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Old 03-03-2019, 08:29 AM   #1
mishman
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Default shoreline permit application comment process

Does anyone know whether the Dept of Environmental Services takes comments from the public on a shoreline permit application, especially as regards pier and dock modifications?
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
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If there is a particular application in process you are referring to, why not just contact DES directly and make an inquiry? If there is something that concerns you that very well could be your opportunity to express your opinion.

While I don't know how DES works in that regard, typically if a project (from a town perspective) that requires any kind of special exception or variance usually is open for public comment as reviewed in applicable board meetings. I believe abutters are notified as well.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:22 PM   #3
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Default Local input

Most DES permits are forwarded to the local Conservation Commission for their input. Call your neighbor who is on the CC. See if they plan to do a site walk or other review and attend the meeting. When they gather, they are supposed to "Notice" it and it becomes a public event of sorts. There still has to be respect for public property.
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:42 AM   #4
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This would fall under the ongoing Wetlands rulemaking process at NHDES. Information on that process can be found here: https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/...mprovement.htm

Also keep an eye on this committee here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/stat...mmittees/1400/

A large part of the focus of this Committee is a potential overhaul of the way the State of NH handles shoreline structures permitting.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:14 AM   #5
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Default DES Questions

We removed an old set of cribbing (probably 10 tons worth of boulders) that was previously used to hold up a dock, that unfortunately we could not grandfather in. I contacted the DES directly with all of my questions and they were actually quite helpful. I ended up having to fill out a fair amount of paperwork, but did not fill out anything that I didn't need, thus saving a lot of time in the process.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
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Default Non-Tidal Dock Commission

These guys definitely need shorter name. Anyway, the link from Shore Things says the next meeting is Monday, March 11, 1:00 pm in the Legislative Office Building in Concord, Room 307. MP and DES will be presenting.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
Most DES permits are forwarded to the local Conservation Commission for their input. Call your neighbor who is on the CC. See if they plan to do a site walk or other review and attend the meeting. When they gather, they are supposed to "Notice" it and it becomes a public event of sorts. There still has to be respect for public property.
While you are correct that the local CC is copied on most permits, unfortunately this often occurs after the approval has already been granted. This is due to the timing of the permit process and the CC meeting schedule. If, for example, the permit process is required to rule within 30 days, and the CC only meets once a month, the DES has often approved the application before the CC sees it. This often results in frustration as the local CC has information that could change the outcome if it was received in time.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:02 PM   #8
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Default Up to the CC

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Originally Posted by Merrymeeting View Post
While you are correct that the local CC is copied on most permits, unfortunately this often occurs after the approval has already been granted. This is due to the timing of the permit process and the CC meeting schedule. If, for example, the permit process is required to rule within 30 days, and the CC only meets once a month, the DES has often approved the application before the CC sees it. This often results in frustration as the local CC has information that could change the outcome if it was received in time.
Gilford routinely puts a 60 day hold on almost every application so they can fit it into their monthly meeting schedule. Most developers know this and plan accordingly. Individuals can be caught unawares and have their building schedule totally messed up. This issue of timing was brought forward by the Gov ernor's Task Force on Regulation s when he first came into office. They reported late in 2017 and a few bills came through in 2018. I think other town CC's do the same thing.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:05 PM   #9
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I'd be curious to know how you can delay Shoreland permit applications for 60 days. The application process is direct to the DES, and this is the regulation from their website that states a decision is needed within 30-days.

"Processing Time - Shoreland permit applications are reviewed within 30 days of receipt. Following review, the permit application is either permitted, denied or a "Request for More Information" letter is mailed to the applicant. Applicants must respond to NHDES requests for more information within 60 days. Once the response is received from the applicant, a decision to permit or deny the project is made within 30 days."

And, they don't always wait the 30-days to make the ruling. The 30-days is a maximum.

I'm on the New Durham CC. We only meet once a month. It's not unusual for a shoreland permit to be submitted and approved by DES before we've ever had a chance to see it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrymeeting View Post
I'd be curious to know how you can delay Shoreland permit applications for 60 days. The application process is direct to the DES, and this is the regulation from their website that states a decision is needed within 30-days.

"Processing Time - Shoreland permit applications are reviewed within 30 days of receipt. Following review, the permit application is either permitted, denied or a "Request for More Information" letter is mailed to the applicant. Applicants must respond to NHDES requests for more information within 60 days. Once the response is received from the applicant, a decision to permit or deny the project is made within 30 days."

And, they don't always wait the 30-days to make the ruling. The 30-days is a maximum.

I'm on the New Durham CC. We only meet once a month. It's not unusual for a shoreland permit to be submitted and approved by DES before we've ever had a chance to see it.
It seems most of them are returned "Request for More Information".
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:11 PM   #11
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Default Incomplete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrymeeting View Post
I'd be curious to know how you can delay Shoreland permit applications for 60 days. The application process is direct to the DES, and this is the regulation from their website that states a decision is needed within 30-days.

"Processing Time - Shoreland permit applications are reviewed within 30 days of receipt. Following review, the permit application is either permitted, denied or a "Request for More Information" letter is mailed to the applicant. Applicants must respond to NHDES requests for more information within 60 days. Once the response is received from the applicant, a decision to permit or deny the project is made within 30 days."

And, they don't always wait the 30-days to make the ruling. The 30-days is a maximum.

I'm on the New Durham CC. We only meet once a month. It's not unusual for a shoreland permit to be submitted and approved by DES before we've ever had a chance to see it.
Apparently, some CC's have staff with instructions to open the mail, and send an immediate reply to DES noting the hold. The 30 days is for DES to act, not the CC, as I understand it. Apparently, if they receive word from the CC that they want to weigh in, the application is considered incomplete. I applied for a repair permit a couple of years ago. There was a delay until it could be on the next meeting agenda. Then they held it another 30 days, requesting that the contractor appear in person to answer questions. Eventually the permit arrived with a cover letter from DES saying to be mindful of the added restrictions from the CC. No problem except the delay, which we had sort of expected. The work did get delayed to the following year. No big deal, just aggravation and a year delay, since the contractor can't drop other scheduled work waiting for the CC.

It appears some CC's are "full of themselves" and statewide there is enough push back that there are those who want to legislatively reduce their authority. That came to me from a relative who is on a small town (<2000 Pop.) CC in another part of the state.
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