Bill Details - SB285 (2019)

SB 285-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/07/2019   0663s

2019 SESSION

19-1071

08/05

 

SENATE BILL 285-FN

 

AN ACT establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Morgan, Dist 23; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Somssich, Rock. 27

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Allows municipalities to unify as a result of a climate change emergency.

 

II.  Allows municipalities to create municipal development and revitalization districts as a result of a climate change emergency.

 

III.  Creates coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts.

 

IV.  Creates a coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district fund.

 

V.  Creates a coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve commission.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/07/2019   0663s 19-1071

08/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

 

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

 

1  Findings.  It is the policy of the state of New Hampshire to support municipalities in the coastal and Great Bay Estuary region to prepare for sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation.

2  New Section; Climate Emergency Municipal Unification.  Amend RSA 31 by inserting after section 9-c the following new section:

31:9-d  Climate Emergency Municipality Unification.  

I.  As a result of sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation events, or in anticipation of such events as projected by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission final report, “Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation," and subsequent science and technical advisory panel reports under RSA 483-B:22, a municipality may declare a climate emergency and engage in planning for municipality cooperation and for municipal unification.  Municipal unification may include the creation of a new municipality incorporating the existing boundaries of such municipalities and the creation of a new, unified governing body.  Municipal unification shall be ratified by the adoption of legislation by the general court.  During this process a municipality may declare certain lands as no longer inhabitable or served by municipal resources and the abandonment of public roadways.  

II.  Any municipality may adopt unification by following the procedures in this section.

III.  In a town, other than a town that has adopted a charter pursuant to RSA 49-D, the question shall be placed on the warrant of a special or annual town meeting, by the governing body or by petition under RSA 39:3.

IV.  In a city or town that has adopted a charter under RSA 49-C or RSA 49-D, the legislative body may consider and act upon the question in accordance with its normal procedures for passage of resolutions, ordinances, and other legislation.  In the alternative, the legislative body of such municipality may vote to place the question on the official ballot for any regular municipal election.

V.  If a majority of those voting on the question vote "yes," the municipality may unify, subject to the provisions of paragraphs I and VII.

VI.  If the question is not approved, the question may later be voted on according to the provisions of paragraph III or IV, whichever applies.

VII.  The local governing body of any municipality that has unified may consider rescinding its action in the manner described in paragraph III or IV, whichever applies.

3  New Section; Joint Municipal Development and Revitalization Districts.  Amend RSA 162-K by inserting after section 15 the following new section:

162-K:16  Joint Municipal Development and Revitalization Districts.  Municipalities may jointly establish a municipal development and revitalization district that may include land within one or both municipalities using the procedures in this chapter.  In such districts, if a business moves from one municipality into another in a shared district due to sea-level rise, storm surge, or flooding from extreme precipitation, the municipality of origin may retain benefit from property tax assessment on said business, as determined by the agreement establishing the district.  Municipalities may jointly establish projects for the purpose of addressing sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation events or projected events and establish a common bonding authority under RSA 33.

4  New Subdivision; Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts.  Amend RSA 12-A by inserting after section 67 the following new subdivision:

Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts

12-A:68  Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts.  Municipalities, regional planning commissions, the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission, and state agencies may identify lands suitable and eligible as a reserve of sufficient elevation and distance from tidal and riverine waters for historic properties and other historic and cultural resources including historic burying grounds.  The acquisition of land and the acquisition, removal, restoration, and placement of such resources by municipalities, the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission, and state agencies may be funded by municipal funding, including bonding, private and non-profit donations, funding from the land and community heritage investment trust program established RSA 227-M:7, the conservation number plate fund established in RSA 261:97-b, and funding from the state and federal government.  Such districts may be established as a municipal or regional development and revitalization district.  An existing local historic district, as defined in RSA 674:45-50 may, upon recommendation by a municipal governing body, be designated by the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission as a coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district.

12-A:69  Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve District Fund.  There is established a nonlapsing fund to be known as the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district fund in the department of natural and cultural resources.  The fund shall be used for assessing historic resource vulnerability, for implementing adaptation measures that protect endangered cultural and historic resources, for the acquisition of land and the acquisition, removal, restoration, and placement of historic properties and other historic and cultural resources including historic burying grounds in danger of flooding from tidal and riverine waters when other adaptation measures are insufficient.  The fund shall be managed by the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission established in RSA 12-A:70.

12-A:70  Commission Established.

I.  The coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission is established.  The members of the commission shall be as follows:

(a)  One representative of the Rockingham planning commission, selected by its director.

(b)  One representative of the Strafford regional planning commission, selected by its director.

(c)  One representative of each town or city that borders the tidal waters of the Great Bay Estuary or Atlantic Ocean, appointed by that town or city's governing body.

(d)  Two members of the senate, appointed by the senate president.

(e)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house.

(f)  One member of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, appointed by its president.

(g)  A representative of the division of historic resources, appointed by its director.

(h)  Three representatives of non-profits museums, historic properties, and historic associations in the seacoast and Great Bay Estuary regions, appointed by the governor.

(i)  A representative of Historic New England, appointed by its president.

(j)  A representative of the New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association, appointed by its president.

(k)  A representative of the Southeastern Land Trust, appointed by its president.

(l)  One representative of each local historic district in each municipality that borders the Great Bay or Atlantic Ocean, appointed by that district.

II.  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

III.  The commission shall:

(a)  Identify suitable and eligible lands for the district.  

(b)  Adopt rules, procedures, and agreements, in consultation with municipalities, regional planning commissions, and state agencies for the creation and management of the districts.

(c)  Solicit funding for and manage the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission fund.

(d)  Develop policies on assessing the vulnerability of cultural and historic resources, the implementation of adaptation measures to improve resilience, and governing the acquisition and removal of properties to the district and the ongoing stewardship of such properties.

(e)  Develop cooperative agreements with municipalities, local historic districts, regional planning commissions, and others, in the establishment of any related municipal or regional development revitalization district incorporating the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission.

(f)  Recommend any changes to state statutes, rules, and practices and, in consultation with municipalities, changes to local ordinances necessary for coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts established.

IV.  The terms of the elected members of the commission shall be coterminous with their terms in office; the terms of all other appointed members shall be 3 years.  In the event of a vacancy, a new member shall be appointed for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

V. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named senate member and shall be held within 90 days of the effective date of this section.  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members at the first meeting.  Fifteen members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

5  New Section; Regional Planning Commissions; Coastal Resilience Fund; Climate Resilience Cooperative Agreements.  Amend RSA 36 by inserting after section 53 the following new section:

36:53-a  Coastal Resilience Fund; Climate Resilience Cooperative Agreements.  

I.  The Strafford regional planning commission and the Rockingham planning commission either separately or jointly with participating municipalities may create climate resilience cooperative agreements forming an authority to plan for an address sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation events or in anticipation of such events as projected by the Coastal risk and Hazards Commission final report “Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation,” and subsequent science and technical advisory panel reports under RSA 483-B:22.

II.  Municipalities participating in a climate resilience cooperative agreement shall approve such agreement by a simple majority vote of the legislative body.

III.  An authority formed by a climate resilience cooperative agreement may establish a coastal resilience fund, to be funded by contributions from participating parties or by bonds, to plan for and address current and future regional needs for projects such as, but not limited to, road projects, shared municipal facilities including wastewater treatment and wastewater systems, and other coastal mitigation and protection projects.  If solid waste systems are proposed, such projects shall be governed by the provisions of RSA 53-B.  If wastewater and waste treatment systems are proposed, such projects shall be governed by the provisions of RSA 485.  For the purposes of the coastal resilience fund, the agreement may establish a common bonding authority under RSA 33.

IV.  The climate resilience cooperative agreement will establish a governing authority and process to oversee the coastal resilience fund.

(a)  For an agreement formed by one regional planning commission, the fund governing authority shall be composed of the regional planning commission director, an elected official of a participating municipality selected from among the participating municipalities, and the chair of the county delegation.

(b)  For an agreement formed by both regional planning commissions, the fund governing authority shall be composed of both regional planning commission directors, an elected official of a participating municipality from both Rockingham and Strafford counties, each elected by the participating municipalities in such county and the chairs of the Rockingham and Strafford county delegations.  

V.  The business affairs and actions of a climate resilience cooperative agreement authority shall be conducted and governed pursuant to the terms, conditions, and provisions of its agreement.  The agreement shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a)  A list of municipalities included in the coastal resilience and historic reserve district.

(b)  Except as provided otherwise by law, the powers, duties, and authorities of the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(c)  Provisions for the sharing of planning, construction, operating, maintenance, and closing costs of any facilities.

(d)  A description of proposed activities and projects.

(e)  The terms by which other municipalities may be admitted to the agreement.

(f)  The terms by which a municipality may withdraw from the agreement before or after debt has been incurred.

(g)  The method by which the agreement may be amended including conditions under which an amendment may be approved by the governing or legislative bodies of member municipalities.

(h)  The procedure for dissolution of the agreement before or after debt has been incurred.

(i)  Provisions for varied levels of participation by member municipalities in multiple projects, if available.

(j)  The procedure for the preparation and adoption of the annual budget, including the apportionment of agreement expenses and a schedule of payments and other procedures relative to governing the agreement’s fiscal affairs.

(k)  The remedies and penalties which the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority may assert against a member which defaults in its obligations to the agreement, if any.

(l)  Procedures to receive and disburse funds for any climate resilience cooperative agreement authority purpose.

(m)  Procedures to incur temporary debt in anticipation of revenue to be received.

(n)  Procedures to assess member municipalities for expenses of the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(o)  Power to receive any grants or gifts for the purposes of the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(p)  Procedures to engage legal counsel, accountants, engineers, contractors, consultants, agents, and other advisors.

(q)  Procedures for entering into contracts with any person consistent with the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(r)  Enact bylaws and regulations relative to project management.

(s)  Procedures for establishing payments to the authority from participating municipalities.

(t)  Procedures for funding the coastal resilience fund, including authorization of bonding or incurring any debt, by the participating municipalities.

VI.  The one year limitation on regional planning commissions' debt obligations under RSA 36:49 shall not apply to the bonding authority under this section.

6  Purpose of Bonds or Notes; Coastal Resilience and Economic Development Program Included.  Amend RSA 33:3 to read as follows:

33:3  Purpose of Issue of Bonds or Notes.  A municipality or county may issue its bonds or notes for the acquisition of land, for economic development, for planning relative to public facilities, for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, and enlargement or purchase of public buildings, for other public works or improvements, or for the financing of improvements, of a permanent nature including broadband infrastructure as defined in RSA 38:38, I(e), to serve any location within a municipality unserved by broadband as defined in RSA 38:38, I(c) for the purchase of departmental equipment of a lasting character, [and] for the payment of judgments and including projects in the joint municipal development and revitalization districts established in RSA 162-K:16 and the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts established in RSA 12-A:68.  The issuance of such bonds or notes shall include, but not be limited to, public-private partnerships involving capital improvements, loans, financing, and guarantees.  The public benefit in any public-private partnership must outweigh any benefit accruing to a private party.  Bonds or notes for the purposes of economic development may be issued only after the governing body of the municipality or county has held hearings and presented the public benefit findings to the public and after such issuance has been approved by the legislative body.  A municipality or county shall not issue bonds or notes to provide for the payment of expenses for current maintenance and operation except as otherwise specifically provided by law.

7  New Subdivision; Coastal Risk and Hazards Preparedness.  Amend RSA 228 by inserting after section 115 the following new subdivision:

Coastal Risk and Hazards Preparedness

228:116  Coastal Risk and Hazards Preparedness.  If abandonment of any state highway is considered because of sea-level rise, storm surge, and extreme precipitation events, or in anticipation of such events as projected by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission final report, “Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation," and subsequent science and technical advisory panel reports under RSA 483-B:22, the department of transportation shall coordinate procedures with affected communities, the Rockingham planning commission, the Strafford regional planning commission, the department of business and economic affairs, and with business, real estate, tourism, and other affected economic interests.  The process shall also consider mitigation policies and potential funding for owners of affected properties served by such roadways and projected impacts to the environment and natural and cultural resources.  The final approval for such projects shall be through the general court, and any funding shall be included in the ten-year highway plan.

8  New Subparagraph; 10-Year Transportation Improvement Program.  Amend RSA 240:3, VI by inserting after subparagraph (e) the following new subparagraph:

(f)  For any project located in the coastal and Great Bay regions of the state, the project shall reference as guidance for all potentially affected activities in said regions the requirements regarding coastal resilience and economic development in RSA 483-B:22.

9  New Subparagraph; Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve District Fund.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b) by inserting after subparagraph (343) the following new subparagraph:

(344)  Moneys deposited in the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district fund established in RSA 12-A:69.

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

 

LBAO

19-1071

Amended 3/15/19

 

SB 285-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (AMENDMENT #2019-0663s)

 

AN ACT establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Coastal Resilience and Historic District Fund and federal funds

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill allows for the unification of municipalities and redrawing municipal boundaries and the establishment of joint municipal development and revitalization districts in response to climate emergencies.  Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts may be established by municipalities, state agencies and a new Coastal Resilience and Historic Reserve District Commission, to acquire land and other resources and remove, restore and place such resources as needed.  Districts may be funded by municipal funds, including bonding, private and non-profit donations, the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, the Conservation Number Plate Fund, and state and federal funds.  For this purpose, a nonlapsing Coastal Resilience and Historic Reserve District Fund is established in the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and managed by the Coastal Resilience and Historic Reserve District Commission.  If abandonment of any state highway is considered because of sea level rise, storm surge, and extreme precipitation events, or in anticipation of such events, the Department of Transportation (DOT) shall coordinate procedures with affected communities, and the Rockingham and Strafford regional planning commissions and other economic and business interests.  The process shall also consider mitigation policies and potential funding for owners of affected properties served by such roadways and projected impacts to the environment and natural and cultural resources.  The Legislature shall approve such projects and any funding shall be included in the Ten-Year Highway Plan.

 

DNCR states that one staff member will serve on the new commission and technical assistance by the Division of Historical Resources will be necessary to ensure that historical properties are treated appropriately.  Depending on funding sources, regulatory reviews and ongoing monitoring by the Division may also be required.  The Department is unable to estimate the fiscal impact due to unknown specific actions and responses to weather-related events, commission decisions and possible funding sources and amounts.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the bill itself has no effect on municipal revenues or expenditures.  Only voluntary actions as authorized by the legislation will have any effect on municipal finances.

 

The Department of Transportation anticipates no fiscal impact as any requirements for project funding adjustment would be via the Ten-Year Highway Plan, as approved by the Legislature and Governor.  Any requirements not handled through the Ten-Year Highway Plan can be handled by current staff and an existing committee, the NHDOT Climate Change Committee.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, New Hampshire Municipal Association and Department of Transportation

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Energy and Natural Resources; SJ 4
Feb. 5, 2019 Hearing: 02/05/2019, Room 103, SH, 10:30 am; SC 9
March 7, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0663s, 03/07/2019; SC 12
March 7, 2019 Committee Amendment # 2019-0663s, AA, VV; 03/07/2019; SJ 7
March 7, 2019 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-0663s, MA, VV; Refer to Finance Rule 4-5; 03/07/2019; SJ 7
March 21, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 03/21/2019; SC 14

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 5, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 7, 2019 Senate Floor Vote
March 21, 2019 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB285 Revision: 5274 Date: Feb. 5, 2019, 2:06 p.m.
SB285 Revision: 5478 Date: March 15, 2019, 9:50 a.m.