Planning Board Administrative Officer

The Planning Board Administrative Officer is responsible for reviewing development applications to ensure their conformance with the Portsmouth Land Development and Subdivision Regulations. These regulations are intended to promote development that is consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Community Plan and the Zoning Ordinance, and will accomplish the following purposes:

  1. Provide for the orderly, thorough and expeditious review and approval of land developments and subdivisions;
  2. Promote high quality and appropriate design and construction of land developments and subdivisions;
  3. Protect the existing natural and built environment and to mitigate all significant negative impacts by the proposed development on the existing environment;
  4. Promote design of land developments and subdivisions that are well integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods;
  5. Provide a thorough technical review of the proposed land development or subdivision;
  6. Apply consistent procedures for local record keeping on all matters of land development and subdivision review, approval and construction;
  7. Protect the public health, safety and welfare; and
  8. Assure the orderly growth and development of the Town of Portsmouth.

Land Developments and Subdivisions

There are four types of land developments that are reviewed by the Town. These are defined in the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations and the Zoning Ordinance as follows:

Administrative Subdivision - Re-subdivision of existing lots which yields no additional lots for development and involves no creation of streets. Such re-subdivision shall only involve divisions, mergers and mergers and divisions or adjustments of boundaries of existing lots. Administrative subdivisions are generally reviewed for approval by the Administrative Officer. The Planning Board must review all other plans

Minor Subdivision – A plan for a residential subdivision consisting of five (5) or fewer units or lots, provided that such subdivision does not require waivers or modifications of the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations. All nonresidential subdivisions shall be considered as major subdivisions.

Major Subdivision – Any subdivision not classified as either an administrative subdivision or a minor subdivision.

Land Development Projects – Projects as provided in the Zoning Ordinance as a Land Development Project including, but not limited to Planned Unit Developments and/or Residential Open Space Developments. All Land Development Projects shall be considered as major land development plans.

Review Stages

Pre-application Meetings and Concept Review – Applicants for both minor and major subdivisions and land developments are required to attend at least one pre-application meeting with town officials. The meeting will allow the applicant to meet with the appropriate town officers and boards for advice and guidance relative to the approval process. It is also the purpose of these meetings to promote the sharing and discussion of conceptual plans and to allow the town professional staff opportunity for input.

Minor Subdivision – Minor Subdivision review consists of two principal stages: Preliminary and Final. A public hearing will also be required if a street creation or extension is involved.

Major Subdivision and Land Development Projects – Major Subdivision and Land Development Project review consists of three stages: Master plan, Preliminary Plan and Final Plan. A public informational meeting at Master Plan and a public meeting at Preliminary Plan are also required.

Administrative Fees

The fees established for land development and subdivisions are shown in the Portsmouth Planning Board Fee Schedule.