New Hampshire’s Regional Planning Commissions were formally established by the NH Legislature state enabling law in 1969 though the enactment of RSA 36. That statute specifies that regional planning commissions are advisory bodies voluntarily formed by the member communities in their planning regions. The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) region was established in 1981 after the merging of two smaller regional planning commissions that had each been formed in the mid-1970s. The purpose of the RPC’s is to provide technical planning assistance to communities in development of local plans, to foster regional cooperation among communities, and to carry out regional planning in areas such as transportation, land use, water resources, housing, economic development and emergency management.
Like all regional planning commissions, the RPC is governed and controlled by a Board of Commissioners comprised exclusively of representatives appointed by each of the 26 member communities. Communities may either appoint or elect their representatives to their regional planning commission. RPC Commissioners, who are unpaid volunteers, are nominated by their community’s Planning Board and appointed by their Board of Selectmen or City Council.