Chapter 503
2016 -- H 7456
Enacted 07/20/2016

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Winfield, Marshall, Williams, Costantino, and Craven
Date Introduced: February 04, 2016

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Section 45-24-37 of the General Laws in Chapter 45-24 entitled "Zoning
Ordinances" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     45-24-37. General provisions -- Permitted uses. -- (a) The zoning ordinance provides a
listing of all land uses and/or performance standards for uses which that are permitted within the
zoning use districts of the municipality.
      (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the following uses are permitted
uses within all residential zoning use districts of a municipality and all industrial and commercial
zoning use districts except where residential use is prohibited for public health or safety reasons:
      (1) Households;
      (2) Community residences; and
      (3) Family day care homes.
      (c) Any time a building or other structure used for residential purposes, or a portion of a
building containing residential units, is rendered uninhabitable by virtue of a casualty such as fire
or flood, the owner of the property is allowed to park, temporarily, mobile and manufactured
home, or homes, as the need may be, elsewhere upon the land, for use and occupancy of the
former occupants for a period of up to twelve (12) months, or until the building or structure is
rehabilitated and otherwise made fit for occupancy. The property owner, or a properly designated
agent of the owner, is only allowed to cause the mobile and manufactured home, or homes, to
remain temporarily upon the land by making timely application to the local building official for
the purposes of obtaining the necessary permits to repair or rebuild the structure.
      (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, appropriate access for people
with disabilities to residential structures is allowed as a reasonable accommodation for any
person(s) residing, or intending to reside, in the residential structure.
      (e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an accessory family dwelling
unit in an owner-occupied, single-family residence shall be permitted as a reasonable
accommodation only for family members with disabilities or who are sixty-two (62) years of age
or older. The appearance of the structure shall remain that of a single-family residence and there
shall be an internal means of egress between the principal unit and the accessory family dwelling
unit. If possible, no additional exterior entrances should be added. Where additional entrance is
required, placement should generally be in the rear or side of the structure. When the structure is
serviced by an individual, sewage-disposal system, the applicant shall have the existing or any
new system approved by the department of environmental management. The zoning-enforcement
officer shall require that a declaration of the accessory family dwelling unit for the family
member, or members, and its restrictions be recorded in the land-evidence records and filed with
the zoning-enforcement officer and the building official. Once the family member, or members,
with disabilities or who are sixty-two (62) years of age or older, no longer reside(s) in the
premises on a permanent basis, or the title is transferred, the property owner shall notify the
zoning official in writing, and the accessory family-dwelling unit shall no longer be permitted,
unless there is a subsequent, valid application.
      (f) When used in this section the terms "people with disabilities" or "member, or
members, with disabilities" means a person(s) who has a physical or mental impairment which
that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as defined in § 34-37-3 §42-87-1(7) of
the general laws.
      (g) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, plant agriculture is a permitted
use within all zoning districts of a municipality, including all industrial and commercial zoning
districts, except where prohibited for public health or safety reasons or the protection of wildlife
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2017.