Enable Virtual Public Meetings for Planning and Zoning Boards in NH

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In an effort to keep the economy moving forward during these tumultuous times of Covid 19, we need to keep the process of real estate development and construction moving forward in New Hampshire.  If we do not, this will have a far lasting impact on our economy that may resonate for years.  The real estate development process is reliant on public input and public hearings in order to gain approval.  If those meetings don't take place, the process will stop.  If the process stops during approvals, then construction never starts further impacting NH's future economy.

Public hearings and meetings can take place in a virtual setting.  It has been done in business and across college and university campuses for decades.  Unfortunately, there are many towns and communities here in NH who are unsure how to do this or even if they are allowed to do this.

We are calling on Governor Chris Sununu of NH for the following:

Allow and encourage for both state and local municipal boards to continue with standard timelines and regularly scheduled board hearings through a virtual meeting template, such as Zoom. This includes, but is not limited to, historic district commissions, conservation commissions, planning and zoning boards.

Allow and encourage board members, city staff, design professionals and the public to participate through an open video forum and email regardless of city or town charter.

Provide state guidelines on how the local municipalities should conduct meetings and insist that mandated timelines for board decisions be maintained.