Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 22.2
Rhode Island Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2-9

§ 45-22.2-9. State review of local comprehensive plans.

(a) There is established a program of comprehensive planning review to promote the preparation and implementation of local comprehensive plans, and to provide technical and financial assistance to accomplish this purpose. The program also ensures that all local comprehensive plans are consistent with the goals, findings, and intent as established by this chapter and the state guide plan.

(b) The chief is designated as the reviewing agent, and is responsible for carrying out the provisions of this chapter and ensuring that the findings, intent, and goals of this chapter are achieved. The chief shall publish guidelines for the preparation of comprehensive plan content required by § 45-22.2-6.

(c) The chief shall review any comprehensive plan or amendments adopted under the provisions of this chapter for consistency with the goals and intent established in the chapter and in the state guide plan, and in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) Comprehensive plans or amendments shall be submitted to the chief within thirty (30) days of adoption by the municipal legislative body, pursuant to §  45-22.2-8(b)(2).

(2) Within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of a comprehensive plan the chief shall solicit comments from the public, regional and state agencies, and all municipalities contiguous to the municipality submitting the plan or amendment. The comment period shall extend for thirty (30) days and shall be posted on the division of planning website.

(3) Review of the plan or amendment, and comments by the chief shall be completed and forwarded to the municipality as follows:

(i) Within one hundred twenty (120) days of the end of the comment period for new plans or amendments that have not been submitted under the provisions of §  45-22.2-8(a)(4); or

(ii) Within thirty (30) days of the end of the comment period for new plans or amended plans previously submitted for review under §  45-22.2-8(a)(4).

(iii) The chief is authorized to discuss and negotiate, with the municipality, concerning any aspect of a plan or amendment being reviewed under subdivision (3)(i) or (3)(ii) of this subsection.

(iv) The chief and the municipality submitting a plan amendment may mutually agree, in writing, to reduce or extend the review period established by this section.

(4) Municipalities shall correct any deficiencies reported by the chief within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the chief’s review and comments provided that the chief and the municipality submitting a plan or amendment may mutually agree, in writing, to reduce or extend this period.

(5) The chief shall review all corrections and related material submitted by the municipality and render a final decision on the plan. In the event of disapproval, the chief shall notify the municipality by registered mail and shall issue findings specifically describing the deficiencies in the plan or amendment as it relates to the goals and other provisions of this chapter.

(6) The municipality may appeal the decision of the chief to a hearing officer as provided for under § 45-22.2-9.1. The appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days of receipt of the decision by the chief.

(d) Comprehensive plans and amendments shall be reviewed by the chief to ensure that the following requirements are complied with:

(1) The intent and goals of this chapter have been met.

(2) All required content as stated in § 45-22.2-6 is complete.

(3) The plan or amendment is consistent with, and embodies the goals and policies of, the state and its departments and agencies as contained in the state guide plan and the laws of the state.

(4) Municipal planning activities have been coordinated according to the provisions of § 45-22.2-7.

(5) The plan or amendment has been officially adopted and submitted for review in accordance with § 45-22.2-8 of this chapter and other applicable procedures.

(6) The plan or amendment complies with rules and regulations adopted by the state planning council as provided for by §  45-22.2-10(c).

(7) Adequate, uniform, and valid data have been used in preparing each plan or amendment.

(e) State approval of a plan and any amendment thereto shall expire upon the tenth (10th) anniversary of the chief’s or superior court’s approval and shall not be extended.

(f) After an amendment to this chapter or to the state guide plan, all municipalities shall, within one year, amend their comprehensive plan to conform with the amended chapter or the amended state guide plan. Failure to do so may result in the rescission, in whole or in part, of state approval. The chief shall notify the municipality in writing of a rescission.

(g) Disapproval of an amendment to a state approved plan shall apply to the amendment only and not affect the validity of a previously existing plan approval.

(h) Upon approval by the chief or superior court, the municipality is eligible for all benefits and incentives conditioned on an approved comprehensive plan pursuant to this chapter, and the municipality is allowed to submit the approved comprehensive plan or relevant section thereof to any state agency which requires the submission of a plan as part of its requirements, and the plan or relevant section thereof shall satisfy that requirement.

(i) Those portions of a comprehensive plan for which state approval was rescinded under subsection (f) of this section and those amendments to a state approved plan for which state approval was not received under subsection (g) of this section, shall not be subject to the provisions of subsection (h) of this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 601, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 385, § 3; P.L. 2004, ch. 286, § 7; P.L. 2004, ch. 324, § 7; P.L. 2011, ch. 215, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 313, § 1.