TITLE 45
Towns and Cities

CHAPTER 45-23
Subdivision of Land

SECTION 45-23-50.1


§ 45-23-50.1. Special provisions – Unified development review.

(a) When a municipal zoning ordinance provides for unified development review pursuant to § 45-24-46.4, the local regulations must include procedures for the filing, review, and approval of applications, pursuant to this section.

(b) Review of variances and special-use permits submitted under the unified development review provisions of the regulations shall adhere to the following procedures:

(1) Minor subdivisions and land-development projects. Requests for relief from the literal requirements of the zoning ordinance and/or for the issuance of special-use permits related to minor subdivisions and land-development projects shall be submitted as part of the application materials for the preliminary plan stage of review. A public hearing on the application, including any variance and special-use permit requests that meets the requirements of § 45-23-50.1(c) shall be held prior to consideration of the preliminary plan by the planning board or commission. The planning board or commission shall conditionally approve or deny the request(s) for the variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s) before considering the preliminary plan application for the minor subdivision or land-development project. Approval of the variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s) shall be conditioned on approval of the final plan of the minor subdivision or land-development project.

(2) Major subdivisions and land-development projects - Master plan. Requests for relief from the literal requirements of the zoning ordinance and/or for the issuance of a special-use permit related to major subdivisions and land-development projects shall be submitted as part of the application materials for the master plan stage of review. A public hearing on the application, including any variance and special-use permit requests that meets the requirements of § 45-23-50.1(c), shall be held prior to consideration of the master plan by the planning board or commission. The planning board or commission shall conditionally approve or deny the requests for the variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s) before considering the master plan application for the major subdivision or land-development project. Approval of the variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s) shall be conditioned on approval of the final plan of the major subdivision or land-development project.

(3) Major subdivisions and land-development projects - Preliminary plan. During the preliminary plan stage of review, applicants shall have the ability to request alteration of any variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s) granted by the planning board or commission during the master plan stage of review, and/or to request new variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s), based on the outcomes of the more detailed planning and design necessary for the preliminary plan. If necessary, the applicant shall submit such requests and all supporting documentation along with the preliminary plan application materials. A public hearing on the application, including any alterations and new requests, that meets the requirements of § 45-23-50.1(c), shall be held prior to consideration of the preliminary plan by the planning board or commission. The planning board or commission shall conditionally approve, amend, or deny the requests for alteration(s), new variance(s) and/or new special-use permit(s), before considering the preliminary plan application for the major subdivision or land-development project. Approval of the alteration(s), new variance(s), and/or new special-use permit(s) shall be conditioned on approval of the final plan of the major subdivision or land-development project. If the planning board or commission denies the request for alteration(s), new variance(s), and/or new special-use permit(s), the planning board shall have the option of remanding the application back to the master plan stage of review. Alternatively, if the planning board or commission denies the request for alteration(s), new variance(s), and/or new special-use permit(s), the applicant may consent to an extension of the decision period mandated by § 45-23-41(f) so that additional information can be provided and reviewed by the board or commission.

(4) Decision. The time periods by which the planning board or commission must approve or deny applications for variances and special-use permits under the unified development review provisions of the local regulations shall be the same as the time periods by which the board must make a decision on the applicable review stage of the subdivision or land-development project under review.

(c) All subdivision and land-development applications that include requests for variances and/or special-use permits submitted under the development review provisions of the regulations shall require a singular public hearing, held pursuant to § 45-23-50.1(b). All such public hearings must meet the following requirements:

(1) Public hearing notice shall adhere to the requirements found in § 45-23-42(b).

(2) The notice area for notice of the public hearing shall be specified in the local regulations, and shall, at a minimum, include all property located in or within not less than two hundred feet (200') of the perimeter of the area included in the subdivision and/or land-development project. Notice of the public hearing shall be sent by the administrative officer to the administrative officer of an adjacent municipality if: (1) The notice area extends into the adjacent municipality; or (2) The development site extends into the adjacent municipality; or (3) There is a potential for significant negative impact on the adjacent municipality. Additional notice within watersheds shall also be sent as required in § 45-23-53(b) and (c).

(3) Public notice shall indicate that dimensional variance(s), use variance(s) and/or special-use permit(s) are to be considered for the subdivision and/or land-development project.

(4) The cost of all public notice is to be borne by the applicant.

(d) The time periods by which the planning board or commission must approve or deny requests for variances and special-use permits under the unified development review provisions of a zoning ordinance shall be the same as the time periods by which the board must make a decision on the applicable review stage of the subdivision or land development project under review.

(e) Requests for the variance(s) and/or special-use permits that are denied by the planning board or commission may be appealed to the board of appeal pursuant to § 45-23-66.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2016, ch. 527, § 3.)