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The Conservation Commission is an advisory board that make comments and recommendations on applications, which are provided to the Planning Board.
If your project proposes to disturb a wetland, waterbody, or their buffers (as described in 235-17) you will likely need a wetlands Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and go before the Conservation Commission. If there is any doubt on whether your project will have an impact to a wetland/waterbody/etc., you must hire a Certified Wetlands Scientist (CWS) to review the project and delineate any wetlands.
Local approvals for tree-cutting depends on where you intend to cut:
The city has no other restrictions on tree-cutting within the Shoreland Protection District. However, the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), has their own restrictions on tree-cutting within 250-feet of waterbodies. Please contact them to ensure you meet all state requirements as well.
Please note that there are exemptions to this overlay district – if you are unsure about whether your property falls into these exemptions, please call the conservation technician at 603-527-1264.
An impervious surface is one that is impermeable and one that water cannot pass through. Impervious surfaces increase runoff and include surfaces like asphalt, buildings/rooftops, concrete, etc.
A pervious surface is one that allows for the penetration of runoff through the surface and into the underlying soils. Examples of pervious surfaces include vegetated lawns, gardens, pervious pavers, and other surfaces designed to absorb stormwater runoff.
Green space refers to “Land area with landscaped or natural vegetation, including those vegetated areas located under upper story decks, porches and overhangs that are a minimum of seven feet from the ground at the lowest elevation”. Minimum green space requirements can be found in the Table of Dimensional Requirements, here.
To calculate your property’s green space, use one of the following formulas:
GS% = 100 – [(Square Footage of Impervious Surfaces / Square Footage of Property) x 100]
GS% = (Square Footage of Pervious Surfaces / Square Footage of Property) x 100
A Conservation Easement creates a legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a landowner and the other party (in this case, the City of Laconia). It restricts real estate development, commercial and industrial uses, and other activities on the property to a mutually agreed upon level. The landowner continues to privately own and manage the land and the easement owner monitors future uses of the land for easement compliance. The easement continues to run with the land despite any changes in ownership.
Conservation Open Space refers to an allowable amenity under 235-40 B “Cluster Development”. 235-40 B(6)(f)(2)(c) states “designation of conservation open space is required for significant or unique environmentally sensitive areas, including but not limited to wetlands, wildlife habitat, endangered flora/fauna, stream beds and water bodies, significant stands of trees, scenic vistas, archeological sites and graveyards. Land area within conservation open space shall permanently remain in its natural state except for maintenance and access to archeological sites and graveyards.”
The following are permitted uses, per 235-40 B(4)(b):
[a] Recreational vehicle access crossings.
[b] Pedestrian trail systems.
[c] Buffer area: perimeter, wetlands waterbody, shoreline.
The Current Use program was enacted in 1973 and designed to preserve open space by assessing land at its actual current use and not at its highest and best use. Land is valued as farm, forested, or unproductive land rather than as building lots. It incentivizes property owners to conserve their undeveloped land (typically at least 10 acres in size) by receiving a tax break. For more information, please contact the Assessing office.