There is now a New Hampshire Housing Appeals board in the state. This board has three members who have experience in housing development, as well as land use. One of the members must be either a land surveyor or professional engineer, while another must be a lawyer. Each board member is appointed by the state’s Supreme Court and serves a term of five years.
The Authority of the Housing Appeals Board
The Housing Appeals Board was created to hear appeals and determine whether or not the original decision should stand. The members have the right to vote for a reversal to the decision or at least make modifications.
Current appeals may include the following scenarios:
- Planning board decisions regarding site plans and subdivisions
- Adjustment decisions regarding special exceptions, variances, and administrative appeals
- Innovative land-use controls
- Decisions regarding historic district, heritage, and conservation commissions
- All types of growth management controls
- Applicable fees and municipal permits regarding housing and housing developments
- Proposals for workforce housing
- Resolving questions regarding a combination of residential and non-residential uses
When you decide to appeal to the Housing Appeals Board, you are waiving all rights to take your case to a superior court. Therefore, I always recommend weighing all your options prior to making a decision of taking this avenue of recourse.
The Appeal Procedure
Before you can even consider appealing to the Housing Appeals Board, you must make sure you have exhausted all your other local options. Once you have done that, you may file an appeal.
Of course, other parties involved in the case may file their own appeals. Hopefully, they will file through the Housing Appeals Board as well. If they file with one of the superior courts though, you won’t need to worry about changing your course of action. Currently, the New Hampshire Housing Appeals Board is the preferred venue for all these types of appeals. Therefore, the board can make their decision and the case would then be dismissed from the superior court.
Deadline for All Appeals
All appeals must be made within 30 days from the municipal board’s decision. You must notify the municipal board of the fact you are filing the appeal. This will give the municipal court notice that they have 30 days to send a certified record of the original proceedings.
Your appeal will be heard within 90 days of receipt of your appeal. You will receive a written notice that includes the date, time, and location of the hearing at least 20 days in advance.
A decision must be made within 60 days of the appeal hearing.
Board Hearing Standards
All the hearings by this board strictly follow the guidelines required by the superior courts. Therefore, no additional evidence can be introduced unless there is a need to see any new evidence that may now be available.
You may also have a non-attorney represent you during your appeal hearing. There may be rules set in place prior to your hearing, which will state who may represent you.
Are you currently struggling with a housing or zoning decision and need to know what your next steps are? While these guidelines give you an excellent place to start, I recommend hiring an attorney to assist you for the best results. Contact me today to see what your options are.