• Purpose
  • Hearings
  • Master Plan Survey Results
  • Forms

Zoning Ordinance on Canaan March Ballot

  • Only applies to Historic District
  • Does not affect Canaan Village or rest of town
  • Move some existing rules to new ordinance
  • May only be changed by town meeting vote
  • This change initiated by town attorney

  • No new rules are added. This is “legal bookkeeping” to move some existing rules to a new ordinance. Rules that concern appearance, such as color and style of building, will remain in Historic District regulations, and the Historic District Commission determines if those rules are being met. Other rules such as building height, setbacks, and how the building is used will be transferred to new ordinance, and the Building Inspector determines if those rules are being met.

    Historic District rules may be changed by the Historic District Commissioners, who are appointed by the Select Board. Rules transferred to new ordinance may only be changed by town meeting vote.
    All other NH Historic Districts use the above method, which is standard NH legal practice.
    Town attorney says ordinance title and format are required by NH law.

    Existing District Rules https://tinyurl.com/HDC-rul
    Proposed Ordinance https://tinyurl.com/03741-hdz

    Under New Hampshire statutes, Canaan's Planning Board has the following powers and responsibilities:

    • Developing and up-dating the Town's Master Plan
    • Assisting in developing a Capital Improvements Plan
    • Adopting and administering sub-division regulations and driveway requirements
    • Regulation of excavation activities
    • Authorizing building on Class VI town roads (town roads not maintained by the town but available for passage by right of way)

    The Plan

    The Master Plan identifies the resources and needs of the community and recommends a plan for its growth and meeting its needs. It does not restrict growth by regulation. Typically this is done through zoning ordinances. Canaan does not have a town wide zoning ordinance.


    • There are regulations which restrict and manage land within the Canaan Historic District. More information can be learned on the Historic District Commission Page

    • Sub-divisions of property, including the construction of two homes on one lot, are regulated by the Sub-Division Regulations and apply town wide. Forms and checklists can be found on the next tab.

    • Excavation activity is regulated by the Planning Board. The Canaan Excavation Regulations and Permit are available here and an Explanation of Regulations is available here.

    • The Large Wind Energy Systems (LWES) Ordinance is intended is to protect the Town and its residents from unreasonable impacts on our environment, property values, and quality of life. This ordinace only applies when the State of New Hampshire does not assume jurisdiction.

    • Other regulations regarding sites and building can be found on the Building Inspector Page and general information on Canaan Permits can be found on the Land & Construction Permits Guide

    Other Laws

    Furthermore, there are federal floodway regulations that restrict or limit activity in floodways, and there are state laws which regulate shoreline and wetland activities:

    Floodway and Floodplain Regulations

    State of New Hampshire Bureaus & Regulations

    Canaan Planning Board

    Notice of Public Hearings

    Name of Applicant: Ernest J. LaBombard & Priscilla Geoghegan
    Application: Lot Line Adjustment
    Description of Application: Boundary Line adjustment in“back lands”
    Location of Property:
    Grafton Turnpike Road & Hinkson Brook Road,
    Tax Lot 3-17C-2, 3-17C-3
    Date: February 25, 2021 @ 6:45 PM

    The application may be viewed at the town office, or through the online agenda
    https://tinyurl.com/pb-agd where Zoom instructions will also be found.

    In March 2013 a survey was conducted in preparation for revision of the Canaan Master Plan. The survey collected many varied facts and opinions, and those are summarized in this document.

    There were many comment opportunities in the survey. A summary of these comments appears below followed by several links to raw data:

    Forms may be filled out electronically if the Form PDF is opened and saved to your own computer. In some browsers you may need to roll your mouse along the bottom of the PDF to view the Save Menu.

    Forms may be returned to the Town Office at 1169 US Route 4, PO Box 38, Canaan NH 03741