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Cold River Land Use Controls :

At the time of the riverís nomination for the NH Rivers Management and Protection Program, the following master plans and zoning ordinances existed within the river corridor from Unity downstream to Walpole .

ACWORTH

Comprehensive Master Plan, adopted 1978, amended 1997
Zoning Ordinance, adopted 1970, last amended 1998
Subdivision Regulations, adopted 1972, last amended 1983
Non-Residential Site Plan Review Regulations, adopted 1982
Scenic Road Ordinance

Except for a small area at the village of South Acworth zoned Residential, the land within the corridor in Acworth is in the Rural District. The Rural District provides for residential, agricultural, and small cottage industries on lots a minimum of 3 acres in size. In the village of South Acworth , residences and home offices are permitted at the higher density of 1 acre in keeping with the purpose of the District "to preserve the historic, colonial atmosphere of the villages". The Acworth Zoning Ordinance contains several provisions specifically aimed at protecting surface water quality:

  • Uses which would result in the pollution of ground or surface water, which would permit toxic or hazardous substances to enter ground or surface waters, which would result in soil erosion during or after construction or would result in the sedimentation of surface waters are prohibited.
  • Occupancy of a building with running water is prohibited until an approved septic system is completed and operable.
  • A one hundred foot buffer from the shores of all natural ponds and lakes and all streambanks, including that of the Cold River , is protected by the provisions of the Town's Conservation Zone. Only uses are permitted which do not involve the erection or construction of any buildings or structures. Permitted uses include agriculture, forestry and other open space uses.
  • Further protection within the one hundred foot shoreline buffer is provided by special provisions that must be met prior to obtaining special exceptions from the ZBA for changes, alterations or expansions of nonconforming uses. The requirements include submission of an erosion and sedimentation control plan demonstrating that impaired water quality will not result from the activity and conservation commission review of the proposal. Additionally, no increase in sewage loading is allowed.

The Acworth Subdivision Regulations provide further protection for water resources through the following provisions when developments involve the construction of improvements such as roads and utilities:

  • Subdivider is required to correct any conditions which cause soil erosion or other damage to waterways.
  • Subdivider is required to plan with "due regard" for the preservation and protection of brooks and streams.
  • Planning Board may require detailed grading and drainage plan including proposed soil erosion and sedimentation control measures.
  • Erosion and sedimentation control standards include requirements for retention of natural vegetation, time limits on the disturbance, retaining sediments in runoff on-site, and temporary mulching and seeding during construction.
  • Criteria are included for evaluating potential wetland impacts.
  • Sewage disposal standards include a requirement that the subdivision will not result in the contamination of any watercourse used for recreational purposes.

Wet Acworth road

Acworth's Non-Residential Site Plan Review Regulations contain the requirement that provision be made for the protection of natural features when planning nonresidential development and incorporate the subdivision regulation erosion control requirements by reference.

Acworth has recognized the value of its scenic resources through the designation of four scenic roads within the river corridor. Certain special features of portions of Campbell Road , Ball Road , Grout Hill Road and Gates Mountain Road are subject to careful review prior to alteration.

Acworth Town Website
Acworth Committments to Conservation

ALSTEAD

Master Plan, 1979
Water Resources Management and Protection Plan, 1994
Zoning Ordinance, adopted 1989
Subdivision Regulations, adopted 1989
Floodplain Development Ordinance, adopted 1986

Alstead's Zoning Ordinance provides for the preservation of the "special quality and character of the Town's historic village centers", including Alstead Village alongside the River, through the dimensional and use provisions of the Village District. Surrounding corridor lands in Alstead are part of the Rural Residential District which provides for larger lot sizes and allowance for some uses not appropriate in a village environment. Outside of the corridor, a special Lakeside District exists to protect the special quality of Lake Warren , headwater of the Warren Brook tributary.

The Floodplain Development Ordinance requires a special permit for any proposed development in the 100-year floodplain. New construction and substantial improvements must be elevated or floodproofed, septic systems must be floodproofed, and development which would result in an increase in flood levels is not allowed. Manufactured homes must be anchored as well. In addition, proposed structures on slopes in the floodplain need to include a design for appropriate storm water drainage.

One purpose of Alstead's Subdivision Regulations is to preserve and protect water bodies and water courses and other natural features.

Alstead Town Website
Alstead Committments to Conservation

LANGDON

Master Plan, adopted 1986, amended 92
Zoning Ordinance, adopted 1973

Under Langdon's Zoning Ordinance the whole community is within one district in which residential and agricultural use are allowed. Commercial and industrial uses involving more than one acre, 2,000 square feet, or two or more employees require ZBA review, providing an opportunity for potential water resources impacts to be identified and evaluated.

Langdon Town Website

LEMPSTER

Master Plan, adopted 1987
Subdivision Regulations, adopted 1975

Lempster's Subdivision Regulations provide some protection for water resources through the following provisions when developments involve the construction of improvements such as roads and utilities:

  • Subdivider is required to correct any conditions which cause soil erosion or other damage to waterways.
  • Detailed grading and drainage plans are required.
  • Erosion and sedimentation control standards include requirements for retention of natural vegetation, time limits on the disturbance, retaining sediments in runoff on-site, and temporary mulching and seeding during construction.
  • Sewage disposal standards include a requirement that the subdivision will not result in the contamination of any watercourse used for recreational purposes.

Lempster Town Website
Lempster Committments to Conservation

WALPOLE

Zoning Ordinance, Town of Walpole, adopted 1966, amended 1972
Zoning Ordinance, Village of North Walpole, adopted 1950
Subdivision Regulations, adopted 1966, last amended 1982
Site Plan Review Regulations, adopted 1982
Floodplain Ordinance (within zoning ordinance)

Land use in the Walpole section of the corridor is regulated to the south of the Cold River by the Town of Walpole Zoning Ordinance and to the north by the Village of North Walpole Zoning Ordinance .

The Town of Walpole Zoning Ordinance provides for four different districts within the river corridor. Lands upstream from the Cold River Materials excavation are within the Rural-Agricultural District. The purpose of this district is to provide ample area for the pursuit of agricultural and forestry activities. Together with the Timberland District, this district comprises the bulk of Walpole 's land area, reflecting the importance of natural resources to the community. The property encompassed by the excavation is zoned Industrial to accommodate the excavation activities. The Ordinance provides for Planning Board review of proposed industrial activities for potential offending impacts, including water pollution. In addition, the provisions of RSA 155-E are incorporated by reference. The Cold River village area is zoned Residential-B. In this district, use is primarily limited to residential to ensure continued enjoyment by residents. The lot size is relatively small in keeping with the traditional village atmosphere. Commercial use is provided for along NH 12. Most types of businesses with potential water quality impacts, such as vehicle servicing and industrial uses, require a special exception from the ZBA prior to locating in the Commercial District.

A special exception is required for any use in the Floodplain Overlay District. Mobile homes are prohibited in the 100-year floodplain areas along the River. New construction and substantial improvements must be elevated or floodproofed, septic systems must be floodproofed, and development which would result in an increase in flood levels is not allowed.

To the north of the River, the Village of North Walpole Zoning Ordinance provides for residential use for all of the corridor land with the exception of one small parcel zoned Industrial. The Residential District limits use to residential and customarily associated uses, and provides for the small lot sizes typical of a village atmosphere. In the Industrial District, applicants require Zoning Board approval following review for impacts such as potential water pollution.

Walpole 's Land Subdivision Control Regulations provide some protection for surface water resources by restricting subdivision of floodplains and poorly drained soils and requiring a storm water management plan.

Walpole 's Site Plan Review Regulations provides further protection for surface waters by controlling erosion and sedimentation that may otherwise be associated with nonresidential and multi-family development. In addition, the Regulations enable storm water to become groundwater recharge by enabling the use of permeable pavement.

Walpole Town Website
Walpole Committments to Conservation