§ 45-53-5. Appeals to state housing appeals board Judicial review.
(a) Whenever an application filed under the provisions of § 45-53-4 is denied, or is granted with conditions and requirements that make the building or operation of the housing infeasible, the applicant has the right to appeal to the state housing appeals board established by § 45-53-7, for a review of the application. The appeal shall be taken within twenty (20) days after the date of the notice of the decision by the local review board by filing with the appeals board a statement of the prior proceedings and the reasons upon which the appeal is based.
(b) The appeals board shall immediately notify the local review board of the filing of the petition for review and the latter shall, within ten (10) days of the receipt of the notice, transmit a copy of its decision and the reasons for that decision to the appeals board.
(c) The appeal shall be heard by the appeals board within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the applicant's statement. A stenographic record of the proceedings shall be kept and the appeals board shall render a written decision and order, based upon a majority vote, stating its findings of fact, and its conclusions and the reasons for those conclusions, within thirty (30) days after the termination of the hearing, unless the time has been extended by mutual agreement between the appeals board and the applicant. The decision and order may be appealed in the superior court within twenty (20) days of the issuance of the decision. The review shall be conducted by the superior court without a jury. The court shall consider the record of the hearing before the state housing appeals board and, if it appears 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 that evidence in open court, which evidence, along with the report, constitutes the record upon which the determination of the court is made.
(d) The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the state housing appeals board as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the state housing appeals board 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, or ordinance provisions;
(2) In excess of the authority granted to the state housing appeal 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.
(e) Any appeal from the superior court to the supreme court pursuant to this section shall be by writ of certiorari.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 154, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 286, § 10; P.L. 2004, ch. 324, § 10; P.L. 2006, ch. 371, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 511, § 1.)