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The New Face of NH's Shoreland Bill

There has been some welcome, and overdue, legislation from the NH State Senate regarding the New Hampshire Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act, which clarifies and simplifies the 2008 revisions of the original 1991 act. NH State Senate Bill #154 will allow the waterfront owners and builders in the Lakes Region to efficiently schedule and manage costs concerning waterfront property alterations by greatly reducing the confusion and unknowns of the states position regarding an owners project proposal. The bill will also keep in tact all of the provisions that protect the water quality and waterfront beauty, hence the property value, upon which the purpose of the Act rests. I believe that this bill will eliminate what had been in my mind some of the unenforceable aspects of the earlier revisions and provides that most permits would be issued or denied within 5 days of the application date. This includes applications for new construction, landscaping, excavations, water runoff management, repairs and alterations to existing structures and general improvements to waterfront property beneficial to the goals of the Act.The NH publication A Shoreland Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management - Protecting Your Home & Environment can be accessed on the web and consists of ten worthwhile articles that should be part of any waterfront owner's library. Mr. Jay Aube (jason.aube@des.nh.gov), the director of the Shoreland Program, can be easily contacted and offers clear and valuable advice regarding all aspects of the Act. With each new spring season, waterfront owners walk their property with an eye toward making long-term improvements and value appreciation efforts. Should this bill pass the NH House and gain the NH Governors signature, the law is expected to take effect on June 30, 2011. Overall it will provide an understanding of the needs and expectations on everyones part in protecting the high standards of the Lakes Region. After all, out-of-state second home owners can buy their dream house anywhere. This proposal will help determine that the NH Lakes Region and Lake Winnipesaukee will be able to showcase our lifestyle well into the future. Jim Ferriman

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