§ 45-23-53. Local regulations Public hearing and notice requirements.
(a) No local regulations shall be adopted, repealed, or amended until after a public hearing has been held upon the question before the city or town planning board. The city or town planning board shall first give notice of the public hearing by publication of notice in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality at least once each week for three (3) successive weeks prior to the date of the hearing, which may include the week in which the hearing is to be held. At this hearing, opportunity shall be given to all persons interested on being heard upon the matter of the proposed regulations. Written notice, which may be a copy of the newspaper notice, shall be mailed to the statewide planning program of the Rhode Island department of administration at least two (2) weeks prior to the hearing. The newspaper notice shall be published as a display advertisement, using a type size at least as large as the normal type size used by the newspaper in its news articles, and shall:
(1) Specify the place of the hearing and the date and time of its commencement;
(2) Indicate that adoption, amendment, or repeal of local regulations is under consideration;
(3) Contain a statement of the proposed amendments to the regulations that may be printed once in its entirety, or may summarize or describe the matter under consideration as long as the intent and effect of the proposed regulation is expressly written in that notice;
(4) Advise those interested where and when a copy of the matter under consideration may be obtained or examined and copied; and
(5) State that the proposals shown on the notice may be altered or amended prior to the close of the public hearing without further advertising as a result of further study or because of the views expressed at the public hearing. Any alteration or amendment must be presented for comment in the course of the hearing.
(b) Notice of the public hearing shall be sent by first class mail to the city or town planning board of any municipality where there is a public or quasi-public water source, or private water source that is used, or is suitable for use as a public water source, located within two thousand feet (2,000') of the municipal boundaries.
(c) Notice of a public hearing shall be sent to the governing body of any state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company that has riparian rights to a surface water resource and/or surface watershed that is used or is suitable for use as a public water source located within either the municipality or two thousand feet (2,000') of the municipal boundaries; provided, that a map survey has been filed with the building inspector as specified in § 45-24-53(f).
(d) Notwithstanding any of the requirements set forth in subsections (a) through (c) above, each municipality shall establish and maintain a public notice registry allowing any person or entity to register for electronic notice of any changes to the local regulations. Municipalities shall annually provide public notice of existence of said registry by a publication of notice in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality. In addition, each municipality is hereby encouraged to provide public notice of the existence of the public notice registry in all of its current and future communications with the public, including, but not limited to, governmental websites, electronic newsletters, public bulletins, press releases, and all other means the municipality may use to impart information to the local community.
(1) Provided, however, notice pursuant to a public notice registry as per this section does not alone qualify a person or entity on the public notice registry as an "aggrieved party" under § 45-24-31(4).
(e) No defect in the form of any notice under this section renders any regulations invalid, unless the defect is found to be intentional or misleading.
(f) The requirements in this section are to be construed as minimum requirements.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 385, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 57, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 185, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 235, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 70.)