Towns and Cities

Subdivision of Land

SECTION 45-23-40

§ 45-23-40. General provisions – Major land development and major subdivision – Master plan.

(a) Submission requirements.

(1) The applicant shall first submit to the administrative officer the items required by the local regulations for master plans.

(2) Requirements for the master plan and supporting material for this phase of review include, but are not limited to: information on the natural and built features of the surrounding neighborhood, existing natural and man-made conditions of the development site, including topographic features, the freshwater wetland and coastal zone boundaries, the floodplains, as well as the proposed design concept, proposed public improvements and dedications, tentative construction phasing; and potential neighborhood impacts.

(3) Initial comments will be solicited from:

(i) Local agencies including, but not limited to, the planning department, the department of public works, fire and police departments, the conservation and recreation commissions;

(ii) Adjacent communities;

(iii) State agencies, as appropriate, including the departments of environmental management and transportation and the coastal resources management council; and

(iv) Federal agencies, as appropriate. The administrative officer shall coordinate review and comments by local officials, adjacent communities, and state and federal agencies.

(4) Requests for relief from the literal requirements of the zoning ordinance and/or for the issuance of special-use permits related to major subdivisions and/or major land-development projects that are submitted under a zoning ordinance's unified development review provisions shall be included as part of the master plan application, pursuant to § 45-23-50.1(b).

(b) Certification. The application must be certified, in writing, complete or incomplete by the administrative officer within twenty-five (25) days, according to the provisions of § 45-23-36(b). The running of the time period set forth herein will be deemed stopped upon the issuance of a certificate of incompleteness of the application by the administrative officer and will recommence upon the resubmission of a corrected application by the applicant. However, in no event will the administrative officer be required to certify a corrected submission as complete or incomplete less than ten (10) days after its resubmission.

(c) Technical review committee. The technical review committee, if established, shall review the application and shall comment and make recommendations to the planning board.

(d) Informational meeting.

(1) A public informational meeting will be held prior to the planning board decision on the master plan, unless the master plan and preliminary plan approvals are being combined, in which case the public informational meeting is optional, based upon planning board determination, or unified development review has been requested, in which case a public hearing shall be held pursuant to § 45-23-50.1(b).

(2) Public notice for the informational meeting is required and must be given at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality. Postcard notice must be mailed to the applicant and to all property owners within the notice area, as specified by local regulations.

(3) At the public informational meeting, the applicant will present the proposed development project. The planning board must allow oral and written comments from the general public. All public comments are to be made part of the public record of the project application.

(e) Decision. The planning board shall, within ninety (90) days of certification of completeness, or within a further amount of time that may be consented to by the applicant through the submission of a written waiver, approve of the master plan as submitted, approve with changes and/or conditions, or deny the application, according to the requirements of §§ 45-23-60 and 45-23-63.

(f) Failure to act. Failure of the planning board to act within the prescribed period constitutes approval of the master plan, and a certificate of the administrative officer as to the failure of the planning board to act within the required time and the resulting approval will be issued on request of the applicant.

(g) Vesting.

(1) The approved master plan is vested for a period of two (2) years, with the right to extend for two (2), one-year extensions upon written request by the applicant, who must appear before the planning board for the annual review. Thereafter, vesting may be extended for a longer period, for good cause shown, if requested by the applicant, in writing, and approved by the planning board. Master plan vesting includes the zoning requirements, conceptual layout, and all conditions shown on the approved master plan drawings and supporting materials.

(2) The initial four-year (4) vesting for the approved master plan constitutes the vested rights for the development as required in § 45-24-44.

History of Section.
(P.L 1992, ch. 385, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 157, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 224, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 294, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 464, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 527, § 2; P.L. 2017, ch. 109, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 175, § 1.)