TITLE 45
Towns and cities

CHAPTER 45-24
Zoning Ordinances

SECTION 45-24-56


§ 45-24-56 Administration – Zoning board of review – Establishment and procedures.

(a) A zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this chapter shall provide for the creation of a zoning board of review and for the appointment of members, including alternate members, and for the organization of the board, as specified in the zoning ordinance, or, in cities and towns with home rule or legislative charters, as provided in the charter. A zoning ordinance may provide for remuneration to the zoning board of review members and for reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of official duties. A zoning board of review may engage legal, technical, or clerical assistance to aid in the discharge of its duties. The board shall establish written rules of procedure, a mailing address to which appeals and correspondence to the zoning board of review are sent, and an office where records and decisions are filed.

(b) The zoning board of review consists of five (5) members, each to hold office for the term of five (5) years; provided, that the original appointments are made for terms of one, two (2), three (3), four (4), and five (5) years, respectively. The zoning board of review also includes two (2) alternates to be designated as the first and second alternate members, their terms to be set by the ordinance, but not to exceed five (5) years. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in hearings. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at a hearing and the second shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the city or town charter, the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies in unexpired terms of zoning board members, and for removal of members for due cause.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b), the zoning board of review of the town of Jamestown consists of five (5) members, each to hold office for the term of five (5) years; provided, that the original appointments are made for terms of one, two (2), three (3), four (4) and five (5) years respectively. The zoning board of review of the town of Jamestown also includes three (3) alternates to be designated as the first, second, and third alternate members, their terms to be set by the ordinance, but not to exceed five (5) years. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in hearings. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at a hearing; the second shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing; and the third shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the town charter, the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies in unexpired terms of zoning board members, and for removal of members for due cause.

(d) Members of zoning boards of review serving on the effective date of adoption of a zoning ordinance under this chapter are exempt from the provisions of this chapter respecting terms of originally appointed members until the expiration of their current terms.

(e) The chairperson, or in his or her absence, the acting chairperson, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses by the issuance of subpoenas.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the zoning board of review for the town of Little Compton shall consist of five (5) members, each to hold office for the term of five (5) years. The zoning board of review for the town of Little Compton shall also include three (3) alternates to be designated as the first, second and third alternate members, their terms to be set by the ordinance, but not to exceed five (5) years. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in the hearings. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at a hearing; the second shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing; and the third shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the town charter, the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies in unexpired terms of zoning board members, and for removal of members for due cause.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the zoning board of review for the town of Charlestown shall consist of five (5) members, each to hold office for the term of five (5) years. The zoning board of review for the town of Charlestown shall also include three (3) alternates to be designated as the first, second, and third alternate members, their terms to be set by the ordinance, but not to exceed five (5) years. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in the hearings. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at a hearing; the second shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing; and the third shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the town charter, the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies in unexpired terms of zoning board members, and for removal of members for due cause.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the zoning board of review for the town of Scituate shall consist of five (5) members, each to hold office for the term of five (5) years. The zoning board of review for the town of Scituate shall also include three (3) alternates to be designated as the first, second and third alternate members, their terms to be set by the ordinance, but not to exceed five (5) years. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in the hearings. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at a hearing; the second shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing; and the third shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at a hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the town charter, the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies in unexpired terms of zoning board members, and for removal of members for due cause.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the zoning board of review of the town of Middletown shall consist of five (5) members, each to hold office for a term of five (5) years. The zoning board of review of the town of Middletown shall also include three (3) alternates to be designated as the first (1st), second (2nd) and third (3rd) alternate members, their terms to be set by ordinance but not to exceed (5) years. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in the hearing. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at the hearing; the second alternate shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at the hearing; and the third alternate shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at the hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the town charter the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies in unexpired terms of zoning board members and for removal of members for due cause.

(j) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the zoning board of review of the city of Cranston shall consist of five (5) members, each to hold office for a term of five (5) years. The zoning board of review of the city of Cranston shall also include four (4) alternates to be designated as the first (1st), second (2nd), third (3rd), and fourth (4th), alternate members, to be appointed for a term of one year. These alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in all zoning hearings. The first alternate shall vote if a member of the board is unable to serve at the hearing; the second alternate shall vote if two (2) members of the board are unable to serve at the hearing; the third alternate shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at the hearing; and the fourth alternate shall vote if four (4) members of the board are unable to serve at the hearing. In the absence of the first alternate member, the second alternate member shall serve in the position of the first alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter. Where not provided for in the city charter, the zoning ordinance shall specify procedures for filling vacancies during the unexpired terms of zoning board members and for removal of members for due cause.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 307, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 51, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 314, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 22, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 90, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 222, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 279, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 368, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 424, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 17, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 18, § 1.)