Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act (CSPA), 2008
The Shoreline Water Quality Protection Act (SWQPA), 2011

The CSPA, or Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act, was established in a bid to protect the shorelands of New Hampshire, viewed as being among “its most valuable and fragile natural resources”. A Protected Shoreland area was therefore established along all of New Hampshire's waterfront with most construction and usage of this land being subject to the act but decided on a municipal level. In August 2008, however, the CSPA underwent major changes that have been met with a large degree of derision from local property owners.

Any construction, excavation, or filling activities within the Protected Shoreland to be undertaken by property owners and residents must be accompanied by a permit or declaration of exemption from the Department of Environmental Services.

While it's clear that the intent of the CSPA is to protect New Hampshire's Shoreland, some of the changes are restrictive at best. In particular the changes concern the use of chemicals (including fertilizer), the cutting of trees, removal of stumps, roots, and rocks, and the creation of impervious surfaces within the Natural Woodland Buffer.

Impervious surfaces include the floor of your home and while properties with their foundations down before the 2008 amendments are protected, other property owners are now limited to a percentage of their total land that can be covered with such surfaces.

Furthermore, all new property is now required to have a minimum 150 feet of shoreland frontage and while this figure was once determined by measuring the actual irregular frontage, an average straight line distance is now taken, in many cases reducing the existing frontage of properties and lots.

View RSA-483B
The Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (.pdf 8mb) - A Summary of the Standards




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