§ 45-23-71. Appeals to the superior court.
(a) An aggrieved party may appeal a decision of the board of appeal, to the superior court for the county in which the municipality is situated by filing a complaint stating the reasons of appeal within twenty (20) days after the decision has been recorded and posted in the office of the city or town clerk. The board of appeal shall file the original documents acted upon by it and constituting the record of the case appealed from, or certified copies of the original documents, together with any other facts that may be pertinent, with the clerk of the court within thirty (30) days after being served with a copy of the complaint. When the complaint is filed by someone other than the original applicant or appellant, the original applicant or appellant and the members of the planning board shall be made parties to the proceedings. The appeal does not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, in its discretion, grant a stay on appropriate terms and make any other orders that it deems necessary for an equitable disposition of the appeal.
(b) The review shall be conducted by the superior court without a jury. The court shall consider the record of the hearing before the planning board and, if it appear to the court that additional evidence is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may allow any party to the appeal to present evidence in open court, which evidence, along with the report, shall constitute the record upon which the determination of the court shall be made.
(c) The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the planning board as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the board of appeal or remand the case for further proceedings, or may reverse or modify the decision if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because of findings, inferences, conclusions or decisions which are:
(1) In violation of constitutional, statutory, ordinance or planning board regulations provisions;
(2) In excess of the authority granted to the planning board by statute or ordinance;
(3) Made upon unlawful procedure;
(4) Affected by other error of law;
(5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence of the whole record; or
(6) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 385, § 1.)