[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Laconia 12-29-1975 as Ch. 47 of the Public Ordinances of 1975. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 2-25-1980 by Ord. No. 34-80.3; 10-24-1993 by Ord. No. 239-93.10, 4-11-1994 by Ord. No. 250-94.8]
It is hereby ordained that there is created a City Planning Board, which shall be constituted as follows: one designee of the City Manager, to be appointed by the City Manager and approved by the City Council as an ex officio member; one administrative official of the City to be appointed by the City Manager as an ex officio member; one City Councilor who shall be appointed by the City Council as an ex officio member; and six persons to be appointed by the City Council. In addition, the City Council may appoint three alternate members. The term of all members shall be three years, except for the Council member, which shall be two years.
All members of the Planning Board shall serve as such without compensation, and the appointed members shall hold no other municipal office, except that one of such appointed members may be a member of such Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The terms of ex officio members shall correspond to their respective official tenures, except that the term of the administrative official selected by the Manager shall terminate with the term of the Manager selecting him. The term of each appointed member shall be six years, except that the respective terms of five of the members first appointed shall be one, two, three, four and five years.
Members of the Planning Board may, after public hearing, be removed by the Council for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misfeasance in office. The Manager may for like cause remove the administrative official. The Manager or the Council, as the case may be, shall file with the City Clerk a written statement of reasons for such removal.
Vacancies in the membership of the Planning Board occurring otherwise than through the expiration of term shall be filled for the duration of the unexpired term by the Manager, in the case of the member selected or appointed by him, and by the Council in the case of the members appointed by it.
[Amended 4-26-1999 by Ord. No. 05.99.05]
The Planning Board shall elect its Chairman from the appointed members and create and fill such other offices as it may deem necessary for its work. The term of Chairman shall be one year, with eligibility for reelection. The Planning Board shall hold at least one regular meeting in each month and shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, findings and determinations, which record shall be a public record. The Planning Board shall select, concurrent with the member's term, one of its members to serve as liaison to the Lakes Region Planning Commission.
The Planning Board may appoint such employees as it may deem necessary for its work, whose appointment, promotion, demotion and removal shall be subject to the same provisions of law as govern other corresponding civil employees of the City. The Planning Board may also contract with city planners, engineers, architects and other consultants for such services as it may require. The expenditures of the Planning Board, exclusive of gifts, shall be within the amounts appropriated for the purpose by the Council.
It shall be the function and duty of the Planning Board to make and to perfect from time to time, so far as funds appropriated by the Council for such purpose will permit, a Master Plan for the development of the City, including any areas outside of its boundaries which, in the Planning Board's judgment, bear relative to the planning of the City. Such Master Plan, with the accompanying necessary maps, plats, charts and description matters, shall be designed with the intention of showing, as fully as is possible and practicable, the Planning Board's recommendations for the desirable development of the territory legally and logically within the scope of its planning jurisdiction, including, on that basis, among other things, the general location, character and extent of streets, viaducts, subways, tunnels, bridges, waterways, waterfronts, boulevards, parkways, roadways in streets and parks, playgrounds, squares, parks, aviation fields, and other public ways, places, grounds and open spaces, sites for public buildings and other public property, routes of railroads, omnibuses and other forms of public transportation and the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals whether publicly or privately owned or operated, for water, light, heat, sanitation, transportation, communication, power and other purposes; also, the acceptance, removal, relocation, widening, narrowing, vacating, abondonment, change of use of or extension of any of the foregoing ways, grounds, places, open spaces, buildings, properties, utilities or terminals, and other planning features, as well as a zoning plan for the control of the height, area, bulk, location and use of private and public structures, buildings and premises and population density; the general location, character, layout and extent of any community centers and neighborhood units; and the general character, extent and layout of the replanning of blighted districts and slum areas.
In the course of the preparation of such Master Plan, the Planning Board may make careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of existing conditions and of data and information relative to the probable future growth of the City and its environs. The Master Plan shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the City and its environs which will, in accordance with existing and probable future needs, best promote health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, or the general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development, including, among other things, adequate provisions for traffic, the promotion of safety from fire and other dangers, adequate provision for light and air, the promotion of good civic design and arrangement, wise and efficient expenditure of public funds, and the adequate provision of public utilities and other public requirements.
The Planning Board may adopt the Master Plan as a whole by a single resolution or may by successive resolutions adopt successive parts of the plan, said parts corresponding with major geographical sections or divisions of the City or with functional subdivisions of the subject matter of the plan, and may adopt any amendment or extension thereof or addition thereto. Such Master Plan shall be a public record, but its purpose and effect shall be solely to aid the Planning Board in the performance of its duties. The adoption of the Master Plan or any amendment thereof shall be by resolution carried by the affirmative votes of not less than a majority of all the members of the Planning Board. The resolution shall refer expressly to the maps, descriptive matter and other matters intended by the Planning Board to form the whole or part of the plan, and the action taken shall be recorded on the adopted plan or part thereof adopted, by the identifying signature of the Chairman or the Secretary of the Planning Board, and a copy of the plan or part thereof shall be certified to the Council.
The Planning Board shall have power to promote public interest in and understanding of the Master Plan and of any Official Map of the City which may hereafter be established by the Council, and to that end, may publish and distribute copies of the Master Plan or of such Official Map or any report and may employ such other means of publicity and education as it may deem advisable. Members of the Planning Board, when duly authorized by said Planning Board, may attend city planning conferences or meetings of city planning institutes or hearings upon pending city planning legislation, and the Planning Board may, by resolution, spread upon its minutes, pay the reasonable traveling expenses incident to such attendance. The Planning Board shall have authority to make such investigations, maps and reports and recommendations in connection therewith, relating to the planning and development of the City, as seem desirable to it. The Planning Board may, from time to time, report and recommend to the appropriate public officials and public agencies programs for the development of the City, for the erection of public structures and improvements and for the financing thereof. It shall be part of the Planning Board's duties to consult and advise with public officials and agencies, public utility companies, civic, educational, professional, research and other organizations, and with citizens with relation to the protecting or carrying out of the Master Plan and to make recommendations relating to the development of the City. The Planning Board shall have the right to accept and use gifts for the exercise of its functions. All public officials shall, upon request, furnish to the Planning Board, within a reasonable period of time, such available information as it may properly require for its work. In general, the Planning Board shall have such powers as may be necessary to enable it to fulfill its functions, promote municipal planning or carry out the purposes of this chapter, provided that the total expenditures of said Board shall not exceed the appropriation for its expenses.
[Amended 11-25-1991 by Ord. No. 203-91.14]
The Planning Board shall act as the Zoning Commission to initiate or to make recommendations to the City Council on the adoption of Chapter 235, Zoning, and the Zoning Map and on all revisions and amendments thereto, as provided for in RSA 675:2-v and 674:16 through 674:34. Said Board shall have all the powers and duties heretofore provided by law for the Zoning Commission.
[Amended 7-29-1991 by Ord. No. 196-91.7; 6-29-1992 by Ord. No. 214-92.6]
The Planning Board shall have the power to approve or disapprove subdivisions in accordance with RSA 674:35. In the event that the Planning Board neglects to act within the prescribed time, the City Clerk shall be the official authorized to issue on behalf of the City the certificate showing the date of submission of the plat and the failure of the Planning Board to act.
[Added 6-29-1992 by Ord. No. 214-92.6]
It shall be the duty of the City Clerk to record at the Belknap County Registry of Deeds certificate of notice that the City Council has vested in the Planning Board the jurisdiction to review and approve or disapprove subdivisions and site plans. Any such certificate of notice shall state the date of the City Council's ordinance or resolution vesting such jurisdiction.
[Added 7-29-1991 by Ord. No. 196-91.7]
Pursuant to Chapter 674:43 and 674:44 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated and in compliance with the requirements therein for adoption of a zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations, the Laconia City Planning Board is hereby authorized to review and approve or disapprove site plans for the development or change or expansion of use of tracts for nonresidential uses or for multifamily uses, as defined in RSA 674:43, whether or not such development includes a subdivision or resubdivision of the site.