§ 45-24-29. Legislative findings and intent.
(a)(1) The general assembly recognizes and affirms in §§ 45-24-27 through 45-24-72 that the findings and goals stated in § 45-22.2-3 present findings and goals with which zoning must be consistent.
(2) The general assembly further finds that:
(i) The zoning enabling statutes contained in §§ 45-24-1 through 45-24-26, repealed as of December 31, 1994, were largely enacted in 1921;
(ii) The character of land development and related public and private services have changed substantially in the intervening years;
(iii) It is necessary to provide for innovative land development practices to enable cities and towns to adequately regulate the use of land and employ modern land development practices;
(iv) It is necessary to take full account of the requirement that each city and town amend its zoning ordinance to conform to, and be consistent with, its comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to chapter 22.2 of this title, and to all the elements contained therein; and
(v) A substantial updating and revision of the original statutory zoning enabling authority is required to meet these changed conditions.
(3) It is therefore found that the preparation and implementation of zoning ordinances is necessary to address the findings and needs identified in this section; to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare; to allow the general assembly to carry out its duty to provide for the conservation of the natural resources of the state; and to adopt all means necessary and proper by law for the preservation, regeneration, and restoration of the natural environment of the state in accordance with R.I. Const., Art. I, Sec. XVI and XVII; to promote good planning practice; and to provide for sustainable economic growth in the state.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the general assembly:
(1) That the zoning enabling authority contained in this chapter provide all cities and towns with adequate opportunity to address current and future community and statewide needs;
(2) That the zoning enabling authority contained in this chapter require each city and town to conform its zoning ordinance and zoning map to be consistent with its comprehensive plan developed pursuant to chapter 22.2 of this title;
(3) Except as prohibited pursuant to §§ 45-24-30(b), 45-24-30(c), or 45-24-30(d), that the zoning enabling authority contained in this chapter empower each city and town with the capability to establish and enforce standards and procedures for the proper management and protection of land, air, and water as natural resources, and to employ contemporary concepts, methods, and criteria in regulating the type, intensity, and arrangement of land uses, and provide authority to employ new concepts as they may become available and feasible;
(4) That the zoning enabling authority contained in this chapter permit each city and town to establish an economic impact commission whose duties would be to advise municipalities on the economic impact new zoning changes would have on cities and towns and private property owners, and to assist municipalities in determining financial impacts when new or changed zoning adversely affects business climate, land use, property value, natural and historic resources, industrial use, or development of private property; and may permit the use of land and buildings within the groundwater protection zones for agricultural purposes and shall encourage the use of farmland in a manner that is consistent with the protection of groundwater resources; and
(5) That each city and town amend its zoning ordinance to comply with the terms of this chapter.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 307, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 36, § 2; P.L. 1993, ch. 144, § 2; P.L. 1994, ch. 92, § 3; P.L. 1999, ch. 420, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 218, § 3.)