Serving the State of New Hampshire Since 1908
Zoning & Land Use

NH Zoning & Land Use Law

Upton & Hatfield is committed to providing prompt and effective services to our municipal clients in the areas of zoning and land use planning, building code and zoning enforcement, subdivision and site plan review, and any appeals related to these matters.

We have represented many planning boards, zoning boards of adjustment, historic district committees, and other land use boards for decades. We believe that our long-term relationships with our municipal clients are the strongest indicators of our ability to represent municipal clients successfully in a professional and cost-effective manner.

Upton & Hatfield has an extensive litigation practice defending decisions by land use boards and the adoption of zoning ordinances and representing cities and towns in code enforcement actions. In addition, we take great pride in our ability to help towns avoid the costs and risks of litigation whenever possible. Our success and experience in municipal land use regulation is why Upton & Hatfield is repeatedly called upon to serve as special counsel when a town’s regular legal counsel is unavailable. Some examples of our decisions before the New Hampshire Supreme Court are listed below.

For further information, please check out our municipal practice group or contact us directly to learn how we can help you.

  • Noonan v. Town of Chichester, ___ N.H. ___ (2020), 2019-0657 (affirming Superior Court dismissal of a mandamus action brought against Town enforcement of Zoning Ordinance.)
  • Nicosia v. Town of Candia, ___ N.H. ___ (2020), 2019-0313 (ZBA’s decision to deny variance request was upheld on appeal.)
  • Dickinson v. City of Concord, ___ N.H. ___ (2019), 2019-0068 (affirming Superior Court’s denial of a Zoning Board of Adjustment appeal that granted several variances to construct a dairy farm operation.)
  • Forster v. Town of Henniker (2015) (this case explored the law governing agriculture and agritourism, and the Town’s ability to regulate both.)
  • Town of Newbury v. Landrigan, 165 N.H. 236 (2013) (this case upheld the Town’s decision to merge two lots under RSA 674:39-aa.)
  • Hannaford Bros. Co. v. Town of Bedford, 164 N.H. 764 (2013) (this case explored the standing of individuals to challenge decisions of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, granting a variance to permit the construction of a large grocery store.)
  • Doyle v. Town of Gilmanton, 155 N.H. 733 (2007) (this case considers the extent of the Planning Board’s authority to adopt subdivision regulations.)

Representative Matters

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Seth Peters, et al. v. Town of Nottingham, Rockingham Sup. Ct.

    Successfully defended Town's denial of a building permit on a substandard right-of-way.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Kulick's v. Town of Winchester, Docket Number 2016-0054

    Successfully defended a challenge to a planning board decision granting a site plan for the construction of a gas station and Dunkin’ Donuts in town. The New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the board properly considered the application under the administrative finality doctrine, properly granted waivers for the site plan, and the applicant’s storm water management plan complied with the town’s storm water regulations.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Doyle v. Town Gilmanton, 155 N.H. 733 (2007)

    Established authority of planning board to establish a buildable area separate and apart from the zoning ordinance.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Forster v. Town of Henniker 167 N.H. 745 (2015)

    The Supreme Court upheld the Town’s position that a wedding center was not accessory to an agricultural use.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Hannaford Bros. Co. v. Town of Bedford, 164 N.H. 764 (2013)

    The Supreme Court found that a supermarket owner did not have standing to appeal the Town’s grant of a variance to a competitor.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Daniels v. Town of Londonderry, 157 N.H. 519 (2008)

    This Supreme Court decision upheld the Town’s decision to approve a cell phone tower and explored the interface of the Federal Telecommunications Act and the law of variances.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Cheryl Poussard, et al. v. Town of Nottingham, Rockingham Sup. Ct.

    The Court affirmed the Zoning Board’s decision and found that the Board’s decision to grant a special exception was neither unlawful nor unreasonable.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Landmark Planning & Development, LLC v. Town of Greenfield

    Town of Greenfield Zoning Board of Adjustment and Town of Greenfield Planning Board, Hillsborough Sup. Ct. Town prevailed on a number of issues involving a major subdivision.

  • Zoning & Land Use Law Tonnesen v. Town of Gilmanton, 156 N.H. 813 (2008)

    This Supreme Court decision upheld the Town’s denial of a special exception for aircraft takeoffs and landings.

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