. Application: Applications submitted to the building inspector shall contain a site plan with the following information:
i) Property lines and physical dimensions of the applicant’s property.
ii) Location, dimensions, and types of existing major structures on the property.
iii) Location of the proposed small wind energy system, foundations, guy anchors and associated equipment.
iv) Tower foundation blueprints or drawings.
v) Tower blueprints or drawings.
vi) Setback requirements as outlined in this ordinance.
vii) The right-of-way of any public road that is contiguous with the property.
viii) Any overhead utility lines.
ix) Small wind energy system specifications, including manufacturer, model, rotor diameter, tower height, tower type, nameplate generation capacity.
x) Small wind energy systems that will be connected to the power grid shall include a copy of the application for interconnection with their electric utility provider.
xi) Sound level analysis prepared by the wind generator manufacturer or qualified engineer.
xii) Electrical components in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the NH State Building Code.
xiii) Evidence of compliance or non-applicability with Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
xiv) List of abutters to the applicant’s property.
3. Abutter and Regional Notification: In accordance with RSA 674:66, the building inspector shall notify all abutters and the local governing body by certified mail upon application for a building permit to construct a small wind energy system. The public will be afforded 30 days to submit comments to the building inspector prior to the issuance of the building permit. The building inspector shall review the application for regional impacts per RSA 36:55. If the proposal is determined to have potential regional impacts, the building inspector shall follow the procedures set forth in RSA 36:57, IV.
D. Standards: The building inspector shall evaluate the application for compliance with the following standards;
1. Setbacks: The setback shall be calculated by multiplying the minimum setback requirement number by the system height. The setback shall be measured from the center of the tower base to property lines, public roads, above-ground utility lines, or to the nearest point on the foundation of an occupied building.
Minimum Setback Requirements
Occupied Buildings on Participating Landowner Property
Occupied Buildings on Abutting Property
Property Lines of Abutting Property and Utility Lines
a) Small wind energy systems must meet all setbacks for principal structures for the zoning district in which the system is located.
2. Tower: The maximum tower height shall be restricted to 35 feet above the tree canopy within 300 feet of the small wind energy system.
a) In no situation shall the tower height exceed 150 feet.
b) All towers shall be freestanding, monopole structures.
c) Towers located in the Atlantic Flyway (in North Hampton that is point east of Mill Road) shall be considered on a case by case basis. The burden shall be on the Applicant to demonstrate that any proposed tower does not interfere with migratory water fowl.
3. Number: The number of small wind energy systems shall be limited to one per lot of record. The Planning Board shall have the authority to grant conditional use permits for additional systems on a single lot of record if the applicant demonstrates that:
a) Additional systems(s) do no create a nuisance to abutters.
b) The system(s) are not intended for commercial production of electricity.
c) Additional system(s) do not have a detrimental visual impact.
d) Additional system(s) do not present a hazard to public health, safety and welfare.
4. Sound Level: The small wind energy system shall not exceed 60 decibels using the A scale (dBA), as measured at the site property line, except during short-term events such as severe wind storms and utility outages.
5. Shadow Flicker: Small wind energy systems shall be sited in a manner that does not result in significant shadow flicker impacts. Significant shadow flicker is defined as more than 30 hours per year on abutting occupied buildings. The applicant has the burden of proving that the shadow flicker will not have significant adverse impact on neighboring or adjacent uses. Potential shadow flicker will be addressed either through siting or mitigation measures.
6. Signs: All signs including flags streamers and decorative items, both temporary and permanent, are prohibited on the small wind energy system, except for manufacturer identification or appropriate warning signs.
7. Code Compliance: The small wind energy system shall comply with all applicable sections of the New Hampshire State Building Code.
8. Aviation: The small wind energy system shall be built to comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration regulations including but not limited to 14 C.F.R. part 77, subpart B regarding installations close to airports, and the New Hampshire Aviation regulations, including but not limited to RSA 422-b and RSA 424.
9. Visual Impacts: It is inherent that small wind energy systems may pose some visual impacts due to the tower height needed to access wind resources. The purpose of this section is to reduce the visual impacts, without restricting the owner’s access to the optimal wind resources on the property.
a) The applicant shall demonstrate through project site planning and proposed mitigation that the small wind energy system’s visual impacts will be minimized for surrounding neighbors and the community. This may include, but not be limited to information regarding site selection, wind generator design or appearance, buffering, and screening of ground mounted electrical and control equipment. All electrical conduits shall be underground, except when the financial costs are prohibitive.
b) The color of the small wind energy system shall be painted with a non-reflective, unobtrusive color that blends in with the surrounding environment. Approved colors include but are not limited to white, off-white or gray.
c) A small wind energy system shall not be artificially lit unless such lighting is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If lighting is required, the applicant shall provide a copy of the FAA determination to establish the required markings and/or lights for the small wind energy system.
10. Approved Wind Generators: The manufacturer and model of the wind generator to be used in the proposed small wind energy system must have been approved by the California Energy Commission or the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or a similar list approved by the state of New Hampshire, if available.
11. Utility Connection: If the proposed small wind energy system is to be connected to the power grid through net metering, it shall adhere to RSA 362-A:9.
12. Access: The tower shall be designed and installed so as not to provide step bolts or a ladder readily accessible to the public for a minimum height of 10 feet above the ground. All ground-mounted electrical and control equipment shall be labeled and secured to prevent unauthorized access.
13. Clearing: Clearing of natural vegetation shall be limited to that which is necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the small wind energy system and as otherwise prescribed by applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances.
1. At such time that a small wind energy system is scheduled to be abandoned or discontinued, the applicant will notify the building inspector by certified U.S. mail of the proposed date of abandonment or discontinuation of operations.
2. Upon abandonment or discontinuation of use, the owner shall physically remove the small wind energy system within 90 days from the date of abandonment or discontinuation of use. This period may be extended at the request of the owner and at the discretion of the building inspector. “Physically remove” shall include, but not be limited to:
a. Removal of the wind generator and tower and related above-grade structures.
b. Restoration of the location of the small wind energy system to its natural condition, except that any landscaping, grading or below-grade foundation may remain in its same condition at initiation of abandonment.
3. In the event that an applicant fails to give such notice, the system shall be considered abandoned or discontinued if the system is out-of-service for a continuous 12-month period. After the 12 months of inoperability, the building inspector may issue a Notice of Abandonment to the owner of the small wind energy system. The owner shall have the right to respond to the Notice of Abandonment within 30 days from Notice receipt date. After review of the information provided by the owner, the building inspector shall determine if the small wind energy system has been abandoned. If it is determined that the small wind energy system has not been abandoned, the building inspector shall withdraw the Notice of Abandonment and notify the owner of the withdrawal.
4. If the owner fails to respond to the Notice of Abandonment or if, after review by the building inspector, it is determined that the small wind energy system has been abandoned or discontinued, the owner of the small wind energy system shall remove the wind generator and tower at the owner’s sole expense within 3 months of receipt of the Notice of Abandonment. If the owner fails to physically remove the small wind energy system after the Notice of Abandonment procedure, the building inspector may pursue legal action to have the small wind energy system removed at the owner’s expense.
5. The Building Inspector, with the approval of the Planning Board, may require the applicant to provide a form of surety (i.e., post a bond, letter of credit or establish an escrow account or other) at the time of construction to cover costs of the removal in the event the town must remove the facility. The applicant shall submit a fully inclusive estimate of the costs associated with removal, prepared by a qualified engineer. The amount shall include a mechanism to accommodate the rate of inflation over 15 years.
It is unlawful for any person to construct, install, or operate a small wind energy system that is not in compliance with this ordinance. Small wind energy systems installed prior to the adoption of this ordinance are exempt from this ordinance except when modifications are proposed to the small wind energy system.
Any person who fails to comply with any provision of this ordinance or a building permit issued pursuant to this ordinance shall be subject to enforcement and penalties as allowed by NH Revised Statutes Annotated Chapter 676:17.