In the state of New Hampshire, trying to obtain an approval to construct anything on a private or Class VI road can be quite difficult. Almost all building permits for any structure are immediately denied when the board discovers the request is on either a Class VI road or a private road. There are multiple reasons why this local law is in place. However, the main reason is the ability for first responders to reach those potential dwellings could be almost impossible. If those buildings were approved, the safety of anyone inside the structures would be compromised.
There are quite a few unfair consequences to this restriction though. Certain areas of the state of New Hampshire are full of Class VI and private roads. Those areas wouldn’t see the local growth other communities would since structures of any kind are not allowed on all of those roads. In these scenarios, a reasonable exception can be asked for. A person can also request a variance to the local frontage requirements.
Reasonable Exceptions Appeals
Any building permit that has been denied due to the location being on a private road or Class VI road can be appealed for a reasonable exception. The appeal is a lengthy process and would be heard by the local zoning board of adjustment.
Once the board denies the building permit application, the landowner can file the appeal. A public hearing will then be held. At the public hearing, the landowner must request a reasonable exception to the current building permit prohibition. The landowner can state whether they will face hardship or if the structure would not be related to the street in any way.
The board will listen to the landowner, and any other statements made, before voting. The board’s vote will either be to approve the building permit on it’s own, approve the permit with certain conditions, or deny the permit once again. The final decision must be in writing and the board members must include their reasoning as to why they are approving or denying the permit.
Local Frontage Requirements Variances
If a landowner requests a variance to the local frontage requirements, they must also approach the zoning board of adjustments. Almost all variance requests focus on unnecessary hardships. But the landowner must be able to convince the board that building a structure on the lot is reasonable and is the only way to utilize the piece of property.
A landowner does not need to file for a reasonable exception appeal or local frontage requirement variance in any specific order. However, they must have a strategy in place, because there are times when the approval of one is necessary for the approval of the other.
If you are finding yourself in this situation, contact my office today. We are more than happy to help you through this entire process.