Office Hours: Monday- Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
14 North Street
Claremont, NH 03743
Telephone: 603-542-7030 or 603-542-7008
The Planning and Development Department unifies the functions of business promotion and growth, residential and commercial development, inspections and engineering. If you are a resident who wants to build an addition on your home or subdivide your property; an investor who is buying a parcel of land for subdivision and sale, a business that wants to move into Claremont or expand in Claremont, or a citizen concerned about health and safety code concerns, the Planning and Development department is here to assist you. Although the department acts as an interrelated team, there are three primary subdivisions to help improve our process; economic development, the planning process, and building inspection and code enforcement.
Claremont, New Hampshire
A Connecticut River Byway Waypoint Community
Claremont has a rich history centered on the banks of the Sugar River several miles upstream from its confluence with the Connecticut River. In the early 1800’s, sheep farming was a big industry in the valley and Jarvis Hill. By the mid 1800’s mills had sprung up in Claremont to produce textiles from the wool. The old textile mills still line the Sugar River and the city recently obtained approval for a pedestrian bridge from the mill district over the Sugar River connecting to the newly built Visitor Center. The new economy has brought industrial and office park opportunities in commercial parks in the River Road area.
Claremont today is a diverse community whose attractions range from concerts at the recently restored Claremont Opera House to stock car races at the Claremont Speedway. Kayaks launch at the park on the river, spring features the annual bike races, Arrowhead offers in-town skiing at the back door of the Claremont Middle School and Sugar River Vocational Technical School, the weekly farmer’s markets and the Fall Festival/Chili /Cookoff create opportunities for community.
Claremont is easily accessed by highway, rail or air. Just 6 miles from I-91, it is 11 miles to Ascutney Mountain Resort, 15 miles to Mt. Sunapee State Park and Ski Area, and 25 miles to Okemo. There is a rail station with daily Amtrak service. Claremont Municipal Airport offers a paved 3100’ runway with fuel and general aviation services.
(back to menu)
The primary focus of economic development is to promote vitality in community. This is comprised of a vibrant city center, diverse housing opportunities, the substantive re-use of historic buildings, and the expansion of retail and light industry to create a strong tax base, stable working economy and quality of life for the people of Claremont.
New or expanding businesses:
We are available to send information packets or to host a tour of the city and available sites with prospective businesses. We work with local commercial brokers and property owners to ensure that privately listed properties are exposed to those interested in entering the Claremont market. Our office is often the first point of contact for information about the city and commercial property, and we will assist buyers in familiarizing themselves with the community, workforce and existing businesses. Our goal is to help a business find property that suits their needs.
We also list and are the contact for City of Claremont and Claremont Development Authority (CDA) properties, and can send detailed information regarding those sites. The City requires that all city-owned property be publicly noticed with a Request for Development. Those who respond to these requests will be reviewed for appropriateness of use in the zone, financial ability to finish the project as presented, and in some cases, experience with the type of project. The City Council will then make a decision to grant a purchase and sale on the basis of the information provided and a recommendation from the Planning and Development staff.
The Claremont Development Authority (CDA) is comprised of volunteer community business leaders dedicated to fostering and encouraging the community’s economic development and wealth. They have historically acquired, developed, leased or sold property in the city to achieve this purpose. The CDA markets, leases and sells its own property in much the same way as a real estate office. Buyer brokers should contact the Planning and Development office for information on the commission structure for CDA properties.
Financial programs are sometimes available for business development in concert with the federal government, the CDA and our county finance partner, CRDC. Some businesses expanding or creating new jobs may also be eligible for state grants. Please contact the office for further information.
The Planning and Development Department, working with the Main Street program, also seeks to revitalize the downtown area as new commercial building expands on Washington Street.
To achieve a strong economy requires an outreach to private housing and business development opportunities, state and federal funding options, as well as regular contact with the existing business community in Claremont to assist long term success and growth. This is a critical part of the economic development component of the Planning and Development Department.
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
(back to menu)
The Planning Process
If you are going to build or expand a residence or business in Claremont, you must meet the local zoning, subdivision and site plan regulations. The Planning and Development Department can advise you if you need to file an application for your project, and will give you information on which application to file, and whether you will need to meet with the Planning and/or Zoning Boards or another board or commission. The Planning Board meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, and the Zoning Board meets on the 1 st Monday of the month.
Guide to the Planning Process
Step 1: Review the proposed project for its consistency with the Claremont local land use regulations. Identify any potential issues of concern early in the process.
Step 2: Before an applicant spends too much time and effort with the proposal, meet with the staff of the City Planning and Development office to review the proposal in general terms in order to receive preliminary staff comments and observations.
Step 3: Staff will determine if the application meets the City’s zoning requirements. Zoning issues include front, side and rear setbacks, building separation, lot coverage and minimum land area.
Step 4: Engage the services of a qualified licensed land surveyor or engineer who can assist the applicant in meeting the subdivision and site plan review regulations. Most, but not all proposals, require the assistance of a design professional such as a land surveyor or engineer.
Step 5: Meet with the City’s Technical Review Committee (TRC), which meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, to seek comments from City Department heads relative to a potential application. This is an opportunity to receive input before you meet with the Planning Board. The Planning Board requests that the applicant satisfactory address the TRC comments on the application.
Step 6: The City staff will review the application checklist in order to determine if the potential application is complete. In larger, more complicated projects, the City may require that the applicant provide sufficient funds for the City to conduct an engineering review of the application.
Step 7: Submit a formal application to the Planning and Development office at least 17 days prior to the next scheduled
Planning Board meeting. The Boards and Commissions Coordinator will schedule a public hearing for the application.
Step 8: The applicant or agent will present the plan before the
Planning Board. The Planning Board will act to either approve the application or continue the hearing on the application to a certain date and time.
Step 9: Incorporate comments from the Planning Board into an updated version of the plan.
Step 10: The applicant can request an extension. The application is not considered to be approved and cannot be recorded at the Sullivan County Register of Deeds until all conditions of approval have been met.
Step 11: Larger projects may require site inspections as improvements are being completed. Work with the City staff to coordinate site inspections.
Continue to coordinate with the Planning and Development department on a case by case basis. We are here to help you with any of your questions and work with you to achieve your goals.
(back to menu)
In our everyday lives we all rely on the safety of structures. There is a public need for protection from disaster caused by fire, structural collapse, and general deterioration of the structure. This is the fundamental reason behind the need for building codes and their administration. The intent of the building inspectors is to provide the highest level of expertise possible to protect, life safety, property, and environment through effective plans review and inspection process to ensure code compliancy.
NH RSA- http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/nhtoc.htm
NH Rules - http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/About_Rules/listagencies.htm