Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Ordinance (2020)

25.0 Impact Fees (adopted March, 2001)

25.1 Purpose. (Amended March 2011.)

This ordinance is enacted pursuant to RSA 674:21, and in order to:

  1. Promote the public health, safety, welfare and prosperity;
  2. Assist in the implementation of the Master Plan and Capital Improvements Program;
  3. Enable the Town of Wilton to assess an equitable share of the cost of public capital facilities to new development in proportion to its demand on those facilities;
  4. Provide authority for the Planning Board to adopt proportionate impact fee assessments, and related regulations for administration thereof.

25.2 Definitions.

25.2.1 Impact Fee.

A fee or assessment imposed upon development, including subdivision, building construction or other land-use change, in order to help meet the needs occasioned by the development for the construction or improvement of capital facilities owned or operated by the Town of Wilton, including and limited to water treatment and distribution facilities; wastewater treatment and disposal facilities; sanitary sewers; storm water, drainage and flood control facilities; public road systems and rights-of-way; municipal office facilities; public school facilities; the municipality’s proportional share of capital facilities of a cooperative or regional school district of which the municipality is a member; public safety facilities; solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, processing and disposal facilities; public libraries; and public recreation facilities, not including open space.

25.2.2 New Development.

For the purpose of impact fee assessment, new development may include the following land use changes: (March 2011)

  1. The construction of any new dwelling unit; or
  2. Changes to an existing structure that would result in a net increase in residential living area or the number of dwelling units (Amended March 2018); or
  3. Construction of a new commercial/industrial building or any net increase in the gross floor area of an existing commercial/industrial building; or
  4. The conversion of an existing use to another use that is determined by the Planning Board, to result in a measurable net increase in the demand on the public capital facilities that are the subject of impact fee assessment; however,
  5. New development shall not include the replacement of an existing manufactured housing unit or the reconstruction of a structure that has been destroyed by fire or natural disaster where there is no change in size, density, or type of use that would increase the demand on capital facilities for which impact fees are assessed.

25.2.3 Off-Site Improvements.

Improvements that are necessitated by a development but which are located outside the boundaries of the property that is subject to a subdivision or site plan approval by the Planning Board, and limited to necessary highway, drainage, and sewer and water upgrades pertinent to that development. (March 2011)

25.2.4 School District.

The Wilton School District, the Wilton-Lyndeborough School District, or another regional or cooperative school district of which the Town of Wilton becomes a member municipality. (March 2011)

25.3 Authority to Assess Impact Fees.

The Planning Board is hereby authorized to assess Impact Fees, as herein defined, and in accordance with the standards herein set forth. The Planning Board shall have the authority to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this ordinance. The Impact Fee Schedule is separate from this ordinance and is reviewed and amended as set forth in the Review and Establishment of Fees section below. The Impact Fee Schedule shall be located in Appendix VIII. (Amended March 2004.)

25.4 Assessment Methodology.

The amount of any impact fee shall be a proportional share of municipal capital improvement costs which is reasonably related to the capital needs created by new development, and to the benefits accruing to new development from the capital improvements financed by the fee. Upgrading of existing facilities and infrastructures, the need for which is not created by new development, shall not be paid for by impact fees. (Amended March 2011)

25.5 Administration of Impact Fees. (Amended March 2004.) Imposition of Impact Fees.

  1. Any person who, after the initial date of adoption of an Impact Fee Schedule, seeks to undertake new development within the Town of Wilton, New Hampshire, by applying for a building permit or permit for manufactured home installation and who is not vested under RSA 674:39, is hereby required to pay impact fees in the manner set forth in this Section.
  2. No new building permit or new permit for manufactured home installation or any activity requiring payment of an impact fee pursuant to this Section of this Ordinance shall be issued unless and until the public capital facilities impact fees hereby required have been determined.
  3. Impact Fees assessed to new development on lots created as part of a new subdivision of land shall be subject to the Impact Fees set forth in the Impact Fee Schedule in effect at the time and date of subdivision approval and recording at the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds (HCRD). The fee schedule in effect at the time of the subdivision approval shall remain applicable to development on those lots for a period of time as determined by RSA 674:39, or five years in the event no time is specified in the statute. Subsequent construction on those lots will be subject to the fee schedule in effect at the time a building permit application is received. (Amended March 2011, March 2018)


Each impact fee shall be accounted for separately, shall be segregated from the Town’s general fund, may be spent upon order of the Board of Selectmen, and shall be used solely for the capital improvements for which it was collected, or to recoup the cost of capital improvements made in anticipation of the needs for which fees are collected to meet.


Impact fees shall be assessed at the time of Planning Board approval of a subdivision or site plan. When no Planning Board approval is required, or has been made prior to the adoption or amendment of the impact fee ordinance or fee schedule, impact fees shall be assessed prior to, or as a condition for, the issuance of a building permit or other appropriate permission to proceed with development. (Amended March 2011)


Between the date of assessment and collection, the Planning Board may require developers to post security, in the form of cash bond, letter of credit or performance bond so as to guarantee future payment of assessed impact fees.


Impact fees shall be collected as a condition for the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. (Amended March 2011)


The Planning Board and the assessed party may establish an alternate, mutually acceptable schedule of payment of impact fees.

25.6 Return of Impact Fees.


If the full impact fee assessed under this Ordinance is not encumbered or otherwise legally bound to be spent for the purpose for which it was collected within six (6) years, the fee shall be refunded to the owner of record of the assessed property, with any accrued interest. (Amended March 2011)


Whenever the calculation of the impact fee has been predicated upon some portion of capital improvement costs being borne by the Town or School District, a refund shall be made upon the failure of the Town or School District to appropriate its share of the capital improvement costs within six (6) years from the date of payment thereof. (Amended March 2011)

25.7 Other Authority Retained.


This ordinance shall not be deemed to affect the existing authority of the Planning Board over subdivisions and site plans, including, but not limited: (Amended March 2011)

  1. The authority to declare a development to be premature or scattered in accordance with the regulations of the Board and in accordance with RSA 674:36, II(a); and
  2. The authority to impose exactions for off-site improvements necessitated by a development during the subdivision or site plan review process, in accordance with RSA 674:21, V (j).

25.8 Review and Establishment of Fees. (Adopted March 2004.)

Pursuant to the authority to administer Innovative Land Use Controls under RSA 674:21, II, the Impact Fee Schedule shall be set in accordance with RSA 674:21, V, (a), and shall be reviewed every three years, starting in 2020, and amended by the Planning Board as required. The Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing, after providing proper public notice, for the review of the fee schedules. The Impact Fee Schedule approved shall become effective upon certification by the Town Clerk. (Adopted March 2004, March 2020.)

25.9 Waiver of Impact Fees (Adopted March 2011)

The Planning Board may grant full or partial waivers of impact fees to an assessed property, subject to its finding that the proposed development meets one or more of the applicable conditions set forth below:

  1. Age-Restricted Housing. In the event that school impact fees are imposed, a full or partial waiver of the school impact fee may be granted for residential units that are lawfully restricted to exclusive occupancy by persons age 62 or older within a development that is maintained in compliance with the provisions of RSA 354-A: 15, Housing For Older Persons. The Planning Board may waive school impact fee assessments on such age-restricted units where it finds that those units will be bound by lawful deeded restrictions for a period of at least 20 years on occupancy by persons age 62 or older. (Amended March 2020)
  2. Other Contributions to Capital Facility Imrprovement. The Planning Board may agree to waive all or part of an impact fee assessment and accept in lieu of a cash payment, a proposed contribution of real property or facility improvements of equivalent value and utility to the public. Prior to acting on a request for a waiver of impact fees under this provision that involves a contribution of real property or the construction of capital facilities, the Planning Board shall submit a copy of the waiver request to the Board of Selectmen for its review and consent prior to its acceptance of the proposed contribution. The value of contributions or improvements shall be credited only toward facilities of like kind, and may not be credited to other categories of impact fee assessment. Full or partial waivers of impact fees may not be based on the value of exactions for off-site improvements.
  3. Alternative Calculation. An applicant may apply to the Planning Board for a waiver of a portion or the full amount of the impact fee where such waiver application is accompanied by an independent fee calculation that documents the proportionate capital facility cost attributable to the development. The Planning Board shall review such study and may approve a waiver if it finds that the alternative calculation more accurately accounts for the relevant capital facility costs attributable to the development. All costs incurred by the Town for the review of such a study shall be paid by the applicant.

25.10 Appeal of Impact Fee Assessment (Adopted March 2011)

  1. A party aggrieved by a decision made by the Building Inspector or other Town official relating to an administrative decision in the assessment or collection of impact fees authorized by this Article may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as provided by RSA 676:5, as amended.
  2. A party aggrieved by a decision of the Planning Board under this Article may appeal such decision to the Hillsborough County Superior Court as provided by RSA 677:15, as amended.