City of Franklin, NH
Merrimack County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Planning Board of the City of Franklin 4-28-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Board — See Ch. 77.
Zoning — See Ch. 305.
Site plan review — See Ch. 402.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 403.
These rules of procedure are adopted under the authority of RSA 676:1.
A. 
The Franklin Planning Board shall consist of nine members. The Mayor and one Council member designated by the City Council as an ex officio member shall serve on the Board with power to vote along with seven members at large appointed by the Mayor.
B. 
Selection, qualification, term, removal of members and filling of vacancies shall conform to RSA 673.
C. 
In addition, three alternate members may serve on the Planning Board as authorized by RSA 673:6.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4]
D. 
Each newly elected or appointed (including reelected or reappointed) member shall be sworn in and take an oath of office as required by RSA 42:1.
E. 
The Secretary shall forward to the Municipal Clerk for recording the appointments and expiration dates of the terms of each member of the Board.
A. 
The officers of the Board shall be as follows:
(1) 
Chairperson. The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings and hearings and shall perform other duties customary to the office.
(2) 
Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson shall preside in the absence of the Chairperson and shall have the full powers of the Chairperson on matters that come before the Board in the absence of the Chairperson.
(3) 
Secretary. The Secretary shall keep a full and accurate record of the proceedings of each meeting, issue notices of all meetings, record the names of the members present, notify applicants and abutters of hearings and prepare such correspondence and fulfill such duties as the Chairperson may specify. In the absence of the Secretary, the Chairperson shall appoint a Secretary Pro Tem to keep records of the meetings.
B. 
The officers of the Board shall be elected annually during the month of January by a majority vote of the Board. If requested by a majority of those present, voting shall be by written ballot.
A. 
Regular meetings should be held at least once a month, usually in the Council Chambers, City Hall, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Other meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Board at a time and place to be determined.
[Amended 3-23-2005]
B. 
Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or in his/her absence by the Vice Chairperson or at the request of three members of the Board, provided that public notice and notice to each member is given at least 48 hours in advance of the time of the meeting. The notice shall specify the purpose of the meeting.
C. 
Nonpublic sessions shall be held only in accordance with RSA 91-a:3.
D. 
Quorum.
(1) 
The presence of five members, including alternates sitting in place of regular members, shall constitute a quorum.
(2) 
If any regular Board member is absent from a meeting or hearing or disqualifies him/herself from sitting on a particular application, the Chairperson shall designate one of the alternate members to sit in place of the absent or disqualified member. Such alternate shall have all the powers and duties of a regular member in regard to any matter under consideration on which the regular member is unable to act. The alternate should continue until the matter is completed. The regular member does not vote on that matter.
E. 
Disqualification.
(1) 
If any member finds it necessary to be disqualified from sitting on a particular case, as provided in RSA 673:14, he/she shall notify the Chairperson as soon as possible so that an alternate may be requested to fill the place. The disqualification shall be announced by either the Chairperson or the member before the discussion or the public hearing on the matter.
(2) 
If uncertainty arises as to whether a Board member should disqualify him/herself, on the request of that member or the request of another member of the Board, the Board shall vote on the question of whether that member should be disqualified. Such request and vote shall be made prior to or at the commencement of any required public hearing. A vote on a question of disqualification shall be advisory and nonbinding and may not be requested by persons other than Board members.
F. 
Order of business shall be as follows:
(1) 
Call to order by Chairperson.
(2) 
Roll call by the Secretary, as necessary.
(3) 
Minutes of previous meeting.
(4) 
Hearings on subdivision/site plans.
(5) 
Unfinished business.
(6) 
Reading of communications directed to the Board or City Planner.
(7) 
Report of City Planner.
(8) 
Other business; public comment.
(9) 
Adjournment, to occur no later than 11:00 p.m. At the discretion of the Board, a regular session and/or public hearing may be continued until completion.
G. 
A motion, duly seconded, shall be carried by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present. Voting shall be by voice vote or show of hands or, if requested, by roll call and shall be recorded in the minutes.
A. 
Applications for hearings before the Board shall be made on forms and shall be presented to the staff Secretary, who shall sign and record the date of receipt. All applications must be received a minimum of 20 working days prior to the next available (or scheduled) meeting date.
B. 
Notice shall be given as required in RSA 676:4, I(d), 10 days before a completed application is submitted to the Board.
C. 
Completed applications shall be accepted by a majority vote of the Board and shall be scheduled for consideration within 30 days of submission.
D. 
The Board shall reject all applications not properly completed.
All forms prescribed herein and revisions thereof shall be adopted by resolution of the Board and shall become part of these rules.
A. 
Public notice of the submission of, and public hearings on, each application shall be posted at the Franklin Public Library and in the lobby of the Franklin City Hall not less than 10 days prior to the date fixed for submission and consideration of the application.
B. 
Personal notice shall be made by certified mail to the applicant and all abutters not less that 10 days prior to the date fixed for submission and consideration of the application.
The conduct of pubic hearings shall be governed by the following rules:
A. 
The Chairperson shall call the hearing in session, identify the applicant or agent and ask for the Secretary's report on the proposal.
B. 
The Secretary shall read the application and report on the manner in which public and personal notice was given.
C. 
Members of the Board may ask questions at any point during the presentation.
D. 
Any party to the matter who desires to ask a question of another party must go through the Chairperson.
E. 
Any applicant, any abutter or any person with a direct interest in the matter may testify in person or in writing. Other persons may testify as permitted by the Board at each hearing.
F. 
Each person who speaks shall be required to state her/his name and address and indicate whether she/he is a party to the matter or an agent or counsel to a party to the matter.
G. 
The applicant or agent shall be called to present the proposal and to answer questions.
H. 
Those in favor, in opposition or with a question regarding the application pending shall be allowed to speak.
I. 
Other parties, such as representatives of town departments and other town boards and commissions, who have an interest in the proposal shall be allowed to present their comments in person or in writing.
J. 
The Chairperson shall indicate whether the hearing is closed or adjourned pending the submission of additional material or information or the correction of noted deficiencies. In the case of an adjournment, additional notice is not required if the date, time and place of the continuation is made known at the adjournment.
A. 
The Board shall render a written decision within 90 days of the date of submission of a completed application, subject to extension or waiver as provided in RSA 676:4.
B. 
The Board shall act to approve, conditionally approve, table or disapprove.
C. 
Notice of decision will be made available for public inspection at the office of the Board within 72 hours after the decision is made, as required in RSA 676:3. If the application is disapproved, the Board shall provide the applicant with written reason for this disapproval.
A. 
The records of the Board shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be made available for public inspection at the office of the City Clerk as required by RSA 676:3, II.
B. 
Minutes of the meeting, including the names of Board members, persons appearing before the Board and a brief description of the subject matter, shall be open to public inspection within 144 hours of the public meeting as required in RSA 91-A:2, II.
A. 
The Planning Board may hold joint meetings and hearings with other land use boards, including the Board of Adjustment, the Conservation Commission and the City Council. Each board shall have discretion whether or not to hold such joint meeting or hearing (RSA 676:2).
B. 
Joint business meetings with another local land use board may be held at any time when called jointly by the Chairpersons of the two boards.
C. 
A joint public hearing must be a formal public hearing when the subject matter of the hearing is within the responsibilities of the boards convened.
D. 
The Planning Board Chairperson shall chair all joint meetings and public hearings when the subject matter involves the Planning Board.
E. 
The rules of procedure for joint meetings and hearings, the subject matter of which involves the Planning Board, shall be the same as these rules of procedure, except that the order of business shall be as follows:
(1) 
Call to order by Chairperson.
(2) 
Introduction of members of both boards by Chairperson.
(3) 
Explanation of reason for joint meeting/hearing by Chairperson.
(4) 
In the case of a public hearing relative to a requested permit or an application for a plat approval, or both, the applicant shall be called to present his or her proposal.
(5) 
Adjournment.
F. 
Each board involved in a joint public hearing makes its own decision, based on its criteria for the particular matter.
[Amended 3-23-2005]
These rules of procedure may be amended by a majority vote of the members of the Board, provided that such amendment is read at one meeting immediately preceding the meeting at which the vote is to be taken. The amended procedures shall be filed with the City Clerk and be available for inspection and/or purchase in the Planning and Zoning Office.