NH Dock Bill Fails

New Hampshire Bill SB119, which would have would have allowed seasonal docks to be extended from 30 to 40 feet on lakes less than 1,000 acres and from 40 to 50 feet on lakes greater than 1,000 acres, did not pass the state Senate in a recent vote (the bill did pass the House).

The bill was vigorously opposed by the advocacy group NH Lakes, on the grounds that it “appeared to constitute a potential taking, or at least further intrusion into public waters, without any apparent justification.” NH Lakes also believes that such dock extensions, without agency oversight, would likely increase the number of abutter conflicts, create navigational safety issues, and restrict other uses of public waters.

NH Lakes instead recommended that the Senate utilize the work of the dock study commission envisioned in HB1810, currently enrolled for the Governor’s signature, relative to establishing a commission to study the effectiveness of the current statutes related to management of non-tidal public water ways and the construction or placement of structures (i.e., docks) within them.