§ 45-24-46. Special provisions Modification.
(a) A zoning ordinance may provide for the issuance of modifications or adjustments from the literal dimensional requirements of the zoning ordinance in the instance of the construction, alteration, or structural modification of a structure or lot of record. If the ordinance allows modifications then the zoning enforcement officer is authorized to grant modification permits. The zoning ordinance establishes the maximum percent allowed for a modification, which shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%), of any of the dimensional requirements specified in the zoning ordinance. A modification does not permit moving of lot lines. The zoning ordinance shall specify which dimensional requirements or combinations of these requirements are allowable under a modification. These requirements may differ by use or zoning district. Within ten (10) days of the receipt of a request for a modification, the zoning enforcement officer shall make a decision as to the suitability of the requested modification based on the following determinations:
(1) The modification requested is reasonably necessary for the full enjoyment of the permitted use;
(2) If the modification is granted, neighboring property will neither be substantially injured nor its appropriate use substantially impaired;
(3) The modification requested is in harmony with the purposes and intent of the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance of the city or town; and
(4) The modification requested does not require a variance of a flood hazard requirement.
(b) Upon an affirmative determination, the zoning enforcement officer shall notify, by registered or certified mail, all property owners abutting the property which is the subject of the modification request, and shall indicate the street address of the subject property in the notice, and shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation within the city or town that the modification will be granted unless written objection is received within thirty (30) days of the public notice. If written objection is received within thirty (30) days, the request for a modification shall be denied. In that case the changes requested will be considered a request for a variance and may only be issued by the zoning board of review following the standard procedures for variances. If no written objections are received within thirty (30) days, the zoning enforcement officer shall grant the modification. The zoning enforcement officer may apply any special conditions to the permit as may, in the opinion of the officer, be required to conform to the intent and purposes of the zoning ordinance. The zoning enforcement officer shall keep public records of all requests for modifications, and of findings, determinations, special conditions, and any objections received. Costs of any notice required under this subsection shall be borne by the applicant requesting the modification.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 307, § 1.)