Planning Department


Is there ARSENIC in your well water?

Click here for more info.


NHDES Be Well Informed  - An Interactive Private Well Treatment App

This interactive app is designed to help people with a lab report containing water quality results from their private well to determine appropriate water treatment technology to remove one or more common groundwater contaminante found in NH.


Welcome to the Pelham New Hampshire Planning Department website.  Inside you will find information for the Planning Department, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Conservation Commission, building application permits and forms, and Pelham's zoning ordinance and development regulations.  This site serves as a reference for a very active town Planning Department, and while every effort is made to keep it current, you should always refer directly to the Planning Department office if you have any questions.

Attention: Because the Planning/Building Office closes promptly at 4:00 pm no building permits will be issued after 3:45 pm due to the processing time. We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from this process. Thank you!

Click here to send a message to the main Planning Department email


In accordance with RSA 675:3-7, the Pelham Planning Board held a  public hearing to discuss zoning amendments proposed for the 2017 Town Meeting on January 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Pelham Municipal Center, 6 Village Green, Pelham, New Hampshire.  The proposed amendments are described as follows:

  1. DRAFT Changes to the Pelham Zoning Ordinance, Article XI Signs which is a complete re-write to comply with a June 18, 2015 Federal Supreme Court decision (Reed v Town of Gilbert, AZ). The re-write eliminates references to sign messages to preserve free speech rights and instead restricts signs based entirely on the zone in which they are to be used and to size, physical sign type, etc.”  In 309-71-1 Signs within the Business and Industrial Districts Table of Requirements this revision also allows full color electronic messaging displays provided:
    1.  there is only one per property;
    2.  they cannot exceed 3 x 5 sq. ft.;
    3.  the LEDs must display static messages with a minimum of 3 second intervals between images with no flashing or animation;
    4. the signs must also be dimmed at dusk to protect driver safety and visual character as described in 307-66-1 Purpose. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CHANGES AS APPROVED BY THE PLANNING BOARD.
  1. DRAFT Changes to the Pelham Zoning Ordinance, Article XII Special Exceptions Section 307-74 Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).  This revision complies with RSA 674:71-73 by making the following changes to the requirements for ADUs::
    1. ADUs must be attached to the primary dwelling with a common wall between;
    2. may contain two bedrooms where currently restricted to one;
    3. no longer can be limited to relatives or caregivers of the property owner;
    4. may be up to 800 sq. feet where now restricted to 750 sq. ft.;
    5. the primary dwelling and ADU must be under the same ownership;
    6. not allowed on lots that are less than one acre in size except approved Conservation Subdivision lots or lots within the MUZD;
    7. No home occupations may be operated from the primary dwelling or the ADU. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CHANGES AS APPROVED BY THE PLANNING BOARD.
  1. DRAFT changes to the Pelham Zoning Ordinance, Article IX Senior and Elderly Housing;
    1. Eliminates provisions allowing 55+ housing but preserves 62+ Elderly housing, Assisted Living and Congregate Care developments;
    2. increases required land area from 10,000 to 15,000 sq. ft. of usable land per unit;
    3. increases buffers to abutting properties from 50 to 100 feet with discretion given to the Planning Board to require additional buffering;
    4. requires all units to be fully ADA compliant;
    5. requires a club house for stand-alone and duplex Elderly Housing developments. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CHANGES AS APPROVED BY THE PLANNING BOARD.
  1. Changes to the Pelham Zoning Ordinance by Petition, Article IV Establishment of Districts, Section 307-18 Table of Uses to allow Warehousing and Storage as uses within Pelham Business District #5. The Planning Board will vote to “Recommend” or to “Not Recommend”. CLICK HERE TO READ THE PLANNING BOARD VOTED TO RECOMMEND THIS CHANGE .

The full text of all proposed amendments is available from the Planning Department or by clicking on the links above in red.

Sanborn-Head Planning Board presentation on 10/3/16

Groundwater in Bedrock Aquifers:
Development Considerations


  • Background on groundwater in bedrock aquifers
  • Overview on the effects of pumping groundwater from a bedrock well and concept of adequate yield
  • Steps that could be taken to anticipate potential impacts of groundwater pumping from development

The video of this meeting can be accessed HERE

The unapproved Planning Board Meeting Minutes can be accessed HERE



Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Jeff Gowan Planning Director 603-635-7811
Jennifer Hovey Planner/Zoning Administrator 603-508-3085
Sandra Dufresne Planning Office Manager 603-508-3086
John Lozowski Code Compliance Official 603-508-3095
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