About the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC)

History

Established in 1959, the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) is the oldest of New Hampshire’s nine regional planning commissions. Formed by the City of Nashua and the Town of Hudson to address highway congestion and coordinate land use development, that same spirit of regional cooperation and problem-solving characterizes the commission’s activities today.

Now serving 13 municipalities, including Nashua and Hudson as well as Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Litchfield, Lyndeborough, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, Pelham, and Wilton, the Commission focuses on developing and implementing innovative planning strategies that preserve and improve the quality of life in Southern New Hampshire.

Mission

NRPC’s mission is to provide leadership, facilitation and coordination for member communities in implementing the regional vision.

NRPC serves as a resource to support and enhance local planning, provides a forum for communities to share information, and coordinate land use, environmental and transportation planning at the regional level, and provides a clear voice for the region at the State and Federal levels.

NRPC provides its member communities with comprehensive planning services addressing environmental, land use, transportation, and regional planning issues as well as offering mapping and data services that utilize the latest technologies.

Approach

The commission’s maxim, Value Yesterday. Enhance Tomorrow. Plan Today. characterizes NRPC’s integrated and results driven approach to planning. In a region with a long and storied history, the commission strives to honor the past and preserve its historic traditions while contributing to make the region the best possible place to live, work, and play both today and for the benefit of future generations.

NRPC’s skilled staff and acumen at collaborating with multiple and diverse parties results in planning that is innovative, inclusive, technically sound, and driven by public involvement. The Commission’s commitment to meeting the highest professional standards has been recognized with a formal recognition from the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Responsibilities

New Hampshire’s nine Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) receive their legislative authority from RSA 36:45-53. Under NH state law, a RPC’s primary duties are to prepare a comprehensive master plan for the development of the region, provide technical assistance to local municipalities, compile a regional housing needs assessment every five years, and conduct other studies as needed to implement the provisions of the regional plan. 

In addition to providing specialized planning services for member communities, NRPC serves as a liaison between communities and a number of state agencies, such as the Departments of Transportation, Environmental Services, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Office of Energy and Planning, as well as University of New Hampshire.  

The Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Nashua NH Urbanized Area (UZA). The MPO is the transportation policy-making organization for the region. It is made up of representatives from local government and transportation authorities, including NHDOT, FTA, FHWA and Nashua Transit System. The purpose of the MPO is to administer the federal transportation process and ensure that investments in transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3-C”) planning process. The MPO must successfully administer this process in order to acquire and spend federal money on transportation improvements in the region. The MPO provides individuals and communities a voice in how transportation resources are prioritized and allocated in the region.

In 2012 the Nashua MPO was designated as a Transportation Management Area or TMA. As a TMA the Nashua MPO must administer a Congestion Management Process and is afforded the opportunity to program Surface Transportation Program funds and Transportation Alternatives funds which are sub-allocated to the region.