• Purpose
  • Hearings
  • Master Plan Survey Results
  • Forms

Under New Hampshire statutes, Canaan's Planning Board has the following powers and responsibilities:

  • Developing and up-dating the Town's Master Plan
  • Assisting in developing a Capital Improvements Plan
  • Adopting and administering sub-division regulations and driveway requirements
  • Regulation of excavation activities
  • Authorizing building on Class VI town roads (town roads not maintained by the town but available for passage by right of way)

The Plan

The Master Plan identifies the resources and needs of the community and recommends a plan for its growth and meeting its needs. It does not restrict growth by regulation. Typically this is done through zoning ordinances. Canaan does not have a town wide zoning ordinance.


  • There are regulations which restrict and manage land within the Canaan Historic District. More information can be learned on the Historic District Commission Page

  • Sub-divisions of property, including the construction of two homes on one lot, are regulated by the Sub-Division Regulations and apply town wide. Forms and checklists can be found on the next tab.

  • Excavation activity is regulated by the Planning Board. The Canaan Excavation Regulations and Permit are available here and an Explanation of Regulations is available here.

  • The Large Wind Energy Systems (LWES) Ordinance is intended is to protect the Town and its residents from unreasonable impacts on our environment, property values, and quality of life. This ordinace only applies when the State of New Hampshire does not assume jurisdiction.

  • Other regulations regarding sites and building can be found on the Building Inspector Page and general information on Canaan Permits can be found on the Land & Construction Permits Guide

Other Laws

Furthermore, there are federal floodway regulations that restrict or limit activity in floodways, and there are state laws which regulate shoreline and wetland activities:

Floodway and Floodplain Regulations

State of New Hampshire Bureaus & Regulations

Canaan Planning Board

Notice of Public Hearings

Lot Line Adjustment, 219 Clark Hill Road

Thursday, January 14, 2021, 6:45 PM
Meeting will be held via Zoom only.

This will increase 219 Clark Hill Road from 3 acres to 23 acres, and increase road frontage by 248 feet. See Current Agenda for Zoom instructions and application details.


To Consider Adoption of Zoning Ordinance in Canaan Historic District

Monday, January 25, 2021, 10:00 AM
Meeting will be held via Zoom.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing via Zoom on Monday, January 25, 2021 at 10:00 AM to receive testimony and comments on a proposed Zoning Ordinance, which may then be voted upon at the upcoming 2021 March town meeting. This ordinance will create a single zoning district that will be coterminous with the already existing Canaan Historic District. The proposed zoning seeks to regulate within that single zoning district permissible uses, dimensional requirements, nonconforming uses and structures, signage, special exceptions, and includes definitions for key terms. This is a continuation of the January 11, 2021 public hearing.
The proposed ordinance and Zoom instructions to participate in the public hearing may be viewed at this link: https://tinyurl.com/ADU-HDC or at the town office.

In March 2013 a survey was conducted in preparation for revision of the Canaan Master Plan. The survey collected many varied facts and opinions, and those are summarized in this document.

There were many comment opportunities in the survey. A summary of these comments appears below followed by several links to raw data:

Forms may be filled out electronically if the Form PDF is opened and saved to your own computer. In some browsers you may need to roll your mouse along the bottom of the PDF to view the Save Menu.

Forms may be returned to the Town Office at 1169 US Route 4, PO Box 38, Canaan NH 03741