City of Manchester, NH Official Website

Conservation

Mission

Since its formation in 1989, the Manchester Conservation Commission has worked to preserve the City's natural resources for the benefit of its citizens and wildlife. Protection of these resources improves water and air quality, preserves rare species of plants and animals, provides recreational and educational opportunities, and helps mitigate the impacts of storms and flooding. Some of the Commission's responsibilities include:

  • Advising the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services on applications to disturb wetlands in the City;
  • Cataloging, researching, and planning for the protection of the City's natural resources, including watersheds, open spaces, wetlands, and endangered species;
  • Acquiring property interests in land for the City to hold in conservation and maintaining their quality;
  • Promoting conservation activities and cleanups of ponds and other natural places;
  • Advising other City boards, such as the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, on environmental impacts of development

Members

The Manchester Conservation Commission is a seven-member, volunteer, advisory board established by local ordinance (Chapter 32). All members are appointed by the Board of Mayor & Alderman and serve three-year terms.

Name Title Term Exp.
Guerra, Guy Chairman August 1, 2018
Brady, Jack Member August 1, 2018
Golon, Nicholas Treasurer August 1, 2017
Alexion, John Member August 1, 2017
Peter Capano Vice Chairman August 1, 2017
Bourgeois, Edgar Member August 1, 2018
Cole, Brenton Member August 1, 2018
Vacant Alternate  
Vacant Alternate  

Contact Information

Manchester Conservation Commission
c/o City of Manchester Planning and Community Development Department
One City Hall Plaza
Manchester, NH 03101
(603) 624-6450
pcd@manchesternh.gov

Meetings

Meetings are held on the Wednesday before the first Thursday of each month.  This usually, but not always, results in meetings occurring on the first Wednesday of the month.  The purpose of this schedule is to coordinate with the Manchester Planning Board, which meets on the first Thursday of each month.  The Commission has chosen to meet immediately prior to the Planning Board's meetings to ensure that applicants required to meet with both boards can move through the approval process as quickly as possible.  Please check the 2017 Planning and Community Development Calendar for specific dates of meetings.  Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. in the second-floor conference room of City Hall.  All meetings are open to the public, the Meeting Minutes and Agendas are available on the website, and most meetings are recorded by Manchester Public Television.

2017 Meeting Schedule

The following meeting dates are planned at the beginning of the calendar year and are subject to change.  Please refer to the agendas, linked on the right of this page, for any changes of schedule close to the meeting date.  All meetings occur at 5:30 in the second-floor conference room of City Hall, unless otherwise noted on the agenda.

  • January 4
  • February 1
  • March 1
  • April 5
  • May 3
  • May 31
  • July 19
  • September 6 
  • October 4
  • November 1
  • December 6

Appearing Before the Commission

The Commission encourages all residents of Manchester with environmental issues to discuss, and all property owners thinking of impacting wetlands, water bodies, or other natural resources in the City, to speak with the Commission.  Please contact the Commission's staff at the phone number or e-mail address listed above to get on the Commission's agenda.

Pursuant to Subsection 4.5 of the Manchester Subdivision and Site Plan Review Regulations, the Manchester Planning Board solicits the opinion of the Commission when environmental issues are present in an application to the Planning Board.  When such a request is made, the applicant must meet with the Commission.  After the meeting, the Commission usually sends a written recommendation to the Planning Board.  Please refer to Subsection 4.5 for details. 

Pursuant to Article 6.09 of the Zoning Ordinance for the City of Manchester, the Manchester Zoning Board of Adjustment must confer with the Commission prior to granting a variance to the required 25-foot setback from wetlands, if the proposed project is not already under the Planning Board's jurisdiction.  In such instances, an applicant should meet wtih the Commission.  The Commission will usually provide a written recommendation to the ZBA after the meeting. 

Purusant to RSA 482-A, the Commission must be notified of all applications to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for dredging or filling of wetlands.  RSA 482-A:11 provides that the Commission has only 14 days in which to preserve its right to comment on an application, once that application is filed with the Manchester City Clerk.  As the Commission meets monthly, this 14-day window is usually an inadequate amount of time for an applicant to attend a Commission meeting and for the Commission to provide any comment to NHDES.  Accordingly, when the Commission receives notice of a dredge-and-fill permit that has been filed prior to meeting with the Commission, the Commission summarily sends a letter to NHDES requesting 40 days to investigate and comment on the application.  To avoid a possible 40-day slowdown in the state's permitting process, applicants should meet with the Commission prior to submitting a dredge-and-fill permit to DES.

Wetland Inventory and Maps

In 2004, West Environmental Services presented the Manchester Conservation Commission with a comprehensive wetland inventory for the city.  Adoption of this inventory by the Commission satisfied one of the commission's primary duties, as provided for in both state law and in the City of Manchester Code of Ordinances, which is to maintain an index of marshlands, swamps, and other wetlands.  In 2015, the Commission built on the wetland inventory by retaining West Environmental to identify the most important wetlands in the city and digitizing their locations, so that they could be mapped.  West Environmental completed the work that same year and provided the Commission with maps of the wetlands, which can be accessed here - Overall MapHackett HillMassabesic LakeCohas Brook.  The planning staff has created a detailed map that shows where the wetlands fit in with many of the city's features.  The Commission relies on the wetland inventory and the maps as tools in its environmental stewardship.        

Links of Interest:

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