Please use the links provided below to access helpful information within the "FAQs" area.
Building Permit Questions
Public Works Questions
Fire Permit Questions
Police Department Questions
What is the current tax rate per thousand?
Answer: The official 2015 tax rate is $41.47 per thousand.
What is the current assessment level (ratio)?
Tax Year 2015: 102.8%
When was the last time there was a city wide evaluation?
I am thinking of adding an addition to my property, can you tell me what the change in property assessment might be?
Answer: Although, we try to accommodate all inquiries to this office, it is near impossible to forecast with any degree of accuracy these types of what-if scenarios. As such, we do not calculate hypothetical assessments.
When does the tax year start and end?
Answer: The tax year starts on April 1st and ends on March 31st.
Building Permit Questions
How do I know when I need a permit?
Answer: Building permits are required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace an electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system which this code regulates. It is the Permit Holder’s responsibility to contact the Building Inspector for ALL inspections 603-542-7030.
How can I apply for a Building Permit?
Answer: You can apply for a Building Permit in one of four ways:
- Go to the Planning and Development Office located downstairs in the Claremont Visitors Center Building at 14 North Street.
- Download the online form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with all necessary supporting documentation
- Mail the application and supporting documentation to: Chief Building and Code Enforcement Officer, Department of Planning and Development, 14 North Street, Claremont, NH 03743.
- Fax the application and supporting documentation to the building inspector at 603-542-7033.
What repairs can I do without a permit?
Permits shall not be required for the following:
- One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (IBC) and 200 square feet for residential use for one and two family.
- Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
- Oil derricks.
- Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or IIIA liquids.
- Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2:1.
- Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
- Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
- Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 925 L) and are installed entirely above ground.
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes, not including service systems.
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one- and two-family dwellings.
- Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Groups R-3 and U occupancies.
- Non-fixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.
- Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 m2) in area, that are not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4 of the IRC.
Repairs and maintenance: Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
Radio and television transmitting stations: The provisions of this code shall not apply to electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions, but do apply to equipment and wiring for a power supply and the installations of towers and antennas.
Temporary testing systems: A permit shall not be required for the installation of any temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.
- Portable heating appliance.
- Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
- Portable heating appliance.
- Portable ventilation equipment.
- Portable cooling unit.
- Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
- Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.
- Portable evaporative cooler.
- Self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds (5 kg) or less of refrigerant and actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
- The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
- The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
105.2.1 Emergency repairs. Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.
105.2.2 Repairs. Application or notice to the building official is not required for ordinary repairs to structures, replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
Business Development Questions
How do I open a business in Claremont?
Answer: A potential business owner should contact the City Business Development Specialist at 603-542-7008 or email email@example.com and set up an appointment to discuss which approach best fits your needs.
The Department of Planning and Development
14 North St, Claremont, NH 03743
Public Works Questions
What is the function of the Department of Public Works?
Answer: The Department of Public Works is staffed by thirty-seven full time employees who carry out the following duties:
- Maintain 120 miles of roads - including snow plowing, snow removal, salting, sanding, grading, pothole patching, and sweeping
- Maintain a fleet of 80 vehicles - to include preventative maintenance, repair, diagnostics and fabrication
- Maintain 1,700 catch basins - to include cleaning, inspecting, and replacing
- Maintain 650 culverts - to include repairing and replacing
- Maintain 48 miles of roadside drainage - to include shoulders and ditch lines
- Maintain 40 miles of sidewalk - to include snow/ice removal; salting and sanding
- Maintain thousands of feet of guardrails
- Maintain 1,500 signs
- Maintain 70 miles of water distribution mains
- Maintain 2 water storage tanks
- Maintain 2 water pump stations
- Maintain 3 reservoirs
- Maintain hydrants - to include flushing and exercising gates
- Read and replace water meters
- Maintain 50 miles of sewer lines
- Maintain 1,130 manholes
- Maintain 6 sewer pump stations
- Provide cemetery maintenance and year round burials for 5 cemeteries
- Provide transfer station services two days per week
Why is the Department of Public Works divided into two (2) divisions?
Answer: The department has (2) divisions - Highway and Utility.
- The Highway Division is funded completely by the taxpayer.
- The Utility Division, which is responsible for water and sewer services, is funded by users.
When is the Transfer Station open, and how do I pay?
Answer: The Transfer Station, located at the top of Newport Road, is open on Tuesday and Saturday between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The attendants MAY NOT accept cash, checks, or credit cards. Users must purchase a dump ticket from the City Clerk at City Hall, or from the office of Golden Cross Ambulance on Lincoln Heights. Tickets cost $20.00 (each bag of disposable trash costs $3.00 which is deducted from the value of the ticket at the time of use until the ticket is used up). There is no entrance fee nor is there a fee for recyclable items.
How do I discard of my raked leaves?
Answer: The department picks up leaves/grass clippings in the spring and in the fall. All debris must be bagged in thirty gallon lawn refuse bags that are biogradeable. These bags may be purchased at hardware, grocery, and department stores.
Who should I call if my sewer backs up?
Answer: All types of sewer related calls should be addressed to the Department of Public Works at 542-7020. The phone message system will refer all "after hour" emergency calls to the Police Department.
The Utility Division of the Department of Public Works will respond to all sewer back-up calls and immediately check the main service line. If the main is clear, the customer will be instructed to call a plumber or sewer contractor.
What is a sewer backflow preventor?
Answer: Backflow preventors are devices with special valves that allow sewage to pass through to the main and then close to prevent any type of sewer back-up into a basement. Sewer users should consult a plumber for more information pertaining to the installation, maintenance, and cost.
How do I avoid a sewer back-up?
Answer: Sewer users should strive to be aware of any changes in the system. They should never flush bulky waste such as kitty litter, rags, paper towels, diapers, etc., into the system.
Users should never pour grease or toxic materials into the sewer system.
When are water/sewer bills mailed?
- Bills for the first semi billing will be sent out in February with a payment due in March.
- Bills for the second semi billing will be sent out in August with a payment due in September.
Fire Permit Questions
When is a Fire Permit required?
Answer:A written fire permit is required for the kindling of a fire when the ground is not completely covered with snow where you are burning. If the ground is snow covered, you are still required to contact the Claremont Fire Department at 542-5156.
What can I burn once I have a permit?
Answer: Material must be clean ordinary combustibles. Only leaves, woody debris or brush less than 5 inches in diameter, or untreated wood and dimension lumber can be burned. Items that CANNOT be burned include, but are not limited to: Tires, tubes, plastics, shingles and foam rubber.
When can I burn once I have a permit?
Answer: Burning is allowed with a permit from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. NO fire shall be kindled between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. except while actually raining (permit still needed).
Where can I burn once I have a permit?
Answer: Fires must be no closer than 50 feet from a structure Questions may be directed to the Claremont Fire Department at 542-5156.
What do I need for fire protection?
Answer: A hose, shovel or rake, and a bucket of water should be available at the fire. You are liable for the costs if the Fire Department is contacted to extinguish your escaped fire.
What if I do not own the land that I will be burning on?
Answer: You must have written permission from the landowner prior to applying for a fire permit.
How old must I be to obtain a fire permit?
Answer: You must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a fire permit
What if someone complains about the fire?
Answer: Air pollution officials could require a fire be put out if there are smoke complaints.
What if I have to leave the fire?
Answer: Your fire must be attended at all times, or completely extinguished. A buried fire is not an extinguished fire.
What if I violate the permit regulations?
Answer: If a fire department official identifies that the permit regulations have been violated you may be issued a written warning or lose your open burning privileges
Police Department Questions
Where is the Police Station located?
Answer: Facing the City Hall we are on the left of City Hall, down the alley, up the stairs to the left, and then through two glass doors.
How many officers in the department?
Answer: the Claremont Police Department is currently budgeted for a full time officer strength of 24 members
What is the procedure for collecting a debt on bad checks?
Answer: Send the individual a certified 14 day notice of the bad check.
How can I get a report for an accident, incident, or arrest?
Answer: If you want a report for an accident and you have insurance you should have your insurance company request it because they will pay the charge of $20 for a report. If it is an incident or arrest report the report can be requested by the person who is being charged. However, if the individual requesting the report has been named in the report they can have the report as well. If a juvenile is in the report somehow the report can not be given out . Juveniles are protected by the law because they are under age. A good guideline to follow is to first check with prosecutor.
What are the hours for fingerprinting?
Answer: Wednesday from 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm. Friday's 8am to 11am.
Why can't I park on the street at night during the winter?
Answer: A Winter Parking Ban is in effect from November 1st thru April 30th. No parking is allowed on city streets between midnight and 7:00 AM. Tickets will be issued accordingly
What if I live within the Historic District?
Answer: It is unlawful for any person to construct, alter, modify, repair, move or demolish any building, structure, sign or improvement which lies within the historic district without first obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic District Commission.
Activities Requiring Certificate of Appropriateness (the following activities shall be reviewed by the Historic District Commission whether or not such activity requires the issuance of a permit):
- Erection, construction, alteration, major repair or rising of a building structure.
- Erection, alteration or removal of any exterior, visible feature of a building structure.
- Alteration (including grading), excavating, tree removal, and/or paving a site.
- Erection, or alteration of a sign affixed to a building, painted on a building or window, or hanging inside a window. Temporary signs shall not be in place for more than three months.
- Addition or alteration of exterior siding (e.g. vinyl, aluminum, stucco, wood, glass, etc.) of a building or structure.
- Painting in part or whole of an unpainted stone or masonry building.
- Method of paint removal.
Exceptions (do not require Certificate of Appropriateness); the Historic District is NOT required to review the following activities:
- Ordinary maintenance and repair of any architectural features which do not involve removal of and/or a change in design, materials or outer appearance.
- Painting or repainting of a wood surface and/or an already painted masonry surface.
- Roofing or re-roofing (with the same material) of a building or structure providing the roof plane remains the same.
- Storm doors and storm windows providing that the original architectural features are not removed or destroyed.
Review Criteria (In making a determination on an application, the Historic District Commission shall give consideration to the following):
- The historical, architectural, or cultural value of the building or structure and its relationship and contribution to the setting.
- The compatibility of the exterior design, arrangement, texture, and materials proposed to be used in relationship to the existing buildings or structures and their setting, or if new construction, to the surrounding use.
- The scale and general size of buildings or structures in relationship to existing surroundings including consideration of such factors as the building's overall height, width street frontage, number of stories, roof type, façade openings (windows, doors, etc.) and architectural details.
- Other factors, including yards, off-street parking, screening, fencing, entrance drives, sidewalks, signs, lights, and/or landscaping which may affect the character of any building or structure within the district, and similar factors which relate to the setting for such structure or grouping of structures.
- The impact that the applicant's proposal will have on the setting and the extent to which it will preserve and enhance historic, architectural, and cultural qualities of the district and community.
- To include the adoption of the criteria and guidelines set forth in the "Secretary of Interior's Guidelines for Rehabilitation".
What Building Codes does Claremont abide by, and where can I see copies?
Answer: The City of Claremont enforces the following building codes:
- International Building Code 2009
- International Plumbing Code 2009
- International Mechanical Code 2009
- International Energy Conservation Code 2009
- National Electric Code 2011
Copies of the codes are available for review by contacting the Building Inspector at 603-542-7030 for an appointment.
How long will it take to acquire my permit?
Answer: You should allow minimally one week for your permit.
How will I receive my permit?
Answer: You will be called when the permit has been approved and prepared. The individual will call and advise the amount of the permit fee and that it is available to be picked up at the office. If you have paid for the permit at the time of application, you can request that the permit will be mailed to the individual who has applied for the permit.
What fees are involved?
Answer: You can find the fees on the Fee Schedule located on the Applications, Forms & Registrations page.