HB 1109 (2022)
Change process for opening/closing roads to OHRVs
Changes the local approval process for allowing OHRVs on class V and class VI roads.
Under current state law, city or town councils and boards of selectmen can vote to open or close sidewalks, class IV, class V, and class VI highways to OHRVs. Generally speaking, class IV and class V highways are roads maintained by a town. Class VI highways include public ways that are not maintained or repaired by the town, like some dirt roads.
This bill would require the "legislative body" of a town to vote on opening or closing roads to OHRVs, rather than the select board. There are a few different government structures for towns and cities in New Hampshire, but for most towns, the “legislative body” would be the voters. In other words, it would take a majority vote at a full town meeting to open or close roads to OHRVs.
The Senate rewrote the bill. The amended bill states that a select board or other governing body may vote to close a road to OHRVs, or limit access, if an abutter can show damage from OHRVs that limits their ability to access their property. This rewritten bill might give property owners a new opportunity to ask to close a road to OHRVs, but the final decision would stay with the select board, not a town meeting.