Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 22.2
Rhode Island Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act

R.I. Gen. Laws 45-22.2-4

 45-22.2-4.  Definitions.

As used in this chapter the following words have the meanings stated herein:

(1) "Agricultural land" means land suitable for agriculture by reason of suitability of soil or other natural characteristics or past use for agricultural purposes.

(2) "Capacity" or "land capacity" means the suitability of the land, as defined by geology, soil conditions, topography, and water resources, to support its development for uses such as residential, commercial, industrial, open space, or recreation. Land capacity may be modified by provision of facilities and services.

(3) "Capital improvements program" means a proposed schedule of all future projects listed in order of construction priority together with cost estimates and the anticipated means of financing each project.

(4) "Chief" means the highest-ranking administrative officer of the division of planning as established by   42-11-10(g).

(5) "Coastal features" means any coastal beach, barrier island or spit, coastal wetland, coastal headland, bluff or cliff, rocky shore, manmade shoreline or dune as outlined and defined by the coastal resources management program, and as may be amended.

(6) "Comprehensive plan" or "comprehensive land use plan" means a document containing the components described in this chapter, including the implementation program which is consistent with the goals and guidelines established by this chapter.

(7) "Days" means calendar days.

(8) "Division of planning" means the office established as a division of the department of administration by   42-11-10(g).

(9) "Floodplains" or "flood hazard area" means an area that is subject to a flood from a storm having a one percent (1%) chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, as delineated on a community's flood hazard map as approved by the federal emergency management agency pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended (Pub. L. No. 90-448), 42 U.S.C. 4011 et seq.

(10) "Forecast" means a description of the conditions, quantities, or values anticipated to occur at a designated future time.

(11) "Goals" means those goals stated in 45-22.2-3.

(12) "Historic or cultural resource" means any real property, structure, natural object, place, landmark, landscape, archaeological site or configuration or any portion or group of the preceding which has been listed on the federal or state register of historic places or that is considered by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission to meet the eligibility criteria for listing on the state register of historic places pursuant to 42-45-5 or is located in a historic district established by a municipality in accordance with chapter 24.1 of this title, Historic Area Zoning.

(13) "Land" means real property including improvements and fixtures on, above, or below the surface.

(14) "Land use regulation" means a rule or statute of general application adopted by the municipal legislative body which controls, directs, or delineates allowable uses of land and the standards for these uses.

(15) "Local government" means any governmental agency authorized by this chapter to exercise the power granted by this chapter.

(16) "Maintain" means to evaluate regularly and revise as needed or required in order to ensure that a comprehensive plan remains consistent with the goals and guidelines established by this chapter.

(17) "Municipal legislative body" means the town council in a town or the city council in a city; or that part of a municipal government that exercises legislative powers under a statute or charter.

(18) "Municipal reviewing authority" means the municipal planning board or commission.

(19) "Open space" means any parcel or area of land or water set aside, dedicated, designated, or reserved for public or private use or enjoyment or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring the open space; provided that the area may be improved with only those buildings, structures, streets, and off-street parking, and other improvements that are designed to be incidental to the natural openness of the land.

(20) "Planning board" or "commission" means the body established by a municipality under chapter 22 of this title or combination of municipalities which has the responsibility to prepare a comprehensive plan and make recommendations concerning that plan to the municipal legislative body.

(21) "State guide plan" means goals, policies, and plans or plan elements for the physical, economic, and social development of the state, adopted by the state planning council in accordance with 42-11-10.

(22) "State or regional agency" means, for the purposes of this chapter, any state agency, department, public authority, public corporation, organization, commission, or other governing body with regulatory or other authority affecting the goals established either in this chapter or the state guide plan. Pursuant to 45-22.2-2, the definition of state and regional agency shall not be construed to supersede or diminish any regulatory authority granted by state or federal statute.

(23) "State agency program or project" State agency program means any non-regulatory, coordinated group of activities implemented for the purpose of achieving a specific goal or objective. State agency project means a specific initiative or development on an identifiable parcel(s) of land.

(24) "Voluntary association of local governments" means two (2) or more municipalities that have joined together pursuant to a written agreement and pursuant to the authority granted under this chapter for the purpose of drafting a comprehensive land use plan and implementation program.

(25) "Wetland" a marsh, swamp, bog, pond, river, river or stream flood plain or bank; an area subject to flooding or storm flowage; an emergent or submergent plant community in any body of fresh water; or an area within fifty feet (50′) of the edge of a bog, marsh, swamp, or pond, as defined in 2-1-20; or any salt marsh bordering on the tidal waters of this state, whether or not the tidal waters reach the littoral areas through natural or artificial watercourses, and those uplands directly associated and contiguous thereto which are necessary to preserve the integrity of that marsh, and as further defined by the RI coastal resources management program, as may be amended.

(26) "Zoning" means the reservation of certain specified areas within a community or city for building and structures, or use of land, for certain purposes with other limitations as height, lot coverage, and other stipulated requirements.

History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 601, 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 431, 2; P.L. 1994, ch. 92, 4; P.L. 2002, ch. 407, 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 286, 7; P.L. 2004, ch. 324, 7; P.L. 2009, ch. 310, 51; P.L. 2011, ch. 215, 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 313, 1.