Bill Text: NH SB285 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-15 - Executive Session: 05/28/2019 10:30 am Legislative Office Building 201 [SB285 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2019-SB285-Amended.html

SB 285-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

03/07/2019   0663s

8May2019... 1715h

2019 SESSION

19-1071

08/05

 

SENATE BILL 285-FN

 

AN ACT establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Morgan, Dist 23; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Somssich, Rock. 27

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Allows municipalities to unify as a result of a climate change emergency.

 

II.  Allows municipalities to create municipal development and revitalization districts as a result of a climate change emergency.

 

III.  Creates coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts.

 

IV.  Creates a coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district fund.

 

V.  Creates a coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve commission.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/07/2019   0663s

8May2019... 1715h 19-1071

08/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Findings.  It is the policy of the state of New Hampshire to support municipalities in the coastal and Great Bay Estuary region to prepare for sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation.

2  New Section; Climate Emergency Municipal Unification.  Amend RSA 31 by inserting after section 9-c the following new section:

31:9-d  Climate Emergency Municipality Unification.  

I.  As a result of sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation events, or in anticipation of such events as projected by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission final report, “Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation," and subsequent science and technical advisory panel reports under RSA 483-B:22, the legislative body of a municipality may declare a climate emergency and engage in planning for municipal cooperation and for municipal boundary adjustment or unification with one or more other municipalities.  Municipal boundary adjustment or unification may include (a) the alteration of existing municipal boundaries or (b) the creation of a new municipality incorporating the existing boundaries of such municipalities and the creation of new, unified legislative and governing bodies.  During this process a municipality may discontinue public roads pursuant to RSA 231:43 or RSA 231:45.  

II.  A proposal for municipal boundary adjustment or unification shall be presented in a bill to the general court after approval by a majority vote of each of the governing bodies of the municipalities affected.  Approval of the boundary adjustment or unification by the general court and the respective municipalities shall follow the process for alteration of town lines under RSA 51:9.  A legislative enactment authorizing the unification of 2 or more municipalities shall establish the form of government for the resulting municipality and a process for electing or appointing all necessary municipal officers if the unification is approved as provided in RSA 51:9.

3  New Section; Joint Municipal Development and Revitalization Districts.  Amend RSA 162-K by inserting after section 15 the following new section:

162-K:16  Joint Municipal Development and Revitalization Districts.  Municipalities may enter into an agreement under RSA 53-A to jointly establish a municipal development district that may include land within the several municipalities using the procedures in this chapter.  Tax revenues and expenditures may be allocated as provided in the agreement.

4  New Subdivision; Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts.  Amend RSA 12-A by inserting after section 67 the following new subdivision:

Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts

12-A:68  Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts.  Municipalities, regional planning commissions, the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission, and state agencies may establish coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts, which shall comprise lands suitable and eligible as a reserve of sufficient elevation and distance from tidal and riverine waters for historic properties and other historic and cultural resources, including historic burial grounds.  The acquisition of land and the acquisition, removal, restoration, and placement of such resources by municipalities, the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission, and state agencies may be funded by municipal funding, including bonding, private and non-profit donations, funding from the land and community heritage investment trust program established RSA 227-M:7, the conservation number plate fund established in RSA 261:97-b, and funding from the state and federal government.  Such districts may be established as municipal or regional development districts under RSA 162-K.  An existing local historic district, as defined in RSA 674:45-50, may, upon recommendation by a municipal governing body, be designated by the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission as a coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district.

12-A:69  Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve District Fund.  There is established a nonlapsing fund to be known as the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district fund in the department of natural and cultural resources.  The fund shall be used for assessing historic resource vulnerability, for implementing adaptation measures that protect endangered cultural and historic resources, for the acquisition of land and the acquisition, removal, restoration, and placement of historic properties and other historic and cultural resources including historic burial grounds in danger of flooding from tidal and riverine waters when other adaptation measures are insufficient.  The fund shall be managed by the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission established in RSA 12-A:70.

12-A:70  Commission Established.

I.  The coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission is established.  The members of the commission shall be as follows:

(a)  One representative of the Rockingham planning commission, selected by its director.

(b)  One representative of the Strafford regional planning commission, selected by its director.

(c)  One representative of each town or city that borders the tidal waters of the Great Bay Estuary or Atlantic Ocean, appointed by that town or city's governing body.

(d)  Two members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(e)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(f)  One representative of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, appointed by its executive director.

(g)  A representative of the division of historic resources, appointed by its director.

(h)  Three representatives of non-profits museums, historic properties, and historic associations in the seacoast and Great Bay Estuary regions, appointed by the governor.

(i)  A representative of Historic New England, appointed by its president.

(j)  A representative of the New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association, appointed by its president.

(k)  A representative of the Southeastern Land Trust, appointed by its president.

(l)  One representative of each local historic district in each municipality that borders the Great Bay or Atlantic Ocean, appointed by that district.

II.  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

III.  The commission shall:

(a)  Identify suitable and eligible lands for coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts.  

(b)  Adopt rules, procedures, and agreements, in consultation with municipalities, regional planning commissions, and state agencies for the creation and management of the districts.

(c)  Solicit funding for and manage the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission fund.

(d)  Develop policies on assessing the vulnerability of cultural and historic resources, the implementation of adaptation measures to improve resilience, and governing the acquisition and removal of properties to the district and the ongoing stewardship of such properties.

(e)  Develop cooperative agreements with municipalities, local historic districts, regional planning commissions, and others, in the establishment of any related municipal or regional development district incorporating the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district commission.

(f)  Recommend any changes to state statutes, rules, and practices and, in consultation with municipalities, changes to local ordinances necessary for coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve districts established.

IV.  The terms of the elected members of the commission shall be coterminous with their terms in office; the terms of all other appointed members shall be 3 years.  In the event of a vacancy, a new member shall be appointed for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

V.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named senate member and shall be held within 90 days of the effective date of this section.  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members at the first meeting.  Fifteen members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

5  New Section; Regional Planning Commissions; Coastal Resilience Fund; Climate Resilience Cooperative Agreements.  Amend RSA 36 by inserting after section 53 the following new section:

36:53-a  Coastal Resilience Fund; Climate Resilience Cooperative Agreements.  

I.  The Strafford regional planning commission and the Rockingham planning commission either separately or jointly with participating municipalities may create climate resilience cooperative agreements forming an authority to plan for and address sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding from extreme precipitation events or in anticipation of such events as projected by the Coastal risk and Hazards Commission final report “Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation,” and subsequent science and technical advisory panel reports under RSA 483-B:22.

II.  Municipalities participating in a climate resilience cooperative agreement shall approve such agreement by a simple majority vote of the legislative body.

III.  An authority formed by a climate resilience cooperative agreement may establish a coastal resilience fund, to be funded by contributions from participating parties or by bonds, to plan for and address current and future regional needs for projects such as, but not limited to, road projects, shared municipal facilities including wastewater treatment and wastewater systems, and other coastal mitigation and protection projects.  If solid waste systems are proposed, such projects shall be governed by the provisions of RSA 53-B.  If wastewater and waste treatment systems are proposed, such projects shall be governed by the provisions of RSA 485.  For the purposes of the coastal resilience fund, the agreement may establish a common bonding authority under RSA 33.

IV.  The climate resilience cooperative agreement shall establish a governing authority and process to oversee the coastal resilience fund.

(a)  For an agreement formed by one regional planning commission, the governing authority shall be composed of the regional planning commission director, an elected official of a participating municipality selected by agreement of the governing bodies of the participating municipalities, and the chair of the county delegation for the county that has the largest number of municipalities in the regional planning commission’s coverage area.

(b)  For an agreement formed by both regional planning commissions, the governing authority shall be composed of both regional planning commission directors, an elected official of a participating municipality from both Rockingham and Strafford counties, each selected by agreement of the governing bodies of the participating municipalities in such county and the chairs of the Rockingham and Strafford county delegations.  

V.  The business affairs and actions of a climate resilience cooperative agreement authority shall be conducted and governed pursuant to the terms, conditions, and provisions of its agreement.  The agreement shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a)  A list of municipalities included in the coastal resilience and historic reserve district.

(b)  Except as provided otherwise by law, the powers, duties, and authorities of the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(c)  Provisions for the sharing of planning, construction, operating, maintenance, and closing costs of any facilities.

(d)  A description of proposed activities and projects.

(e)  The terms by which other municipalities may be admitted to the agreement.

(f)  The terms by which a municipality may withdraw from the agreement before or after debt has been incurred.

(g)  The method by which the agreement may be amended including conditions under which an amendment may be approved by the governing or legislative bodies of member municipalities.

(h)  The procedure for dissolution of the authority before or after debt has been incurred.

(i)  Provisions for varied levels of participation by member municipalities in multiple projects, if available.

(j)  The procedure for the preparation and adoption of the annual budget, including the apportionment of authority expenses and a schedule of payments and other procedures relative to governing the authority’s fiscal affairs.

(k)  The remedies and penalties which the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority may assert against a member which defaults in its obligations to the authority, if any.

(l)  Procedures to receive and disburse funds for any climate resilience cooperative agreement authority purpose.

(m)  Procedures to incur temporary debt in anticipation of revenue to be received.

(n)  Procedures to assess member municipalities for expenses of the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(o)  Power to receive any grants or gifts for the purposes of the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(p)  Procedures to engage legal counsel, accountants, engineers, contractors, consultants, agents, and other advisors.

(q)  Procedures for entering into contracts with any person consistent with the climate resilience cooperative agreement authority.

(r)  Bylaws and regulations relative to project management.

(s)  Procedures for establishing payments to the authority from participating municipalities.

(t)  Procedures for funding the coastal resilience fund, including authorization of bonding or incurring any debt, by the participating municipalities.

VI.  The one year limitation on regional planning commissions' debt obligations under RSA 36:49 shall not apply to the bonding authority under this section.

6  New Subdivision; Coastal Risk and Hazards Preparedness.  Amend RSA 228 by inserting after section 115 the following new subdivision:

Coastal Risk and Hazards Preparedness

228:116  Coastal Risk and Hazards Preparedness.  If abandonment of any state highway is considered because of sea-level rise, storm surge, and extreme precipitation events, or in anticipation of such events as projected by the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission final report, “Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation," and subsequent science and technical advisory panel reports under RSA 483-B:22, the department of transportation shall coordinate procedures with affected municipalities, the Rockingham planning commission, the Strafford regional planning commission, the department of business and economic affairs, and with business, real estate, tourism, and other affected economic interests.  The process shall also consider mitigation policies and potential funding for owners of affected properties served by such roadways and projected impacts to the environment and natural and cultural resources.  The final approval for such projects shall be through the general court, and any funding shall be included in the ten-year highway plan.

7  New Subparagraph; 10-Year Transportation Improvement Program.  Amend RSA 240:3, VI by inserting after subparagraph (e) the following new subparagraph:

(f)  For any project located in the coastal and Great Bay regions of the state, the project shall reference as guidance for all potentially affected activities in said regions the requirements regarding coastal resilience and economic development in RSA 483-B:22.

8  New Subparagraph; Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve District Fund.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b) by inserting after subparagraph (343) the following new subparagraph:

(344)  Moneys deposited in the coastal resilience and cultural and historic reserve district fund established in RSA 12-A:69.

9  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

19-1071

Amended 3/15/19

 

SB 285-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (AMENDMENT #2019-0663s)

 

AN ACT establishing a coastal resilience and economic development program.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Coastal Resilience and Historic District Fund and federal funds

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill allows for the unification of municipalities and redrawing municipal boundaries and the establishment of joint municipal development and revitalization districts in response to climate emergencies.  Coastal Resilience and Cultural and Historic Reserve Districts may be established by municipalities, state agencies and a new Coastal Resilience and Historic Reserve District Commission, to acquire land and other resources and remove, restore and place such resources as needed.  Districts may be funded by municipal funds, including bonding, private and non-profit donations, the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, the Conservation Number Plate Fund, and state and federal funds.  For this purpose, a nonlapsing Coastal Resilience and Historic Reserve District Fund is established in the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and managed by the Coastal Resilience and Historic Reserve District Commission.  If abandonment of any state highway is considered because of sea level rise, storm surge, and extreme precipitation events, or in anticipation of such events, the Department of Transportation (DOT) shall coordinate procedures with affected communities, and the Rockingham and Strafford regional planning commissions and other economic and business interests.  The process shall also consider mitigation policies and potential funding for owners of affected properties served by such roadways and projected impacts to the environment and natural and cultural resources.  The Legislature shall approve such projects and any funding shall be included in the Ten-Year Highway Plan.

 

DNCR states that one staff member will serve on the new commission and technical assistance by the Division of Historical Resources will be necessary to ensure that historical properties are treated appropriately.  Depending on funding sources, regulatory reviews and ongoing monitoring by the Division may also be required.  The Department is unable to estimate the fiscal impact due to unknown specific actions and responses to weather-related events, commission decisions and possible funding sources and amounts.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the bill itself has no effect on municipal revenues or expenditures.  Only voluntary actions as authorized by the legislation will have any effect on municipal finances.

 

The Department of Transportation anticipates no fiscal impact as any requirements for project funding adjustment would be via the Ten-Year Highway Plan, as approved by the Legislature and Governor.  Any requirements not handled through the Ten-Year Highway Plan can be handled by current staff and an existing committee, the NHDOT Climate Change Committee.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, New Hampshire Municipal Association and Department of Transportation

 

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