SB30 (2017) Detail

Defining woodland buffers and relative to such woodland buffers for the purposes of the shoreland protection act.


CHAPTER 225

SB 30 - FINAL VERSION

 

03/09/2017   0019s

1Jun2017... 1588h

06/08/2017   2373EBA

2017 SESSION

17-0946

08/10

 

SENATE BILL 30

 

AN ACT defining woodland buffers and relative to such woodland buffers for the purposes of the shoreland protection act.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill defines woodland buffer.

 

This bill also makes changes to the measurements of woodland buffers and waterfront buffers.

 

This bill is a request of the department of environmental services.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/09/2017   0019s

1Jun2017... 1588h

06/08/2017   2373EBA 17-0946

08/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT defining woodland buffers and relative to such woodland buffers for the purposes of the shoreland protection act.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

225:1  Natural Woodland; Definition.  Amend RSA 483-B:4, XI to read as follows:

XI.  "Natural woodland [buffer]'' means a forested area consisting of various species of trees, saplings, shrubs, and ground covers in any combination and at any stage of growth.

225:2  New Paragraph; Woodland Buffer; Definition.  Amend RSA 483-B:4 by inserting after paragraph XXVI the following new paragraph:

XXVII.  "Woodland buffer" means all protected shorelands within 150 feet of the reference line including those protected shorelands within 50 feet of the reference line more specifically designated as the waterfront buffer.

225:3  Exemptions from Required Permits.  Amend RSA 483-B:5-b, III to read as follows:

  III.  Applications for the construction of public roads, public utility lines and associated structures, [and] facilities, [and] public water access facilities, and projects solely funded by municipal, county, state, or federal entities shall be exempt from the permitting fees of paragraph I[ and the abutter notification requirements of paragraph IV-a].

225:4  Exemptions from Required Permits.  Amend RSA 483-B:5-b, V(a) and (b) to read as follows:

(a)  Within 30 days of receipt of an application for a permit or 30 days of receipt of an application for a permit that will require a waiver of the minimum standards of RSA 483-B:9, the department shall request any additional information reasonably required to complete its evaluation of the application, and provide the applicant with any written technical comments the department deems necessary.  Any request for additional information shall specify that the applicant submit such information as soon as practicable and notify the applicant that if all of the requested information is not received within [120] 60 days of the request, the department shall deny the application.

(b)  When the department requests additional information pursuant to subparagraph (a), the department shall, within [20] 30 days of the department's receipt of the information:

(1)  Approve the application and issue a permit; or

(2)  Deny the application, and issue written findings in support of the denial; or

(3)  Extend the time for rendering a decision on the application for good cause and with the written agreement of the applicant.

225:5  Minimum Shoreland Protection Standards.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 483-B:9, V(a)(2)(D) to read as follows:

(D)  Starting from the northerly or easterly boundary of the property, and working along the shoreline, the waterfront buffer shall be divided into [50 by 50 foot] segments measuring 25 feet along the reference line and 50 feet inland.  Owners of land within the waterfront buffer shall measure, calculate, and maintain the tree, sapling, shrub, and groundcover point score in each of these segments in accordance with the methods and standards described in subparagraphs (i) through (ix).

225:6  Minimum Shoreland Protection Standards.  Amend  RSA 483-B:9, V(a)(2)(D)(ii) to read as follows:

(ii)  For the purpose of [planting] replanting under RSA 483-B:9, V(g)(3), shrubs and groundcover plants shall be scored as follows:

Four square feet of shrub area--1 point.

Ground cover, not including mowed lawn--one point for every 50 square feet.

Shrub and groundcover shall count for at least [15] 5 points and not more than [25] 10 points in each full segment.

225:7  Minimum Shoreland Protection Standards.  Amend RSA 483-B:9, V(a)(2)(D)(iv) to read as follows:

  (iv)  If the total tree and sapling score in any [50] 25 foot by 50 foot segment exceeds [50] 25 points, then trees, saplings, and shrubs over 3 feet in height may be removed as long as the sum of the scores for the remaining trees and saplings in that segment does not total less than [50] 25 points.  If for any reason there is insufficient area for a full segment, or the segment contains areas naturally incapable of supporting trees and saplings, such as areas of rock, ledge, or beaches, the point score requirement for the remaining vegetation in that partial segment shall be reduced proportionally to that required of a full segment.  Vegetation shall not be removed from any segment which fails to meet the minimum point score for that segment.  Owners are encouraged to take efforts to plan the maintenance of their waterfront buffer areas including the planting of additional non-invasive vegetation to increase point scores within segments, thus providing sufficient points to allow the future removal of vegetation as may become necessary while still meeting the requirements of this paragraph.

225:8  Woodland Buffer.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 483-B:9, V(b) and RSA 483-B:9, V(b)(1) to read as follows:

(b)  Maintenance of [a Natural] Vegetation within the Woodland Buffer.

(1)  [A natural] The woodland buffer shall be [maintained] those protected shorelands within 150 feet of the reference line.  [The first 50 feet of this buffer is designated the waterfront buffer and is subject to the additional requirements of subparagraph (a).]  The purpose of the [natural] woodland buffer shall be to protect the quality of public waters by minimizing erosion, preventing siltation and turbidity, stabilizing soils, preventing excess nutrient and chemical pollution, maintaining natural water temperatures, maintaining a healthy tree canopy and understory, preserving fish and wildlife habitat, and respecting the overall natural condition of the protected shoreland.  The first 50 feet of this buffer is designated the waterfront buffer and is subject to the additional requirements of subparagraph (a).

225:9  Woodland Buffer.  Amend RSA 483-B:9, V(b)(2)(A)-(C) to read as follows:

(2)(A)  [Within the natural] On a given lot, at least 25 percent of the woodland buffer [of a given lot the vegetation, except lawn, within at least 25 percent of the area outside the waterfront buffer] area located between 50 feet and 150 feet from the reference line shall be maintained as natural woodland.  The vegetation, exclusive of lawn, within the natural woodland shall be maintained in an unaltered state or improved with additional vegetation.  Owners of lots legally developed or landscaped prior to July 1, 2008 that do not comply with this standard are encouraged to, but shall not be required to, increase the percentage of the woodland buffer area to be maintained [in an unaltered state] as natural woodland.  The percentage of the woodland buffer area maintained [in an unaltered state] as natural woodland on nonconforming lots shall not be decreased.  In addition, the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development may order vegetation on lands or properties owned by, leased to, or otherwise under the control of the department of resources and economic development within the protected shoreland to be cut when overgrowth of vegetation impairs law enforcement activities and endangers public safety.  If such cutting will exceed that which is allowed under this subparagraph, the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development shall provide written notification to the department of environmental services identifying the areas to be cut and an explanation of the need for the cutting at least 2 weeks prior to the undertaking.

(B)  Any person applying to the department for a septic system construction approval or alteration of terrain permit pursuant to RSA 485-A, or an excavating and dredging permit pursuant to RSA 482-A, within the protected shoreland shall include photographic documentation of any areas of the [natural] woodland buffer in which impacts would occur.

(C)  Dead, diseased, or unsafe, trees, limbs, saplings, or shrubs that pose a hazard to structures or have the potential to cause personal injury may be removed regardless of any requirements that pertain to the maintenance of vegetation within the [natural] woodland buffer under this chapter.  Such exemptions shall not be used to contravene the intent of the law.

225:10  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

Approved: Enacted in accordance with Article 44, Part II, of N.H. Constitution,without signature of the governor, July 11, 2017

Effective Date: September 09, 2017

 

 

 

Links

SB30 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 10, 2017 Senate Hearing
Jan. 19, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Jan. 19, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 9, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 9, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 16, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 16, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 23, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
Feb. 23, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
March 9, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
March 29, 2017 House Hearing
May 2, 2017 House Exec Session
June 1, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB30 Revision: 1532 Date: July 12, 2017, 12:21 p.m.
SB30 Revision: 1533 Date: June 21, 2017, 2:59 p.m.
SB30 Revision: 1534 Date: June 9, 2017, 12:13 p.m.
SB30 Revision: 1535 Date: March 21, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
SB30 Revision: 1536 Date: Jan. 24, 2017, 10:40 a.m.

Docket


Sept. 9, 2017: Law Without Signature 07/11/2017; Chapter 0225; Effective 09/09/2017; Art 44, Pt II, NH Constitution


June 22, 2017: Enrolled (In recess 06/22/2017); SJ 20


June 22, 2017: Enrolled 06/22/2017 HJ 19 P. 25


June 8, 2017: Enrolled Bill Amendment # 2017-2373e Adopted, VV, (In recess of 06/08/2017); SJ 20


June 8, 2017: Enrolled Bill Amendment # 2017-2373e: AA VV 06/08/2017 HJ 18 P. 10


June 8, 2017: Sen. Avard Moved to Concur with the House Amendment, MA, VV; 06/08/2017; SJ 19


June 1, 2017: Ought to Pass with Amendment 1588h: MA VV 06/01/2017 HJ 17 P. 20


June 1, 2017: Amendment # 2017-1588h: AA VV 06/01/2017 HJ 17 P. 20


June 1, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-1588h for 06/01/2017 (Vote 18-0; CC) HC 26 P. 9


May 2, 2017: Executive Session: 05/02/2017 11:00 AM LOB 305


May 2, 2017: Full Committee Work Session: 05/02/2017 10:00 AM LOB 305


March 29, 2017: Public Hearing: 03/29/2017 10:00 AM LOB 305


March 9, 2017: Introduced 03/09/2017 and referred to Resources, Recreation and Development HJ 10 P. 76


March 9, 2017: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2017-0019s, RC 18Y-6N, MA; OT3rdg; 03/09/2017; SJ 8


March 9, 2017: Committee Amendment # 2017-0019s, AA, VV; 03/09/2017; SJ 8


March 9, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0019s, 03/09/2017; SC 12


Feb. 23, 2017: Special Order SB 30 to the next Senate session, Without Objection, MA; 02/23/2017; SJ 7


Feb. 23, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0019s, 02/23/2017; SC 11


Feb. 16, 2017: Special Order SB 30 to the next session, Without Objection, MA; 02/16/2017; SJ 6


Feb. 16, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0019s, 02/16/2017; SC 10


Feb. 9, 2017: Special Order SB 30 to the next session, Without Objection, MA; 02/09/2017; SJ 5


Feb. 9, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0019s, 02/09/2017; SC 9


Jan. 19, 2017: Special Order SB 30 to the next session, Without Objection, MA; 01/19/2017; SJ 4


Jan. 19, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0019s, 01/19/2017; SC 6


Jan. 10, 2017: Hearing: 01/10/2017, Room 103, SH, 09:15 am; SC 5


Jan. 5, 2017: To Be Introduced 01/05/2017 and Referred to Energy and Natural Resources; SJ 4