CLAREMONT — The Claremont Planning Board aims to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to limit how long residents may park a recreational vehicle (or RV) in a single space, which may impact the use of recreational vehicles and tiny homes.
Mayor Charlene Lovett reported that a New Hampshire legislative committee, comprised of three state representatives and one state senator, is studying codes and regulations for tiny houses, in order for the state assembly to consider allowing them in New Hampshire.
Lovett said that because New Hampshire has no statute regarding tiny houses, even if a community’s zoning ordinance allowed for one, the owner would run the risk of needing to modify the house should it fail to comply with later regulations by the state.
The committee’s study is expected to include definitions of tiny houses and codes and regulations for such homes. The assembly aims to consider a bill for approval next session.
Claremont’s closest dwelling comparable to a tiny house, located on East Green Mountain Road, is actually classified as a “RV,” according to Claremont Planning Director Scott Osgood.
Claremont’s zoning bylaws do include an ordinance relating to recreation vehicles, Osgood said. Claremont’s ordinance primarily characterizes an RV as being a temporary living space. An RV should be mobile, though Osgood said that Claremont’s ordinance does not go so far as to include, say, having a motor or being drivable.
“If it can be used like an RV, it can be treated like an RV,” Osgood said.
Unlike some communities, however, Claremont’s ordinance does not specify how long an RV can park on a particular property. Though Claremont’s ordinance defines an RV as temporary quarters, not permanent, the ordinance lacks a definition of what “temporary” means, making it difficult to enforce.
Osgood recommended that the planning board include a time specification, saying that towns with similar ordinances include a limit for RV parking, though that length varies from one ordinance to the next.
“Some set the limit at 90 days, some at 180,” Osgood said.
The planning board asked to add a discussion of the ordinance revision to a future agenda.
Public hearing for waste transfer station postponed
Osgood told the planning board that representatives of American Recycling & Disposal, which has proposed a waste transfer station next to the railroad tracks on Industrial Boulevard, will not have their site plan ready for presentation to the planning board on Monday, Aug. 26, and that the applicants will request an extension instead.
“They’re putting together a plan, but the engineer said that looking at the schedule he didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Osgood said.