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Portsmouth Board and Commission Descriptions

African Burial Ground Committee
The African Burial Ground Committee was established by the Mayor and City Council for the purpose of evaluating the options for recognizing/memorializing the cemetery discovered underneath Chestnut Street. (Membership varies) For further information please contact Assistant City Attorney Suzanne Woodland at 610-7240.
Building Code Board of Appeals
The Building Code Board of Appeals hears and decides appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the building official relative to the application and interpretation of the various city adopted construction codes. (5 members, 2 alternates; 5-year terms) For further information please contact Building Inspector Rick Hopley at 610-7261.
Cable Television and Communications Commission
The Commission has the authority to establish standing subcommittees on matters pertaining to the operation and performance of cable companies within the City. The Commission meets as often as deemed appropriate and necessary to ensure the proper operation of the Franchise Agreement. (5 members, 1 alternate; 2-year term initial appointment, 3-year terms for reappointment) For further information please contact IT Coordinator Alan Brady at 610-7255.
Citizens Advisory Committee
The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is the official advisory board for the City of Portsmouth's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Its role is to advise the City's Community Development staff on emerging community needs and facilitates public involvement in the CDBG program planning process. For further information please contact Assistant Community Development Director David Moore at 610-7226.
Citywide Neighborhood Committee

The Citywide Neighborhood Committee advocates the neighborhoods in Portsmouth to assure that all aspects of City government work through two basic principles; protection and preservation of the quality of our neighborhoods.  General committee meetings consist of steering committee members, representatives from the city’s neighborhood groups and interested community members.  Before appointment to the steering committee, participation in general committee meetings is required.  For further information please contact the current chairperson.

COAST
The Mayor appoints a City Council representative to serve as a liaison with COAST. The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) has served the seacoast region of New Hampshire (Rockingham and Strafford Counties) and Berwick, Maine with affordable, safe transportation since 1982. For further information please contact Public Works Director Steve Parkinson at 766-1420.
Conservation Commission
The Conservation Commission is charged by statute with the protection and proper utilization of the City's natural resources. It considers and makes recommendations to the New Hampshire Wetlands Bureau and/or the City's Planning Board on matters affecting natural resources. The Conservation Commission has an interest in ensuring the proper utilization and protection of natural resources and the protection of watershed resources within Portsmouth. (7 members, 2 alternates; 3-year terms) For further information please contact Environmental Planner Peter Britz at 610-7215.
Dogs Committee, Mayor's Blue Ribbon
The Dogs Committee provides a forum for raising issues related to the dog park and the regulation and control of dogs in Portsmouth. The Committee may make such recommendations to the City Manager and/or the City Council, as it deems appropriate. Meetings are called at the discretion of the chair or convened as directed by the City Council for the review of specific matters. For further information please contact Animal Control Officer at 427-1500.
Economic Development Commission
The role of the Economic Development Commission is to ensure continued economic prosperity and preservation of the qualities that attract and retain businesses in the community. The Commission makes recommendations to the City Council on a wide variety of issues related to economic development, including business development, public-private partnerships, maintenance and development of the commercial, industrial and central business districts, and business attraction programs. (9 members, 4-year terms) For further information please contact Economic Development Program Manager Nancy Carmer at 610-7220.
Fee Schedule Study Committee
In order to create a more efficient system for the City to adopt and adjust municipal fees, a process was adopted to review municipal fees annually. The Fee Committee consists of one City Councilor, the City Manager and a Finance Department representative. For further information please contact Andrew Purgiel at 610-7221.
Historic District Commission

The Historic District Commission reviews exterior changes to buildings and structures located within the Historic District. (7 members, 2 alternates; 3-year terms) For further information please contact Planning Director Rick Taintor at 610-7290.

A.         Membership and Term

l.          Membership:  The Historic District Commission shall consist of seven members and two alternates appointed by the City Council.  One of the members shall be a City Council member and another may be a Planning Board member as provided by State Law.  At least two members shall be residents of the Historic District and at least one member shall be a person owning or being employed in a business within the Historic District.  All appointees must be residents of Portsmouth.  All members are required to have demonstrated interest in and commitment to promote the purposes of historic districting as stated in this Ordinance.  A member's term serving at the time of enactment of this Ordinance shall not be affected.  Future appointments, however, shall be filled in accordance with the provision of this Section.  (Amended 9/21/98; Amended 11/22/2010)

Library Trustees, Board of
Board of Library Trustees adopts bylaws, rules and regulations for the conduct of its own business to determine objectives that will result in the continuing growth and improvement of Library services and establishes policies to attain these objectives. (9 members, 3-year terms) For further information please contact Library Director Mary Ann List at 766-1710.
Portsmouth Economic Development Loan Program Board
The Portsmouth Economic Development Loan Program (PEDLP) Board is an all-volunteer advisory group that assists City staff in reviewing CDBG-funded loan applications and making decisions on loans applied for under the City's for-profit and non-profit loan programs. The loan program for for-profit businesses is not currently accepting applications for new loans. (3-year terms) For further information please contact David Moore at 610-7226.
Planning Board
The Planning Board acts on Site Review, Subdivisions, Lot Line Relocation, City Council Referrals and Conditional Use Permits. (9 members, 2 alternates; 3-year terms) For further information please contact Planning Director Rick Taintor at 610-7290.
Portsmouth Housing Authority
The Portsmouth Housing Authority provides quality housing to people with low and very low incomes; ensures that all residents pay fair and reasonable rents; promotes fair housing to people of all ethnic backgrounds, ages and abilities, and strives to accomplish these goals through quality, caring services. (5 members, 5-year terms) For further information please contact Housing Authority Director Craig Welch at 436-4310.
Portsmouth Housing Endowment Fund Board
The Portsmouth Housing Endowment Fund (PHEF) Board's role is to formulate general policies regarding the operation of the City's first-time homebuyer's program, HomeTown (which is funded through the Portsmouth Housing Endowment Fund), and establish specific policies as the need may arise, dictated by program demands. (7 members, 3-year terms) For further information please contact Assistant Community Development Director David Moore at 610-7226.
Recreation Board
The Recreation Board assists the Recreation Department in planning a citywide recreation program. The Board advises the City Manager and City Council in regard to recreational needs. (10 members, 3-year terms) For further information please contact Recreation Director Rus Wilson at 427-1547.
Site Review Technical Advisory Committee
The Site Review Technical Advisory Committee reviews Site Review Applications for the Planning Board and makes recommendations to the Planning Board. The Planning Board acts on all Site Review applications. For further information please contact Planning Director Rick Taintor at 610-7290.
Sustainable Practices Blue Ribbon Committee
The Committee on Sustainable Practices was established by the Mayor and City Council to help them lead the City toward increased sustainability, a goal of the City's 2005 10 Year Master Plan. The Committee's work focuses on three main areas:
  1. Increasing awareness of the importance and value of sustainable practices among Portsmouth residents, business owners, non-resident employees of Portsmouth businesses, visitors to the City, municipal staff, and other stakeholders;
  2. Advising the City Manager and City Council on improving the sustainability of City operations including such aspects as the energy efficiency of City buildings and vehicles, purchasing guidelines, and alternative fuels; and,
  3. Advising the City Council on a sustainable approach to the future growth and redevelopment of Portsmouth. (7 members)
For further information please contact Environmental Plan ner/Sustainability Coordinator Peter Britz at 610-7215.
Taxi Commission
The Taxi Commission enforces all local and State laws affecting the ownership, licensing and operation of taxicabs in Portsmouth. It ensures that all rules and regulations are enforced and may exercise power of license and permit suspension and/or revocation when it determines that such action is warranted. For further information please contact City Clerk Kelli Barnaby at 610-7207.
Traffic and Safety Committee
The Traffic and Safety Committee is a nine-member committee appointed by the Mayor and City Council to address all traffic safety issues within the City of Portsmouth, including signs, traffic lights, striping, plan reviews of new development, and other pedestrian/vehicular-related problems.
Trustees of Trust Funds, Board of
The Trustees of Trust Funds have the fiduciary responsibility for the City's Trust Funds. The Trustees also oversee the management and operations of Prescott Park under the guidelines of the Prescott Trust. (3 members, 3-year terms) For further information please contact City Attorney Robert Sullivan at 610-7204.
Vendors Committee
The Vendors Committee enforces all local rules and regulations relative to the operation of vendors in the City of Portsmouth. For further information please contact City Clerk Kelli Barnaby at 610-7207.
Zoning Board of Adjustment
The Zoning Board of Adjustment hears and decides requests for variances from the terms of the Zoning Ordinance, requests for Special Exceptions as allowed by the Zoning Ordinance, and appeals of Administrative Decisions. (7 members, 2 alternates; 5-year terms) For further information please contact 610-7328.
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