Towns and Cities
R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-46.4
§ 45-24-46.4. Special provisions — Unified development review.
(a) A zoning ordinance may provide that review and approval of dimensional variances, use variances, and/or special-use permits for properties undergoing review by the planning board or commission as land development or subdivision projects pursuant to § 45-23-36, be conducted and decided by the planning board or commission. This process is to be known as unified development review.
(b) If unified development review is desired, such review must be enabled within the zoning ordinance, in accordance with this section, and the local subdivision and land-development regulations must be brought into conformance, pursuant to § 45-23-50.1.
(c) A zoning ordinance that provides for unified development review shall:
(1) Specify which types of zoning approval the planning board or commission shall be empowered to grant for which types of projects; and
(2) Provide that any person, group, agency, or corporation that files an application for an included land development or subdivision project may also file requests for relief from the literal requirements of a zoning ordinance on the subject property, pursuant to § 45-24-41, and/or for the issuance of special-use permits for the subject property, pursuant to § 45-24-42, by including such within the application to the administrative officer of the planning board or commission with the other required application materials, pursuant to § 45-23-50.1(b).
(d) A zoning ordinance that provides for unified development review may specify design, use, public benefit, or other relevant criteria that must be met in order for an application to qualify for review under the unified development review provisions of the zoning ordinance. Certification as to whether an application meets the established criteria shall be conducted in conjunction with, and following the time lines outlined for, certification of completeness of the application, pursuant to §§ 45-23-38(c), 45-23-40(b), or 45-23-41(b).
(e) All land development and subdivision applications that include requests for variances and/or special-use permits submitted pursuant to this section shall require a public hearing that meets the requirements of §§ 45-23-50.1(b) and 45-23-50.1(c).
(f) In granting requests for dimensional and use variances, the planning board or commission shall be bound to the requirements of §§ 45-24-41(d) and 45-24-41(e) relative to entering evidence into the record in satisfaction of the applicable standards.
(g) In reviewing requests for special-use permits, the planning board or commission shall be bound to the conditions and procedures under which a special-use permit may be issued and the criteria for the issuance of such permits, as found within the zoning ordinance pursuant to §§ 45-24-42(b)(1), 45-24-42(b)(2) and 45-24-42(b)(3), and shall be required to provide for the recording of findings of fact and written decisions as described in the zoning ordinance pursuant to § 45-24-42(b)(5).
(h) An appeal from any decision made pursuant to this section may be taken pursuant to § 45-23-66.
History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 527, § 5.