Towns and Cities
Rhode Island Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act
R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2-13
§ 45-22.2-13. Compliance and implementation.
(a) The municipality is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the plan.
(b) All municipal land use decisions shall be in conformance with the locally adopted municipal comprehensive plan.
(c) Each municipality shall amend its zoning ordinance and map to conform to the comprehensive plan in accordance with the implementation program as required by § 45-22.2-6(b)(11) and § 45-22.2-6(b)(12)(iv). The zoning ordinance and map in effect at the time of plan adoption shall remain in force until amended. In instances where the zoning ordinance is in conflict with an adopted comprehensive plan, the zoning ordinance in effect at the time of the comprehensive plan adoption shall direct municipal land use decisions until such time as the zoning ordinance is amended to achieve consistency with the comprehensive plan and its implementation schedule. In instances of uncertainty in the internal construction or application of any section of the zoning ordinance or map, the ordinance or map shall be construed in a manner that will further the implementation of, and not be contrary to, the goals and policies and applicable content of the adopted comprehensive plan.
(d) Limitations on land use approvals may be imposed according to the following provisions in addition to any other provision that may be required by law.
(1) Nothing in the chapter shall be deemed to preclude municipalities from imposing limitations on the number of building permits or other land use approvals to be issued at any time, provided such limitations are consistent with the municipality's comprehensive plan in accordance with this chapter and are based on a reasonable, rational assessment of the municipality's sustainable capacity for growth.
(2) In the event of a dire emergency not reasonably foreseeable as part of the comprehensive planning process, a municipality may impose a limitation on the number of building permits or other land use approvals to be issued at any time, provided that such limitation is reasonably necessary to alleviate the emergency and is limited to the time reasonably necessary to alleviate the emergency.
(e) A one-time moratorium, for the purpose of providing interim protection for a planned future land use or uses, may be imposed during the twelve (12) months subsequent to the adoption of the local comprehensive plan provided that a change to the zoning ordinance and map has been identified and scheduled for implementation within twelve (12) months of plan adoption. The moratorium shall be enacted as an ordinance and may regulate, restrict, or prohibit any use, development, or subdivisions under the following provisions:
(1) The moratorium is restricted to those areas identified on the map or maps as required by § 45-22.2-6(b)(2)(iii).
(2) A notice of the moratorium must be provided by first class mail to property owners affected by said moratorium at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the public hearing.
(3) The ordinance shall specify:
(i) The purpose of the moratorium;
(ii) The date it shall take effect and the date it shall end;
(iii) The area covered by the moratorium; and
(iv) The regulations, restrictions, or prohibitions established by the moratorium.
(4) The moratorium may be extended up to an additional ninety (90) days if necessary to complete a zoning ordinance and map change provided that: (i) The public hearing as required by § 45-24-53 has commenced; and (ii) The chief approves the extension based on a demonstration of good cause. Said extension shall not be deemed as non-conformance to the implementation schedule.
(f) A moratorium enacted under the provisions of subsection (e) shall not apply to state agencies until such time that the municipal comprehensive plan receives approval from the chief or superior court.
(g) In the event a municipality fails to amend its zoning ordinance and map to conform to the comprehensive plan within the implementation schedule, or by the expiration of the moratorium period, a municipality must amend either their implementation schedule or, if the future land use is no longer desirable or feasible, amend the future land use map.
(1) Failure to comply with this provision within one hundred twenty (120) days of the date of the implementation schedule or the expiration of the moratorium period shall result in the denial or rescission, in whole or in part, of state approval of the comprehensive plan and of all benefits and incentives conditioned on state approval.
(2) An implementation schedule amended under this provision shall not be eligible for an additional moratorium as provided for in subsection (e).
History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 601, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 247, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 179, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 215, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 313, § 1.