Q1: What happens if changes are made to the plan after it has been certified?
A1: If changes are made to the plan, the applicant must go back to the planning board for plan approval. If approved by the Planning Board, the certification will carry over to the new plan and the Certified Sites postings will be updated accordingly. The applicant will not have to reapply for this certification or repay the application fee, although SNHPC’s involvement in addressing requested modifications would be assessed at an hourly rate of $70/hr.
Q2: Why do we need a boundary survey?
A2: A boundary survey is required in order to identify and map the exact perimeter boundary of the parcel. This is done to verify the boundaries and locations shown in the deed on the actual ground. At this point, any easements, encroachments and any other boundary disputes can be detected and resolved, removing potential costs and delays from these issues during the development process.
Q3: Why are we only doing office, industrial, and mixed-use?
A3: Certified sites are limited to these types of land uses due to their greater economic impact to attract new development to the Southern New Hampshire region. The region currently attracts residential and commercial development, however industrial related development, along with their associated economic benefits, has been lagging. The Certified Sites program will encourage these uses by making the region more competitive in attracting new business.
Q4: What is the selection process and who decides if a site becomes certified?
A4: All applications seeking site certification must first be endorsed by the municipal planning Board and meet their zoning and site plan regulations. The application can then be sent to the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC). Upon receipt of the completed application, SNHPC will schedule a tour of the site and offer a recommendation to the Program Administrative Team who will then review the application and render a final decision.
Q5: Can I make changes to my Certified Sites status?
A5: Yes, if an applicant would like to move up the ladder from Level I to Level II or III, a new application will need to be submitted to SNHPC and the Advisory Committee for approval.
Q6: What happens if the site remains unsold after 5 years?
A6: In order to remain a Certified Site, typically all sites will need to be re-certified after 5 years to keep the site information up to date.
Q7: How long does it take for a site to become certified?
A7: An applicant submitting an application to SNHPC for certification could expect upwards of two weeks for approval.
Q8: Why is there an application fee and when is it due?
A8: At this time, we are planning a $1,000 application fee based on the anticipated costs of successfully administering, marketing, implementing and updating the program on a continuous basis from year to year. This fee is due at the time of submission.
Q9: Is this a competitive program with a limited number of certifications per year?
A9: No. Unlike other states’ Certified Sites programs, applicants will not compete with one another for a limited number of certifications.
Q10: How will the sites be marketed?
A10: All the site information gathered from the application will be packaged and consolidated into an electronic marketing file (PDF) and posted on the ReadySetGo! website. Links will be established to the US Certified Sites; New Hampshire Business Resource Center; International Trade Data Network (ITDN); NH CIBOR and New England Commercial Database; PSNH; and Access Greater Manchester websites, including local municipal sites.
Q11: Is there a time period or yearly deadline to apply for site certification?
A11: No, you may apply for certification at any time.
Q12: What is the purpose of the 5-year site plan approval?
A12: This provides the applicant a longer time period to market the certified site.
Q13: What is the purpose of the $25,000 or more in soft costs?
A13: Under New Hampshire State Law, once a site plan is approved by the planning board, the rights of the owner or the owner’s successor shall vest such that the site plan is exempt from subsequent changes in subdivision regulations, site plan regulations, or zoning ordinances for a period of five (5) years provided that the definition of “active and substantial development” under RSA 674:39 is met. A Certified Site would allow a planning board to consider accepting $25,000 or more in soft costs – engineering, architecture, site planning, legal, etc. – towards meeting this definition.