NH SHORELAND PROTECTION ACT TAKES PLACE TODAY – APRIL 1st!

Steve’s Notes: This appears to answer all our questions (or does it) regarding the date of implementation of the changes to the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act! This just came out last night in the Union Leader:

By TOM FAHEY
State House Bureau Chief


Concord – Despite complaints from builders and developers, the Department of Environmental Services today will begin requiring permits for any work on shoreland along all lakes and ponds.

In a letter to state Senate leaders yesterday, DES Commissioner Thomas Burack said the agency will require permits for all shoreland work under a new law that takes effect today.

The New Hampshire Senate last week asked the House to agree to delay implementation of changes to the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act until Oct. 1. They said there is too much confusion over changes to the law that the Legislature passed last year, and voted to push the start-up date back until fall.

Some senators said they have been getting complaints from a variety of people with interests at stake: landowners, builders, realtors and others.

Those who argue that a delay is necessary say that although the law was put in place a year ago, the Legislature only acted two weeks ago to approve the rules that DES will use to administer it.

During debate, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, said Burack agreed to hold off implementing the law until the House meets on April 16. The House doesn’t have to agree with the change, and could dig in its heels and set July 1 as the latest acceptable date.

Hassan said she did not mean to imply last week that Burack would not enforce the law.

“His letter indicates that he will be flexible, counseling shoreland property owners while we are in this window between April 1 and an agreement in the Legislature,” she said. “The big story is that everybody wants this program to be successful in the long run.”

Burack’s letter said DES “is committed to implementing the new CSPA provision in a manner and on a time schedule that will guarantee the long-term success of the program.”

It states that any project begun on or after April 1 will need a permit under the revised Shoreland Protection Act. The act requires the permits for the first time.

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