TOWNS, CITIES, VILLAGE DISTRICTS, AND UNINCORPORATED PLACES
POWERS OF CITY COUNCILS
Bylaws and Ordinances
47:17 Bylaws and Ordinances.
The city councils shall have power to make all such salutary and needful bylaws as towns and the police officers of towns and engineers or firewards by law have power to make and to annex penalties, not exceeding $1,000, for the breach thereof; and may make, establish, publish, alter, modify, amend and repeal ordinances, rules, regulations, and bylaws for the purposes stated in this section. Provisions in this section granting authority to establish and collect fines for certain violations shall not be interpreted to limit the authority hereunder to establish and collect fines for any other violations:
I. In General. To carry into effect all the powers by law vested in the city.
II. Order and Police Duty. To regulate the police of the city; to prevent any riot, noise, disturbance, or disorderly assemblages; to regulate the ringing of bells, blowing of horns or bugles, and crying goods and other things; and to prescribe the powers and duties of police officers and watchmen.
III. Disorderly Houses and Gaming. To suppress and restrain disorderly houses and houses of ill-fame, gambling houses and places, billiard tables, nine or ten pin alleys or tables and ball alleys, and all playing of cards, dice or other games of chance; to restrain and prohibit all descriptions of gaming and fraudulent devices; and to authorize the destruction and demolition of all instruments and devices used for the purpose of gaming.
IV. Sale of Liquor. To establish regulations for groceries, stores, restaurants, and places of public amusement; to authorize the entry of proper officers into all such places to inspect the same, and the seizure and forfeiture of all liquors and the instruments used or designed to be used in the manufacture or sale of the same, in violation of law.
V. Shows. To regulate or prohibit the exhibitions of natural or artificial curiosities, caravans, circuses, theatrical performances, or other shows.
VI. Porters, Vehicles, Etc. To license and regulate porters, cartmen and cartage, runners for boats, stages, cars, and public houses, hackney coaches, cabs, and carriages, and their drivers; the care and conduct of all animals, carriages, and teams, standing or moving in the streets; to prevent horse-racing and immoderate riding or driving in streets and on bridges; and to prevent cruelty to animals.
VII. Use of Public Ways. To regulate all streets and public ways, wharves, docks, and squares, and the use thereof, and the placing or leaving therein any carriages, sleds, boxes, lumber, wood, or any articles or materials, and the deposit of any waste or other thing whatever; the removal of any manure or other material therefrom; the erection of posts, signs, steps, public telephones, telephone booths, and other appurtenances thereto, or awnings; the digging up the ground by traffic thereon or in any other manner, or any other act by which the public travel may be incommoded or the city subjected to expense thereby; the securing by railings or otherwise any well, cellar, or other dangerous place in or near the line of any street; to prohibit the rolling of hoops, playing at ball or flying of kites, or any other amusement or practice having a tendency to annoy persons passing in the streets and sidewalks, or to frighten teams of horses within the same; and to compel persons to keep the snow, ice, and dirt from the sidewalks in front of the premises owned or occupied by them.
VIII. Traffic Devices and Signals.
(a) To make special regulations as to the use of vehicles upon particular highways, except as to speed, and to exclude such vehicles altogether from certain ways; to regulate the use of class IV highways within the compact limits and class V highways by establishing stop intersections, by erecting stop signs, yield right of way signs, traffic signals and all other traffic control devices on those highways over which the city council has jurisdiction. The erection, removal and maintenance of all such devices shall conform to applicable state statutes and the latest edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
(b) The commissioner of transportation shall only approve the installation and modification of traffic signals as to type, size, installation, and method of operation.
IX. Combustibles. To regulate the keeping, conveying and places of deposit of gunpowder and other combustible and dangerous materials; the use of candles, lights, and matches in barns, stables, and other buildings containing combustible and dangerous materials; to regulate the erection or use of buildings within the most compact part of the city, for any purpose which in the opinion of the city councils shall more immediately expose said city to destruction by fire, and to define the limits of such compact part.
X. Stock at Large. To regulate, restrain, or prohibit the keeping or running at large of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, geese, goats and other poultry and animals, or any of them, to create the limits of districts within which the same may be kept and the conditions and restrictions under which they may be kept.
XI. Dogs. To regulate the keeping of dogs and their running at large, require them to be licensed, and authorize the destruction of those kept or running at large contrary to the ordinance.
XII. Markets, Sales. To establish markets and market-places; regulate the place and manner of selling and weighing hay, selling pickled and other fish, and salted and fresh provisions; selling and measuring wood, lime, coal, and other heavy articles; and to appoint suitable persons to superintend and conduct the same; to prevent and punish forestalling and regrating; and to restrain every kind of fraudulent device and practice.
XIII. Vagrants, Obscene Conduct. To restrain and punish vagrants, mendicants, street beggars, strolling musicians, and common prostitutes, and all kinds of immoral and obscene conduct, and to regulate the times and places of bathing and swimming in the canals, rivers and other waters of the city, and the clothing to be worn by bathers and swimmers.
XIV. Nuisances. To abate and remove nuisances; to regulate the location and construction of slaughterhouses, tallow chandlers' shops, soap factories, tanneries, stables, barns, privies, sewers, and other unwholesome or nauseous buildings or places, and the abatement, removal or purification of the same by the owner or occupant; to prohibit any person from bringing, depositing, or having within the city any dead carcass or other unwholesome substance; to provide for the removal or destruction, by any person who shall have the same upon or near such person's premises, of any such substance, or any putrid or unsound beef, pork, fish, hides, or skins, and, on such person's default, to authorize the removal or destruction thereof by some officer of the city; to authorize and provide for the collection, removal, and destruction of garbage and other waste material, to make necessary regulations relative thereto, and to provide for payment therefor by assessment, or appropriation, or both. A municipality may create fines for violations related to garbage and other waste material regulations and a procedure for the administrative enforcement of such violations and collection of penalties as provided in RSA 48-A:8, VI, or in any other manner authorized by law.
XIV-a. Interfering With Voters. To regulate the distribution of campaign materials or electioneering or any activity which affects the safety, welfare and rights of voters at any election held for any purpose in such city. Such power shall not extend to the display of printed or written matter attached to any legally parked motor vehicle, nor shall such power extend to activities conducted wholly on private property so as not to interfere with people approaching or entering a polling place.
XIV-b. Local Election Reporting Requirements. Requiring the reporting of contributions to, and expenditures by, any candidate or political committee made for the purpose of influencing the election of any candidate for local elective office, or any person or committee for the purpose of influencing the vote on any local ballot or referendum question.
XV. Miscellaneous. Relative to the grade of streets, and the grade and width of sidewalks; to the laying out and regulating public squares and walks, commons, and other public grounds, public lights, and lamps; to trees planted for shade, ornament, convenience, or use, and the fruit of the same; to trespasses committed on public buildings and other public property, and in private yards and gardens; in relation to cemeteries, public burial grounds, the burial of the dead, and the returning and keeping records thereof, and bills of mortality, and the duties of physicians, sextons and others in relation thereto; relative to public wells, cisterns, pumps, conduits, and reservoirs; the places of military parade and rendezvous, and the marching of military companies with music in the streets of the city; relative to precautions against fire; relative to oaths and bonds of city officers, and penalties upon those elected to such offices refusing to serve; and relative to licensing and regulating butchers, petty grocers, or hucksters, peddlers, hawkers, and common victualers; dealers in and keepers of shops for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metals or second-hand articles, and pawnbrokers; under such limitations and restrictions as to them shall appear necessary. They may make any other bylaws and regulations which may seem for the well-being of the city; but no bylaw or ordinance shall be repugnant to the constitution or laws of the state; and such bylaws and ordinances shall take effect and be in force from the time therein limited, without the sanction or confirmation of any other authority whatever.
XVI. Warnings and Citations. To establish a procedure for the issuance of warnings and citations for the violation of health, fire, planning board, building, licensing, zoning, and housing codes and ordinances.
XVII. Drug-Free Zones. Establish as a drug-free zone any area inclusive of public housing authority property and within 1,000 feet of such public housing authority property. If such drug-free zones are established, the municipality shall publish a map clearly indicating the boundaries of such drug-free zone, which shall be posted in a prominent place in the district or municipal court of jurisdiction, the local police department, and on the public housing authority property. The municipality shall also develop signs or markings for the drug-free zone which shall:
(a) Be posted in one or more prominent places in or near the public housing authority property; and
(b) Indicate that the posted area is a drug-free zone which extends to 1,000 feet surrounding such property; and
(c) Warn that a person who violates RSA 318-B, the controlled drug act, within the drug-free zone, shall be subject to severe criminal penalties under RSA 318-B and a penalty of up to $1,000 under this paragraph.
XVIII. Automobile Parking Controls. The city councils shall have the authority to adopt such bylaws and ordinances as are necessary to control the parking, standing and stopping of automobiles within the city limits, including ordinances allowing for the towing or immobilization of automobiles for nonpayment of parking fines and creating parking fines recoverable by means of civil process.
XIX. Businesses Obtaining City Permits. To establish regulations relative to businesses obtaining city permits.
Source. 1846, 384:17. GS 44:11. GL 48:10. PS 50:10. 1905, 10:1. 1907, 35:1. 1915, 55:1; 98:1. 1923, 15:1. PL 54:12. 1935, 117:2. 1941, 35:1. RL 66:13. RSA 47:17. 1961, 26:1. 1971, 512:9. 1981, 298:2. 1983, 166:2. 1986, 102:1. 1991, 74:1; 364:7. 1993, 183:1. 1996, 268:1, 5. 2006, 202:1. 2007, 43:2. 2009, 270:2, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.