Welcome to the Rhode Island Zoning Law Website

If you are interested in zoning or other land use issues in Rhode Island, this site is for you! My goal is to provide a comprehensive online resource for lawyers, municipal officials, real estate professionals and others involved in land use law in Rhode Island. It should also be useful to owners of homes and businesses in Rhode Island.

Materials available on the site include an up-to-date hyperlinked version of the Zoning Enabling Act of 1991, links to zoning ordinances in virtually all Rhode Island cities and towns, articles on Rhode Island zoning law, and documents important in tracing the history of zoning law in Rhode Island, all of which may be accessed through the links at the left.

Although minor zoning matters can often be handled by non-attorney landowners, especially with the help of the zoning books listed below, some zoning issues call for an experienced land use attorney. For many years I have been practicing in zoning and related fields of law at the Newport firm of Miller Scott & Holbrook. Naturally I recommend this firm highly!

Books on Rhode Island Zoning Law

Rhode Island Zoning Handbook, Third Edition

First published in 1993, the Rhode Island Zoning Handbook has become the standard reference work for attorneys practicing zoning law in the State of Rhode Island.

The new Third Edition, published by Lawyers Weekly, has been comprehensively updated and analyzes many new cutting-edge topics, including attorney fee awards under the Anti-SLAPP law and the Equal Access to Justice Act; protection under Noerr-Pennington for developers who face zoning objections raised merely to delay projects; new laws requiring e-mail notice whenever a zoning ordinance is adopted or amended; a U.S. Supreme Court case striking down all content-based sign restrictions (even a temporary church directional sign!); required zoning provisions for affordable housing and persons with disabilities; new rules for religious uses, cell towers, zoning certificates, public utilities; and much more!

One volume, softbound, 304 pages. Published in 2016.

For sales information, go to Lawyers Weekly Books, or write to:

      Lawyers Weekly Books
      10 Milk Street, Suite 1000
      Boston, MA 02108

Rhode Island Zoning for Non-Lawyers

Rhode Island Zoning for Non-Lawyers was written for contractors, real estate agents, surveyors, architects, and prospective buyers of new houses, as well as owners of small businesses and homeowners buying, renovating, or changing the use of an existing building. It should also be highly useful to non-lawyer municipal officials and to ordinary citizens appointed to the local zoning board, planning board, or historic district commission.

Based on the Rhode Island Zoning Handbook, this reference book for lay people is written in easy-to-read non-technical language, without footnotes. It contains a complete discussion of zoning law and procedures (including every step in the zoning process) packed into just under a hundred pages. Furthermore, Rhode Island Zoning for Non-Lawyers has a well-organized table of contents and a detailed index, making it easy for those not familiar with the law to find what they are looking for. There is also a special section entitled "Explanation of Terms Used in Zoning."

The Rhode Island Zoning for Non-Lawyers is now available from:

    Dianne Izzo, Esq.
    Gorham & Gorham, Inc.
    25 Danielson Pike
    P.O. Box 46
    North Scituate, RI 02857

    Email: dianneizzo@gorhamlaw.com