Dock regulations, short-term rentals,
stormwater permitting changes
By Bob Quinn
Government Affairs Director, NH REALTORS®
Here are a few items being explored in the New Hampshire legislature that are of potential interest to the real estate community and being watched closely by your New Hampshire REALTORS government affairs team:
Temporary docks during drought conditions
The Senate has taken a step toward a compromise version of Senate Bill 119, which allows a temporary seasonal dock to be longer than the current standard – 40 feet in larger lakes, 30 feet in smaller – during drought conditions.
As proposed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, SB 119 would increase the maximum length for temporary docks in lakes over 1,000 acres to 50 feet, with a maximum in smaller lakes of 40 feet. The fate of the bill is very much up in the air as various stakeholders remain unsatisfied with the compromise. Final Senate action is expected this week.
Short-term rental issue not quite over this session
Legislative efforts to restrict short-term rentals in single-family housing have proved unsuccessful over the past several legislative sessions. House Bill 654, which passed last week out of the House, creates a short-term rental study committee – the third in as many years – to review the issue. NHAR will be watching closely to see if the Senate chooses to resolve certain tax and regulatory issues as opposed to sending them to yet another study commission.
EPA stormwater permitting changes prompts NH legislative action
Many NH communities have expressed concerns with new EPA rules on stormwater, which could result in millions of dollars in new and unnecessary expenses. New Hampshire is one of only four states which has not taken over authority from the EPA on MS-4 permitting, which regulates municipal storm water runoff.
Senate Bill 121, which passed the Senate last week, sets up a study commission to consider how New Hampshire could take over the MS-4 stormwater permitting program. Towns have argued that the legislature needs to take action by July 2018 or the new rules will begin to impact development projects.