Middletown Town Code: CHAPTER 152. ZONING

Notes: This hyperlinked version is up-to-date (as amended through April 4, 2016). For a separate online version of the Middletown Zoning Ordinance, click on this link  (scroll to Title XV and then Ch. 152).

Table of Contents

Article 1. Purpose

Article 16. Accessory Family Dwelling Unit

Article 2. Zoning Board of Review

Article 17. Low and Moderate ... - Comprehensive Permit

Article 3. Admin., Enforcement and Procedures

Article 17A. Community Residences And Family Day Care Homes

Article 4. Definitions

Article 18. Shopping Centers

Article 5. Zoning Districts and Zoning Map

Article 19. Conservation Development

Article 6. Application of District Regulations

Article 20. Cemeteries

Article 7. Supplementary Regulations

Article 21. Residential Care and Assisted Living Facilities

Article 8. Nonconforming Uses

Article 22. Senior Independent Living Facilities

Article 9. Appeals, Special-use Permits and Variances

Article 23. Mobile Home Parks

Article 10. Flood Hazard Areas

Article 24. Transient Trailer Parks

Article 11. Watershed Protection District

Article 25. Wireless Telecommunications Facilities

Article 12. Signs

Article 25A. Wind Turbines

Article 13. Off-street Parking and Loading

Article 26. Public Zoning Districts

Article 14. Hotels and Motels

Article 27. Commercial and Industrial Performance Standards

Article 15. Multifamily Dwellings

Article 28. Amendment

Article 29. Legal Status


[Next Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 1 PURPOSE

        Article Outline
        Section 100. Short Title
        Section 101. Purposes of Chapter
        Section 102. Findings
        Section 103. Terminology

§ 100 SHORT TITLE.  [Next section]   [Article Outline]

    This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Middletown or simply as the Zoning Ordinance.

§ 101 PURPOSES OF CHAPTER.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) The districts and regulations set forth in this chapter have been established in accordance with the Middletown Comprehensive Community Plan for the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the town. The regulations are designed to:

        (1) Lessen congestion in the streets;

        (2) Provide adequate light and air;

        (3) Secure safety from fire, panic, flooding and other dangers;

        (4) Prevent the overcrowding of land;

        (5) Avoid undue concentration of population;

        (6) Facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements;

        (7) Avoid pollution of public water supplies; and

        (8) Provide for the preservation of open space and agricultural land.

    (B) They are designed with reasonable consideration, among other things, of the character of each district and its suitability for particular uses, and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the most appropriate use of land through the town.

    (C) These zoning regulations are in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-30 and are adopted to promote the purposes and goals of the Comprehensive Community Plan, as well as the following:

        (1) Promote the public health, safety, and general welfare.

        (2) Provide for a range of uses and intensities of use appropriate to the character of the town and reflecting current and expected future needs.

        (3) Provide for orderly growth and development which recognizes:

            (a) The goals and patterns of land use contained in the town's Comprehensive Plan adopted pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2;
            (b) The natural characteristics of the land, including its suitability for use based on soil characteristics, topography, and susceptibility to surface or groundwater pollution;
            (c) The values and dynamic nature of coastal and freshwater ponds, the shoreline and freshwater and coastal wetlands;
            (d) The values of unique or valuable natural resources and features;
            (e) The availability and capacity of existing and planned public and/or private services and facilities;
            (f) The need to shape and balance urban and rural development; and
            (g) The use of innovative development regulations and techniques.

        (4) Provide for the control, protection, and/or abatement of air, water, groundwater, noise pollution and soil erosion and sedimentation.

        (5) Provide for the protection of the natural, historic, cultural, and scenic character of the town or areas therein.

        (6) Provide for the preservation and promotion of agricultural production, forest, silviculture, aquaculture, timber resources and open space.

        (7) Provide for the protection of public investment in transportation, water, stormwater management systems, sewage treatment and disposal, solid waste treatment and disposal, schools, recreation, public facilities, open space and other public requirements.

        (8) Promote a balance of housing choices, for all income levels and groups, to assure the health, safety and welfare of all citizens and their rights to affordable, accessible, safe, and sanitary housing.

        (9) Provide opportunities for the establishment of low and moderate income housing.

        (10) Promote safety from fire, flood, and other natural or man-made disasters.

        (11) Promote a high level of quality in design in the development of private and public facilities.

        (12) Promote implementation of the town's Comprehensive Plan pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2.

        (13) Provide for coordination of land uses with contiguous municipalities, other municipalities, the state, and other agencies, as appropriate, especially with regard to resources and facilities that extent beyond municipal boundaries or have a direct impact on that municipality.

        (14) Provide for efficient review of development proposals, to clarify and expedite the zoning approval process.

        (15) Provide for procedures for the administration of this chapter, including, but not limited to, variances, special use permits, appeals, and, where adopted, procedures for modifications.

        (16) Provide opportunities for reasonable accommodations in order to comply with the Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-37, the United States Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA), the Rhode Island Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-87, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.

§ 102 FINDINGS.  [Next section]  [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    The following findings are also made as a basis for these regulations:

    (A) Middletown has been experiencing ever-increasing pressures for commercial, industrial and residential development. These pressures are in direct confrontation with the town's concern for the general safety, health and welfare of its inhabitants and the preservation of its natural resources. Of particular concern is the impact of future development on traffic, water supply and open space. In an effort to address these concerns by providing reasonable safeguards against inappropriate and potentially injurious development, this chapter has established a Watershed Protection District and Traffic Sensitive Districts and encourages the continued use of land for agricultural purposes, and provides for conservation development for the following reasons:

    (B) Middletown is the primary watershed and major storage area for the water supply for the City of Newport and the Town of Middletown. It is essential that this resource be protected against diminution, damage or despoliation. Accordingly, this chapter, in recognition of these vital concerns, has established regulations and limitations with respect to the use and development of areas within the town which impact the watershed and storage areas and which are intended to protect this important resource by establishing a Watershed Protection District.

    (C) Middletown suffers from serious traffic problems on its major highways, namely, East and West Main Roads, Valley Road and Aquidneck Avenue. These problems are evidenced by mounting vehicular congestion and an increasing number of accidents. These roads are now overtaxed far beyond their designed capacity and the future development of the town will only compound this situation. It is essential that future access to and egress from these highly congested roads be controlled as much as possible in the interest of public safety. In recognition of this problem, and for the purpose of providing a measure of control, this chapter has established Traffic Sensitive Districts.

    (D) Middletown has a long history as an agricultural community with large open spaces which contribute to the beauty, quality of life and ecological balance of the town. It is the utilization of land for agricultural purposes which provides the most practical way of insuring the preservation of these areas. Accordingly, in an effort to support and encourage the use of land for agricultural purposes to the fullest extent, this ordinance establishes an Agricultural District. The fact that no district is specifically identified as an Agricultural District has no significance and the use of land for agricultural purposes shall be considered a primary use in any district.

    (E) In recent years, patterns of both residential and commercial development have been inconsistent with historical rural development patterns. Rural development is characterized by large, aggregated, undeveloped land areas; natural features such as woodlands, steep slopes, floodplains, wetlands, stream and river corridors, hedgerows and rock outcroppings; scenic vistas and rural views; significant historic features such as old barns, heritage trees, etc; and settlement patterns characterized by clusters of compact groupings of development in otherwise wide open spaces and/or appropriate topographic or vegetative screening. Conversely, conventional suburban development converts all buildable land into houselots and streets; except for wetlands, all natural areas are cleared and graded. This type of development does not take into consideration individual characteristics of land including environmental, cultural, and historical resources. Conservation development, on the other hand, allows the same number of units as would be allowed under conventional development, but also ensures a significant portion of land is preserved in its natural state; thereby fulfilling the goals of Middletown's Comprehensive Plan.

§ 103 TERMINOLOGY.  [Next section]  [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) CHAPTER shall mean Chapter 152 of the Code of the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island.

    (B) ORDINANCE as used herein refers to the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island, being Chapter 152 of the Code of the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island, as amended by this comprehensive amendment enacted by the Town Council of the Town of Middletown pursuant to the rezoning process conducted by the town in 1994 and 2000.

    (C) REGULATIONS as used herein refers to the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land as adopted by the Planning Board of the Town of Middletown.

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ARTICLE 2 ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW

        Article Outline
        Section 200. Organization
        Section 201. Vote Required
        Section 202. Meeting and Hearings
        Section 203. Records
        Section 204. Repetitive Petitions
        Section 205. Powers of the Zoning Board

§ 200 ORGANIZATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) There is hereby created a Zoning Board of Review hereinafter called the Zoning Board, or Board, which shall consist of five active members and three alternate members, who shall have all of the authority and be subject to all of the duties provided by R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24, as amended.

    (B) All members shall be appointed by the Town Council. Each active member shall hold office for the term of five years; provided that the terms of each of the five active members shall be staggered so that in April of each year the Town Council shall appoint one member to the Zoning Board to succeed the member whose term expires. Alternate members shall be appointed for a term of one year. Members may serve no more than two consecutive terms but may be reappointed after an absence of one term. Each member shall hold office until his/her successor is duly appointed and qualified. In case any vacancy occurs on the Board, for any cause, the Town Council shall appoint a new member for the remainder of any unexpired term.

    (C) An alternate member may participate in all business before the Zoning Board but may vote only when sitting as an active member at the request of the chairperson, if and when an active member is absent or disqualified or is unable to serve at any hearing. In the event that any matter before the Board is likely to be continued for more than one hearing, the chairperson may request that an alternate member participate at such hearings and the alternate member shall be authorized to vote on the matter when and if an active member becomes unable to serve at any such hearings.

    (D) All members of the Board shall be legal residents of the Town of Middletown and no member shall be an elected official or salaried employee of the Town of Middletown.

    (E) In April of each year, the Board shall organize by electing from its membership a chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary.

    (F) The Zoning Board of Review, as constituted at the time of the adoption of this chapter, shall be continued and all members of the Board in office at the time of adoption of this chapter shall continue to hold office for the remainder of their respective terms.

    (G) The Zoning Board shall adopt written rules and regulations for the conduct of public hearings, the requirements for applications, the order of procedure or other matters pertaining to the conduct of business; provided that rules and regulations are adopted following a public hearing thereon, and are available for general distribution to the pubic upon request.

    (H) 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.

§ 201 VOTE REQUIRED.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) In conducting hearings and arriving at its decisions, the Board shall at all times consist of five active members. As soon as a conflict occurs for a member, that member shall excuse himself or herself, shall not sit as an active member and take no part in the conduct of the hearing. Only five active members shall be entitled to vote on any issue.

    (B) The concurring vote of three members of the Zoning Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Administrative Officer, Building Inspector or Planning Board. The concurring vote of four members shall be required to decide in favor of an applicant on the matter of a special-use permit or variance or any other matter upon which the Zoning Board is authorized to pass.

§ 202 MEETING AND HEARINGS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairperson and at such other times as the Board may determine. The chairperson or in his/her absence the vice chairperson, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses and the submission of explanatory data. All hearings and meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.

§ 203 RECORDS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    The Board shall make a record of all its proceedings and actions, precisely showing the reasons for its decisions, the vote of each member participating therein and the absence of a member or his/her failure to vote. This record shall be filed immediately in the Office of the Board and Town Clerk and shall be available for review by the public.

§ 204 REPETITIVE PETITIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) Where the Zoning Board, in the case of a special-use permit or variance, denies an application, the Board may not consider another application requesting the same special-use permit or variance which it had previously denied, for a period of at least one year from the date of such denial or withdrawal.

    (B) The Zoning Board may accept such a repeat application after six months; provided that the application is accompanied by an affidavit setting forth facts, to the satisfaction of the Zoning Officer, showing a substantial change of circumstances justifying a rehearing.

§ 205 POWERS OF THE ZONING BOARD.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    The Zoning Board of Review shall have the power to:

    (A) Hear and decide appeals in a timely fashion where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer or agency in the enforcement or interpretation of this ordinance or of any ordinance adopted pursuant hereto;

    (B) Hear and decide appeals from a party aggrieved by a decision of an historic district commission pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 45-24.1-7.1 and 45-24.1-7.2;

    (C) Hear and decide appeals where the Zoning Board of Review is appointed as the board of appeals for airport zoning regulations;  [Note: See RIGL 1-3-19.]

    (D) Authorize, upon application in specific cases of hardship, variances in the application of this chapter, pursuant to appeals, special use permits, and variances.

    (E) Authorize, upon application, in specific cases, special-use permits, pursuant to appeals, special use permits, and variances, where the Zoning Board of Review is designated as the permit authority for special-use permits;

    (F) Refer matters to the Planning Board, or to other boards or agencies of the town as may be deemed appropriate, for findings and recommendations;

    (G) Provide for issuance of conditional zoning approvals where a proposed application would otherwise be approved except that one or more state or federal agency approvals which are necessary are pending. A conditional zoning approval shall be revoked in the instance where any necessary state or federal agency approvals are not received within a specified time period; and

    (H) Hear and decide such other matters according to the terms of this chapter or other statutes and upon which the Board may be authorized to pass under this chapter or other statutes.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 3 ADMINISTRATION, ENFORCEMENT, AND PROCEDURES

        Article Outline
        Section 300. Building Inspector as Zoning Officer
        Section 301. Powers of the Zoning Officer
        Section 302. Purposes for Which Building Permit Required
        Section 303. Applications for and Records of Building Permits
        Section 304. Technical Review Committee (TRC)
        Section 305. Development Plan Review (DPR)
        Section 306. Uses Subject to and Exempt from Development Plan Review
        Section 307. Review of Uses Permitted by Right
        Section 308. Uses Requiring a Variance or Special Use Permit
        Section 309. Required Guidelines, Findings and Improvements
        Section 310. Development Impact Review
        Section 311. Certificate of Zoning Compliance for New, Altered or Nonconforming Uses
        Section 312. Expiration of Building Permits
        Section 313. Completion of Work Authorized Prior to Effective Date of this chapter
        Section 314. Construction and Use to be as Provided in Applications, Plans, Permits and Certificates . . .
        Section 315. Complaints Regarding Violations
        Section 316. Penalty for Violations; Recourse of town and Duty of town Solicitor upon Violation
        Section 317. Appeals
        Section 318. Special-Use Permits and Variances
        Section 319. Appeal of Planning Board Decision
        Section 320. Public Hearings
        Section 321. Summary Hearings

§ 300 BUILDING INSPECTOR AS ZONING OFFICER.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector of the Town of Middletown, hereinafter called the Zoning Officer, to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

§ 301 POWERS OF THE ZONING OFFICER.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    If the Zoning Officer determines that any of the provisions of this chapter are being violated, he/she shall notify, in writing, the person responsible for such violation, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct it. The Zoning Officer shall order discontinuance of illegal use of land or structures; removal of illegal structures or additions, alterations or structural changes thereto, discontinuance of any illegal work being done or shall take any other action authorized by this chapter to ensure compliance with, or to prevent violation of, its provisions.

§ 302 PURPOSES FOR WHICH BUILDING PERMIT REQUIRED.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    No building or structure shall be erected, moved, added to or structurally altered and no alteration to land resulting in an increase in impervious surface except for residential driveways and residential patios, shall be done without a building permit therefor, issued by the Building Official in accordance with the State Building Code. No building permit shall be issued except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter or except after written order from the Zoning Board of Review.

§ 303 APPLICATIONS FOR AND RECORDS OF BUILDING PERMITS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) All applications for building permits shall be accompanied by plans, in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing the actual dimensions and shape of the lot to be built upon; the exact sizes and locations on the lot of structures already existing, if any; and the location and dimensions of the proposed structure or alteration.

    (B) The application shall include such other information as may be lawfully required by the Zoning Officer, including information concerning existing or proposed building or alteration; existing or proposed uses of the structure and land; and the number of families, housekeeping units, or rental units the structure is designed to accommodate. The application shall also show conditions existing on the lot, to include location of all wetland, floodplains, coastal features and soils information (if applicable); and such other matters as may be necessary to determine conformance with, and provide for the enforcement of, this chapter.

    (C) One copy of the plans shall be returned to the applicant by the Zoning Officer, after marking such copy either as approved or disapproved and attested thereto by his/her signature on such copy. The second copy of the plans, similarly marked shall be retained by the Zoning Officer.

    (D) The Zoning Officer shall maintain a record of all building permits issued, and copies shall be furnished to any person upon request and upon receipt of a reasonable fee.

§ 304 TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (TRC).  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

        (A) Composition. The Planning Board shall establish and oversee a Technical Review Committee, which shall be composed of the following members:

        (1) The Administrative Officer (Town Planner), who shall serve as Chairman of the TRC;

        (2) The Zoning Officer;

        (3) The Public Works Director, and;

        (4) The Town Engineer.

    (B) Quorum, Voting, Records, Meetings

        (1) A quorum of the Technical Review Committee shall consist of at least three members, provided that it must include the Administrative Officer.

        (2) An affirmative vote of the majority of the members present shall be required to take any action.

        (3) All votes and minutes of the Technical Review Committee shall comply with the Open Meetings Act. The Administrative Officer shall take the minutes of the TRC or may designate a staff member to do so.

        (4) All records of the Technical Review Committee shall be in the care of the Administrative Officer.

        (5) The Technical Review Committee shall meet as necessary.

        (6) All applications for Development Plan Review shall be filed with the Zoning Board of Review in accordance with § 305 of this ordinance.

        (7) The Administrative Officer shall establish a schedule for application review to ensure compliance with the timeframes provided in Article 10 of the Middletown Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land.

    (C) Town Assistance to Technical Review Committee. As considered necessary by the Technical Review Committee, applications shall be forwarded to the Police Chief and Fire Chief (or their designees) for review and comment. The Police Chief and Fire Chief (or their designees) shall have the right to attend and speak at any Technical Review Committee meeting. The Technical Review Committee shall have the authority to seek assistance from all other officials and departments of the town and state and federal agencies.

§ 305 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW (DPR).  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Development Plan Review (DPR) is a procedure for the review of new commercial development and substantial alteration to existing development in order to ensure a basic standard of building, site and landscape design. DPR shall be required for certain new development and redevelopment as specified in this subchapter. Projects exempt from DPR are set forth in § 306. The rules and regulations for the development of land in Middletown are contained in the Middletown Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land (the "Regulations").

    (A) Jurisdiction and Purpose. DPR shall be conducted pursuant by the Planning Board pursuant to RIGL 45-23-50 and RIGL 45-24-49, as amended. The purpose of such review shall be the reasonable application of the police power of the town to protect the public from possible detrimental impacts of certain types of development and certain large scale development, while at the same time reasonably accommodating the goal of economic development within the town.

    (B) Subdivision and Land Development Plans; Combined Review. Any subdivision or Land Development Plan (LDP) that is subject to Planning Board review under the Regulations shall be subject to only one combined review.

    (C) The review shall be conducted pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 45-23-32 and 45-23-56, as established and set forth in this chapter, as part of the overall approval process.

    (D) All applications for DPR shall be filed with the Zoning Board of Review. Upon referral of the application by the Zoning Board of Review, the Planning Board and the Technical Review Committee (TRC), as applicable, shall have the administrative power and duty, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and the Regulations, to review all plans for the proposed development.

§ 306 USES SUBJECT TO AND EXEMPT FROM DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW.   [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

        When a building permit or zoning relief is requested, the Zoning Officer shall determine whether or not development plan review is required based on the criteria below. Whether or not development plan review is required, all development, except single-family and two-family residential development, must meet the design standards of Article 5 of the Regulations, unless a waiver is granted by the Planning Board. For development where the Zoning Officer determines that development plan review is not required, compliance with the design standards of the Regulations, Article 5 shall be determined by the Zoning Officer in consultation with the Administrative Officer. In cases where it is determined that development plan review is not required, but one or more waivers from the design standards of the regulations is requested, the waiver request(s) shall be forwarded by the Zoning Officer to the Planning Board for consideration.

    (A) Development Subject to Development Plan Review.. Any use where this ordinance specifically requires development plan review, and any development which proposes one or more of the following is subject to development plan review: a new principal building; the addition of new floor area greater than 1,000 square feet to an existing building; or a new parking area or addition to an existing parking area which in either case results in greater than 5,000 square feet of new parking surface, except that applications involving only single-family or two-family residential development are not subject to development plan review.

    (B) Residential use. Development Plan Review shall not be required for one- and two-family residences located in any zoning district. DPR shall be required for any other residential development, including the expansion of existing structures and the demolition of existing structures in coordination with or anticipation of new construction, in any zoning district.

§ 307 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW FOR USES PERMITTED BY RIGHT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    As set forth in § 306, any use which is permitted by right and subject to development plan review:

    (A) Review procedure. The development plan review application shall be filed with the Zoning Board of Review by submitting a complete application to the Zoning Official. Upon receipt of a complete application the Zoning Official shall place the matter on the next available Zoning Board of Review agenda, and shall immediately forward a copy of the application to the Technical Review Committee. Notice satisfying the requirements of § 320(A) shall be given for the meeting of the Technical Review Committee that will consider the application. Such notice shall be given as soon as possible after referral by the Zoning Board of Review. Once referred by the Zoning Official, development plan review shall begin with a review of the application conducted by the TRC, pursuant to the procedures and time periods set forth in Article 10 of the Regulations. The review by the Technical Review Committee shall be advisory to the Planning Board, which shall complete the development plan review.

    (B) Waiver Requests. The Planning Board shall have the sole authority to waive any of the development standards contained in Rules & Regulations Regarding the Development of Land, § 521 – Commercial Development, subject to the provisions of § 908 of the Regulations, and provided that the standard is not specifically referenced as a requirement by this ordinance and is not substantially similar to a requirement in this ordinance. Prior to the granting of waivers the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing consistent with the notice requirements of § 320(A) of this ordinance.

    (C) Scope of review. The decision by the Planning Board shall be binding upon the permitting authority. The permitting authority is the officer responsible for issuing the building permit and/or certificate of occupancy. Such decision shall be in writing and shall comply with all requirements of the Regulations, including those for filing of records and decisions. The permitting authority may not issue a permit contrary to the decision of the Planning Board, but such decision may be considered an appealable decision, appealable to the Zoning Board of Review, pursuant to the procedures set forth for the review of a decision of the Planning Board, as set forth in § 317.

§ 308 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW FOR USES REQUIRING A VARIANCE OR SPECIAL USE PERMIT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    A use specified in § 602, that is subject to development plan review, as set forth above, and which also requires a variance or special use permit, shall be subject to development plan review prior to the hearing by the Zoning Board.

    (A) Review procedure. The development plan review application shall be filed with the Zoning Board of Review by submitting a complete application to the Zoning Official. Upon receipt of a complete application the Zoning Official shall place the matter on the next available Zoning Board of Review agenda, and shall immediately forward a copy of the application to the Technical Review Committee. Notice satisfying the requirements of § 320(A) shall be given for the meeting of the Technical Review Committee that will consider the application. Such notice shall be given as soon as possible after referral by the Zoning Board of Review. The TRC shall review the application and provide a recommendation to the Planning Board, pursuant to the procedures and time periods set forth in Article 10 of the Regulations. The Planning Board shall complete the review of the application, including consideration of any waiver requests in accordance with § 307(B), upon receipt of the recommendation from the technical review committee.

    (B) Scope of review. The review by the Planning Board, including consideration of any requested waivers from the development standards contained in Rules & Regulations Regarding the Development of Land, § 521 – Commercial Development, shall be advisory only to the permitting authority, being the Zoning Board. Such advisory opinion shall be in writing and shall comply with all requirements of the Regulations, including those for filing of records and decisions. When a Zoning Board decision differs from a Planning Board recommendation, as part of the decision, the reasons for the difference shall be clearly stated in writing.

§ 309 REQUIRED GUIDELINES, FINDINGS AND IMPROVEMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) Recommendations by the technical review committee and decisions and recommendations by the Planning Board shall be based upon the specific standards as set forth in Article 5 of the Regulations.

    (B) General findings. Prior to granting any development plan review approval, or issuing a recommendation in favor of approval to the Zoning Board of Review, the Planning Board shall find that:

        (1) The granting of approval will not result in conditions inimical to the public health, safety and welfare;

        (2) The granting of such approval will not substantially or permanently injure the appropriate use of the property in the surrounding area or zoning district;

        (3) The plans for such project comply with all the requirements of this chapter and the Regulations, or that necessary waivers from the requirements of the Regulations have been granted;

        (4) The plans for such project are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan; and,

        (5) Any conditions or restrictions that are necessary to ensure that these guidelines have been met have been incorporated into the written approval or recommendation.

§ 310 DEVELOPMENT IMPACT REVIEW.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    The purpose of development impact review is to provide for detailed analysis of certain land uses which, because of their scale or intensity of use, have the potential for significant impact on the health, safety or general welfare of town residents, including negative effects on the environment, abutting property values, demand for town services and infrastructure, and traffic safety.

    (A) Application. The provisions of this section shall apply to any major subdivision/land development project and any use subject to development plan review (DPR). However, the Planning Board may waive this requirement by majority vote and written decision, upon a finding that the impacts of the proposed use are too minimal to warrant a development impact review. The Planning Board shall inform the applicant at the time of initial review if a development impact review is reqired.

    (B) Requirements. Applicants within the scope of this section shall comply with the following:

        (1) Impact Statement. The applicant shall submit to the Planning Board an impact statement, prepared with the assistance of qualified consultants, which shall evaluate the potential impact of the development upon:

            (a) Traffic and parking conditions on site and within the surrounding area;

            (b) Municipal utilities and services, including water supply, sewage disposal, storm drains, police, fire protection, emergency services, schools, and other town services;

            (c) The physical and ecological characteristics of the site and the surrounding land, including wetlands, floodplain, vegetation, wildlife habitat, and other environmental conditions;

            (d) The character of the community, including scenic, historic and archaeological conditions; scale, placement, lighting, parking, and use of open space.

    (C) Independent analysis. The Planning Board, with the advice of the Planning Department, may select one or more consultants to prepare an analysis of the impact statement required by this section. Both the impact statement and the consultant analysis shall be considered by the Planning Board in its review of the application.

    (D) Payment for impact statement and review.

        (1) The cost of all studies and investigations reasonably necessary to prepare impact statements required under this section shall be borne by the applicant. The cost of hiring a consultant(s) to review the impact statement shall be borne indirectly by the applicant through payment of a fee to the town upon submission of the application, in addition to the filing fee, according to the following schedule:

            (a) For each application for an apartment, condominium, townhouse, or other multifamily dwelling in excess of two proposed units, a fee of $100 per unit proposed. No fee shall be required for any proposed unit that meets the definition of low and moderate income housing.

            (b) For each application for a hotel, motel or inn, a fee of $150 per rental unit.

            (c) For each shopping center, retail, office, professional services, manufacturing or other commercial development, a fee of $100 per 1,000 square feet of gross floor space.

            (d) For each major subdivision of six or more lots application a fee of $500 for each proposed new building lot.

        (2) Any portion of the fees collected under this section that remain unused shall be refunded to the applicant upon expiration of the final appeal period.

§ 311 CERTIFICATE OF ZONING COMPLIANCE FOR NEW, ALTERED OR NONCONFORMING USES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) It shall be unlawful to use or occupy or permit the use or occupancy of any structure or premises, or both, or part thereof, hereafter created, erected, changed, converted, or wholly or partly altered or enlarged in its use or structure until a certificate of zoning compliance shall have been issued therefore by the Zoning Officer stating that the proposed use of the structure or land conforms to the requirement of this chapter.

    (B) No nonconforming structure or use shall be renewed, changed or extended until a certificate of zoning compliance shall have been issued therefor by the Zoning Officer. The certificate of zoning compliance shall state specifically wherein the nonconforming use differs from the provisions of this chapter.

    (C) A temporary certificate of zoning compliance may be issued by the Zoning Officer in his sole discretion for periods not exceeding six months during alterations or partial occupancy of a structure pending its completion; provided, that such temporary certificate may require such conditions and safeguard as will protect the safety of the occupants and the public.

    (D) The Zoning Officer shall maintain a record of all certificates of zoning compliance issued and copies shall be furnished to any person upon request and upon receipt of a reasonable fee.

    (E) Failure to obtain a certificate of zoning compliance shall be a violation of this ordinance and punishable under § 316.

§ 312 EXPIRATION OF BUILDING PERMITS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) If the work or use described in any building permit has not began within six months from the date of issuance thereof, such permit shall automatically become invalid.

    (B) If the work described in any building permit issued as a result of a zoning variance or special use permit has not been completed within two years of the date of issuance thereof, such permit shall automatically become invalid; provided, that the Zoning Board may, upon application thereof and for cause shown, grant an extension, provided that not more that one such extension for a period of one year be granted.

    (C) In the event of expiration, written notice thereof shall be given to the persons affected, together with notice that further work as described in the expired permit shall not proceed unless a new building permit has been issued.

§ 313 COMPLETION OF WORK AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS CHAPTER.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Nothing in this chapter shall require changes in the plans, construction or designated use of a structure or portion thereof for which a permit has been heretofore issued. Construction must begin within 90 days after this chapter becomes effective. The entire structure must be complete, as authorized, within two years thereafter.

§ 314 CONSTRUCTION AND USE TO BE AS PROVIDED IN APPLICATIONS, PLANS, PERMITS AND CERTIFICATES OF ZONING COMPLIANCE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Building permits or certificates of zoning compliance issued on the basis of plans and applications approved by the Zoning Officer authorize only the use, arrangement, and construction set forth in such approved plans and applications and no other use, arrangement, or construction. Use, arrangement or construction at variance with that authorized shall be deemed in violation of this chapter, and punishable as provided by § 316.

§ 315 COMPLAINTS REGARDING VIOLATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, or is alleged to have occurred, any person may file a written complaint. Such complaint, stating fully the cause and basis thereof, shall be filed with the Zoning Officer, who shall record properly such complaint, immediately investigate and take action thereon as provided by this chapter.

§ 316 PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS; RECOURSE OF TOWN AND DUTY OF TOWN SOLICITOR UPON VIOLATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) Any person, corporation, or other entity, whether as principal, agent, employee, subcontractor or the like, who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 for each offense. Each day of the existence of any violation shall be deemed a separate offense.

    (B) The erection, construction, enlargement, conversion, moving or maintenance of any building or structure and the use of any land or building which is continued, operated or maintained contrary to any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a violation of this chapter and unlawful. At the request of the Zoning Officer, the town Solicitor, immediately upon any such violation having been called to his or her attention, shall institute injunction, abatement or any other appropriate action to prevent, enjoin, abate or remove such violation.

    (C) The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by law.

§ 317 APPEALS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) An appeal to the Zoning Board of Review from a decision of any other zoning enforcement agency or officer may be taken by an aggrieved party. The appeal shall be taken within 30 days of the date of the recording of the decision by the Zoning Officer or agency by filing with the Zoning Officer and with the Zoning Board of Review a notice of appeal specifying the ground of the appeal. The Board may extend such period to 60 days in cases of failure to prosecute such appeal by reason of accident, mistake or any other good cause. The officer or agency from whom the appeal is taken shall immediately transmit to the Zoning Board of Review all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. Notice of the appeal shall also be transmitted to the Planning Board.

    (B) An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the Zoning Officer or agency from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Board, after an appeal has been filed, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would in the officer's or agency's opinion cause imminent peril to life or property. In that case, proceedings shall not be stayed other than by a restraining order, which may be granted by a court of competent jurisdiction on application and upon notice to the officer or agency from whom the appeal was taken on due cause shown.

    (C) The Zoning Board of Review shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal, and shall give public notice, at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the town. Notice of the hearing, which shall include the street address of the subject property, shall be sent by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the appellant and to those requiring notice under RIGL § 45-24-53. The Zoning Board of Review shall decide the matter within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney. The cost of any notice required for the hearing shall be borne by the applicant.

    (D) Participation in a zoning hearing or other proceeding by a party is not a cause for civil action or liability except for acts not in good faith, intentional misconduct, a knowing violation of law, transactions where there is improper personal benefit, or malicious, wanton or willful misconduct.

    (E) In exercising its powers the Zoning Board may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm wholly or partly, and may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make any orders, requirements, decisions or determinations that ought to be made and to that end has the powers of the officer from whom the appeal was taken. All decisions and records of the Zoning Board of Review respecting appeals shall conform to the provisions of RIGL 45-24-61.

§ 318 SPECIAL-USE PERMITS AND VARIANCES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Applications for special use permits and variances shall be filed directly with the Board.

§ 319 APPEAL OF PLANNING BOARD DECISION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    (A) An appeal from any decision of the Planning Board or Administrative Officer charged in the Planning Board's rules and regulations with enforcement of any provisions, may be taken to the Zoning Board, sitting as a Planning Board of Appeal, by an aggrieved party. An appeal from a decision of the Board of Appeal may be taken by the aggrieved party to the Superior Court.

    (B) The process of appeal shall be as required by RIGL 45-23-67.

    (C) An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action being appealed.

    (D) The public hearing on an appeal shall be as required by RIGL 45-23-69.

    (E) The standards of review for a Planning Board appeal shall be as required by RIGL 45-23-70.

§ 320 PUBLIC HEARINGS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Subject to the provisions of division (D), no actions shall be taken by the Zoning Board of Review on the matter of an appeal, special-use permit or variance, or any other matter upon which the Board is authorized to pass, without first holding a public hearing thereon. At such public hearing opportunity shall be given to all persons interested to be heard upon the matter of the appeal, special-use permit or variance.

    (A) The Board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of an appeal or application for a special-use permit or variance; shall publish public notice thereof at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Middletown prior to the date of such hearing.

    The Board shall give due notice by first class mail at least 14 days in advance to the applicant, all owners of real property located in or within not less than 200 feet of the perimeter of the subject area and other parties of interest. The notice shall include the street address of the subject property, or if no street address is available, other information which will assist interested parties to identify the property geographically.

    (B) The Board may:

        (1) Request that the Planning Board, other town commissions or town departments review the application and report findings and recommendations, including a statement on the general consistency of the application with the goals and purposes of the comprehensive plan. Such requests shall be acted upon and returned to the Board within 30 days of receipt.

        (2) Require that a supplemental notice, when an application for a variance is under consideration, be posted at the location in question. The posting shall be for information purposes only and shall not constitute required notice of a public hearing.

    (C) The Board shall hear and decide appeals, special-use requests and variances within a reasonable time. Any party may appear at the hearing in person, by agent authorized in writing or by attorney. Notice of granting of an appeal, special-use permit or variance shall be sent to the zoning officer and Middletown Planning Board within ten days after final action.

§ 321 SUMMARY HEARINGS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

        The public hearing in the case of an application for a dimensional variance may be a full hearing or a summary hearing, as determined by the following procedure:

        (1) A petition for a variance requesting relief of a single setback where said relief is less than or equal to 50% of the required setback as set forth in § 603, may be considered as a summary petition at the discretion of the Zoning Board.

        (2) At the commencement of a hearing of the Board of Review, the chairperson shall read aloud the name of each applicant who is applying for a single dimensional variance of less than or equal to 50% of the required setback as set forth in § 603, in the order in which such applications appear on the docket, and shall ask after reading each name, whether any member of the Board or any person attending the hearing has any objection to the application or for any other reason objects to a summary hearing on that application.

        (3) If no objection is made known to the chairperson, the application shall be marked for a summary hearing. If any person objects for any reason, the application shall be marked for a full hearing.

        (4) After all eligible applications have been thus announced and opportunity for objection has been given, a summary of each application marked for a summary hearing, including the name of the applicant, the location of the property involved, and the nature of the relief sought, shall be read aloud and the chairperson shall again ask if there are any objections to the application. If no objections are heard, the Board shall immediately vote to approve or disapprove the application. If, prior to the vote, an objection is raised, the application shall be held for later consideration on a full hearing, together with all other applications receiving a full hearing.

        (5) Following the disposition of all applications marked for a summary hearing, the board shall proceed with full hearings of all other matters on the docket.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 4 DEFINITIONS.

§ 4 DEFINITIONS.

    (A) The word "person" includes a group of persons, firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company or corporation as well as an individual.

    (B) The present tense includes the future tense, the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular.

    (C) The word SHALL is mandatory; the word MAY is permissive.

    (D) Citations included in definitions refer to Rhode Island General Law (R.I. Gen. Laws).

    (E) For purposes of this chapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

        Definition locater - to jump to a definition, click below on the first letter of the word to be defined:

            [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [Y] [Z]
            (Note: No terms beginning with the missing letters are defined in the chapter.)

        ABUTTER. One whose property abuts, that is, adjoins at a border, boundary, or point with no intervening land.

        ACCESSORY EQUIPMENT STRUCTURE. An unstaffed building, box, cage or other structure used to house and protect equipment necessary for processing wireless telecommunications signals. Associate equipment may include air conditioning and emergency generators.

        ACCESSORY FAMILY DWELLING UNIT. An accessory dwelling unit for the sole use of one or more members of the family of the occupant or occupants of the principal residence, but not needing to have a separate means of ingress and egress.

        ACCESSORY USE. A use of land or a building, or portion thereof, customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of the land or building. An accessory use may be restricted to the same lot as the principal use. An accessory use shall not be permitted without the principal use to which it is related.

        AGGRIEVED PARTY. An aggrieved party, for purposes of this chapter, shall be:

            (a) Any person or persons or entity or entities who can demonstrate that their property will be injured by a decision of any officer or agency responsible for administering the zoning ordinance of a city or town; or

            (b) Anyone requiring notice pursuant to this chapter.

        AGRICULTURAL AWARENESS PROGRAM. An educational or recreational program, which is clearly incidental and subordinate to the primary agricultural use, that enables non-farm residents, including children, to reconnect to the rural character of the land. Such programs may include farm or garden tours, seminars and lectures; petting zoos or children's farms; hay rides; corn mazes; and similar activities.

        AGRICULTURAL LAND. As defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2-4, land suitable for agriculture by reason of suitability of soil or other natural characteristics or past use for agricultural purposes. AGRICULTURAL LAND includes that defined as prime farm land or additional farm land of statewide importance for Rhode Island by the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

        AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS. Cultivated or raised plant and animal life that has been harvested or processed for consumption, including feed and forage; floriculture and nursery products; grains; herbs; vegetables; fruits and nuts; viticulture; honey; eggs; dairy; cattle; sheep; poultry; game and game birds; and fiber for clothing.

        AIRPORT HAZARD AREA. Any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established as provided in R.I. Gen. Laws § 1-3-2.

        ANTENNA. Any exterior transmitting or receiving device mounted on a communications tower or other structure and used in communications that radiate or capture electromagnetic wave, digital signals, analog signals, radio frequencies (excluding radar signals), wireless telecommunications signals or other communication signals.

        ANTENNA, POLE-MOUNTED. An antenna attached to or upon an electric transmission or distribution pole of twelve kVolts or greater, a street light, a traffic signal or similar facility located within the public right-or-way or a utility easement. A pole-mounted antenna shall not be considered a communications tower.

        APPLICANT. An owner or authorized agent of the owner(s) submitting an application or appealing an action of any official, board or agency.

        APPLICATION. The completed form or forms and all accompanying documents, exhibits, and fees required of an applicant by an approving authority for development review, approval, or permitting purposes.

Definition locater
        BASIC NUMBER OF LOTS/UNITS. The number of lots or units to be allowed in a proposed conservation subdivision/land development project, equal to the maximum number of lots which could reasonably be expected to be developed upon the parcel in a conventional subdivision.

        BUFFER. Land which is maintained in either a natural or landscaped state and is used to screen and/or mitigate the impacts of development on surrounding areas, properties or rights-of-way.

        BUILDABLE AREA. That portion of a lot bounded by the required front, side and rear yards, within which principal structures may be sited.

        BUILDING. Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

        BUILDING ENVELOPE. The three-dimensional space within which a structure is permitted to be built on a lot and which is defined by regulations governing building setbacks, maximum height and bulk; by other regulations; and/or any combination thereof.

        BUILDING HEIGHT. The vertical distance from grade, measured from the average original predevelopment lot grade at the front of the building, to the top of the highest point of the roof or structure. The distance may exclude spires, chimneys, flag poles, cupolas (provided that no habitable area is included), and the like.

        BUILDING-MOUNTED FACILITY. A wireless telecommunications facility that:

            (a) Is located in or on an existing building,

            (b) Utilized one or more antennas and/or accessory equipment mounted on the roof or exterior of the building, and

            (c) Does not qualify as a disguised facility.

Definition locater
        CAMPGROUNDS. One or more lots used for seasonal, overnight residential occupancy in permanent or semi-permanent structures, such as cabins, tents with tent platforms, or similar shelters; and further provided that a campground may include any necessary permanent structures accessory to the principal use.

        CEMETERY. A burial ground, memorial park and/or site where human remains are buried or entombed.

        CLEANING AND DYEING PLANT. An industrial facility which uses cleaning or other chemical processes to clean clothing or other materials. Such facilities may include processes which change the color of the materials.

        CLUB (NONPROFIT). A corporation subject to the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws, Title 7, Chapter 6, owning, hiring or leasing of a building or space in a building of such extent and character as may be suitable and adequate for the reasonable and comfortable accommodation of its members, and whose affairs are conducted by a board of directors, executive committee or other similar body chosen by the members, offices, agents or employees profit from the distribution or sale of beverages to the members of the club or to its guests beyond the amount of such reasonable salary or wages as may be fixed and voted each year by the directors or other governing body.

        CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT. A site planning technique that concentrates buildings in specific areas on the site to allow the remaining land to be used for recreation, common open space, and/or preservation of environmentally, historically, culturally, or other sensitive features and/or structures. The techniques used to concentrate buildings and may include, but are not limited to, reduction in lot areas, setback requirements, and/or bulk requirements, with the resultant open land being devoted by deed restrictions for one or more uses. Under cluster development, there is no increase in the number of lots permitted under conventional development, except as provided, including incentive bonuses for certain types or conditions of development.

        CO-LOCATION. The erection of more than one antenna, for different wireless telecommunications providers, on a single communications tower or on an existing structure which already supports one or more antennas.

        COLUMBARIUM. A structure with recesses for cremation remains urns.

        COMMON OWNERSHIP. Either:

            (a) Ownership by one or more individuals or entities in any form of ownership of two or more contiguous lots; or

            (b) Ownership by any association. Such ownership may also include a municipality of one or more lots under specific development techniques.

        COMMUNICATIONS TOWER(S). A structure designed and used only to support one or more antennas and related equipment for the reception and/or transmission of electromagnetic waves. A tower used solely for amateur radio communications by a licensed amateur radio operator shall not be subject to this chapter.

        COMMUNITY RESIDENCE. A home or residential facility where children and/or adults reside in a family setting and may or may not receive supervised care. This shall not include halfway houses or substance abuse treatment facilities. This shall include, but not be limited to the following:

            (a) Whenever six or fewer retarded children or adults reside in any type of residence in the community, as licensed by the state pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Title 40.1, Chapter 24. All requirements pertaining to local zoning are waived for these community residences;

            (b) A group home providing care or supervision, or both, to not more than eight persons with disabilities, and licensed by the state pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Title 40.1, Chapter 24;

            (c) A residence for children providing care or supervision, or both, to not more than eight children including those of the care giver and licensed by the state pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Title 42, Chapter 72.1;

            (d) A community transitional residence providing care or assistance, or both, to no more than six unrelated persons or no more than three families, not to exceed a total of eight persons, requiring temporary financial assistance, and/or to persons who are victims of crimes, abuse, or neglect, and who are expected to reside in that residence not less than 60 days nor more than two years. Residents will have access to and use of all common areas, including eating areas and living rooms, and will receive appropriate social services for the purpose of fostering independence, self-sufficiency, and eventual transition to a permanent living situation.

        COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. The comprehensive plan adopted and approved pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2 and to which any zoning adopted pursuant to this chapter shall be in compliance.

        CONGREGATE HOUSING. Housing which includes common use areas and may include common dining and recreational areas. CONGREGATE HOUSING includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other similar facilities with common dining and recreational areas.

        CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT. A site planning technique which bases the layout of building lots on the natural characteristics of the land and reduces lot sizes so that the remaining land can be used for recreation, common open space, and/or preservation of environmentally, historically and culturally sensitive features and/or structures. The number of lots permitted is equal to what is allowed under conventional development.

        CRYPT, LAWN. A mausoleum structure wholly under ground.

Definition locater
        DAY CARE CENTER. Any other day care center which is not a family day care home.

        DAY CARE, FAMILY DAY CARE HOME. Any home other than the individual's home in which day care in lieu of parental care or supervision is offered at the same time to six or fewer individuals who are not relatives of the care giver, but may not contain more than a total of eight individuals receiving day care.

        DENSITY, RESIDENTIAL. The number of dwelling units per unit of land.

        DEVELOPABLE LAND AREA. For the purpose of calculating the minimum lot size required by District Dimensional Regulations, or of calculating the maximum number of units, maximum lot coverage, or maximum density permitted in accordance with any development standards contained in the chapter, the terms LAND, LAND AREA, LOT SIZE, and LOT AREA; or any such similar term shall mean DEVELOPABLE LAND AREA, which is defined as follows: DEVELOPABLE LAND AREA is the total gross land area of the parcel proposed for development LESS the total of the following.

            (a) Freshwater wetlands as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws Title 2, Chapter 1, as amended, and in any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. Provided, however, that any setback requirement from the edge of a wetland, as so defined in R.I. Gen. Laws Title 2, Chapter 1, shall not be included in the calculation of wetland area.

            (b) The floodway of a stream or flood plain of any other body of water as calculated on the basis of a 100-year frequency storm.

            (c) Coastal shoreline systems as defined by Section 120.0-2A.1. of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program, as amended February, 1982, or subsequent amendments thereto, as follows:

                (1) Beaches and barrier beaches;
                (2) Cliffs, ledges and bluffs;
                (3) Coastal wetlands;
                (4) Sand dunes, and;
                (5) All directly associated contiguous areas which are necessary to preserve the integrity of such features.

            (d) Any public or private street or street right-of-way.

            (e) Existing water surfaces.

            (f) Areas required for stormwater retention/detention under drainage, of this chapter.

            (g) Areas required for utility easements of public utilities.

        DEVELOPMENT. The construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any structure; any mining, excavation, landfill or land disturbance; any change in use, or alteration or extension of the use, of land.

        DEVELOPMENT, PLANNED. A land development project;, as defined herein, developed according to plan as a single entity containing one or more structures and/or uses with appurtenant common areas.

        DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW. The process whereby authorized local officials review the site plans, maps, and other documentation of a development to determine the compliance with the stated purposes and standards of this chapter.

        DISGUISED FACILITY. A wireless telecommunications facility that is so designed, constructed and located that it and all associated equipment are completely screened from public view. Disguised facilities may be located in or on existing structures, such as clock towers, belfries, steeples, and the like, or may be new structures designed to closely resemble trees or permitted free-standing structures, such as flag poles or light standards. When located on an existing building in a GB, OB, LI, or OP district, a wireless telecommunications facility shall be considered a disguised facility even though it has:

            (a) One or more antennas not greater than four inches in diameter and extending above the roof not more than six feet, or

            (b) One or more sectionized panel antennas mounted on the side of a building and camouflaged by color, size and/or shape to blend in with the building as much as possible.

        DISTRICT. See ZONING USE DISTRICT.

        DORMITORY, INSTITUTIONAL. A structure used for housing purposes by persons generally unrelated to each other by blood or marriage but associated by reason or participation in the activities of a medical, religious, commercial or educational organization. Such institutional dormitories are characterized by the provision of sleeping accommodations and may or may not contain common kitchen, dining or recreation facilities.

        DRAINAGE SYSTEM. A system for the removal of water from land by drains, grading, or other appropriate means. These techniques may include runoff controls to minimize erosion and sedimentation during and after construction or development, the means for preserving surface and groundwater, and the prevention and/or alleviation of flooding.

        DRIVE-UP RESTAURANT. A permanent structure, licensed for the preparation, service and consumption of food and beverages, where patrons may be served in their vehicles or at outside seating facilities.

        DRIVE-UP WINDOW. See § 717.

        DWELLING. Any building, or part thereof, that is used or occupied for human habitation, including dwelling premises, opportunities and facilities belonging to the dwelling or usually enjoyed therewith.

        DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY. A building used exclusively for occupancy by one family.

        DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY. A building used exclusively for occupancy by two families living independently of each other.

        DWELLING UNIT. A structure or portion thereof providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, and containing a separate means of ingress and egress.

Definition locater
        EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY. The extraction of minerals, including: solids, such as coal and ores; liquids, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gases. The term also includes quarrying; well operation; milling, such as crushing, screening, washing, and floatation; and other preparation customarily done at the extraction site or as a part of the extractive activity.

Definition locater
        FALL ZONE. The calculated area of the land surrounding a communications tower or any of its attachments which may be affected by debris should the tower structure collapse.

        FAMILY. A person or persons related by blood, marriage, or other legal means. (Also see HOUSEHOLD).

        FARM GUEST HOUSE. An owner-occupied single-family dwelling offering guest rooms without kitchen facilities for rent on a daily or weekly basis, provided the dwelling is located on a parcel of at least two acres primarily devoted to an agricultural use permitted under § 602.

        FARM-PROMOTION ACCESSORY USE. An accessory use which is not customarily incidental to a use permitted as an agricultural use under § 602, but which tends to preserve and/or promote the use of land for farming and is clearly incidental and subordinate to the primary agricultural use. Farm-promotion accessory uses include: equipment and trade fairs, farmers' markets, farm guest houses, livestock sales and auctions, and, when conducted in a farm setting, arts and crafts shows, banquets, corporate functions, and weddings.

        FARM-RELATED ACCESSORY USE, TRADITIONAL. An accessory use customarily incidental to a use permitted as an agricultural use under § 602, regardless of whether it is located on the same lot as the principal use.

        FARMER'S MARKET. An area, which may include a structure, used by growers or producers of agricultural products to display and sell their products.

        FLOATING ZONE. An unmapped zoning district adopted within the ordinance which is established on the zoning map only when an application for development, meeting the zone requirements, is approved.

        FLOODPLAINS, or FLOOD HAZARD AREA. As defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2-4. An area that has a 1% or greater chance of inundation in any given year, as delineated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended P.L. 90-448. 42 U.S.C. 4011 et seq..

Definition locater
        GARAGE. A detached accessory building or portion of a main building, used for the storage of self-propelled vehicles.

        GAS STATION/MINI-MART. Use of a property for the dispensing of gasoline or other fuels from one or more pump islands, covered by a canopy either detached from, or attached to, the principal building which may be used for the sale of food, beverages, dairy products and related items, with no seating on the premises.

        GASOLINE SERVICE STATION (MINOR REPAIRS ONLY). A building or premises, or portion thereof, arranged, intended or designed to be used for the sale of gasoline or other motor vehicle, airplane or motorboat fuel, oils and accessories for the use of motor vehicles, and the rendering of services such as lubrication, washing and minor repairs including the sale of food and beverages where such service facilities are incidental to such principal filling station uses, but not including body or fender work or major repairs.

        GRAVE, CREMATION. A grave or crypt containing cremation remains for a single person.

        GRAVE, DOUBLE. Two single crypts side by side.

        GRAVE, TRADITIONAL. An internment right for a single person's human remains.

        GREENHOUSE. A building with a roof and sides largely made of glass or other clear material, in which the temperature and humidity can be regulated for the cultivation of plants.

        GROSS LEASABLE AREA/GROSS LEASABLE FLOOR AREA (GLFA). The total floor area of a commercial or industrial building designed for occupancy and exclusive use by a tenant, including mezzanines and upper floors, if any, and excluding stairs, elevator shafts, air shafts, public toilets, utility and mechanical equipment areas which are used solely for the maintenance of the building.

        GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATION. A solar photovoltaic system, consisting of panels, support structures, and other equipment which is structurally mounted on the ground and is not roof-mounted, and is used to convert solar energy to electricity, including but not limited to supplying electricity to the local grid or directly to a commercial or residential consumer(s).

        GROUNDWATER. "Groundwater" and associated terms, as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-13.1-3.

Definition locater
        HALFWAY HOUSE. A residential facility for adults or children who have been institutionalized for criminal conduct and who require a group setting to facilitate the transition to a functional member of society.

        HARDSHIP. See Article 9 and R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-41.

        HISTORIC DISTRICT or HISTORIC SITE. As defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2-4, HISTORIC DISTRICT means one or more historic sites and intervening or surrounding property significantly affecting or affected by the quality and character of the historic site or sites, and has been registered, or is deemed eligible to be included on the State Register of Historical Places pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-45-5. [Note: This reference is incorrect. It should be to R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-45-5.] HISTORIC SITE means any real property, man-made structure, natural object, or configuration, or any portion or group of the foregoing which has been registered, or is deemed eligible to be included, on the state register of historic places pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-45-5.

        HOME OCCUPATION. Any activity customarily carried out for gain by a resident, conducted as an accessory use in the resident's dwelling unit, subject to the following conditions:

            (a) The activity is carried on by a member of the family residing in the dwelling unit;

            (b) The activity is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling unit for residential purposes; and

            (c) Conforms to the following conditions:

                (1) No person who is not a resident member of the family shall be employed in the home occupation;
                (2) There shall be no exterior display, no exterior sign, no exterior storage of materials and no other exterior indication of the home occupation or variation from the residential character of the principal building;
                (3) No vibration, dust, odors, heat or glare or offensive noise shall be produced;
                (4) No traffic shall be generated by such home occupation in greater volumes than would normally be expected from a single dwelling unit in a residential neighborhood, and;
                (5) Any parking required for the conduct of such home occupation shall be provided off the street.

        HOTEL. Any structure containing ten or more separate rooms for sleeping, offered to the public for compensation, in which ingress and egress to and from all rooms, made through an inside lobby but not including hospitals, convalescent homes or other charitable or religious institutions.

        HOTEL, EXTENDED STAY. A hotel or motel which has as its primary clientele, guests who stay for a week or more and which offers facilities to facilitate extended stays.

        HOUSEHOLD. One or more persons living together in a single dwelling unit with common access to, and common use of, all living and eating areas and all areas and facilities for the preparation and storage of food within the dwelling unit. HOUSEHOLD UNIT shall be synonymous with the term DWELLING UNIT for determining the number of such units allowed within any structure on any lot in a zoning district. An individual household shall consist of any one of the following:

            (a) A family, which may also include servants and employees living with the family; or
            (b) A person or group of unrelated persons living together not to exceed four.

Definition locater
        INCENTIVE ZONING. The process whereby the town may grant additional development capacity in exchange for the developers provision of a public benefit or amenity as specified in local ordinances.

        INDOOR ROLLERBLADE AND SKATEBOARDING FACILITIES. Interior building areas of between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet in size, where rollerblading, indoor performance bicycling and skateboarding are allowed on courses with ramps, pools and similar areas. Such uses are mot permitted in any Office Business (OB) District.

        INFRASTRUCTURE. Facilities and services needed to sustain residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and other activities.

Definition locater
        LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. A project in which one or more lots, tracts or parcels of land are to be developed or redeveloped as a coordinated site for a single use, complex of uses, units or structures including, but not limited to, planned and/or cluster development for residential, commercial, institutional, recreational, open space and/or mixed uses, as may be provided for in this chapter.

        LINE, STREET. A lot line separating a lot from an adjacent street.

        LIVESTOCK FARM. A farm of at least two acres substantially devoted to breeding and raising animals such as dairy cows, poultry, game and game birds, beef cattle, sheep, horses and bees.

        LOT, CORNER. A lot at the junction of and fronting on two or more intersecting streets.

        LOT, EITHER:

            (a) The basic development unit for determination of lot area, depth, and other dimensional regulations; or
            (b) A parcel of land whose boundaries have been established by some legal instrument such as a recorded deed or recorded map and which is recognized as a separate legal entity for purposes of transfer of title.

        LOT, THROUGH. A lot which fronts upon two parallel streets or which fronts upon two streets which do not intersect at the boundaries of the lot.

        LOT AREA. The total area within the boundaries of a lot, excluding any street right-of-way, usually reported in acres or square feet.

        LOT BUILDING COVERAGE. That portion of the lot that is or may be covered by buildings and accessory buildings.

        LOT DEPTH. The distance measured from the front lot line to the rear lot line. For lots where the front and rear lot lines are not parallel, the lot depth is an average of the depth.

        LOT FRONTAGE. That portion of a lot abutting a street.

        LOT LINE. A line of record bounding a lot, which divides one lot from another lot or from a public or private street or any other public or private space and shall include:

            (a) Front: The lot line separating a lot from a street right-of-way;
            (b) Rear: The lot line opposite and most distant from the front lot line, or in the case of triangular or otherwise irregularly shaped lots, an assumed line at least ten feet in length entirely within the lot, parallel to and at a maximum distance from the front lot line; and
            (c) Side: Any lot line other than a front or rear lot line. On a corner lot, a side lot line may be a street lot line.

        LOT OF RECORD. A parcel of land lawfully recorded in the office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Middletown.

        LOT WIDTH. The horizontal distance between the side lines of a lot measured at right angles to its depth along a straight line parallel to the front lot line at the minimum front setback line.

Definition locater
        MAUSOLEUM. Above-ground entombment sites which contain concrete or stone crypts in which caskets are stored.

        MEMORIAL PARK. A burial ground or cemetery which allows only flat grave markers.

        MERE INCONVENIENCE. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-41 and Article 9.

        MIXED RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL USES. The use of any structure or group of structures on a single lot of record for both residential and commercial purposes, provided, however, this definition shall not include accessory uses, customary home occupation or an office for use by a resident of the premises. The commercial use so mixed must be a use either permitted in the zone in which the lot is situated, authorized by the Zoning Board of Review or granted by the Town Council. Commercial uses as used in this definition are all uses listed in § 602 under the following general classifications: Retail Commercial, Personal Services, Business Services, Professional Services.

        MIXED USE. A mixture of land uses within a single development, building or tract.

        MOBILE HOME PARK. A lot upon which two or more mobile homes occupied for residential, nontransient purposes, are located.

        MODIFICATION. Permission granted and administered by the Zoning Officer of the town and pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, contained herein, to grant a dimensional variance other than lot area requirements from this chapter to a limited degree as determined by this chapter but not to exceed 25% of each of the applicable dimensional requirements.

        MOTEL. A series of attached, semidetached or detached one- or two-story units containing bedroom, bathroom and closet space where each unit has an individual entrance from outside the building to serve each such unit and are designed primarily for transient automobile and vehicular travelers.

        MOTEL, EXTENDED STAY. A motel which has, as its primary clientele, guests who stay for a week or more and which offers facilities to facilitate extended stays.

        MULTIFAMILY DWELLING PROJECT. A large-scale complex of two or more multifamily dwelling structures, or three or more single-family or two-family buildings containing a total of more than five dwelling units, upon a single lot, which are planned, developed and managed as a unit, with required open space and accessory uses. Permitted accessory uses include storage, laundry and drying facilities, refuse collection, recreation facilities, off-street parking and related accessory uses which are intended primarily for the use of residents of the building and their guests. Residential use may be for rental apartments, condominiums or time-share estates.

        MULTIFAMILY DWELLING STRUCTURE. A multifamily dwelling in a single principal building upon a single lot, used principally for residential purposes and housing three or more dwelling units. Permitted accessory uses include storage, laundry and drying facilities, refuse collection, recreation facilities, off-street parking and related accessory uses which are intended primarily for the use of residents of the building and their guests.

Definition locater
        NONCONFORMANCE. A building, structure, or parcel of land, or use thereof, lawfully existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter and not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter or amendment. Nonconformance shall be of only two types:

            (a) Nonconforming by use. A lawfully established use of land, building or structure which is not a permitted use in that zoning district. A building or structure containing more dwelling units than are permitted by the use regulations of a zoning ordinance shall be nonconforming by use; or

            (b) Nonconforming by dimension. A building, structure or parcel of land not in compliance with the dimensional regulations of this chapter. Dimensional regulations include all regulations of this chapter other than those pertaining to the permitted uses. A building or structure containing more dwelling units than are permitted by the use regulations of a zoning ordinance shall be nonconforming by use; a building or structure containing a permitted number of dwelling units by the use regulations of this chapter, but not meeting the lot area per dwelling unit regulations, is nonconforming by dimension.

Definition locater

        OFFICE (FOR USE BY A RESIDENT OF THE PREMISES). The use as a professional office in a building in which the proprietor, manager, owner or tenant maintains a full-time residence and which employs no more than one person or associate not a resident of the premises.

        OFFICE, GENERAL PROFESSIONAL. A commercial establishment in which the principal use is a personal or professional service. Included without limitation in this definition of office are medical, insurance, finance, law, real estate, engineering or similar professional services. Specifically excluded from this definition is the sale of products stored on the premises at wholesale or retail, warehousing operations or service and/or repair activities.

        OVERLAY DISTRICT. A district established in a zoning ordinance that is superimposed on one or more districts or parts of districts that imposes specified requirements in addition to, but not less than, those otherwise applicable for the underlying zone.

Definition locater
        PARK. An open space set aside for the purpose of passive recreation including those open space areas permitted within cluster and condominium developments.

        PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. A set of criteria or limits relating to elements which a particular use or process either must meet or may not exceed.

        PERMITTED USE. A use by right which is specifically authorized in a particular zoning district.

        PLANNING BOARD. The official planning agency of the municipality whether designated as the plan commission, planning commission, plan board or as otherwise known.

        PREAPPLICATION CONFERENCE. A review meeting of a proposed development held between applicants and reviewing agencies, as permitted by law and municipal ordinance, before formal submission of an application for a permit or for development approval.

        PRINCIPAL or MAIN USE. The specific primary purpose for which a lot of land or structure is used.

        PRODUCT STAND. A stand or structure for the display and sale of agricultural products.

Definition locater
        RESIDENTIAL CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY.

            (a) A facility that provides personal assistance, lodging and meals excluding, however, any establishment or facility licensed pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Title 23, Chapter 17 and those facilities licensed by, or under the jurisdiction of, the Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals, or the Department of Children, Youth and Families.

            (b) Residential care and assisted living facilities include Alzheimer Special Care Units (ASCU) which are residential care and assisted living facilities that lock, secure, segregate or provide a special program or a special unit for residents with a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's or related disorder, to prevent or limit access by a resident outside the designated or separated area and that advertises or markets the facility as providing specialized Alzheimer's and/or dementia care services.

            (c) All residential care and assisted living facilities shall make available to residents daily meals in a communal setting, house-keeping services, 24-hour personal assistance, recreational facilities and transportation services. All residential care and assisted living facilities shall be licensed under R.I. Gen. Laws Title 23, Chapter 17.4.

        REST, RETIREMENT, CONVALESCENT OR NURSING HOME. A structure used for provision of medical care or supervision to residents of the premises and further subject to the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws Title 5, Chapter 45.

        RIDING ACADEMY OR SCHOOL. A structure or premises used to:

            (a) Board and care for horses;
            (b) Give instruction or training in riding, jumping and/or showing horses; and
            (c) Rent horses for riding.

        ROOMING HOUSE. A single-family dwelling in which the principal resident rents not more than two rooms, without kitchen facilities and with or without provision of meals, to not more than two persons per room.

Definition locater
        SENIOR INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITIES. A form of residential development consisting of townhouse style dwelling units, and significant on-site facilities and services designed to meet the physical and social needs of persons 55 years of age or older, and to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older. Occupancy of the dwelling units must be restricted such that at least 80% of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years or older per unit within the development. Senior independent living facilities shall be developed in accordance with the provisions of Article 22, and shall not be subject to the provisions of Article 15 or Article 19.

        SETBACK LINE OR LINES. A line or lines parallel to a lot line at the minimum distance of the required setback for the zoning district in which the lot is located that establishes the area within which the principal structure must be erected or placed.

        SHOPPING CENTER, LARGE SCALE.

            (a) A grouping of three or more commercial establishments, primarily retail in nature, planned, developed and managed as a unit, located on a single lot or contiguous lots and containing a total of 20,000 square feet or more of gross leasable floor area (GLFA); or any single commercial establishment that is primarily retail in nature and meets the requirements of this definition for location and size.

            (b) A large-scale shopping center may be developed either for rental of individual units or for sale of condominium units or a combination of both.

        SHOPPING CENTER, SMALL SCALE.

            (a) A grouping of three or more commercial establishments primarily retail in nature, planned, developed and managed as a unit, located on a single lot or contiguous lots and containing less than 20,000 square feet total of gross leasable floor area (GLFA).

            (b) A small-scale shopping center may be developed for rental of individual units or for sale of condominium units or a combination of both.

        SIGN. See § 1202 for definitions for signs.

        SITE PLAN. The development plan for one or more lots on which is shown the existing and/or the proposed conditions of the lot.

        SOLID WASTE COMPACTION AND TRANSFER STATION. A facility where solid waste materials are collected and compacted for transfer and disposal to a site or sites beyond the boundaries of the town.

        SPECIAL USE. A regulated use, which is permitted pursuant to the special-use permit issued by the authorized governmental entity, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-42, formerly referred to as a special exception.

        STREET. A public way established or maintained under public authority, a private way open for public uses and a private way platted or laid out for ultimate public use whether or not constructed.

        STRUCTURE. A combination of materials to form a construction for use, occupancy or ornamentation, whether installed on, above or below, the surface of land or water.

        SUBSTANDARD LOT OF RECORD. Any lot lawfully existing at the time of adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance not in conformance with the dimensional and/or area provisions of that ordinance.

        SUPERMARKET. A retail business providing primarily food, along with other products, and containing 5,000 square feet or more of gross leasable floor area.

Definition locater
        TOWER. See COMMUNICATIONS TOWER.

        TOWNHOUSE. A type of multifamily dwelling containing not less than three nor more than six dwelling units, each having a completely separate entrance at ground level.

Definition locater
        USE. The purpose or activity for which land or buildings is designed, arranged or intended, or for which land or buildings is occupied or maintained.

Definition locater
        VARIANCE. Permission to depart from the literal requirements of a zoning ordinance. An authorization for the construction or maintenance of a building or structure, or for the establishment or maintenance of a use of land which is prohibited by a zoning ordinance. There shall be only two categories of variance:

            (a) Use Variance. Permission to depart from the use requirements of a zoning ordinance where the applicant for the requested variance has shown by evidence upon the record that the subject land or structure cannot yield any beneficial use if it is to conform to the provisions of that zoning ordinance.

            (b) Dimensional Variance. Permission to depart from the dimensional requirements of azoning ordinance, where the applicant for the requested relief has shown, by evidence upon the record, that there is no other reasonable alternative way to enjoy a legally permitted beneficial use of the subject property unless granted the requested relief from the dimensional regulations. However, the fact that a use may be more profitable or that a structure may be more valuable after the relief is granted shall not be grounds for relief. (Also known as a REGULATORY VARIANCE).

Definition locater
        WATERS. As defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-12-1(b) [Note: This reference is incorrect. It should be to R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-12-1(23)].

        WATERSHED PROTECTION DISTRICT. A district superimposed over any other zoning district established by this chapter. The Watershed Protection District is established to protect, preserve and maintain the quality and quantity of surface and ground water utilized by the town.

        WETLAND, COASTAL. As defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2-4. A salt marsh bordering on the tidal waters of the state and contiguous uplands extending no more than 50 yards inland.

        WETLAND, FRESHWATER. As defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 2-1-20. A marsh, swamp, bog, pond, river, river or stream flood plain or back area subject to flooding or storm flowage; emergent or submergent plant community in any body of fresh water; or area within 50 feet of the edge of a bog, marsh, swamp, or pond, as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws 2-1- 20.

        WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES. Licensed wireless telecommunications services including cellular, personal communication services (PCS), specialized mobilized radio (SMR), enhanced specialized mobilized radio (ESMR), paging and similar service that are marketed to the general public.

        WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY. A communications tower and/or antenna, together with related equipment used to provide wireless telecommunications services.

        YARD. A space on the same lot with a main building, open, unoccupied and unobstructed by buildings or structures from the ground to the sky, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

Definition locater
        YARD, FRONT. The area between a street line and a line parallel thereto drawn through the nearest point of a main structure, extending between side lot lines.

        YARD, REAR. A yard extending across the full width of the lot between the rearmost main building and the rear lot line, the depth of which shall be the least distance between the rear lot line and the rear of such main building.

        YARD, SIDE. A yard between the main building and the side lot line, extending from the front yard or front lot line where no front yard is required, to the rear yard. The width of the required side yard shall be measured horizontally from the nearest point of the side lot line toward the nearest part of the main building.

        YIELD PLAN. Plan of a conventional subdivision or land development used to demonstrate development potential, including the basic number of lots to be allowed in a conservation subdivision plan, based on the zoning and development requirements of the underlying zoning district.

Definition locater
        ZONING CERTIFICATE. A document signed by the Zoning Officer, as required in this chapter, which acknowledges that a use, structure, building or lot either complies with or is legally nonconforming to the provisions of this chapter or is an authorized variance or modification therefrom.

        ZONING MAP. The map or maps which are a part of this chapter and which delineate the boundaries of all mapped zoning districts within the physical boundary of the town.

        ZONING ORDINANCE. An ordinance enacted by the legislative body of the town pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24 and in the manner providing for the adoption of ordinances in the town's home rule charter, which sets forth regulations and standards relating to the nature and extent of uses of land and structures, which is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan of the town as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2, which includes a zoning map and which complies with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24.

        ZONING USE DISTRICTS. The basic unit in zoning, either mapped or unmapped, to which a uniform set of regulations applies, or a uniform set of regulations for a specified use. The districts include, but are not limited to: agricultural, commercial, industrial, institutional, open space and residential. Each district may include sub-districts. Districts may be combined.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 5 ZONING DISTRICTS AND ZONING MAP

        Article Outline
        Section 500. Establishment of Zoning Districts
        Section 501. Purposes of the Various Zoning Districts
        Section 502. Official Zoning Map
        Section 503. Rules for Interpretation of Zoning District Boundaries

§ 500 ESTABLISHMENT OF ZONING DISTRICTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    To achieve the purposes of this chapter, the Town of Middletown is hereby divided into the following zoning districts:

List of Authorized Zoning Districts
District
Symbol
Description
Residential R-60 Low Density Residential
Residential R-40 Low Density Residential
Residential R-30 Medium Density Residential
Residential R-20 Medium Density Residential
Residential R-10 High Density Residential
Residential RM Residential Multifamily
Residential MT Mobile Home/Transient Trailer
     
Commercial GB General Business
Commercial LB Limited Business
Commercial OB Office Business
Commercial OP Office Park
     
Industrial LI
See § 724
Light Industry
     
Open Space OS Open Space
     
Public P Public
     
Traffic Sensitive Residential R-60A Traffic Sensitive Low Density Residential
Traffic Sensitive Residential R-40A Traffic Sensitive Low Density Residential
Traffic Sensitive Residential R-30A Traffic Sensitive Med. Density Residential
Traffic Sensitive Residential R-20A Traffic Sensitive Med. Density Residential
Traffic Sensitive Residential R-10A Traffic Sensitive High Density Residential
Traffic Sensitive Residential RMA Traffic Sensitive Residential Multifamily
Traffic Sensitive Residential MTA Traffic Sen. Mobile Home/Transient Trailer
Traffic Sensitive Commercial GBA Traffic Sensitive General Business
Traffic Sensitive Commercial LBA Traffic Sensitive Limited Business
Traffic Sensitive Commercial OBA Traffic Sensitive Office Business
Traffic Sensitive Industrial LIA Traffic Sensitive Light Industry
Traffic Sensitive Open Space OSA Traffic Sensitive Open Space
Traffic Sensitive Public PA Traffic Sensitive Public

§ 501 PURPOSES OF THE VARIOUS ZONING DISTRICTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In addition to furthering the purposes of this chapter as stated in Article 1, each of the foregoing listed districts is created with specific intent as follows:

        A. Low Density Residential (R-60). This district is established to provide low density residential areas, areas for agricultural use and where future community expansion is likely to occur.

    B. Low Density Residential (R-40). This district is established to provide residential areas which are suited for large lot single family development, agricultural and certain other uses.

    C. Medium Density Residential (R-30). This district is established to provide residential areas which are located in rural areas of town or where environmental conditions preclude smaller single family lot sizes, and where agricultural and certain other uses may be established.

    D. Medium Density Residential (R-20). This district is established to provide residential areas suitable for development but where intensive non-residential uses are restricted.

    E. High Density Residential (R-10). This district is established to provide a wide range of urban housing types within the central built-up areas of town where water and sewer service is provided.

    F. Residential Multifamily (RM). This district is established to provide areas for multifamily housing, including apartments and condominiums, meeting certain design and site planning requirements; and where complementary non-residential uses may be allowed.

    G. Mobile Home/Transient Trailer (MT). This district is established to provide areas for mobile home parks and transient trailer parks.

    H. General Business (GB). This district is established to provide areas for most retail, wholesale, and service businesses, serving both local as well as regional markets.

    I. Limited Business (LB). This district is established to provide areas for day-to-day localized shopping needs, convenience shopping services to neighborhood areas, and to provide limited specialized business uses in certain parts of town.

    J. Office Business (OB). This district is established to provide areas for planned office parks, light industrial and research centers and professional office buildings.

    K. Light Industry (LI). This district is established to provide for light industry and non-manufacturing businesses, heavy commercial uses, automotive and mechanical services and outdoor storage uses and is explained in § 724.

    L. Office Park (OP). This district is established to provide a park-like setting for office uses, certain industrial uses, and miscellaneous compatible uses.

    M. Open Space (OS). This district is established to reserve certain areas for conservation of natural resources and open recreational and institutional uses.

    N. Public (P). This district is established to provide for major public lands owned by federal, state or municipal governments. The purpose of this district is to relate the zoning map to major elements of actual land use and to the Comprehensive Community Plan, and to provide zoning controls if the public use is abandoned or the land is sold for private use.

    O. Traffic Sensitive Districts. These districts are designated by the letter "A" and identify districts where special regulations regarding lot width/frontage shall apply. They are intended to provide for adequate and safe access onto major thoroughfares within the town.

§ 502 OFFICIAL ZONING MAP.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The boundaries of the foregoing zoning districts are hereby established as shown on the Town of Middletown Official Zoning Map, dated October 1, 1985, consisting of plat maps, and filed in the Office of the town Clerk. The Town of Middletown Official Zoning Map, as may hereafter be amended from time to time, is hereby made a part of this Code, is hereinafter sometimes referred to as the "zoning map" and is hereby adopted and made a part of this chapter.

    (B) The zoning map, consisting of 45 plat maps, shall be identified by the following: Town of Middletown Official Zoning Map," dated October 1, 1985, the signature of the Town Council President, attested by the Town Clerk, and bearing the seal of the town.

    (C) Regardless of the existence of copies of the zoning map, which may be periodically made or published, the zoning map herein described, which shall be located in the office of the Town Clerk, shall be the Town of Middletown Official Zoning Map. It shall be the final authority as to the current zoning status of land and water areas; buildings, and other structures in the Town of Middletown.

§ 503 RULES FOR INTERPRETATION OF ZONING DISTRICT BOUNDARIES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]   [Article Outline]

    Where uncertainty exists as to boundaries of zoning districts as shown on the zoning map, the following rules shall apply:

    A. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the centerlines of streets, railroads or utility rights-of-way shall be construed to follow such centerlines;

    B. Boundaries indicated as approximately following platted lot lines shall be construed as following such lot lines;

    C. Boundaries indicated as following shore lines shall be construed to follow such shore lines, and in the event of change in the shore line shall be construed as moving with the actual shore line. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the centerlines of streams, rivers, ponds or other bodies or water shall be construed to follow such centerlines;

    D. Land created by the filling of a stream or water body shall be considered to be within the district of the land from which such fill was extended;

    E. Boundaries indicated as approximately following town limits shall be construed as following town limits;

    F. Boundaries indicated as parallel to or extensions of features indicated in divisions (A) through (E) hereof shall be so construed. Distances not specifically indicated on the zoning map shall be determined by the scale of the zoning map;

    G. Where physical or cultural features existing on the ground differ from those shown on the zoning map or in other circumstances not covered by divisions (A) through (F) hereof, the Zoning Officer shall interpret the zoning district boundaries.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 6 APPLICATION OF DISTRICT REGULATIONS

        Article Outline
        Section 600. Regulation of Structures and Land
        Section 601. Special Provisions Regarding Lot Width/Frontage
        Section 602. Schedule of District Regulations - Uses and Districts
        Section 603. District Dimensional Regulations
        Section 604. Conservation Development Dimensional Regulations
        Section 605. Maximum Building Footprint

§ 600 REGULATION OF STRUCTURES AND LAND.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Regulations set by this chapter within each district shall be minimum regulations and shall apply uniformly to each class or type of structure or land, except as hereinafter provided:

    (A) No structure or land shall hereinafter be used or occupied, and no structure, including signs, or parts thereof shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered except in conformity with all of the regulations herein specified for the district in which it is located.

    (B) No structure shall hereafter be erected or altered to be:

        (1) Be greater in height or bulk;

        (2) Accommodate or house a greater number of families;

        (3) Occupy a greater percentage of lot area;

        (4) Have narrower or smaller rear yards, front yards, side yards, frontage or other open spaces; than herein provided, or in any other manner contrary to the provisions of this chapter.

    (C) No yard or lot legally existing at the time of passage of this chapter shall be reduced in dimension or area below the minimum requirements set forth herein. Yards or lots created after the effective date of this chapter shall meet at least the minimum requirements established by this chapter.

    (D) No required yard or open space provided around any building for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this chapter shall again be used as a yard or open space for any other building.

    (E) This section shall not apply to tents erected under a tent license issued for 30 days or less under Chapter 101 of Title IX: General Regulations, except that tents on nonresidential property must comply with the setback requirements applicable to accessory buildings in § 603.

§ 601 SPECIAL PROVISIONS REGARDING LOT WIDTH/FRONTAGE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Within any zoning district designated by the letter "A" as shown on the official zoning map, all the applicable regulations of this chapter for the zoning district to which the letter "A" has been added shall apply, with the single exception of provisions for minimum lot width/frontage as provided in § 603.

    (B) Lot width/frontage shall be as provided in § 701. For the purposes of this chapter, wherever a provision other than lot width/frontage is made herein which is applicable to a zoning district, it shall be construed to be applicable to any corresponding zoning district to which the letter “A” has been added. For example, all provisions of this chapter which are applicable to a Residential R-60 zone are also applicable to a Traffic Sensitive Residential R-60A zone (except minimum lot width/frontage).

§ 602 SCHEDULE OF DISTRICT REGULATIONS - USES AND DISTRICTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The following uses are permitted only in the zoning district marked with a "Y". Uses permitted in the zoning district as a special use under the provisions of uses requiring a variance or special use permit or Article 9 are marked with an "S". Where the letter "N" appears, the use is prohibited.

    (B) Any use which is not specifically included in the use provisions herein is prohibited everywhere in the Town of Middletown, unless the Zoning Officer makes an interpretation that such use is included in any of the sub-classifications set forth herein. Uses not specified in this chapter may be permitted only if the Zoning Officer makes an interpretation that they are included in a use sub-classification permitted in the zoning district and if such use would be consistent with the purposes and intent of this chapter.

    Zoning District Permitted Uses
    Zoning District Permitted Uses (PDF)

§ 603 - DISTRICT DIMENSIONAL REGULATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following schedule sets forth the minimum and/or maximum dimensional regulations for uses permitted in the various zoning districts.

    Zoning District Dimensional Regulations
    Zoning District Dimensional Regulations (PDF)

§ 604 CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT DIMENSIONAL REGULATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following schedule sets forth the minimum and maximum dimensional regulations for uses permitted in the various zoning districts under Article 19. Conventional zoning standards are included for comparison only.

    Conservation Development Dimensional Regulations – Single and Two-Family Dwellings
    Conservation Development Dimensional Regulations – Single and Two-Family Dwellings (PDF)

    Conservation Development Dimensional Regulations – Multifamily Dwellings
    Conservation Development Dimensional Regulations – Multifamily Dwellings (PDF)

§ 605 MAXIMUM BUILDING FOOTPRINT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) All uses permitted by right or by special use permit in Zones GB, LB, OB, OP, RM, MT and LI shall only be conducted in buildings which comply with the maximum building footprint requirements of § 605(B). Any variance from this provision shall require a use variance as set forth in § 903. Provided however, that buildings which existed as of April 4, 20l6 shall be exempt from this requirement.

    (B) The maximum footprint of any single building shall be limited as follows:

    Maximum Building Footprint
    Maximum Building Footprint (PDF)

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 7 SUPPLEMENTARY REGULATIONS

        Article Outline
        Section 700. Purpose
        Section 701. Yard Regulations; Exceptions
        Section 702. Number of Dwelling units or Principal Building Per Lot
        Section 703. Accessory Uses and Structures
        Section 704. Height and Yard Modifications
        Section 705. Fences, Walls and Hedges
        Section 706. Vision Clearance at Street Intersections
        Section 707. Setback From Wetlands or Rivers
        Section 708. Conversion of Dwelling to More Units
        Section 709. Parking, Storage and Use of Major Recreational Equipment in Residential Districts
        Section 710. Parking and Storage of Certain Vehicles
        Section 711. Minimum Residential Floor Area
        Section 712. Removal of Earth Products
        Section 713. Airport Height Restrictions; "Airport Approach Plan for Newport State Airport"
        Section 714. Swimming Pools
        Section 715. Drainage
        Section 716. Yard Regulations
        Section 717. Drive-up Windows
        Section 718. Application to Subdivisions ("Grandfathering")
        Section 719. Mixed Uses Within a Building
        Section 720. Traffic Sensitive Districts
        Section 721. Waste Receptacle Enclosures
        Section 722. Farm-Promotion Accessory Uses
        Section 723. Landscaping
        Section 724. Light Industrial District
        Section 725. Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation

§ 700 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of supplementary regulations is to set specific conditions for various uses, classification of uses or areas where special regulations apply.

§ 701 YARD REGULATIONS; EXCEPTIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The front, side and rear yards as required by District Dimensional Regulations, shall be unoccupied and unobstructed by buildings or structures, except as provided as follows:

    (A) Ordinary projections of window sills, cornices, eaves and other structural features may extend not more than 12 inches into the space above required yards;

    (B) Required and ordinary projections for stairs, landings, bulkhead entrances and chimneys;

    (C) Signs, as permitted in Article 12;

    (D) Driveways and walkways;

    (E) Fences, as permitted in § 705;

    (F) Accessory uses and structure as permitted in § 703.

§ 702 NUMBER OF DWELLING UNITS OR PRINCIPAL BUILDING PER LOT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

        (A) Residential Zoning Districts. In any residential zoning district other than Residential Multifamily (RM) and Mobile Home/Transient Trailer (MT), not more than one dwelling unit or principal building shall be permitted on a lot, except in the case of motels or hotels, and multifamily dwelling projects in conservation developments, as further provided in this chapter.

    (B) Commercial and Industrial Districts (GB, OB, LB, LI). In these districts, more than one principal building per lot shall be permitted if used for commercial, office or industrial purposes.

§ 703 ACCESSORY USES AND STRUCTURES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

        (A) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (F) and (G), an accessory use which is clearly incidental and secondary to the principal permitted use of the premises or structure shall be allowed; provided that such accessory use shall be located on the same lot to which it applies.

    (B) No accessory buildings or structures shall be located nearer than ten feet to a principal building unless such accessory buildings or structure are structurally attached to the principal building.

    (C) Regardless of the provisions of Table of Zoning District Dimensional Regulations concerning Accessory Buildings - Minimum Distance in Feet to Side Lot Lines and Rear Lot Line, § 603, any accessory structure, having 150 square feet or less floor area with a maximum height of 15 feet shall be permitted to be placed no closer than 5 feet to any lot line in the required rear yard. Provided, however, that no accessory structure, pen or enclosure used for keeping animals shall be permitted closer to a property line than the distance permitted for accessory buildings in the Table.

    (D) No accessory building or structure, except signs as allowed by Article 12, and satellite dish antennas and communication towers as allowed by Article 25 shall be located in any required front yard.

    (E) Vending machines, newsstands, soft drink machines, etc., shall be considered to be accessory structures and shall not be placed within the right-of-way of streets, attached to a utility pole, or located within any required off-street parking and loading facility. Such structures are permitted only if attached to or abutting a building, upon a sidewalk or exterior mall adjacent to a building, or within pedestrian areas associated with a building.

    (F) Farm-promotion accessory uses are allowed by obtaining a special-use permit from the Board in Review. Such uses are subject to applicable requirements and conditions of farm-promotion accessory uses, as well as to any conditions imposed by the Board under conditions on variances and special use permits.

    (G) A tent erected and maintained for not more than 30 days, or for up to nine months under successive licenses issued by the building official under the tent chapter (Town Code, Chapter 101), shall be considered an accessory structure and shall be allowed as a matter of right in all districts. All other tents exceeding 120 square feet in area shall require a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Review, which is expressly authorized, after considering the requirements for special-use permits under § 902, to allow the tent to be located on the lot containing the principal use or on an undeveloped lot.

§ 704 HEIGHT AND YARD MODIFICATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

        (A) The following structures or parts of structures, when accessory to a permitted or special principal use may be permitted above the maximum height limitations set forth in § 603, provided they meet all other rear, side, and front lot requirements of this chapter: flagpoles, chimneys, radio masts, television antennas and water tanks.

    (B) Structures other than those listed in height and yard modifications above, may exceed the height limitation provided in § 603 only upon the granting of a variance by the Zoning Board of Review.

    (C) Structures permitted above the maximum height requirements by the Zoning Board of Review shall be set back from any lot line one additional foot by which the height of each structure exceeds the maximum height limit for the district.

    (D) For the purpose of side yard regulations, duplex dwellings and townhouse dwellings with common party walls shall be considered as one building occupying one lot: duplex dwellings and townhouse dwellings.

§ 705 FENCES, WALLS AND HEDGES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to regulate the materials, location, height, and maintenance of fencing, hedges, and walls in order to prevent the creation of nuisances and to promote the general welfare of the public. In all zoning districts, fences, hedges, and walls are permitted only in accordance with the provisions of this section.

    (B) Fences and walls of any composition, including hedges, on all or part of the perimeter of any parcel of land in Middletown are subject to the requirements of this section.

    (C) Hedge Defined. A hedge is a line of closely spaced shrubs and bushes, or trees, planted and trained in such a way as to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area.

    (D) Permit requirement. With the exception of work associated with restoration or repair of an existing fence or wall, before a fence or wall is constructed or replaced, a permit application must be obtained from the Zoning Officer, completed and signed by the property owner, and submitted to the Zoning Officer with a fee in an amount established by the Town Council. An accurate site plan, satisfactory to the Building Inspector, showing the location of the fence or wall in relation to all property lines must be submitted with the application.

    (E) Location. No fence, wall or hedge shall be located so as to encroach on any public right of-way or interfere with existing utilities or drainage patterns.

    (F) Height limitation

        (1) Fences and walls may be permitted in any required yard or along the edge of any yard as follows, not to exceed the maximum height as listed:

Location    Maximum Height
      Front and side yards       6 feet
      Rear yard in residential districts       6 feet
      Rear yard in light industry and business districts       10 feet

            (2) Hedges are permitted at any height.

    (G) Materials. Chain link fences shall be erected so that the knuckle edges are on top and the twists (barbed ends) are on the bottom. Barbed wire fences are prohibited in residential districts, and prohibited in other districts unless they are in full compliance with R.I. General Laws Title 34, Chapter 10, §§ 2 – 5.

    (H) Maintenance. All fences and walls shall be maintained in good repair. Hedges shall be maintained so as to not encroach on the public way, to provide adequate visual clearance for motorists and to not impede pedestrians.

    (I) Nonconformities. Consistent with the provisions of § 803, nonconforming fences and walls may be altered provided that the alteration diminishes the extent of the nonconformity.

§ 706 VISION CLEARANCE AT STREET INTERSECTIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    At street intersections, no structure shall be erected and no vegetation shall be planted or maintained in such a manner as to obstruct vision between the heights of three feet and ten feet above the triangle formed by the two street lines and a third line joining points on the street lines 15 feet from the intersection.

§ 707 SETBACK FROM WETLANDS OR RIVERS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No disposal trench, disposal bed, cesspool, seepage pit, septic tank, septic field or other facility designed to leach liquid wastes into the soil shall be located:

    (A) Within 100 feet of a fresh water wetland, as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws Title 2, Chapter 1, as amended, excluding from such definitions:

        (1) That area of land within 50 feet of the edge of any bog, marsh, swamp or pond; and
        (2) That area of land within 200 feet of the edge of any flowing body of water having a width of ten feet or more; and
        (3) That area of land within 100 feet of the edge of any flowing body of water having a width of less than ten feet during normal flow; and
        (4) That area defined as a floodplain in R.I. Gen. Laws Title 2, Chapter 1.

    (B) Within 100 feet of a river as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws Title 2, Chapter 1.

§ 708 CONVERSION OF DWELLING TO MORE UNITS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A residence may not be converted to accommodate an increased number of dwelling units unless:

    (A) A multiple unit dwelling is specifically allowed in that district;

    (B) Yard dimensions and lot area equals the prescribed dimensions and area requirements for new multiple unit dwelling structures in that district; and

    (C) The Building Inspector has received an approval permit from the State for sewage disposal facilities or from the Town Council to accommodate a large number of dwellings on the town sanitary sewer system.

§ 709 PARKING, STORAGE AND USE OF MAJOR RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The parking or storage of major recreation equipment, which includes travel trailers, pick-up campers or coaches, motorized dwellings, tent trailers, boats and boat trailers but does not include mobile homes, in residential districts, shall comply with the following regulations:

    (A) Not more than one travel trailer, pick-up camper or coach, motorized dwelling, tent trailer or boat trailer may be parked or stored out-of-doors; provided that such equipment is not more than 15 feet in height.

    (B) Not more than one boat may be stored out-of-doors; provided, that such equipment is not more than 15 feet in height.

    (C) No major recreation equipment, while parked or stored, shall be used for living, sleeping or housekeeping purposes.

    (D) No major recreation equipment shall be stored out-of-doors in residential districts unless it is in condition for safe and effective performance of the function for which it was intended or can be made so in a six-month period.

    (E) No major recreational equipment, not owned or operated by a person residing on the premises, shall be parked or stored on a lot in a residential zone for a period longer than seven days in a calendar year.

§ 710 PARKING AND STORAGE OF CERTAIN VEHICLES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Unserviceable or junked vehicles, etc. No unregistered, unserviceable, discarded, worn-out or junked automobiles or trailer of any kind or type or bodies, engines, tires, parts or accessories thereof, shall be parked or stored on any residentially zoned property other than in a completely enclosed building.

    (B) Commercial vehicles in a residential district. In any residential district, the parking or storage of more than one commercial vehicle of over one and one-half ton weight capacity shall not be permitted except where such parking or storage is directly related to and is accessory to a permitted use of* legal nonconforming use on the premises.

    *Should probably be "or".

§ 711 MINIMUM RESIDENTIAL FLOOR AREA.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

        (A) No single or two-family dwelling shall be erected or single-family dwelling converted to a two-family dwelling in such a manner so as to provide living space per family of less than:

                (1) Seven hundred-twenty square feet on one floor in a single family one-story structure;
                (2) One thousand square feet on two floors in a single-family, two or more story structure;
                (3) Seven hundred-twenty square feet per family in a two-family structure;
                (4) Seven hundred-twenty square feet per family in townhouses with a minimum of 450 square feet on the first floor.

    (B) No multifamily dwelling shall be erected or conversion made from a single or two-family dwelling, in such a manner as to provide space per dwelling unit less than required in the following schedule:

Multifamily Unit Living Space per Dwelling Unit
Number of Bedrooms Per Dwelling Unit    Living Space in Sq. Ft. Per Dwelling Unit
      Efficiency       350
      One       500
      Two       620
      Three       740
§ 712 REMOVAL OF EARTH PRODUCTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The removal from any premises of more than three cubic yards of sod, clay, loam, sand, gravel or rock in any one year shall be prohibited except as authorized by the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance. Nothing herein or in Article 6 shall prevent the continuation of a use of premises for rock quarrying operations existing as of December 3, 1968.

    (B) The opening of new earth removal pits may be authorized in zoning districts permitted in § 602, by a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Review with such restrictions and limitations as the Board may impose; provided, that such pits or excavations shall not be harmful or detrimental, in any way, to neighboring property. Upon the completion of any earth removal from premises existing prior to December 3, 1968, or authorized by this chapter or the Zoning Board of Review, such premises shall be graded with top soil and seeded in such a manner so as to prevent erosion, the blowing of soil or other harmful or detrimental conditions. Removal of soil or other earth products, other than as specifically permitted in this chapter, shall be classified as stripping and is hereby prohibited.

§ 713 AIRPORT HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS; "AIRPORT APPROACH PLAN FOR NEWPORT STATE AIRPORT".  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In any district, the height of any structure or growing thing, hereafter erected or permitted to grow in the vicinity of the Newport State Airport shall not exceed the heights indicated on the map entitled "Airport Approach Plan for Newport State Airport" as filed in the Office of the Town Clerk, and as it may be revised from time to time under the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 1-3-4, as amended, which map, as amended, is hereby incorporated in and made a part of this section.

§ 714 SWIMMING POOLS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Private or public swimming pools, capable of containing water to a depth of at least 24 inches or having a surface area of 250 square feet or more, shall be enclosed by an adequate enclosure having a height of at least four feet, surrounding either the property or the pool area. Such enclosure shall be of such construction, including gates, to make the pool inaccessible from the outside to small children.

§ 715 DRAINAGE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

        (A) An applicant for a building permit shall provide plans for adequate management of stormwater runoff. This shall be accomplished through compliance with Chapter 153 of this code. No building permit shall be issued for development until the Stormwater Management Plan has been approved, with the exception of additions or modification to existing single-family residential structures if grading, as a maintenance measure or for landscaping, on contiguous area of developed land, parcels and lots, does not exceed 5,000 square feet in aggregate.

    (B) Any required stormwater best management practice(s) (BMP(s)) shall be installed prior to construction of any buildings or the surfacing of any areas.

§ 716 YARD REGULATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The minimum front yard requirements provided in § 603, shall be measured perpendicular to the street line and minimum side and rear yard requirements shall be measured perpendicular from side and rear lot lines, respectively. In the instance of a curved lot line, yard measurement shall be taken along a radial.

    (B)(1) Lot frontage shall be measured along the street line between the side lot lines and shall not be less than the minimum lot width, as specified in § 603. Provided, however, the Planning Board may, in approving a subdivision, reduce the minimum lot frontage for a lot on a cul-de-sac to no less than 50 feet as provided in the Middletown “Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land”.

        (2) In the case of a corner lot, the minimum required lot frontage shall be provided on at least one abutting street but the total street frontages shall not be combined to calculate required lot frontage.

    (C) Lot depth shall be measured from the mid-point of the lot frontage to the mid-point of the rear lot line. In the event of curved frontage, depth shall be measured from the mid-point of the lot frontage. In the case of a corner lot, depth shall be measured from the mid-point of the combined lot frontage of all streets. For lots where the front and rear lines are not parallel, the lot depth is an average of the depth.

    (D) Lot width shall be the horizontal distance between the side lines of a lot measured at right angles to the lot depth line along a straight line parallel to the front lot line at the minimum front setback line.

    (E) Rear lot width shall be measured along the line opposite and most distant from the front lot line, or in cases of a triangular or otherwise irregularly shaped lot, an assumed line at least ten feet in length, entirely within the lot, parallel to, and at a maximum distance from, the front lot line.

    (F) Except in the case of a corner lot, as provided above, wherever a rear yard as defined herein is not possible, one side yard as designated may be considered as rear yard and conform with rear yard regulations as required in § 603.

    (G) Where the location of a lot width or lot depth line or a front, side or rear yard is otherwise uncertain, the Zoning Officer shall determine their position in a manner complying as closely as possible with the requirements of this chapter.

§ 717 DRIVE-UP WINDOWS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The sale or dispensing of food or beverages, or the conducting of any retail, commercial or personal business or professional service from an exterior booth, window or other opening in a building, for patrons on foot or in automobiles, shall be required to receive a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Review. Such drive-up facilities shall be permitted only as accessory uses to a lawful principal use.

§ 718 APPLICATION TO SUBDIVISIONS ("GRANDFATHERING").  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any land which, at the time of the enactment of this chapter, is part of a subdivision which has received final approval from the Planning Board pursuant to the statutes or chapters of the town, or to the Middletown Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land, but which, by the adoption of this chapter, is in a zoning district requiring larger dimensional regulations under the provisions of § 603, than were required at the time such final approval was granted, may continue to be developed in accordance with the dimensional regulations in effect at the time such final approval was granted. In all other respects, the lots in such subdivisions shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 719 MIXED USES WITHIN A BUILDING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Nothing herein shall be construed to limit or prohibit the use of a single building or structure for multiple uses, provided each individual use is a permitted use within the zoning district in which it is located; or a special-use for which a special-use permit has been granted by the Zoning Board; or a legal nonconforming use. All such uses shall be required to provide off-street parking and loading space for each individual use on a cumulative basis, where applicable. Signs for such mixed uses shall be incorporated into a single sign, or as provided for in Article 12.

    (B) Mixed Residential and Commercial Uses as defined in Article 4 shall be permitted only where allowed in § 602, by the granting of a special-use permit by the Zoning Board of Review.

§ 720 TRAFFIC SENSITIVE DISTRICTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Traffic sensitive districts, as shown on the official zoning map are established for the following purposes:

        (1) To facilitate the movement of traffic along major roads in the town in a safe and orderly manner;
        (2) To reduce the number and increase the spacing of driveways which may disrupt traffic flow;
        (3) To reduce infringement on the rights of the public to travel roadways in a safe manner, while at the same time providing for adequate ingress and egress to properties; and
        (4) To protect public safety along major thoroughfares in the town where accidents have frequently occurred.

    (B) In any traffic sensitive district, the minimum lot width/frontage per lot, specified in § 603, shall be 300 feet. All other provisions contained in § 603 regarding district dimensional regulations and all other applicable provisions of this chapter shall be required for the corresponding zoning district to which the letter “A” has been added.

    (C) On any lot existing on the effective date of this chapter (the original lot), the lot width/frontage may be reduced to the provisions of § 603, provided:

        (1) Only one driveway or curb opening onto streets listed in division (E) below shall be created to serve the original lot; or
        (2) Future subdivisions or lots created from the original lot shall be served by a single common driveway or curb opening onto the streets listed in division (E) below; or
        (3) A public street or street system approved by the Planning Board under the provisions of the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land shall be created to serve all subsequent lots created from the original lot.

    (D) Common driveways, rights-of-way or other common means of access to adjacent streets listed in division (E) below shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Board before any building permit shall be issued for lots created from the original lot.

    (E) The frontage/lot width requirements of this section shall be applicable only to lots having frontage on the following streets:

        (1) East Main Road (Route 138);
        (2) West Main Road (Route 114);
        (3) Valley Road (Route 214); and
        (4) Aquidneck Avenue (Route 138A)

§ 721 WASTE RECEPTACLE ENCLOSURES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Each commercial building shall be provided with an enclosed waste receptacle of sufficient size to accommodate all trash and waste stored on the premises.

§ 722 FARM-PROMOTION ACCESSORY USES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of farm-promotion accessory uses is to preserve viable agriculture and the rural character of the town by allowing farmers to conduct supplemental income-producing activities at a scale or intensity that will not unduly change the character of the area. All farm-promotion accessory uses must comply with any conditions imposed by the Board of Review under § 904; in addition, the uses specified below must satisfy the following requirements:

    (A) Farm Guest House.

        (1) No kitchen facilities in guest rooms;
        (2) Not more than one guest room per acre of land, to a maximum of nine rooms;
        (3) No guest room shall have less than 70 square feet of floor area;
        (4) Guestrooms shall not be equipped for or rented to more than two individual guests, except that children 12 or under may accompany their parents in a room;
        (5) Parking shall be provided according to the following formula:

            (a) One parking space per room;
            (b) Two parking spaces for the principal residential use
            (c) No RV parking or facilities;

        (6) Where public sewer is not provided, the adequacy of the existing/proposed ISDS and its location in relation to fresh water or coastal wetlands, rivers, streams and other waterways shall be reviewed by the Conservation Commission and an advisory opinion shall be forwarded to the Zoning Board of Review prior to its consideration.

    (B) Product Stands. One product stand for the sale of agricultural products may be operated on each lot or parcel devoted to an agricultural use permitted under § 602.

        (1) Substantially all of the products sold, or the ingredients in the products sold, must be grown or raised on the premises;
        (2) Nonagricultural products may not be sold without a permit from the Town Council.
        (3) Product stands must have a front wall area that is at least 50% open;
        (4) Product stands shall be set back at least ten feet from the nearest public way;
        (5) Off-street parking shall be provided as follows: one parking space for each non-resident employee and four spaces for customer parking plus one additional space for each 50 square feet of building size above 150 square feet. Parking for product stands shall comply with the requirements of § 1301, except that the parking area need not be paved and may be located closer than ten feet to the street line.

    (C) Farmers' Markets. A farmer's market may be conducted on a lot or parcel of five or more acres devoted to an agricultural use permitted under § 602.

        (1) The products sold must be grown, raised or processed in Newport County;
        (2) Non-agricultural products, or agricultural products not grown, raised or processed in Newport County, may not be sold without a permit from the Town Council.
        (3) A structure used for a farmers' market, if enclosed, must have a front wall area that is at least 50 percent open;
        (4) A farmers' market shall operate only during daylight hours;
        (5) Off-street parking shall be provided as follows: one parking space for each person selling products plus three spaces per seller for customer parking. Parking for a farmers' market shall comply with the requirements of § 1301, except that the parking area need not be paved and may be located closer than ten feet to the street line.

§ 723 LANDSCAPING.    [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) All landscaping required by this chapter or imposed by the Board of Review or Planning Board as a condition of the grant of any special use permit, variance or approval of any land development project, shall be installed prior to the issuance of any certificate of use and occupancy.

    (B) Prior to issuance of the certificate of use and occupancy, the Building Official shall inspect the development and determine if the approved or required landscape plan has been installed in a satisfactory manner. The Building Official shall consult with, and request a report by, the Middletown Tree Commission in making this determination.

    (C) If for any reason, the required or approved landscape improvements are not fully installed at the time of issuance of the certificate of occupancy, the owner or the owner's agent shall provide an improvement guarantee to secure the satisfaction of all landscape requirements.

        (1) The amount of the improvement guarantee shall be 150% of the estimated cost of completion of all landscaping and associated finish grading, shall be based on actual cost estimates for all required landscape improvements and shall be reviewed and approved by the Building Official.

        (2) The Building Official shall deliver any such cost estimates, which serve as a basis for improvement guarantee, to the Middletown Tree Commission for their review and comment.

        (3) The improvement guarantee shall be a security instrument in a form acceptable to the Finance Director which enables the town to gain timely access to the secured funds for cause, and which contains such conditions as are necessary to secure for the town the complete installation of all required landscaping.

        (4) The improvement guarantee shall set forth a definite time by which the required landscape improvements shall be completed.

    (D) If the Building Official determines that the landscape improvements have been installed in a satisfactory manner, in the time prescribed, he shall authorize release of the improvement guarantee.

        (1) Prior to the release of the improvement guarantee, the owner or owner's agent shall post a maintenance guarantee. The maintenance guarantee shall be equal to fifty (50%) of the cost for all landscaping improvements as evidenced by actual invoices, or alternatively, actual cost estimates as referenced in divisions (C)(1) and (2) above. The maintenance guarantee shall guarantee the durability of the landscape improvements for a period of one year from the release of the improvement guarantee.

        (2) If the required landscaping has been installed prior to the issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy, and no improvement guarantee is required, the owner or owner's agent shall post a maintenance guarantee prior to issuance of the certificate of use and occupancy. The maintenance guarantee shall be equal to 50% of the cost of all landscaping improvements as evidenced by actual invoices or in the alternative, actual cost estimates as referenced in divisions (C)(1) and (2) above. The maintenance guarantee shall guarantee the durability of the landscape improvements for a period of one year from the issuance of the certificate of use and occupancy.

        (3) At the conclusion of the one year maintenance period the Building Official shall inspect the landscape improvements and shall request the Middletown Tree Commission to review and comment upon improvements. If the Building Official finds the improvements to be acceptable he shall so certify in writing to the Finance Director to release the maintenance guarantee. If at the conclusion of the one year maintenance period the Building Official determines the improvements to be in an unacceptable condition, he/she may grant an extension of time for the owner or agent to bring those improvements to an acceptable condition.

    (E) The town shall hold the owner or agent in default of the improvement or maintenance guarantee should any one or more of the following conditions occur:

        (1) Failure to complete the required landscape improvements in the time prescribed.

        (2) Failure of the landscape improvements to survive for the one year maintenance period, or failure to protect improvements or repair damage to improvements occurring during the development or the one year maintenance period.

    (F) Should any of the conditions set forth in division (E) above be found to exist, the Building Official shall certify in writing to the Finance Director that the owner is in default and the extent of any noncompliance.

    (G) Upon receipt of such certification the Finance Director shall execute such portion of the improvement or maintenance guarantee, as may be necessary, to correct any deficiency for which the owner was held in default.

    (H) For the purposes of this section, the terms LANDSCAPE PLAN, LANDSCAPE IMPROVEMENT or LANDSCAPING shall mean and include the planting, location and/or installation of all trees, shrubs, grass, turf, other plantings, fencing, stone walls and aesthetic barriers, and completion of finish grading associated therewith and, where applicable, the maintenance and preservation of existing vegetation.

§ 724 LIGHT INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT.    [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) General requirements.

        (1) Property and buildings shall be so designed and laid out as to minimize disturbance to adjacent property by such features as buffers, fences, planting, suitably located points of traffic ingress and egress, and areas for loading and parking. It is the intent of this section to also provide the necessary protection for industry from other neighboring uses and to provide assurances of continued legal operation to industrial uses.

        (2) All uses in the light industrial (LI) district shall conform with the use table in § 602, and the provisions of this section.

    (B) Site design requirements.

        (1) A landscaped buffer of no less than 10 feet in width shall be required along all lot lines.

        (2) Where a light industrial district abuts a residential district or use, a vegetated buffer of no less than 25 feet in width shall be required along such lot line. Within the buffer, opaque screening in the form of densely planted non-deciduous vegetation, earthen berms, fences, or walls, or any combination of these, shall be provided. Said screening shall be no less than six feet in height at the time of installation, and shall be designed to provide maximum protection from the visual and noise impacts of industrial use.

        (3) All site design, parking, landscaping, and other applicable requirements of this chapter, including Article 27, shall be addressed. Where there are conflicting standards contained in this chapter, the more restrictive standards shall prevail.

        (4) Where a light industrial district abuts a residential district or use, all buildings shall maintain a minimum 50-foot setback from property lines abutting the residential district or use.

        (5) Where a light industrial district abuts a residential district or use, all dumpsters and other trash receptacles shall maintain a minimum 50-foot setback from property lines abutting the residential district or use.

§ 725 GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATION.    [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Any Zoning District. A ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation in any zoning district shall comply with the following:

        (1) A ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation shall be subject to Development Plan Review as described in § 305.

        (2) No individual panel within a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation shall exceed 12 feet in height, as measured from pre-development lot grade at the location of the panel.

        (3) All panels and other equipment that are part to the installation shall be setback a minimum of 25 feet from all property lines.

        (4) A ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation shall not be subject to the maximum percentage of lot to be occupied by buildings as applied in § 603.

        (5) A ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation shall be designed to preent unauthorized access, including, but not necessarily limited to protective fencing.

    (B) Additional requirements in residential districts. A ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation located in any residential zoning district shall comply with the following additional requirements:

        (1) In lieu of the building lot coverage requirements of § 603, the total surface area of solar panels installed in residential districts shall not exceed 25% of lot area.

        (2) The installation shall be surrounded by visual screening, consisting of fencing, dense vegetation, or a combination of both, that is a minimum of six feet in height at the time of installation.

        (3) Electrical lines and connections shall be installed underground.

    (C) An abandoned ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation and all associated structures and components, shall be physically removed from the site within 90 days from cessation of operation, and the property shall be restored to predevelopment condition. If the owner fails to remove the installation in accordance with the requirements of this section, the town shall have the authority to enter the property and physically remove the installation and restore the property. In that case, the owner of the property shall be responsible for all costs incurred by the Town, and the obligation shall be recorded in the Land Evidence Records as a lien against the property.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 8 NONCONFORMING USES

        Article Outline
        § 800. Continuance of a Nonconforming Use
        § 801. Discontinuance of a Nonconforming Use
        § 802. Destruction or Demolition of Nonconforming Structures
        § 803. Extension or Alteration
        § 804. Change of Use
        § 805. Nonconforming Lot of Record
        § 806. Effect of Enactment of Amendment of chapter on Building Permits Valid as of Time
        of Such Enactment or Amendment

§ 800 CONTINUANCE OF A NONCONFORMING USE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any legal nonconforming use shall be permitted to continue in the manner and extent existing as of the effective date of enactment or amendment of this chapter, subject to the provisions of this chapter regarding discontinuance, destruction or demolition, change of use and extension or alteration.

§ 801 DISCONTINUANCE OF A NONCONFORMING USE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) A legal nonconforming use of any land, premises, structure or combination thereof, which has been abandoned or discontinued for more than six consecutive months or for 18 months during any three-year period (except when government action impedes access to the land or premises) shall not thereafter be used except in conformity with the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.

    (B) Abandonment of a nonconforming use shall consist of some overt act or failure to act which would lead one to believe that the owner of the nonconforming use neither claims nor retains any interest in continuing the nonconforming use unless the owner can demonstrate an intent not to abandon the use. An involuntary interruption of nonconforming use, such as by fire and natural catastrophe, does not establish the intent to abandon the nonconforming use. However, if any nonconforming use is halted for a period of six months, or 18 months in three years, the owner of the nonconforming use will be presumed to have abandoned the nonconforming use, unless that presumption is rebutted by the presentation of sufficient evidence of intent not to abandon the use.

§ 802 DESTRUCTION OR DEMOLITION OF NONCONFORMING STRUCTURES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Should a legal nonconforming structure or nonconforming portion of a structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 75% percent of its replacement cost at the time of destruction, as determined by the Zoning Officer, the property owner shall be given six months in which action must be taken to rebuild, repair or replace the damaged structure. If such action is not taken within such six-month period, then it shall not be rebuilt, repaired or replaced except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.

    (B) Should a legal nonconforming structure or portion of a structure be demolished at the direction of the owner or by governmental action, it shall not be reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.

    (C) In rebuilding, repairing or replacing a structure or portion of a structure as provided in division (A) above, the previously existing degree of nonconformity shall in no way be enlarged or extended except as provided in § 803; however, this does not preclude the use of modern construction materials and methods.

§ 803 EXTENSION OR ALTERATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) A legal nonconforming use may not be added to, extended or enlarged without first receiving a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Review in accordance with Article 9.

    (B) A legal nonconforming use may be altered in whole or in part in a way which diminishes the extent of its nonconformity without first receiving a special use permit as required in division (A) above; provided, however, that once a nonconforming use is made less nonconforming for a period of one year, or for 18 months during any three year period, it shall not be permitted to resume the previous extent of its nonconformity.

    (C) Any addition, extension or enlargement of a nonconforming use shall conform to all other applicable district regulations and district dimensional regulations required by this chapter for "other permitted uses" and for the zoning district in which such use or structure is located.

    (D) Nothing herein shall prevent a legal nonconforming use from adding yard, off-street parking or off-street loading space to conform to the yard, parking or loading space requirements of this chapter.

    (E) A nonconforming building or structure shall not be moved in whole or in part unless such building or structure is made to conform to all of the regulations of the zone in which it is to be located.

    (F) A legal nonconforming single-family or two-family dwelling shall not be subject to the provisions of this subchapter and may be altered, added to, changed or moved; provided, that the dwelling be subject to the requirements of the nearest residential district as measured from the property line.

    (G) If a nonconforming structure, other than a sign can be extended or enlarged in any lawful manner without increasing the extent of its nonconformity, then any extension or enlargement thereof shall only be permitted in accordance with the district dimensional regulations; otherwise variance relief from the Zoning Board shall be required.

    (H) A nonconforming sign may be altered in whole or in part in a way which diminishes the extent of its nonconformity.

    (I) Nonconforming signs shall also be governed by § 1207.

    (J) A use established by variance or special-use permit shall not acquire the rights of this section.

§ 804 CHANGE OF USE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A legal nonconforming use shall not be changed to another nonconforming use but may be changed to a use conforming to the provisions of this chapter. A legal nonconforming use, if changed to a conforming use, may not hereafter be changed back to a nonconforming use.

§ 805 NONCONFORMING LOT OF RECORD.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) An unimproved lot or parcel having a lot width or lot area which is less than required by district dimensional regulations, may be considered buildable for a use permitted as a matter of right or by special use permit under § 602, regardless of the lot width or area, provided such lot or parcel of land was shown on a plat or on a deed duly recorded prior to December 18, 1985, except that in the case of two-family dwelling development where the standards of § 603 are not met, a special use permit shall be required.

    (B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt a nonconforming lot of record from complying with the maximum percentage of lot coverage of principal and accessory buildings, as contained in district dimensional regulations for the zoning district in which such lot is located.

§ 806 EFFECT OF ENACTMENT OF AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER ON BUILDING PERMITS VALID AS OF TIME OF SUCH ENACTMENT OR AMENDMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any building permit for a nonconforming use, which was legally issued prior to the enactment or subsequent amendment of this chapter, will expire if not activated within six months from the date of such enactment or amendment.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 9 APPEALS, SPECIAL USE PERMITS AND VARIANCES

        Article Outline
        § 900. Powers of the Zoning Board of Review
        § 901. Appeals
        § 902. Special-use Permits
        § 903. Variances
        § 904. Conditions on Variances and Special-use Permits
        § 905. Expiration and Extensions

§ 900 POWERS OF THE ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Zoning Board of Review shall have the power to:

    (A) Hear and decide appeals as authorized.

    (B) Grant special use permits as authorized.

    (C) Grant variances as authorized.

§ 901 APPEALS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The Zoning Board of Review shall:

        (1) Hear and decide appeals in a timely fashion as authorized by Article 3.

        (2) Act as a Planning Board of Appeals to hear and decide any appeal from an action taken by the Planning Board as authorized by Article 3.

        (3) Act as a Building Code Board of Appeals.

    (B) In using this power, the Zoning Board may affirm, reverse, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made and to that end shall have all the powers of the Zoning Officer or Planning Board from whom the appeal was taken.

§ 902 SPECIAL USE PERMITS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Zoning Board shall hear and decide requests for special use permits in accordance with the terms of this chapter, according to the following provisions:

    (A) A use, categorized as a special use in Article 6 and elsewhere in this chapter, shall be permitted by the Zoning Board following a public hearing if, in the opinion of the Board, such use in its proposed location meets the following requirements.

        (1) It will not result in a significant diminution of property values in the surrounding area of the district;
        (2) It will not create a nuisance in the neighborhood;
        (3) It will be compatible with the Comprehensive Community Plan of the Town of Middletown;
        (4) That the granting of such special use permit will not be detrimental to or substantially or permanently injure the appropriate use of property in the surrounding area or district;
        (5) That the granting of such special use permit will not result in hazardous conditions or conditions inimical to the public health, safety or welfare.

    (B) In granting a special use permit, the Zoning Board of Review may grant one or more dimensional variances under § 903.

§ 903 VARIANCES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) In granting a variance, the Zoning Board of Review shall require that evidence to the satisfaction of the following standards be entered into the record of the proceedings:

        (1) That the hardship from which the applicant seeks relief is due to the unique characteristics of the subject land or structure and not to the general characteristics of the surrounding area and is not due to a physical or economic disability of the applicant;

        (2) That the hardship is not the result of any prior action of the applicant and does not result primarily from the desire of the applicant to realize greater financial gain;

        (3) That the granting of the requested variance will not alter the general character of the surrounding area or impair the intent or purpose of this chapter or the Comprehensive Plan upon which this chapter is based; and

        (4) That the relief to be granted is the least relief necessary.

        (5) The Zoning Board of Review shall, in addition to the above standards, require that evidence be entered into the record of the proceedings showing that:

            (a) In granting a use variance the subject land or structure cannot yield any beneficial use if it is required to conform to the provisions of this chapter. Nonconforming use of neighboring land or structures in the same district and permitted use of lands or structures in an adjacent district shall not be considered in granting a use variance; and

            (b) In granting a dimensional variance, that the hardship which will be suffered by the owner of the subject property if the dimensional variance is not granted shall amount to more than a mere inconvenience. The fact that a use may be more profitable or that a structure may be more valuable after the relief is fronted shall not be grounds for relief. [Note: "fronted" should probably be "granted".]

            (c) Dimensional variances granted in conjunction with a special use permit shall be supported by independent evidence on the record satisfying each of the requirements for a dimensional variance, and the Board shall vote on each dimensional variance before voting on the special use permit.

§ 904 CONDITIONS ON VARIANCES AND SPECIAL-USE PERMITS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In granting a variance under § 903, or in granting a special use permit under § 902, the Zoning Board of Review may apply such special conditions to the grant that may, in the opinion of the Board, be required to maintain harmony with neighboring uses and promote the objectives of the Comprehensive Plan and this chapter. Failure to abide by any special condition attached to a grant shall constitute a zoning violation. Those special conditions shall be based on competent credible evidence on the record, be incorporated into the decision and may include, but not be limited to provisions for:

    (A) Minimizing adverse impact of the development upon other land, including the type, intensity and performance of activities;

    (B) Controlling the sequence of development, including when it must be commenced and completed;

    (C) Controlling the duration of use or development and the time within which any temporary structure must be removed;

    (D) Assuring satisfactory installation and maintenance of required improvements;

    (E) Designating the exact location and nature of development;

    (F) Establishing detailed records by submission of drawings, maps, plats or specifications; and

    (G) Providing standards of site planning for proper circulation of traffic, stormwater drainage, landscaping or buffering, outdoor lighting, utilities, waste disposal, and/or signage.

§ 905 EXPIRATION AND EXTENSIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A special use permit or variance shall expire one year from the date of granting by the Zoning Board unless the applicant exercises the permission granted or receives a building permit to do so and commences construction and diligently prosecutes the construction until completed. The Board may, upon application therefore, for good cause shown, and following a public hearing thereon, grant an extension for an additional one-year period. Nothing herein contained shall limit the number of successive one-year extensions which the Board may grant, provided that the Board may only grant a single one-year extension following any one public hearing.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 10 FLOOD HAZARD AREAS

        Article Outline
        § 1000. Purpose
        § 1001. Applicability
        § 1002. Notification of Watercourse Alteration
        § 1003. Use Regulations
        § 1004. [RESERVED]
        § 1005. Definitions
        § 1006. Duties and Responsibilities of Building Inspector

§ 1000 PURPOSE  [Next section]   [ Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The basic purpose of this article is to ensure public safety; minimize hazards to persons and property from flooding, to protect watercourses from encroachment, and to maintain the capability of floodplains to retain and carry off floodwaters. The Town of Middletown elects to comply with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-488, as amended).

§ 1001 APPLICABILITY  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Special Flood Hazard Areas. The Special Flood Hazard Areas are herein established as a floodplain overlay district. The District includes all special flood hazard areas within the Town of Middletown designated as Zone A, AE, V, or VE on the Newport County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Digital FIRM issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the administration of the National Flood Insurance Program. The map panels of the Newport County FIRM that are wholly or partially within the Town of Middletown are panel numbers 44005C0092H, 44005C0094H dated April 5, 2010; and 44005C0083J, 44005C0087J, 44005C0089J, 44005C0091J, 44005C0093J, 44005C0113J, 44005C0181J, 44005C0182J, 44005C0201J dated September 4, 2013. The exact boundaries of the district may be defined by the 100-year base flood elevations shown on the FIRM and further defined by the Newport County Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report dated September 4, 2013. The office of Building/Zoning is responsible for floodplain management. The FIRM and FIS report and any revisions thereto are incorporated herein by reference and are on file with the Town Clerk, Planning Department, Building Official, and Conservation Commission.

    (B) Administrative Provisions.

        (1) Building Permit.

            (a) All proposed construction or other development within a special flood hazard area shall require a permit.

    The National Flood Insurance Program Special Flood Hazard Area requires permits for all projects that meet the definition of development, not just "building" projects. Development projects include any filling, grading, excavation, mining, drilling, storage of materials, temporary stream crossings. If the construction or other development within a Special Flood Hazard Area is not covered by a building permit, all other non-structural activities shall be permitted by either the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council and/or the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management as applicable. Therefore if another State agency issues a permit, the local building official must have the opportunity for input and keep a copy of the respective permit in their files.

    Prior to the issuance of a building or development permit, the applicant shall submit evidence that all necessary permits and approvals have been received from all government agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law. A permit fee (based on the cost of the construction) may be required to be paid to the Town of Middletown and a copy of a receipt for the same shall accompany the app1ication. An additional fee may be charged if the code enforcement officer and/or board of appeals needs the assistance of a professional engineer.

    Disclaimer of Liability. The degree of flood protection required by the ordinance is considered reasonable but does not imply total flood protection.

    Severability. If any section, provision. or portion of this ordinance is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court, the remainder of the ordinance shall not be affected.

    Abrogation and Greater Restriction. This ordinance shall not in any way impair/remove the necessity of compliance with any other applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, etc. Where this ordinance imposes a greater restriction, the provisions of this ordinance shall control.

    Enforcement. The building official shall enforce all provisions as applicable in reference to RIGL § 23-27.3-108.1.

    Penalties. Every person who shall violate any provision of this code shall be subject to penalties put forth in RIGL § 23-27.3-122.3.

§ 1002 NOTIFICATION OF WATERCOURSE ALTERATION  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) In a riverine situation, the Floodplain Manager shall notify the following of any alteration or relocation of a watercourse:

        (1) Adjacent communities

        (2) NFIP State Coordinator
              Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency
              645 New London Avenue
              Cranston, RI 02920

        (3) Risk Analysis Branch
              Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region I
              99 High Street, 6th Floor
              Boston, MA 02110

    (B) The carrying capacity of the altered or relocated watercourse shall be maintained.

§ 1003 USE REGULATIONS  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Reference to Existing Regulations.

        (1) The Special Flood Hazard Areas are established as a floodplain overlay district. All development in the district, including structural and non-structural activities, whether permitted by right or by variance, special use permit, or otherwise, must be in compliance with the following:

    Rhode Island State Building Code (as established under RIGL § 23-27.3);

    Coastal Resources Management Act, Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council (RIGL § 46-23)

    Endangered Species Act, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIGL § 20-1-2)

    Freshwater Wetlands Act, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIGL § 46-23-6)

    Minimum Standards Related to Individual Sewage Disposal Systems, Department of Environmental Management (RIGL § 42-17.1 and 42-17.6 and 46-12)

        (2) Any variances from the provisions and requirements of the above referenced state regulations may only be granted in accordance with the required variance procedures of these state regulations.

    (B) Other use regulations.

        (1) In Zones A1-30 and AE, along watercourses that have a regulatory floodway designated on the Newport County FIRM, encroachments are prohibited in the regulatory floodway which would result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

        (2) All subdivision proposals must be designed to assure that:

            (a) such proposals minimize flood damage;

            (b) all public utilities and facilities are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage; and

            (c) adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.

        (3) Detached accessory structures in Zones A, AE, A1-30 (i.e., garages, sheds) do not have to meet the elevation or dry flood-proofing requirement if the following standards are met:

            (a) The structure has a value less than $1000.

            (b) The structure has unfnished interiors and must not be used for human habitation. An apartment, office or other finished space over a detached garage is considered human habitation and would require the structure to be elevated.

            (c) The structure is not in the floodway.

            (d) The structure is not used for storage of hazardous materials.

            (e) The structure is used solely for parking of vehicles and/or limited storage.

            (f) The accessory must be wet floodproofed and designed to allow for the automatic entry and exit of flood water.

            (g) The accessory structure shall be firmly anchored to prevent flotation, collapse and lateral movement.

            (h) Service facilities such as electrical. mechanical and heating equipment must be elevated or floodproofed to or above the base flood elevation.

            (i) The structure must not increase the flood levels in the floodway.

        (4) Existing contour intervals of site and elevations of existing structures must be included on plan proposal.

        (5) No person shall change from business/commercial to residential use of any structure or property located in the floodway of a Special Flood Hazard Area so as to result in a use or expansion that could increase the risk to the occupants.

        (6) The space below the lowest ?oor;

            (a) Free of obstructions as described in FEMA Technical Bulletin 5 "Free of Obstruction Requirements for Buildings Located in Coastal High Hazard Area in Accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program", or

            (b) Constructed with open wood lattice-work, or insect screening intended to collapse under wind and water without causing collapse, displacement, or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting piles or columns; or,

            (c) Designed with an enclosed area less than 300 square feet that is constructed with non-supporting breakaway walls that have a design safe loading resistance of not less than 10 or more than 20 pounds per square foot.

    (C) Base Flood Elevation and Floodway Data

        (1) Floodway data. In Zones A, A1-30, and AE, along watercourses that have not had a regulatory floodway designated, the best available federal, state, local, or other floodway data shall be used to prohibit encroachments in floodways which would result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

        (2) Base flood elevation data. Base flood elevation data is required for subdivision proposals or other developments greater than 50 lots or 5 acres, whichever is the lesser, within unnumbered A zones.

        (3) Base flood elevations in A Zones. In the absence of FEMA BFE data and floodway data, the best available federal, state, local, or other BFE or floodway data shall be used as the basis for elevating residential and non-residential structures to or above the base flood level and for floodproofing non-residential structures to or above the base flood level.

§ 1004 [RESERVED]  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

§ 1005 DEFINITIONS  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Unless specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this ordinance pertaining to floodplain management have the same meaning as they have in common usage and should be interpreted to give this ordinance its most reasonable application.

    ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. A structure which is on the same parcel of property as the principal structure to be insured and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure.

    AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD. See definition for "special flood hazard area."

    BASE FLOOD. The flood having a (1) percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

    BASE FLOOD ELEVATION (BFE). The elevation of the crest of the base flood or 100-year flood. The height, as established in relation to the North American Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988 (or other datum where specified), in relation to mean sea level expected to be reached by the waters of the base flood at pertinent points in the floodplains of coastal and riverine areas.

    BASEMENT. Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.

    BUILDING. See definition for "structure".

    COASTAL A ZONE. Area within a special flood hazard area, landward of a V Zone or landward of an open coast without mapped V Zones. The principal source of flooding must be astronomical tides, storm surges, seiches, or tsunamis, not riverine flooding. During the base flood conditions. the potential for breaking wave heights shall be greater than or equal to 1.5 feet.

    COST. As related to substantial improvements, the cost of any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, alteration, repair or other improvement of a structure shall be established by a detailed written contractor's estimate. The estimate shall include, but not be limited to the cost of materials (interior finishing elements, structural elements, utility and service equipment); sales tax on materials, building equipment and fixtures, including heating and air conditioning and utility meters; labor; built-in appliances; demolition and site preparation; repairs made to damaged parts of the building worked on at the same time; contractor's overhead; contractor's profit; and grand total. Items to be excluded are the cost of plans and specifications, survey costs, permit fees, costs to correct code violations subsequent to a violation notice, outside improvements such as septic systems, water supply wells, landscaping, sidewalks, fences, yard lights, irrigation systems, and detached structures such as garages, sheds, and gazebos.

    DEVELOPMENT. Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to the construction of buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.

    EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION. A manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured home are to be affixed (including, as a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.

    EXPANSION TO AN EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION. The preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufacturing homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads).

    FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA). The federal agency that administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    FLOOD or FLOODING. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from either the overflow of inland or tidal waters, or the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

    FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM). The official map of a community on which the Federal Insurance Administrator has delineated both the special flood hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to a community. A FIRM that has been made available digitally is called a Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM).

    FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS). The official study of a community in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has conducted a technical engineering evaluation and determination of local flood hazards, flood profiles and water surface elevations. The Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), which accompany the FIS, provide both flood insurance rate zones and base flood elevations, and may provide the regulatory floodway limits.

    FLOOD PROOFING. Any combination of structural and non-structural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.

    FLOODWAY. The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot. For the purposes of these regulations, the term "Regulatory Floodway" is synonymous in meaning with the term "Floodway".

    FUNCTIONALLY DEPENDENT USE OR FACILITY. A use that cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. The term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and ship building and ship repair facilities.

    HIGHEST ADJACENT GRADE (HAG). The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure.

    HISTORIC STRUCTURE. Any structure that is:

        (1) Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of the Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;

        (2) Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historic significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;

        (3) Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or

        (4) Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either by an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior or directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.

    LIMIT PF MODERATE WAVE ACTION (LiMWA). An advisory line indicating the limit of the 1.5-foot wave height during the base flood.

    LOWEST FLOOR. The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement area is not considered a building's lowest floor; Provided, that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of the applicable non-elevation design requirements of § 60.3.

    MANUFACTURED HOME. A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term "manufactured home" does not include a "recreational vehicle."

    MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION. A parcel or contiguous parcels of land divided into two (2) or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.

    MARKET VALUE. Market value is the price of a structure that a willing buyer and seller agree upon. This can be determined by an independent appraisal by a professional appraiser; the property's tax assessment, minus land value; the replacement cost minus depreciation of the structure; or the structure's actual cash value.

    NEW CONSTRUCTION. Structures for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of an initial FIRM or after December 31, 1974, whichever is later, and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. For floodplain management purposes, new construction means structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.

    NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION. A manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of floodplain regulations adopted by the community.

    RECREATIONAL VEHICLE. A vehicle which is:

        (1) Built on a single chassis;

        (2) 400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;

        (3) Designed to be self- propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and

        (4) Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as a temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.

    REGULATORY FLOODWAY. See definition for "Floodway".

    SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA). The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year. After detailed ratemaking has been completed in preparation for publication of the flood insurance rate map, Zone A usually is refined into Zones A, A0, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-30, AR/AE, AR/A0, AR/AH, AR/A, V0, or V1-30, VB or V. For purposes of these regulations, the term "special flood hazard area" is synonymous in meaning with the phrase "area of special flood hazard".

    START OF CONSTRUCTION. For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. 97-348), includes substantial improvement and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition placement, substantial improvement or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does in include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erections of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual START OF CONSTRUCTION means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.

    STRUCTURE. For floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.

    For insurance purposes, means:

    1. A building with two or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof, that is affixed to a permanent site;

    2. A manufactured home ("a manufactured home," also known as a mobile home, is a structure; built on permanent chassis, transported to its site in one or more sections, and affixed to a permanent foundation); or

    3. A travel trailer without wheels, built on a chassis and affixed to a permanent foundation, that is regulated under the community's floodplain management and building ordinances or laws.

    For the latter purpose, "structure" does not mean recreational vehicle or a park trailer or other similar vehicle, except as described in paragraph (3), of this definition, or a gas or liquid storage tank.

    SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. Damage of any origin sustained by a structure, whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its pre-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.

    SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT. Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, additions or other improvements to a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the "start of construction" of the improvement. This term includes structures that have incurred "substantial damage", regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

        (1) Any project to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or

        (2) Any alteration of a "historic structure", provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a "historic structure".

    VARIANCE. A grant of relief by a community from the terms of the floodplain management ordinance that allows construction in a manner otherwise prohibited and where specific enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship.

    VIOLATION. Failure of a structure or other development to be fully complaint with the community's floodplain management ordinance. A structure or other development without required permits, lowest floor elevation documentation, flood-proofing certificates, or required floodway encroachment calculations, is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.

    § 1006 DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF BUILDING INSPECTOR  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

The Building Inspector shall:

    (A) Review all applications for a building permit for construction or development within an area of special flood hazard to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied;

    (B) Issue a permit when a review of the proposed development has determined that the proposed development is consistent with all applicable standards and requirements contained in this section and in compliance with this chapter.

    (C) Require that all necessary permits are obtained from those federal, state and local government agencies from which approval is required prior to commencing construction of the development;

    (D) Maintain, as a permanent record, copies of all building permits issued under the provisions of this section, and data of elevation and flood-proofing levels for new construction and/or substantial improvements.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 11 WATERSHED PROTECTION DISTRICT

        Article Outline
        § 1100. Purpose
        § 1101. Definition of District
        § 1102. Areas within Zone 1
        § 1103. Uses Permitted in Zone 1
        § 1104. Areas within Zone 2
        § 1105. Uses Permitted in Zone 2
        § 1106. Procedure of Special-Use Permits in Zone 1 or Zone 2
        § 1107. Special-Use Permit Submission Requirements
        § 1108. Development Plan Design Standards

§ 1100 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of the Watershed Protection District (WPD) is:

    (A) To protect, preserve and maintain the quality and supply of groundwater and surface water upon which the residents of the town and others depend;

    (B) To protect the quality and supply of water by regulating the use and development of land adjoining water courses or primary water recharge areas and to prevent uses of land detrimental thereto; and

    (C) To protect the health, safety and general welfare of the public.

§ 1101 DEFINITION OF DISTRICT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Watershed Protection District is superimposed over any other zoning district established by this chapter. The regulations imposed by the WPD shall be considered to supersede the regulations of the underlying district. The Watershed Protection District is subdivided into two subdistricts, designated Zone 1 and Zone 2.

    (A) Zone 1 is an area which is critical to the protection of surface and sub-surface water supplies and requires a high degree of protection from incompatible land uses.

    (B) Zone 2 is the watershed area which is contributory to surface water runoff to the primary water bodies contained in Zone 1, and which drains into Zone 1 areas either though surface water runoff or groundwater movement.

§ 1102 AREAS WITHIN ZONE 1.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

   (A) Areas within Zone 1 of the WPD are as follows:

        (1) Areas shown on the official zoning map as that area within 200 feet from the centerline of a watercourse or the edge or bank of a surface water body or as otherwise shown on the official zoning map; and

        (2) Those areas of Stissing silt loam (Se) as generally designated on Soil Survey of Rhode Island, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, issued July 1981, the provision of which are incorporated herein by reference thereto; and

        (3) Those areas of Mansfield mucky silt loam (Ma) as generally designated on said Soil Survey of Rhode Island, referenced in division (A)(2) above.

    (B) NOTE: Recognizing that the standards employed in making said Soil Survey of Rhode Island allow for inclusion of small areas of contrasting soils, said soil survey map may be superseded provided the applicant provides adequate soil description information to the Zoning Board of Review. Such detailed soils information should be prepared by a qualified soil scientist and be presented using the descriptive terminology defined in the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

§ 1103 USES PERMITTED IN ZONE 1.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Buildings, structures and land in Zone 1 may be used only for the following purposes:

        (1) Conservation of soil, water, plants, and wildlife;

        (2) Water supply facilities and accessory uses and structures;

        (3) Public water and/or sewer transmission pipelines or related facilities;

        (4) Public streets or highways;

        (5) Public or private parks;

        (6) Uses customarily accessory to residential uses;

        (7) Stormwater detention and/or retention areas or systems.

    (B) Uses listed in divisions (A)(1) through (7) above are permitted in Zone 1 areas by right. All other uses otherwise permitted by right (Y) or by special use (S) in § 602, on lands within Zone 1 of the Watershed Protection district shall be permitted only by the granting of a special use permit by the Zoning Board of Review in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 and § 1106.

§ 1104 AREAS WITHIN ZONE 2.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Areas within Zone 2 of the WPD are shown on the Official Zoning Map.

§ 1105 USES PERMITTED IN ZONE 2.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any use permitted in the underlying zoning district by right (Y) or by special use permit (S) in § 602, with the exception of the following uses:

    (A) Outdoor lot storage and wrecking of junk or salvage materials; automobile junk yards;

    (B) Outdoor lot storage of flammable or explosive material, including petroleum products;

    (C) Sewage treatment plant;

    (D) Incinerator;

    (E) Sanitary landfill;

    (F) Solid waste transfer station;

    (G) Storage of bottled gas oil or other liquid petroleum products;

    (H) Vehicle washing establishment;

    (I) Manufacturing uses which discharge wastewater other than surface water runoff into surface or sub-surface disposal systems other than a public sewer system;

    (J) Accessory uses to the principal use which involve any of the following practices:

        (1) Road salt or de-icing chemical storage;

        (2) Storage or disposal of hazardous wastes as defined by Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Generation, Transportation, Treatment, Storage and Disposal, R.I. Department of Environmental Management, July 18, 1984;

        (3) Placement of an individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) within 150 feet of a fresh water wetland as defined in § 502;

        (4) Above ground or underground (buried) storage of liquid fuel in excess of 300 gallons for any use; except uses subject to the provisions of Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials, State of Rhode Island, Department of Environmental Management, April 18, 1985, and subsequent amendments thereto.

    (K) Bulk storage of fuel oil in tank trucks greater than 250 gallons.

    (L) Chemical and bacteriological laboratories.

    (M) Commercial electroplating and etching.

§ 1106 PROCEDURE OF SPECIAL USE PERMITS IN ZONE 1 OR ZONE 2.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) This section is applicable to the following uses:

        (1) Uses within Zone 1 otherwise permitted in the underlying zoning district (S or Y) pursuant to § 602. Uses listed in § 1103(A)(1) through (7) are permitted by right and are not governed by the provisions of this section.

        (2) Uses in Zone 2 listed in § 1105(A) through (J)(4).

    (B) Special use permits for these uses shall be granted by the Zoning Board of Review only if the Board determines that said proposed use would not be inimical to the public health, safety and welfare and that such use would not conflict with the purposes for which the WPD has been established. The Zoning Board of Review shall not act upon the granting of a special use permit until the question has been referred to, and an advisory report has been received from, the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission. Said advisory report shall be submitted by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission to the Zoning Board within 45 days of receipt of plans. The Zoning Board shall then hold a public hearing on the application for a special use permit. Where the decision of the Zoning Board of Review differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board or Conservation Commission, the reasons therefore shall be clearly stated in writing.

    (C) Applications for special use permits in accordance with the provisions of this section shall meet all applicable requirements of Article 9, plus the requirements of § 1107 below.

§ 1107 SPECIAL-USE PERMIT SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following, where applicable, shall be submitted to the Zoning Board of Review in applying for a special use permit for uses in Zone 1 and/or Zone 2 as required by § 1106:

    (A) A complete list of all chemicals, fuels and other potentially toxic or hazardous materials to be used or stored on the premises in quantities greater than those associated with normal household use;

    (B) Soil survey data with water table and soil percolation tests prepared and certified by a registered professional engineer;

    (C) A topographical survey of the property with two foot contour intervals;

    (D) Water quality analysis of the property, to include ambient (existing) water quality measurements of both groundwater and surface water (if applicable) in the vicinity of the proposed project or construction. A report outlining detailed sampling and testing methods and procedures as required by this section shall be submitted, including information on the qualifications of the firm, individual or laboratory performing said sampling or testing. Analysis shall be based upon sampling and testing performed within one year of the submission of the application to the Zoning Board of Review.

        (1) Groundwater samples shall be tested for the presence of the following components or other such components as may be required by the Zoning Board of Review:

            (a) Arsenic;

            (b) Lead;

            (c) Chromium;

            (d) Mercury;

            (e) Zinc;

            (f) Copper;

            (g) Ph;

            (h) Oil and grease;

            (i) Nitrogen (nitrate);

            (j) Nitrogen (nitrite);

            (k) Chloride;

            (l) Phosphorus;

            (m) Sodium.

        (2) Surface water samples shall be tested for the presence of the following:

            (a) Dissolved oxygen

            (b) Fecal coliform

            (c) Total coliform

            (d) pH

            (e) Water quality as set forth in Table I, Water Quality Regulations for Water Pollution Control, State of Rhode Island, Dept. of Environmental Management, Division of Water Resources, December 20, 1984, and subsequent amendments thereto;

    (E) Primary data on the rate and direction of groundwater movement on the property, or in the vicinity of the proposed construction or use, with detailed description of the methods and procedures used;

    (F) A detailed narrative report by a hydrologist, geologist, agronomist or related soil/hydrology scientist regarding present water quality conditions and the potential impact to groundwater and surface water supplies as a result of the proposed special use, including cumulative impacts over an extended period of time. Such report shall address mitigation measures to alleviate any potential sources of pollution, and shall also address alternatives to the proposed construction or use;

    (G) Any other pertinent data requested by the Zoning Board of Review which the Board deems necessary to properly assess impacts upon water quality and to insure compatibility of the special use with the purposes and intent of the Watershed Protection District.

§ 1108 DEVELOPMENT PLAN DESIGN STANDARDS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following site design standards shall be required for all permitted uses by special use permit or otherwise, in the Watershed Protection District:

    (A) Surface water runoff shall, to the degree feasible, be directed towards areas covered with vegetation for surface infiltration; and

    (B) Where the premises are partially outside of the WPD, site design shall, to the degree feasible, locate such potential pollution sources as individual sewage disposal systems outside of the district; and

    (C) Surface water runoff shall be directed, to the degree feasible, towards the lesser restricted district where the premises is located within two or more districts.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 12 SIGNS

        Article Outline
        § 1200. Purpose
        § 1201. Applicability
        § 1202. Definitions
        § 1203. Administration
        § 1204. Enforcement
        § 1205. Calculations
        § 1206. Maintenance & Safety
        § 1207. Non-conforming Signs
        § 1208. Prohibited Signs
        § 1209. Exempt Signs
        § 1210. Temporary Signs
        § 1211. Seasonal Signs
        § 1212. Permitted Signs
        § 1213. Property Address

§ 1200 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of this subchapter is as follows:

    (A) To promote the public health, safety and welfare of those who use the town's streets, roads, and highways;

    (B) To reduce distractions and obstructions from signs, to prevent signs from adversely affecting traffic safety, and to alleviate hazards caused by signs projecting over or encroaching upon public ways;

    (C) To discourage excessive visual competition in signage and to ensure that signs aid orientation and adequately identify uses and activities to the public; and

    (D) To preserve or enhance town character by requiring new and replacement signs which are:

        (1) Compatible with the surroundings;

        (2) Appropriate to the activities, goods or services they promote; and

        (3) Appropriately sized in their context.

§ 1201 APPLICABILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This Article applies to all signs, as that term is defined in § 1202.

§ 1202 DEFINITIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    For purposes of this subchapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

            Definition locater. To jump to a definition, click on the first letter of the word to be defined:
            [
A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [M] [N] [O] [P] [R] [S] [T] [W] [Y]   (Note: No terms beginning with the missing letters are defined in this section.)

Definition locater
    A-FRAME SIGN. A temporary sign normally supported by its own frame in a manner that usually forms an "A" when in use; also referred to as a SANDWICH or TENT sign.

    ABANDONED SIGN. A sign that pertains to a use, time or event which no longer exists or when the purpose for which the permit for the sign was approved has been fulfilled or no longer exists.

    ACCESSORY SIGN. Signs pertaining to the general use of a premises, such as signs prohibiting patrons without shirts or shoes, trespassing, hunting or swimming, unleashed dogs, and the like.

    ADDRESS SIGN. A type of sign displaying only one or more of the following:

        (1) the name or names of any occupant;

        (2) the street number and name; and

        (3) identification of a use or activity conducted on the premises.

    AWNING SIGN. A style of sign that is painted on, printed on, or attached flat against and parallel to the surface of an awning.

Definition locater
    BACKLIT SIGN. A sign with individual translucent back-lit letters silhouetted against an opaque surface.

    BOX SIGN. A sign consisting of an enclosed box or cabinet with copy on one or more sides which encloses an integrated light source that can shine through the sides or face of the sign, which consists of a single transparent or translucent material such as a Plexiglas or lexan.

    BUILDING-MOUNTED SIGNS. A method of display in which a sign is mounted on the vertical surface of a building, includes wall, projecting, and awning signs.

Definition locater
    CABINET SIGN. See BOX SIGN.

    CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN. A sign or portion thereof with characters, letters or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged without altering the face of the sign.

    CHANNEL LETTER SIGN. A sign consisting of individual letters with translucent faces, containing soft lighting elements inside each letter.

    CONSTRUCTION SIGN. A temporary on-premises sign identifying the name/nature of a project and the name and/or address of one or more of the following: contractor, subcontractor, architect, landscape architect, and engineer. Logos or illustrations may also be displayed.

Definition locater
    DIRECTIONAL SIGN. An on-premises sign indicating the direction of vehicle or pedestrian traffic or the location of parking, buildings, offices, entrances, activities or amenities, such as restrooms and public telephones. There are two types of directional signs:

        (1) INTERNAL DIRECTIONAL SIGN. A directional sign designed to be read by a person already on the premises and used only to identify and locate an office, entrance, exit, telephone or similar place, service or route. Such signs may bear advertising.

        (2) PERIMETER DIRECTIONAL SIGN. A directional sign designed to be read from the public right-of-way. Such signs may not bear any advertising.

    DIRECTORY SIGN. An on-premise sign in an office, research, or industrial park that identifies the names and locations of businesses within the park. Signs may include the name of the park or project, the name and location of each business and/or a map of the park. The primary purpose of such signs shall be to indicate the route to be followed to a specific business or place within the office, research, or industrial park.

Definition locater
    ENTRY SIGN. A sign located at the ingress/egress of a development such as an industrial, office, or research park, multifamily dwelling project, or residential subdivision. Such signs may display only the name and address of the development.

    EXEMPT SIGN. A sign which, under this subchapter, is expressly allowed to be displayed without issuance of a sign permit.

Definition locater
    FLASHING SIGN. An illuminated sign which exhibits changes or variations in light intensity, color, direction, or animation. Excluded from this definition are illuminated signs on which the only variations in light intensity, color, direction, or animation are to display the date, time, and/or temperature.

    FOR SALE/RENT/LEASE SIGN. A sign advertising the availability of all or a portion of the premises for sale, rent or lease.

    FREE-STANDING SIGN. A self-supporting sign not attached to any building, wall, or fence, but in a fixed location.

Definition locater
    GOVERNMENT SIGN. Signs of every kind and nature erected by or on behalf of the United States of America, the State of Rhode Island and the Town of Middletown, relating to governmental regulatory activities or governmental activities conducted on the premises on which such sign is located, and including traffic controls, railroad crossing signs and legal notices and other such signs required by law.

    GRAND OPENING SIGN. A temporary sign announcing the opening or re-opening of a business.

Definition locater
    HALO-LIT SIGN. See BACKLIT SIGN.

Definition locater
    INCIDENTAL SIGN. Signs indicating hours of operation, credit cards, business or professional affiliations.

Definition locater
    MEMORIAL SIGN. A memorial sign or tablet, or a sign indicating the name of a building or the date of its erection, which is not used for commercial or business advertisement.

    MONUMENT SIGN. A freestanding sign, the bottom of which is mounted directly on the ground or on an enclosed structural base with no visible poles supporting the structure.

Definition locater
    NON-CONFORMING SIGN. A sign lawfully existing when the sign ordinance was adopted or amended.

Definition locater
    OFF-PREMISES SIGN. Any sign not on the premises of the business or activity to which it relates.

Definition locater
    PAINTED WALL SIGN (MURAL). A work of art or painting that is applied to and made an integral part of an exterior wall. A mural shall be considered a wall sign if it contains words, logos, trademarks or graphic representations of any person, product or service that identify or advertise a business.

    PERMANENT SIGN. Any sign permanently affixed to a building or the ground that relates directly to the use of the building or lot.

    PLAZA SIGN. A group of signs clustered together in a single structure or compositional unit used to advertise multiple occupants of the same building or building complex. Such signs are generally designed and constructed with provision to allow changes of occupancy without major alterations of the entire sign.

    POLE SIGN. A sign which is supported by one or more poles, uprights or braces in or upon the ground, which are not a part of a building.

    POLITICAL SIGN. A temporary sign announcing candidates seeking public office, a political issue, or a sign containing other election information.

    PORTABLE SIGN. A sign capable of being readily moved or relocated, including signs mounted on a chassis and wheels, or supported by legs. Examples of portable signs are A-frame signs, gasoline price-per-gallon signs, trailer signs, and temporary announcement signs.

    POST SIGN. A pole sign which is supported by two poles, one on each side of the sign.

    PROJECTING SIGN. A sign affixed to a structure or other thing which extends more than six inches beyond the surface to which it is affixed perpendicular to a wall surface.

Definition locater
    READERBOARD. See CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN.

    ROOF-MOUNTED SIGN. A sign placed upon the roof of any building, or erected on a framework supported by the roof of a building, except such signs which are an integral part of the construction or architecture of a building.

Definition locater
    SEASONAL SIGN. A sign promoting a business for a single season during a calendar year, such as summer or the winter holidays. Such sign shall be installed on the parcel on which the business is located, and in accordance with the provisions of § 1211.

    SPECIAL EVENT SIGN. A sign advertising a special event as defined in Middletown Code § 100.02, or directing patrons to a parking site for such an event.

    SIGN. Any permanent or temporary display of one or more letters, words, pictures, graphics, logos, colors, or lights visible from public ways or places, whether freestanding or attached to or displayed upon a structure or any other thing, which is intended to convey a message, except for:

        (1) Pavement markings or driveway directional arrows painted on the ground which contain no advertising; and

        (2) Window displays, including price tags, product descriptions and other information which, in view of their scale and position, are primarily directed to pedestrians and not to vehicle occupants.

Definition locater
    TEMPORARY SIGN. A sign which is intended to be displayed for a limited or finite period of time and which is not permanently installed or erected.

    TRAILER SIGN. A sign which is mounted or placed on a vehicle, including self-propelled and towed vehicles, that is principally used for advertising purposes. The principle use of the vehicle shall be deemed to be for advertising purposes if it is so placed or used as to be observable by the public for substantial periods of time on a regular basis while not engaged in any non-advertising function.

Definition locater
    WALL-MOUNTED SIGN (WALL SIGN). A sign erected against, displayed upon or attached parallel to the wall of any structure or to a fence, screen or freestanding wall.

    WINDOW SIGN. Any sign visible from the exterior of a building which is painted on, affixed to, or suspended immediately in front of or behind or on a window.

Definition locater
    YARD or GARAGE SALE SIGN. A temporary sign announcing a yard or garage sale.

§ 1203 ADMINISTRATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Except for nonconforming signs and exempt signs, no sign shall be displayed until a sign permit has been issued.

    (A) Sign Permit

        (1) Permits shall be issued only if the Sign Officer determines that the sign will comply with all applicable provisions of this subchapter and the State Building Code, or has received any required relief from the Zoning Board of Review.

        (2) No permit for a temporary sign may be extended or renewed.

        (3) In the event that the roads within an industrial, research or office park are public roads, or in any case where entry or directory signs are proposed to be placed on town or state property, approval by the appropriate agency of the sign design and placement must be demonstrated prior to the issuance of the sign permit(s).

    (B) Application for permit

        (1) Applications for sign permits shall be on forms prescribed by the Sign Officer and may be submitted by the owner of the land or building, or by any person who has the authority to erect the proposed sign. Applications for signs not submitted by the property owner must contain the written permission of such owner, or be accompanied by other evidence reasonably demonstrating the existence of such permission.

        (2) As a part of the application, applicants must submit a scale drawing of the proposed sign specifying its dimensions, materials, illumination, letter sizes, colors, mounting methods, support systems, and location with all relevant measurements. At the discretion of the Sign Officer, one or more requirements of this division may be waived for temporary signs.

        (3) Applications shall be submitted with the proper fee as established by the Town Council in Chapter 36 of this code and, for illuminated signs, any required electrical permit.

        (4) The Sign Officer shall approve or disapprove applications within 30 days of receiving a completed application together with the required fee.

§ 1204 ENFORCEMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Sign Officer, who shall be designated by the Town Council, is hereby authorized to enforce this subchapter. The Sign Officer may order the repair or removal of any sign and its supporting structure which is judged dangerous, or in disrepair, or which is erected or maintained contrary to this subchapter.

        (A) Any sign which has been ordered removed by the Sign Officer, or is abandoned or discontinued, shall be removed by the person, firm, property owner, or corporation responsible for the sign within 30 days of written notice to remove.

        (B) Violation of any provision of this subchapter or any lawful order of the Sign Officer shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100 per offense. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

        (C) Any sign installed or placed on public property or within the public right-of-way, except as expressly permitted in this subchapter, shall be forfeited to the public and subject to confiscation.

§ 1205 CALCULATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Subject to divisions (A) and (B), the area of a sign shall be measured as the total area within a line circumscribing all surfaces used for the design, including slates and panels.

    (A) Sign Area

        (1) For a sign which is painted on or otherwise directly applied to the surface of a structure or any other thing, the area shall be considered to be that of the smallest rectangle or other geometric shape which encompasses all of the letters, symbols and other elements of the sign. If the sign has a background of a different color than the natural color or finish material of the structure or thing, then the area of the sign shall be the area of such background.

        (2) When a sign has two or more faces, the area of all faces shall be included in determining the area of the sign, except where two faces are placed back to back and are at no point more than two feet from each other. In this case, the sign area shall be the area of either face, and if the faces are unequal, the area shall be that of the larger face.

        (3) The total area of a three-dimensional projecting sign shall be determined by enclosing the largest cross-section of the sign in a rectangle or other geometric shape and computing its area.

    (B) Number of Signs. In determining the number of signs, a sign shall be considered to be a single display surface or display device containing elements organized, related and composed to form a unit. Where matter is displayed randomly without organized relationship of elements, or where there is reasonable doubt about the relationship of elements, each element shall be considered to be a single sign.

    (C) Height. The height of a sign shall be measured as the vertical distance measured from the natural level of the ground at the base of the sign to the highest point of any portion of the sign or supporting structure.

    (D) Setbacks. The setback for a freestanding sign shall be measured from the lot line to the nearest point on the sign or its supporting structure, whichever is closer to the lot line.

§ 1206 MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Signs must be maintained in a secure and safe condition. If the Sign Officer is of the opinion that a sign is not secure, safe, or in a good state of repair, a written notice describing the defect shall be given to the person responsible for the maintenance of the sign. If the defect is not corrected within 30 days from receipt of the notice, the Sign Officer shall issue a citation of violation. No sign may be displayed if it:

    (A) Is structurally unsafe;

    (B) Constitutes a hazard to public safety or health because it is dilapidated, abandoned or inadequately maintained, or because it is located so as to interfere with drivers' vision of traffic signals or directional signs or of traffic on intersecting streets;

    (C) Obstructs free entrance to or exit from a door, window, or fire escape;

    (D) Obstructs light or air or interferes with proper functioning of a building; or

    (E) Is capable of causing electrical shock.

§ 1207 NONCONFORMING SIGNS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Nonconforming signs may continue but may not be enlarged or replaced except in conformity with the requirements of this subchapter.

    (B) A nonconforming sign may be altered in whole or in part in a way which diminishes the extent of its nonconformity.

    (C) Any sign which has deteriorated to such an extent that the cost of restoration would exceed 50% of the replacement cost, shall not be repaired, rebuilt or altered except to conform to the requirements of this subchapter.

    (D) Prohibited signs may not be enlarged or replaced.

§ 1208 PROHIBITED SIGNS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following signs are prohibited in all districts, unless otherwise expressly permitted under this chapter.

    (A) Off premises signs.

    (B) Special event sign not meeting the definition contained in § 1202 and the limitations of § 1209.

    (C) Temporary Sign or Seasonal Sign which hdoes not identify or advertise a business and displays only a product logo or trademark.

    (D) Streamers, pennants, ribbons, banners, inflatable objects in excess of two cubic feet, strings of lights, spinners and the like, except when displayed to commemorate a holiday or as components of a grand opening sign.

    (E) Flashing signs.

    (F) Roof-mounted signs.

    (G) Signs containing moving parts or reflective elements which sparkle or twinkle in the light.

    (H) Sign identifying or advertising a business or organization which is either defunct or no longer located on the premises, except for landmark signs which are properly maintained.

    (I) Signs resembling or depicting official traffic signs or signals.

    (J) Portable signs and trailer signs.

    (K) Illuminated window signs, including neon, LED, and any other method of illumination.

    (L) Internally illuminated changeable copy signs with dark-colored letters.

§ 1209 EXEMPT SIGNS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following signs may be displayed as long as they meet the requirements in the Requirements for Exempt Signs table below. A sign permit is NOT REQUIRED to display signs which are in conformance with this section, and such signs shall not be counted when calculating the number of signs permitted per property.
Requirements for Exempt Signs
Type Criteria for Display
Accessory Sign 2 square feet maximum each area.
Address Sign 1 per address. 1.5 square feet maximum area. Must be attached to the building or mounted on a spot not more than 4 feet high which is setback at least 3 feet from the public right-of-way.
Charitable/Civic Signs
    Announcement/bulletin board
    Temporary event

1 per property. 12 square feet maximum area.
6 square feet maximum area. Must be removed within 48 hours after the end of the event.
Construction Signs



    One single-family or duplex
    Other use or project
1 per project. Setback at least 10 feet from the street lot line, or one-half the building setback distance, whichever is less. Shall not be erected prior to 48 hours before start of construction, and shall be removed within 48 hours after completion of the construction project.
16 square feet maximum area.
32 square feet maximum area.
Directional Sign
    Perimeter
    Internal

2 per curb cut permitted. No advertising. May be illuminated.
Number to be determined by Sign Officer or through development plan review.
For Sale/Rent/Lease
    Residential use
    Other - frontage 0 - 100 ft.
    Other - frontage 100+ ft.
2 per property. Shall be removed within 48 hours after sale/rent/lease of property.
6 square feet maximum area.
20 square feet maximum area.
50 square feet maximum area.
Government Sign Any sign required by any federal, state, or local law or agency may be displayed without any other agency approval.
Home Occupation/Farm Promotion Accessory 1 sign, 4 square feet maximum area. May be building-mounted or freestanding.
Incidental Sign 2 sq. ft. combined area per business/use.
Memorial Sign 2 square feet maximum area.
Political Sign 6 square feet maximum area. May only be displayed on private property. Signs relating to any election or referendum must be removed within 48 hours after the end of said election or referendum.
Special Event Sign 6 square feet maximum area. May only be displayed on the site of the event or other private property. May not be installed in the right-of-way of a public street. Signs may be installed no more than 7 days prior to the event and must be removed within 48 hours after the event. Signs for a single multi-day event may be installed for a total of no more than 21 days.
Window Sign
    Non-illuminated
    Illuminated

Maximum size is 15% of window area in which displayed.
1 illuminated window sign, not to exceed 2 square feet in area may be displayed per (facade/business).
Yard or Garage Sale 4.5 square feet maximum area. Shall not be erected prior to 24 hours before sale, and shall be removed within 24 hours after the end of the sale.

§ 1210 TEMPORARY SIGNS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Temporary signs not classified as exempt in § 1209 shall only be displayed upon issuance of a temporary sign permit by the Sign Officer. Temporary signs are subject to all requirements of this subchapter. Banners are permitted to be used as temporary signs. Temporary signs may be displayed as follows:

    (A) A business may display one temporary sign for a period not to exceed 30 days. Any temporary sign which remains in place more than 30 days constitutes a violation of this chapter.

    (B) No more than four temporary sign permits shall be issued to a single use or business in any one calendar year. Each temporary sign permit issued in a single calendar year shall be for a separate use or purpose.

    (C) No temporary sign shall exceed 16 square feet in area.

    (D) A business shall not install a temporary sign during the time that a seasonal sign permitted under section 1211 is installed. The combined time period permitted for installation of all temporary and seasonal signs for a single business shall not exceed 7 months (210 days) per calendar year.

§ 1211 SEASONAL SIGNS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Seasonal signs not classified as exempt in § 1209 shall only be displayed upon issuance of a sign permit by the Sign Officer. Seasonal signs are subject to all requirements of this subchapter.

    Seasonal signs may be displayed as follows:

    (A) A business may display one seasonal sign for a period not to exceed 7 consecutive months, minus any period for which one or more temporary sign permits have been issued in that calendar year. Any seasonal sign which remains in place beyond this period constitutes a violation of this chapter.

    (B) A business shall be granted no more than 1 seasonal sign permit per calendar year.

    (C) No seasonal sign shall exceed 16 square feet in area.

    (D) Seasonal signs shall comply with design requirements of this chapter provided that seasonal signs shall not be internally illuminated.

§ 1212 PERMITTED SIGNS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A. Except for nonconforming and exempt signs, all signs shall comply with the terms of this section. A sign may vary from the requirements set forth in this section only upon the issuance of a special use permit by the Zoning Board of Review. In making the decision for special use permits to exceed requirements set forth in this section, the Zoning Board of Review shall consider the following factors and characteristics, in addition to those requirements set forth in § 902:

        (1) Quality, character, and appropriateness of proposed sign.

        (2) Aesthetic impact of the sign on the public right-of-way.

        (3) The total amount of sign area on the premises.

        (4) Existence of non-conforming sign(s) on the premises.

        (5) Site design and layout of the property.

    (B) Number Allowed

        (1) No more than three types of signs may be displayed per building or parcel, regardless of the number of occupancies. For example, a building may have pole, awning, and wall signs; or wall, projecting and awning signs.

        (2) The total number of signs per building is limited to two, unless the building has more than one occupancy, in which case there can be one sign per occupancy plus one additional sign for the building. In addition, the number of signs per building/use shall comply with the Number Permitted table set forth below.

        (3) Buildings located on parcels fronting on two public ways may display one building-mounted sign in addition to the number of building-mounted signs permitted in the Number Permitted table set forth below. In no case shall more than one of the permitted building mounted signs be visible from any single public way.

        (4) In addition to the signs permitted by the Number Permitted table set forth below, any use with more than one public entrance is permitted one sign for each additional public entrance. Such sign may be wall-mounted or projecting, shall not exceed three square feet in area, and must be displayed adjacent to or above a public entrance.

NUMBER PERMITTED
Use Signs Permitted
Single non-residential use on a parcel Either 1 freestanding sign and 1 building-mounted sign or 2 building mounted signs.
Office, research or industrial park 1 entry sign per main entrance.
1 or more directory signs. The number permitted shall be determined by the Sign Officer or through development plan review, as appropriate.
1 freestanding sign per building.
2 building-mounted signs per business/use within the park.
Shopping center (more than one business) 1 freestanding sign per main entrance, to a maximum of 2 freestanding signs.
1 building-mounted sign per business.
Residential subdivision, multifamily dwelling project, etc. 1 entry sign per main entrance.
Agricultural 1 freestanding sign per main entrance.

    (C) Design

        (1) Color. No more than four colors may be used in a sign, except for pictures or illustrations. Day-Glow and similar super-bright colors are prohibited.

        (2) Type

            (a) Entry signs shall either be a monument or post sign, or else incorporated into an architectural feature such as a stone wall.

            (b) Directory signs shall be of monument design.

        (3) Plaza signs The design/display board of plaza, directory, or any other multi-tenant sign shall be of an integrated and uniform design.

    (D) Dimensional Criteria

        (1) Freestanding signs

            (a) Freestanding shall meet the requirements set forth in the Maximum Sign Area and Height: Freestanding Signs table set forth below.

            (b) Pole signs shall have a minimum ground clearance of eight feet.

MAXIMUM SIGN AREA AND HEIGHT: FREE STANDING SIGNS
Sign Type GB GB and LB LI and OP P and OS Residential
    Area (ft)1
Height (ft) Area (ft)1
Height (ft) Area (ft)1
Height (ft) Area (ft)1
Height (ft) Area (ft)1
Height (ft)
Single Business
    Pole sign
    Post sign
    Monument sign

16
20
32

16
8
4

12
16
24

12
6
4

N/A
16
24

N/A
6
4

12
12
16

12
6
4

N/A
6
8

N/A
6
4
Plaza Sign1
    Pole sign
    Post sign
    Monument sign

60
80
100

20
10
6

32
48
60

16
8
4

32
48
60

16
8
4

N/A
12
16

N/A
6
4

N/A
6
8

N/A
6
4
Entry Sign
    Facing an arterial road
    Facing a non-arterial road


32

32


6

6


32

32


4

4


32

32


4

4


16

8


6

4


16

8


6

4
Directory Sign 16 4 16 4 16 4 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1    The maximum permitted area of a plaza sign is increased by 3 square feet for each individual business within the development to which it refers.

        (2) Building mounted signs.

            (a) In a single-tenant building, the size of the building-mounted sign shall not exceed one square foot in area for each lineal foot of the façade on which it is displayed up to the maximum area specified in the Maximum Sign Area: Building-Mounted Signs table set forth below.

            (b) In a multiple-tenant building, the size of each individual building-mounted sign shall not exceed one square foot in area for each lineal foot of the wall of the portion of the building containing the individual use and on which the sign is located, up to the maximum area specified in Maximum Sign Area: Building-Mounted Signs table set forth below.

MAXIMUM SIGN AREA: BUILDING-MOUNTED SIGNS
Type GB
(ft)2
OB and LB
(ft)2
LI and OP
(ft)2
P and OS
(ft)2
Residential
(ft)2
Single Business on Property
    Wall-mounted
    Awning
    Projecting

60
32
10

32
32
10

60
32
10

32
16
10

16
8
8
Multiple Business on Property
    Wall-mounted
    Awning
    Projecting

70
32
10

70
32
10

60
32
10

32
16
10

16
8
10
1*    The maximum sign area of a building-mounted sign is 1 square foot for every 1 linear foot of the building facade to which it is attached, up to the maximum shown in this table.
* Note: Footnote number should probably be "2".

    (E) Placement

        (1) General

            (a) No sign may be affixed to a utility pole, or traffic control structure, or to a tree, shrub, or other natural object.

            (b) Signs shall not obscure arches, sills, moldings, cornices, and transoms and similar architectural features.

        (2) Building-mounted signs

            (a) Wall-mounted signs shall project no more than 16 inches from the surface upon which they are mounted. No wall-mounted sign shall extend above the lowest point of the roof, nor beyond the ends of the wall to which it is attached.

            (b) Awning signs over a sidewalk or public way shall be at least eight feet above the sidewalk or way, measured from the lowest point of the sign. No awning sign shall extend beyond the valance of an awning or be attached to the underside of an awning.

            (c) Projecting signs shall not extend into a vehicular public way or be less than eight feet above a pedestrian public way or less than 13 feet over a laneway, alley or driveway measured from the lowest point of the sign. No projecting sign shall extend above the roof line or extend into a vehicular pubic way.

        (3) Freestanding Signs shall be setback a minimum of five feet from any public right-of-way.

    (F) Illumination. Signs shall only be illuminated in accordance with this division and with the Illumination table set forth below.

        (1) No sign may be illuminated if, because of intensity or direction of illumination, it unreasonably interferes with neighboring land uses or constitutes a hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

        (2) Exposed electrical wires may not be used in connection with illuminated signs.

        (3) Signs shall not be illuminated after 11 p.m. unless the premises are open during such hours.

        (4) Internal illumination

            (a) Internally illuminated box/cabinet signs shall have dark opaque backgrounds with light colored letters and graphics.

            (b) Signs internally illuminated by gas-filled light tubes must be placed so that the tubes are not exposed to view from a sidewalk or public way.

        (5) External illumination

            (a) Signs with exterior illumination shall be illuminated only with steady, stationary, shielded light sources directed solely onto the sign.

            (b) Box/cabinet signs shall not be externally illuminated.

ILLUMINATION
Type of Sign GB OB and LB LI and OP P and OS Residential
Freestanding Signs
    Internally illuminated box/cabinet sign
    Channel lit letters
    Reverse-channel/halo lit letters
    External illumination

Y
Y
Y
Y

N
N
Y
Y

N
N
Y
Y

N
N
N
Y

N
N
N
Y
Building-mounted Signs
    Internally illuminated box/cabinet sign
    Internally illuminated awning
    Channel lit letters
    Reverse-channel/halo lit letters
    External illumination

N
Y
Y
Y
Y

N
N
N
N
Y

N
N
N
Y
Y

N
N
N
N
Y

N
N
N
N
Y
Y = Permitted    N = Prohibited

§ 1213 PROPERTY ADDRESS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The street address of all commercial and industrial buildings shall be prominently displayed so as to be visible from the public right of way, in accordance with Section 10.13.1 of the RI Uniform Fire Code (NFPA 1) and as follows:

    (A) The address shall be conspicuously placed, in a color contrasting with the background, on a free-standing sign if present or else incorporated into a building-mounted sign or attached directly to the building. Such address shall not be counted toward the maximum sign area as set forth in § 1211 provided no more than two square feet is devoted to said address.

    (B) Addresses must be clearly visible to traffic in either direction from the street to which each unit is addressed. Buildings with parking and access areas provided at their side or rear shall have additional numbers displayed on the building that are visible from any and all such parking and access areas.

    (C) Address displays located no farther than 100 feet from the curb line of the street shall have numbers of not less than eight inches in height. Address signs set back greater than 100 feet shall have numbers of not less than 12 inches in height.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 13 OFF-STREET PARKING AND LOADING

        Article Outline
        § 1300. General Requirements
        § 1301. Site Improvements
        § 1302. Location of Facility
        § 1303. Submission of Plans
        § 1304. Minimum and Maximum Off-Street Parking Requirements
        § 1305. Off-Street Loading - Applicability
        § 1306. Off-Street Loading - Location
        § 1307. Off-Street Loading - Requirements

§ 1300 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No structure or use shall be erected, substantially altered or developed unless permanently maintained off-street parking and loading spaces have been provided in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 1301 SITE IMPROVEMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Off-street parking and loading facilities shall conform to the following regulations:

    (A) The area shall be permanently paved and maintained and shall have adequate and safe ingress and egress. Parking spaces required in connection with one or two family dwelling uses need not be permanently paved. For the purposes of this section, the term PAVING shall mean a uniform, hard, smooth covering which will bear travel by vehicles or by pedestrians in all seasons, which includes concrete, bituminous concrete, oil-penetrated gravel, brick and paving stone but shall not include such materials as gravel, crushed clamshells or any other similar material. The use of porous pavements, space paving blocks or similar pavements which provide for infiltration of ground water are permitted, provided they will result in a durable and dust-free surface.

    (B) Where an off-street parking or loading area adjoins or lies within a residential district or abuts a residential use in any zoning district, a landscaped buffer strip of not less than 20 feet in width containing a double row of compact evergreen vegetative screening not less than four feet in height shall be erected and maintained between such area and the adjoining residential district or use. This screening requirement shall not apply to parking places required in connection with dwelling uses, except motels or hotels.

    (C) Lighting fixtures used to illuminate the parking or loading area shall reflect the light away from adjoining property and away from adjacent streets and shall not exceed one foot candle projection onto abutting property.

    (D) No off-street parking facility shall be located closer than ten feet to any front lot line, street line, rear lot line or side lot line in any commercial or industrial zoning district.

    (E) Access driveways serving any required parking lot from a street shall not be less than 12 feet in width for one-way traffic, and not less than 24 feet in width for two-way traffic.

    (F) Individual parking stalls shall be no less than nine feet wide and 18 feet in length and in no case shall the gross area of parking space including aisles be less than 162 square feet per car. Aisles between rows of parking stalls shall not be less than twelve feet for one-way traffic, and not less than 24 feet for two-way traffic.

    (G) All parking areas shall be landscaped in accordance with the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land. Design of landscaping area(s) as bio-retention cells to accept and infiltrate stormwater runoff is encouraged whenever site conditions allow.

    (H) Handicapped parking spaces accessible to disabled persons shall be provided as may be applicable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and any federal or state regulations promulgated thereunder.

    (I) All off-street parking and loading facilities shall be suitably sloped and drained to eliminate standing water and prevent damage to abutting property and/or public streets and alleys, so as not to cause any nuisance to adjacent or public property. The design of all parking lot drainage shall conform to the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land and Chapter 153 of this code.

    (J) All off-street parking and loading facilities shall maintain distances from buildings, fire hydrants, post indicator valves and emergency access ways as required by the applicable Fire Code.

    (K) No motor vehicle repair work or service of any kind shall be permitted in conjunction with parking or loading facilities provided in commercial districts, except emergency repair service necessary to start vehicles.

    (L) Any parking area and loading space as defined in this chapter shall be continually maintained in satisfactory condition so as to be safe and attractive and free of hazard, nuisance, weeds, overgrown grass or other unsafe condition.

§ 1302 LOCATION OF FACILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All parking and loading facilities required by this chapter shall be located on the same lot as the principal use it is intended to serve. Shared parking facility plans may be approved as part of the development plan review process. Parking plans shall be a part of overall site planning and shall be subject to review and approval by the Planning Board. All parking shall be in accordance with the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land.

§ 1303 SUBMISSION OF PLANS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Plans and specifications for the required parking or loading facility shall be submitted at the time of application for a building permit for the main use or at the time of application for development plan review pursuant to § 305.

§ 1304. MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM OFF-STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following minimum off-street parking space requirements shall apply to all principal and accessory uses. The total parking spaces provided shall not exceed 150% of the minimum number required, except that for retail uses the total parking spaces shall not exceed 125% of the minimum number required.

MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM OFF-STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS
Type of Use
(Principal and Accessory)
Minimum
Parking Spaces Required
Residential dwellings, except elderly housing 2 spaces per dwelling
Elderly housing 1 space per dwelling unit
Hotel or motel with restaurant/meeting room 5 spaces plus 1 space per unit
Hotel or motel only 4 parking spaces plus 1 per unit
Extractive and industrial non-manufacturing; manufacturing uses; transportation, communication and utilities; wholesale commercial 1 space for every 2 employees on the largest shift for which the building is designed, plus 1 for each motor vehicle maintained or used on the premises (minimum of 4 total spaces)
Automobile service stations 1 for each employee, minimum 2; plus 4 for each service bay
Gas station/mini-mart 1 for each employee plus 3 each 1,000 sq. ft. of GFA (not to include parking at the pumps.)
Lunchrooms, restaurants, taverns, etc. 1 space for each 3 persons of total capacity
Large scale shopping center 2.5 for each 1,000 sq. ft. gross leasable floor area (GFA)
Small scale shopping center 3 for each 1,000 sq. ft. gross leasable floor area (GFA)
General retail/all other commercial uses 4 spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. of gross leasable floor area (GFA)
Boarding and rooming houses 2 spaces plus 1 for each room
Personal, business and professional services  
Offices, public or professional administration or service buildings 3 for each 1,000 sq. ft. of GFA
Banks, financial institutions and similar uses 4 for each 1,000 sq. ft. of GFA
ATM machine 2 per machine
Theaters, concert halls, auditoriums and similar uses 1 for each 3 seats of total capacity
Bowling alleys 4 for each alley or lane plus 1 additional space for each 100 sq. ft. of the floor area used for restaurant, cocktail lounge or similar use
Funeral parlors, mortuaries and similar uses 1 for each 3 seats total capacity
Unspecified personal and business uses 4 for each 1,000 sq. ft. of GFA
Government, Institutional and Educational  
Churches and other places of religious assembly 1 for each 5 seats
Hospitals 1 for each bed
Rest, retirement, convalescent or nursing homes and similar uses 1 for each 3 beds
Medical and dental offices 1 for every 100 sq. ft. floor area of examination, treating room, office and waiting room (Minimum of 4 spaces)
Libraries, museums and art galleries 1 for each 400 sq. ft. floor area (Minimum of 4 spaces)
Elementary schools (private) 2 for each classroom plus 1 for every 5 seats in auditoriums or assembly halls
High Schools (private, except boarding schools) 1 for every 10 students or 1 for every 5 seats in auditoriums or assembly halls, whichever is greater
Business, technical and trade 1 for each 2 students
Colleges, universities (private) 1 for each 2 students
Kindergartens, child care centers, nursery schools and similar uses (private) 2 for each classroom but not less than 6 for the building
Recreation  
Marina or yacht club 1.5 spaces per boat slip
Athletic fields and courts 1 space for each 4 persons of total capacity
Swimming pool, ice rink, public or community club or hall 1 for each 5 persons capacity plus 1 for each 4 seats; or 1 for each 30 sq. ft. floor area used for seating purposes, whichever is greater
Golf course (18 holes) 80 spaces
Golf course (18 holes) With dining facilities add: 1 space for each 3 persons of total capacity
Health club 1 for every 250 sq. ft. of GFA plus 5 employee spaces
Golf driving range 2 plus 1 per tee
Miniature golf 1.25 per hole plus 2 for employees
§ 1305. OFF-STREET LOADING - APPLICABILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No land shall be used or occupied and no structure shall be erected or used for nonresidential purposes in any zoning district unless the off-street loading spaces required herein are provided. Off-street loading spaces as specified in this chapter shall be provided for any enlargement or alterations to any such existing structure of use. These off-street loading requirements shall not apply to residential uses except motels or hotels.

§ 1306. OFF-STREET LOADING - LOCATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No off-street loading spaces required by this chapter shall be located closer than ten feet to any front lot line, street line or side lot line in any zoning district. Off-street loading spaces may be located closer than ten feet to any rear lot line, provided, however, that if the use lies within a residential zoning district, or the rear lot line abuts a residential zoning district or existing residential use, said off-street loading space shall be screened from said adjacent residential district or use as required in § 1301(B).

§ 1307. OFF-STREET LOADING - REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Each nonresidential use or structure in which services or commodities are used, sold, displayed, serviced, repaired, altered or fabricated as the principal or special use permit use of the parcel or lot shall provide the following:

    (A) Each use or structure of under 1,000 square feet of gross floor area or ground area shall provide one off-street loading space of at least 300 square feet in area.

    (B) Each use or structure of over 1,000 square feet of gross floor area or used ground area shall provide one off-street loading space, plus one additional loading space for each 20,000 square feet of area. Each loading space shall have a minimum area of 450 square feet, with a minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet and shall include sufficient space for standing, loading and unloading of commercial vehicles.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 14 MOTELS AND HOTELS

        Article Outline
        § 1400. Purpose
        § 1401. Procedure for Proposed Development
        § 1402. Development Plan Review Requirements
        § 1403. Standards of Development
        § 1404. Minimum Lot Size
        § 1405. Unit Size
        § 1406. Buffer Zones
        § 1407. Utilities
        § 1408. Kitchen Facilities
        § 1409. Accessory Uses

§ 1400 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of these regulations is to encourage the appropriate use of land for the development of motels and hotels and to provide well-designed and convenient tourist accommodations within the town.

§ 1401 PROCEDURE FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No building permit shall be granted for the construction of a motel or hotel until the Zoning Board of Review shall grant a special use permit therefore in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Upon receipt of a completed application as required by § 1403, the Zoning Board shall refer two copies of the application to the Middletown Planning Board for site plan review, who shall make a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days of receipt of the application. The Zoning Board shall then hold a public hearing on the application for a special use permit. Where the decision of the Zoning Board of Review differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board, the reasons therefore shall be clearly stated in writing.

§ 1402 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An application for a special use permit to construct a motel or hotel shall contain, as a minimum, development plans and supplementary information as required by § 305, plus the following:

    (A) Preliminary architectural drawings of all buildings;

    (B) Location, dimensions and nature of all signs which would require a building permit;

    (C) Description of proposed accessory uses and interior and exterior areas devoted to such uses;

    (D) Description of proposed method of sale or rental of units; duration of lease agreements; proposals for time share estate, if any.

§ 1403 STANDARDS OF DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all motels and hotels.

§ 1404 MINIMUM LOT SIZE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Minimum zoning lot size for a hotel or motel use shall be as set forth in § 603. In addition, no hotel or motel shall provide less than 1,000 square feet of land per room or unit.

§ 1405 UNIT SIZE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No individual motel unit or hotel room shall be erected or altered so as to have a floor area of less than 240 square feet, including bathroom and closet space.

§ 1406 BUFFER ZONES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In all zoning districts where permitted, a minimum ten-foot wide landscaped or natural buffer zone shall be required along all property lines and no building, parking area or above-ground structure shall be permitted in any such buffer zone; provided, that wherever such buffer zone abuts a nonresidential zoning district or use, the Zoning Board of Review may allow such buffer zone to be used for these purposes. Along street lines, a minimum ten-foot buffer zone shall be required, except for necessary access driveways. Such buffer zones shall be planted with natural landscape materials, screen planting, fencing or trees so as to provide a natural buffer between hotel and motel uses and adjacent streets or property.

§ 1407 UTILITIES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Where public sewers or public water lines exist, any motel or hotel use shall be required, at its own expense, to connect to such utilities. Where such sewers or water lines are not available, but are planned or shall be extended to serve the development, the Zoning Board may prescribe, as a condition of approval, that such utilities be provided at the developer's expense. The applicant is required to obtain evidence that the public water lines have adequate capacity to service the motel or hotel and that the sewer system has adequate capacity to transmit and treat wastewater generated from the project. At the discretion of the Public Works Director, a holding tank, capable of storing the anticipated 24-hour sewer flow from the project may be required.

§ 1408 KITCHEN FACILITIES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Individual rooms or units in a hotel or motel are permitted to contain kitchen facilities, kitchenettes or kitchen/dining areas intended for the exclusive use of transient guests, subject to the following provisions:

    (A) Kitchen facilities shall not be designed or used for the provision of housekeeping facilities capable of long-term residential use;

    (B) Kitchen facilities shall be clearly subordinate to the principal use for transient sleeping and bath accommodations;

    (C) No more than 50% of the rooms or units in a hotel or motel shall contain kitchen facilities;

    (D) Extended stay hotels or motels may incorporate kitchen facilities in all rooms.

§ 1409 ACCESSORY USES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any use normally associated with, and subordinate to, the principal use of the premises for hotel and motel accommodations, including but not limited to necessary office, recreation, parking and maintenance areas, lunchroom, restaurant, cocktail lounge or gift shop shall be considered an accessory use. The total floor area of all interior accessory uses shall not exceed 20% of the floor area of the principal use.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 15 MULTIFAMILY DWELLINGS

        Article Outline
        § 1500. Purpose
        § 1501. Procedures for Proposed Development
        § 1502. Development Plan Requirements
        § 1503. Standards of Development
        § 1504. Allowable Density
        § 1505. Open Space Requirement
        § 1506. Utilities
        § 1507. Off-Street Parking
        § 1508. Building Design and Location

§ 1500 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of these regulations is to encourage the appropriate use of land for the development of multifamily housing, taking into consideration the natural amenities of the site. No multifamily dwelling structure or multifamily dwelling project shall be erected or otherwise created except in accordance with the standard set forth in this subchapter.

§ 1501 PROCEDURES FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    For multifamily structures or dwelling projects, no building permit shall be granted for the construction thereof until the Zoning Board of Review shall grant a special use permit or, for conservation developments, the Planning Board has approved a land development project in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

    (A) Conventional Development - Special Use Permit Required. Upon receipt of a completed application as required by § 1502, the Zoning Board shall refer two copies of the application to the Middletown Planning Board for development plan review, who shall make a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days of receipt of plans. The Zoning Board shall then hold a public hearing on the application for a special use. Where the decision of the Zoning Board of Review differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board, the reasons therefore shall be clearly stated in writing.

    (B) Conservation Development - Land Development Project Approval Required. Review of multifamily dwellings in conservation developments shall take place in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 19 and with the Middletown Subdivision and Land Development Regulations.

§ 1502 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An application to construct a multifamily dwelling project or structure shall contain, at a minimum, development plans and supplementary information as required by § 305, plus the following:

    (A) Computation of projected sewage volumes and sewage flow calculations, along with a letter from the town's Director of Public Works, to be obtained by the applicant, rendering an opinion as to the adequacy of the proposed sewer size, design and the ability of the public sewer system to accept and adequately treat projected volumes and flows.

    (B) Computation of water usage, along with a letter form the City of Newport Water Department, to be obtained by the applicant, rendering its opinion as to the adequacy of the supply of water and the pressure in the water system to serve the calculated needs of the project.

    (C) Written comments from the Middletown Fire Department regarding adequacy of fire safety provisions.

§ 1503 STANDARDS OF DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all multifamily dwelling structures or projects.

§ 1504 ALLOWABLE DENSITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) In addition to the dimensional regulations provided in § 603, the following provisions will govern the maximum density of residential land use which may be developed in any conventional multifamily dwelling structure or project. Density of townhouses in conservation developments shall be governed by the conventional yield plan.

Minimum Developable Land Area per Dwelling Unit (sq. ft.)
Zoning District Studios and 1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 or More Bedrooms
RM, LB 6,000 8,000 10,000

    (B) For the purposes of this chapter, a BEDROOM shall be defined as a room or portion of a room of at least 70 square feet floor area within a dwelling unit allocated to sleeping, dressing and personal care.

§ 1505 OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Conventional Development.

        (1) Open space shall be provided in the same lot as the principal building(s) for the use and enjoyment of the residents. Said open space shall be defined as all land area uncovered by buildings or vehicular traffic, maneuvering or parking, including garages. Covered open space may be counted as one-half for required open space area, and includes roofed porches or patios, covered exterior balconies, breezeways, etc., which are open on the sides and closed to the sky.

        (2) Minimum open space requirements are expressed as a ratio of the area of open space to the total floor area for residential use on the several floors of a multifamily building. The ratio is measured from the faces of the exterior walls, including halls, lobbies, stairways, basements and storage areas, but excluding any floor area for common use of all occupants such as recreation or laundry, and also excluding unused attic space, garages or carports or areas used for major mechanical equipment.

MINIMUM OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENTS
Minimum Open Space Requirements
(Ratio of Open Space Divided by Floor Area)
Multifamily dwelling project 3.0
Multifamily dwelling structure 1.5

    (B) Conservation development. Open Space for townhouses in Conservation Subdivisions shall be governed by Article 19 and by Section 514.1 of the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations.

§ 1506 UTILITIES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) No multifamily dwelling project or structure shall be permitted unless each dwelling unit is serviced by public water and public sewer systems of adequate capacity.

    (B) All multifamily dwelling projects or structures shall provide for the safe and adequate disposal of surface water runoff as required by Chapter 153 of this code.

§ 1507 OFF-STREET PARKING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In addition to the requirements of Article 13, the following off-street parking requirements shall apply to multifamily dwelling structures and projects:

    (A) No off-street parking facility except driveways shall be located closer than 25 feet to any lot line in a multifamily dwelling project, or closer than ten feet to any lot line for a multifamily dwelling structure.

    (B) No off-street parking area shall be located within 25 feet of any wall of a principal building (except a garage) used for residential purposes along which is located an entrance or exit generally intended for use by residences thereof or along which are located windows serving habitable rooms less than ten feet above the ground.

    (C) All parking areas shall be adequately landscaped and no rows or parking spaces shall exceed 100 feet without a landscape separation of at least ten feet in width. There shall be a separation of at least ten feet between rows.

§ 1508 BUILDING DESIGN AND LOCATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) In multifamily dwelling projects, principal buildings shall be separated from any other principal building by a minimum of 50 feet. Where the building walls of two adjacent buildings contain no windows serving habitable rooms, buildings may be separated by not less than 25 feet.

    (B) No facade of any principal building in any multifamily dwelling project or structure shall exceed 80 lineal feet without a building jog of at least 45 degrees for a building having two wings, or 30 degrees for a building having three or more wings.

    (C) For townhouses in conservation developments, the minimum distance between any two rows of buildings substantially parallel to each other shall be 100 feet. The minimum distance between two abutting ends of buildings in the same general plane or row shall be 50 feet.

    (D) Each townhouse unit in a conservation development (CSD) shall be provided with its own lot. Such lot shall contain the entire ground area covered by the principal building and may, in addition, contain private open space, courtyards, patios, decks, parking areas, or garages. Density shall be calculated using the area of developable land for the entire parcel.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 16 ACCESSORY FAMILY DWELLING UNIT

        Article Outline
        § 1600. Purpose
        § 1601. Requirements
        § 1602. Procedure
        § 1603. Change of Occupancy

§ 1600 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of this subchapter is to allow parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren of owner-occupant of single-family dwellings to live in a separate dwelling unit within the principal dwelling, without converting the principal dwelling into a two-family dwelling.

§ 1601 REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) No part of any dwelling shall be used as an accessory family dwelling unit until the Zoning Board of Review has granted a special use permit under Article 9; all requirements of this subchapter are satisfied; and the Zoning Officer has issued a certificate of zoning compliance under § 311.

    (B) The total floor space devoted to an accessory family dwelling unit shall not exceed 35% percent of the floor area of the entire dwelling exclusive of porches, decks or basements, and shall be a minimum of 400 square feet in gross floor area. Only one accessory family dwelling unit is permitted in a principal dwelling unit, and the accessory family dwelling unit shall have no more than one bedroom and shall not have a separate outside door on the front of the building. The property containing an accessory family dwelling unit shall retain the appearance and character of a single-family property.

    (C) The right to use part of a single-family dwelling as an accessory family dwelling unit shall automatically be terminated when the accessory unit is no longer occupied by parent(s), grandparent(s) children or grandchildren of the primary dwelling occupant.

§ 1602 PROCEDURE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In addition to satisfying the requirements of § 305, a certificate of zoning compliance for an accessory family dwelling unit shall not be issued until the following requirements are satisfied.

    (A) The owner-occupant shall sign an affidavit stating that the accessory unit will be occupied only by one or both parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren of an occupant of the principal dwelling unit. The affidavit shall also identify such parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren by name and identify the principal occupant whose parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren will occupy the accessory unit. Such affidavits shall be filed in the Town Clerk's records and shall be available for public inspection; and

    (B) The foregoing affidavit shall be accompanied by a surety deposit of $100 which shall be refunded if and when the owner-occupant gives proper notice to the town pursuant to § 1603 that the use of part of the principal dwelling for an accessory family dwelling unit has been abandoned. Such security deposit shall be forfeited if the owner-occupant fails to give proper notice to the town pursuant to § 1603 that no parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren identified in the affidavit continues to occupy the accessory unit. If such notice is not given and the accessory family dwelling unit is occupied by one or more persons who are not parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren, the owner-occupant, in addition to forfeiting the surety deposit, shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of § 316.

§ 1603 CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    If an accessory family dwelling unit is no longer occupied by parent(s), grandparent(s) children or grandchildren of an adult occupant of the principal dwelling unit, an adult owner-occupant of the principal dwelling unit shall within 30 days sign an amended affidavit. The amended affidavit shall either identify the current occupants of the accessory unit, in accordance with § 1602, or state that the use of part of the principal dwelling for an accessory family dwelling unit has been abandoned. This division shall not prohibit a transfer of ownership and/or occupancy of the primary dwelling provided that at approximately the same time the accessory unit is occupied by one or both parent(s), grandparent(s), children or grandchildren of the new owner-occupants of the primary unit.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 17 LOW AND MODERATE INCOME HOUSING - COMPREHENSIVE PERMIT

        Article Outline
        § 1700. Purpose
        § 1701. Authority
        § 1702. Eligibility
        § 1703. Definitions
        § 1704. Procedure

§ 1700 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This subchapter is intended to provide for the establishment of housing opportunities for low and moderate income individuals and families in order to meet the need for affordable, accessible, safe, and sanitary housing for citizens of low and moderate income in accordance with Middletown's Affordable Housing Plan.

§ 1701 AUTHORITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws Title 45, Chapter 53, the "Low and Moderate Income Housing Act", the Middletown Planning Board shall have the power to issue a comprehensive permit for a qualifying low- and moderate-income housing project. The comprehensive permit shall include all permits or approvals from any local board or official who would otherwise act with respect to such application including, but not limited to, the power to attach to the permit or approval conditions and requirements with respect to setbacks, height, site plan, size, shape, building materials, landscaping, and parking consistent with the terms of the act.

§ 1702 ELIGIBILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any applicant proposing a development or redevelopment project in which at least 25% of the housing is low or moderate-income housing as defined in this subchapter may submit to the local review board a single application for a comprehensive permit.

§ 1703 DEFINITIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    For purposes of this subchapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

    ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER. For proposes of this subchapter, the Town Planner is designated as the Administrative Officer.

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN. The town's Five-Year Affordable Housing Action Plan.

    APPLICANT. An applicant for Comprehensive Permit approval by the Planning Board, which also includes his/her authorized agents or representatives.

    COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. Town of Middletown Comprehensive Community Plan (1992); and any amendments thereto as adopted by the Town Council.

    INFEASIBLE. Any condition brought about by any single factor or combination of factors, as a result of limitations imposed on the development by conditions attached to the zoning approval, to the extent that it makes it impossible for a public agency, nonprofit organization, or limited equity housing cooperative to proceed in building or operating low or moderate income housing without financial loss, within the limitations set by the subsidizing agency of government, on the size or character of the development, on the amount or nature of the subsidy, or on the tenants, rentals, and income permissible, and without substantially changing the rent levels and unit sizes proposed by the public agency, nonprofit organization, or limited equity housing cooperative.

    LOCAL BOARD. Any town official, zoning board of review, planning board, board of appeal or zoning enforcement officer, local conservation commission, historic district commission, or other municipal board having supervision of the construction of buildings or the power of enforcing land use regulations, such as subdivision, or zoning laws.

    LOW OR MODERATE INCOME HOUSING. Any housing whether built or operated by any public agency or any nonprofit organization or by any limited equity housing cooperative or any private developer, that is subsidized by a federal, state, or municipal government subsidy under any program to assist the construction or rehabilitation of housing affordable to low or moderate income households, as defined in the applicable federal or state statute, or local ordinance and that will remain affordable through a land lease and/or deed restriction for 99 years or such other period that is either agreed to by the applicant and town or prescribed by the federal, state, or municipal government subsidy program but that is not less than 30 years from initial occupancy.

    LETTER OF ELIGIBILITY. A letter issued by the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-55-5.3(a).

    LOCAL REVIEW BOARD. Middletown Planning Board.

    MEETING HOUSING NEEDS. Adoption of the implementation program of an approved affordable housing plan and the absence of unreasonable denial of applications that are made pursuant to an approved affordable housing plan in order to accomplish the purposes and expectations of the approved affordable housing plan.

    MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY. Assistance that is made available through a city or town program sufficient to make housing affordable, as affordable housing is defined in R.I. Gen. Laws. § 42-128-8.1(d)(1); such assistance may include, but is not limited to, direct financial support, abatement of taxes, waiver of fees and charges, and approval of density bonuses and/or internal subsidies, and any combination of forms of assistance.

    PROJECT.

        Major project. A comprehensive permit application involving a major subdivision or land development project.

        Minor Project. A comprehensive permit application involving one or more of the following that is not a MAJOR PROJECT:

            (1) Minor subdivision or land development project

            (2) Request for zoning variance

            (3) Request for special use Permit.

            (4) Request for relief from other local regulations or ordinances not outlined above.

§ 1704 PROCEDURE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Any applicant proposing to build low or moderate income housing may submit to the local review board a single application for a comprehensive permit to build that housing in lieu of separate applications to the applicable local boards. This procedure is only available for proposals in which at least 25% of the housing is low or moderate income housing. The application and review process for a comprehensive permit shall be as follows.

    § 1704.1 Application

        (A) Pre-application conference.

            (1) Prior to submission of the comprehensive permit application, the applicant shall first schedule a pre-application conference with the administrative officer. Members of the Planning Board, the Technical Review Committee, the Administrative Officer and other local officials as appropriate may participate in the pre-application conference.

            (2) To request a pre-application conference, the applicant shall submit to the Administrative Officer a short description of the project in writing including the number of units, type of housing, as well as a location map. The purpose of the pre-application conference shall be to review the concept plan of the proposed development, and to allow town officials and staff to provide guidance to the applicant.

            (3) The administrative officer shall schedule the pre-application conference to be held within 30 days of receipt of the applicant's request, if 30 days has elapsed from the filing of the request for pre-application conference and no pre-application conference has taken place, nothing shall be deemed to preclude an applicant from thereafter filing and proceeding with an application for a comprehensive permit.

        (B) Submission requirements. All applications for comprehensive permits shall include:

            (1) A completed "Application for Comprehensive Permit" form

            (2) A letter of eligibility issued by the Rhode Island Housing Mortgage Finance Corporation, or in the case of projects primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or other state or federal agencies, an award letter indicating the subsidy, or application in the form of a letter, or such other form as may be prescribed, for a municipal government subsidy.

            (3) A written request to the local review board to submit a single application to build or rehabilitate low or moderate income housing in lieu of separate applications to the applicable local boards. The written request shall identify the specific sections and provisions of applicable local ordinances and regulations from which the applicant is seeking relief.

            (4) A proposed timetable for the commencement of construction and completion of the project.

            (5) A sample land lease or deed restriction with affordability liens that will restrict use as low and moderate income housing in conformance with the guidelines of the agency providing the subsidy for the low and moderate income housing, but for a period of not less than 30 years.

            (6) Identification of an approved entity that will monitor the long-term affordability of the low and moderate income units.

            (7) A financial pro-forma for the proposed development.

            (8) Application fee, as established in this subchapter.

        (C) Additional Requirements.

            (1) In addition to the requirements of division (B) above:

Low and Moderate Income Housing Application Requirements
If a project requires: The application shall include materials required by:
Zoning variance Zoning Board's Variance, Special Use and Appeals Information and Instructions
Special use permit Zoning Board's Variance, Special Use and Appeals Information and Instructions
Zoning Ordinance development plan review (DPR)
Development impact review Zoning Ordinance development impact review
Administrative subdivision Administrative Subdivision Checklist - Plat Checklist
(Appendix A - Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land)
Minor subdivision or land development project Minor Subdivision Checklist - Preliminary Plat Checklist
(Appendix A - Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land)
Major subdivision or land development project Major Subdivision Checklist - Master Plat Checklist
(Appendix A - Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land), except evidence of state and federal permits.

            (2) Notwithstanding the submission requirements set forth above, the Planning Board may request additional, reasonable documentation throughout the public hearing, including, but not limited to, opinions of experts, credible evidence of application for necessary federal and/or state permits, statements and advice from other local boards and officials.

            (3) All required state and federal permits must be obtained prior to the final plan approval or the issuance of a building permit.

        (D) Fees Fees shall be consistent with fees that would otherwise be assessed for a project of the same scope and type but not proceeding under this subchapter, provided, however, that the imposition of such fees shall not preclude a showing by a non-profit applicant that the fees make the project financially infeasible. Applications shall include fees as follows:

Low and Moderate Income Housing Application Fees
For applications requiring: Fee as established by:
Zoning variance or special use permit Zoning Board - Fee schedule
Subdivision of land Subdivision and Land Use Regulations - Appendix A
Development impact review Zoning Ordinance development impact review
    § 1704.2 Certification of Completeness

        (A) Applications for comprehensive permits shall be made to the Administrative Officer, who shall review all applications for form and content in conformity with the requirements set forth herein. Complete applications shall then be officially filed for review by the Planning Board, and the Administrative Officer shall stamp all such applications with the date of official submission to the town. The application shall be certified complete or incomplete by the administrative officer as follows:

            (1) Minor Project: Within 25 days.

            (2) Major Project:Within 30 days for a master plan and within 45 days for a preliminary plan.

        (B) The running of the time period set forth herein will be deemed stopped upon the issuance of a certificate of incompleteness of the application by the Administrative Officer and will recommence upon the resubmission of a corrected application by the applicant. However, in no event will the Administrative Officer be required to certify a corrected submission as complete or incomplete less than 14 days after its resubmission. If the Administrative Officer certifies the application as incomplete, the Officer shall set forth in writing with specificity the missing or incomplete items.

    § 1704.3 Notification. Upon issuance of a certificate of completeness for a comprehensive permit, the Planning Board shall immediately notify each local board, as applicable, of the filing of the application, by sending a copy to the local boards and to other parties entitled to notice of hearings on applications under the zoning ordinance and/or land development and subdivision regulations as applicable, and as further provided below.

    § 1704.4 Public hearing.

        (A) Requirement. A public hearing, held in accordance with the applicable state and local regulations, shall be held for all comprehensive permit applications requiring one or more of the following:

            (1) A special use permit

            (2) A zoning variance

            (3) Major or minor subdivision or land development project approval

        (B) Procedure. Public notice of the hearing shall be given at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the town following the town's usual and customary practices for such advertising. Notice shall be sent to the applicant and to each abutter, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the time and place of the hearing not less than ten days prior to the date of the hearing. Said notice shall also include the street address of the subject property, or if no street address is available, the distance from the nearest existing intersection in tenths of a mile. In addition, notice of public hearing shall be sent:

            (1) By first class mail to the city or town planning board of any municipality where there is a public or quasi-public water source, or private water source that is used or is suitable for use as a public water source, located within 2,000 feet of the town's boundaries.

            (2) To the governing body of any state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company that has riparian rights to a surface water resource and/or surface watershed that is used or is suitable for use as a public water source located within either Middletown or 2,000 feet of the town's boundaries, provided, that a map survey has been filed with the building inspector as specified in R.I. Gen. Laws 45-24-53(E)

            (3) To an adjacent municipality if:

                (a) The adjacent municipality is an abutter; or

                (b) The development site extends into the adjacent municipality; or

                (c) There is a potential for significant negative impact to the adjacent municipality.

            (4) The cost of all notices for public hearings shall be borne by the applicant.

    § 1704.5 Review. In taking final action on an application, the local review board shall make positive findings, supported by legally competent evidence on the record which discloses the nature and character of the observations upon which the fact finders acted, on each of the following standard provisions, where applicable:

        (1) The proposed development is consistent with local needs as identified in the local comprehensive community plan with particular emphasis on the community's affordable housing plan and/or has satisfactorily addressed the issues where there may be inconsistencies.

        (2) The proposed development is in compliance with the standards and provisions of the municipality's zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations, and/or where expressly varied or waived local concerns that have been affected by the relief granted do not outweigh the state and local need for low and moderate income housing.

        (3) All low and moderate income housing units proposed are integrated throughout the development; are similar in scale and architectural style to the market rate units within the project; and will be built and occupied prior to, or simultaneous with the construction and occupancy of any market rate units.

        (4) There will be no significant negative environmental impacts from the proposed development as shown on the final plan, with all required conditions for approval.

        (5) There will be no significant negative impacts on the health and safety of current or future residents of the community, in areas including, but not limited to, safe circulation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, provision of emergency services, sewerage disposal, availability of potable water, adequate surface water run-off, and the preservation of natural, historical or cultural features that contribute to the attractiveness of the community.

        (6) All proposed land developments and all subdivisions lots will have adequate and permanent physical access to a public street in accordance with the requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-23-60(5).

        (7) The proposed development will not result in the creation of individual lots with any physical constraints to development that building on those lots according to pertinent regulations and building standards would be impracticable, unless created only as permanent open space or permanently reserved for a public purpose on the approved recorded plans.

    § 1704.6 Decision.

        (A) All local review board decisions on comprehensive permits shall be by majority vote of the membership of the board and may be appealed by the applicant to the state housing appeals board as provided in this subchapter. Unless agreed to by both the applicant and the local review board, the local review board shall render a decision as follows:

            (1) For minor projects: Within 95 days after the issuance of the certificate of completeness.

            (2) For major projects: Within 120 days of issuance of the certification of completeness.

        (B) If the public hearing is not convened or a decision is not rendered within the time allowed, the application is deemed to have been allowed and the relevant approvals shall issue immediately.

        (C) In reviewing the comprehensive permit request, the local review board may deny the request for any of the following reasons:

            (1) The town has an approved affordable housing plan and is meeting housing needs, and the proposal is inconsistent with the affordable housing plan;

            (2) The proposal is not consistent with local needs, including, but not limited to, the needs identified in an approved comprehensive plan, and/or local zoning ordinances and procedures promulgated in conformance with the comprehensive plan;

            (3) The proposal is not in conformance with the comprehensive plan;

            (4) The community has met or has plans to meet the goal of 10% of the year-round units as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-53-3(2)(i) being low and moderate income housing;

            (5) Concerns for the environment and the health and safety of current residents have not been adequately addressed.

    § 1704.7 Expiration. A comprehensive permit shall expire unless construction is started within 12 months and competed within 60 months of final plan approval unless a longer and/or phased period for development is agreed to by the local review board and applicant. Low and moderate income housing units shall be built and occupied prior to, or simultaneous with the construction and occupancy of any market rate units that are part of the project.

    § 1704.8 Appeal.

        (A) By applicant. Whenever an application filed under the provisions this subchapter 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 R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-53-7, for a review of the application. The appeal shall be taken within 20 days after the date of the notice of the decision by the local review board by filing with the state housing appeals board a statement of the prior proceedings and the reasons upon which the appeal is based.

        (B) By aggrieved person. Any person aggrieved by the issuance of an approval may appeal to the Supreme Court as provided in the applicable local or state regulation.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 17A COMMUNITY RESIDENCES AND FAMILY DAY CARE HOMES

        Article Outline
        § 17A00. Purpose
        § 17A01. Requirements
        § 17A02. Exemption

§ 17A00 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of this subchapter is to regulate community residences and family day care homes to the maximum extent allowed by state law, in order that residents, particularly those living in the immediate vicinity of a proposed community residence or family day care home, have advance notice and adequate opportunity to present to the Zoning Board of Review arguments for or against the establishment of such a facility. The purpose is not to exclude community residences or family day care homes from any district, but to regulate their placement for the health, safety, and general welfare of all residents, including those in the facility.

§ 17A01 REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Subject to § 17A02, no building shall be used as a community residence or family day care home until the Zoning Board of Review has granted a special use permit under Article 9 and all requirements of this subchapter are satisfied.

    (B) An application for a community residence must be accompanied by a map showing the location of the proposed residence and of all other community residences in the town that have been approved or established.

    (C) An application for a community residence or family day care home may not be denied based solely on the nature of the facility or its residents or on the impact of the facility on property values in the area.

    (D) An application for a community residence or family day care home may be denied if the Board of Review finds that, because of its proposed location or other factors external to the facility, it is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on the peace and quiet enjoyment of other residents in the neighborhood.

    (E) The following factors are particularly relevant and shall be addressed by the Board of Review in deciding an application for a community residence or family day care home, in addition to relevant factors in § 902 that are consistent with this section:

        (1) Parking and traffic conditions on adjacent roadways;

        (2) The proximity of residential care and assisted living facilities and senior independent living facilities;

        (3) The proximity of hospitals, schools (including nursery schools), and churches.

§ 17A02 EXEMPTION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This subchapter does not apply to a residential facility in which six or fewer children or adults with retardation reside which is licensed by the state pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws, Title 40.1, Chapter 24.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 18 SHOPPING CENTERS

        Article Outline
        § 1800. Purpose
        § 1801. Procedure for Proposed Development
        § 1802. Permitted Uses
        § 1803. Building Setback Line
        § 1804. Side and Rear Yards
        § 1805. Special Buffer Requirements Adjacent to Residential Areas
        § 1806. Access and Traffic Control
        § 1807. Off-Street Parking Areas
        § 1808. Lighting
        § 1809. Waste Receptacle Enclosures
        § 1810. Trash Burners and Incinerators
        § 1811. Special Requirements for Stand-Alone Buildings

§ 1800 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of these regulations is to encourage the effective and timely development of land for commercial purposes in accordance with the objectives and policies of the Comprehensive Community Plan; to encourage the use of the business districts as a shopping and service center for the community and nearby areas; and to minimize traffic congestion on the public streets. All large scale and small scale shopping centers to be located in the general or limited business districts shall conform with the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 1801 PROCEDURE FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) No building permit shall be granted for the construction of a shopping center until the Zoning Board of Review grants a special use permit in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

    (B) Shopping center applications shall be subject to development plan review as described in §§ 300 through 321.

§ 1802 PERMITTED USES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Only those uses permitted in the General Business (GB) Zoning District, and listed below, are permitted as a principal use of land in a large scale or small scale shopping center in the GB district.

        (1) General merchandise retail activities, including department stores (storage areas not to exceed 30% of gross floor area);

        (2) Supermarkets;

        (3) Grocery stores, delicatessens, fish markets, fruit and vegetable markets, bakeries, dairy products stores;

        (4) Lunchrooms or restaurants (no alcoholic beverages);

        (5) Lunchrooms or restaurants (alcoholic beverages);

        (6) Taverns, cafés, clubs, bars or cocktail lounges (alcoholic beverages);

        (7) Packaged liquor stores;

        (8) Laundries or dry cleaners, pick-up only (no plant), or self-service laundromats;

        (9) Beauty or barber shops;

        (10) Duplicating, printing or photocopying services;

        (11) Miscellaneous repair shops and related services (non-vehicle);

        (12) General professional offices;

        (13) Bank or financial institutions;

        (14) Motion picture theaters;

        (15) Bowling alleys and billiard and pool parlors;

        (16) Exercise center, gymnasium, sauna or court games; and

        (17) Accessory uses customarily incidental to a use permitted in the district and located on the same lot as the principal use.

    Only those uses listed in § 603 as permitted in the Limited Business (LB) Zoning District are permitted as a principal use of land in a small-scale shopping center in the LB district.

    (B) To prevent the operation of a principal use not permitted under division (A) on land adjacent to a shopping center in such manner that it appears to be a part of the shopping center.

        (1) All principal uses established on land adjacent to a shopping center, except uses specified in division (A), shall be separated by permanent barriers from direct access to the shopping center property and to any private road or right of way leading to said shopping center, with the exception of one defined access way, not more than 50 feet in width.

        (2) No sign shall be displayed on either a shopping center property or on adjacent land, directing traffic between the shopping center and any principal use on the adjacent land that is not a permitted use or a use permitted in a shopping center by § 1804(A).

        (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any land that was part of a shopping center, on or after September 17, 2001, may be used only for permitted uses in that district, (and not special uses), and those uses permitted in a shopping center pursuant to § 1804(A).

        (4) Each of the requirements of this section is separate and independent and judicial invalidation of one or more of these requirements shall not invalidate the remainder.

§ 1803 BUILDING SETBACK LINE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Small scale shopping centers. Lots shall have a setback for all principal buildings from all street rights of way of at least ten feet and no more than 50 feet. A strip of at least ten feet deep along the street line shall be maintained as a landscaped buffer strip except for necessary driveways.

    (B) Large scale shopping centers. Lots shall have a setback for all principal buildings from all street rights of way of at least ten feet and no more than fifty feet. A strip of at least 25 feet deep along the street line shall be maintained as a landscaped buffer strip except for necessary driveways.

§ 1804 SIDE AND REAR YARDS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Small scale shopping centers. Lots shall have side yards of at least 20 feet and rear yards of at least 50 feet, and a strip ten feet in width or depth along side and rear lot lines shall be maintained as a landscaped buffer strip.

    (B) Large scale shopping centers. Lots shall have side and rear yards of at least 50 feet in width and a strip 20 feet in width or depth along side and rear lot lines shall be maintained as a landscaped buffer strip.

    (C) The remaining area may be used for parking.

§ 1805 SPECIAL BUFFER REQUIREMENTS ADJACENT TO RESIDENTIAL AREAS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Along the boundary line adjacent to a residential zoning district or use, a landscaped buffer zone shall be provided which shall be at least 50 feet in depth, measured from the property line, within which no off-street parking or loading area shall be permitted.

§ 1806 ACCESS AND TRAFFIC CONTROL.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Access barrier. Each zoning lot, with its buildings, other structures and parking and loading areas, shall be physically separated from each adjoining street by a curb or other suitable barrier against unchanneled motor vehicle ingress and egress. Such barrier shall be located at the edge of or within, a ten foot deep strip along the property line. Except for the access ways permitted by division (B) below, the barrier shall be continuous for the entire length of the property line.

    (B) Access ways. Each zoning lot shall have not more than two access ways to any one street unless unusual circumstances demonstrate the need for additional access points. Each access way shall comply with the following requirements:

        (1) The width of any access way leading to a public street shall not exceed 25 feet at its intersection with the property line. Curb return shall have a minimum radius of 30 feet.

        (2) At its intersection with the property line, no part of any access-way shall be nearer than 100 feet to the intersection of any two street right-of-way lines, nor shall any such part be nearer than 50 feet to any side of rear property line.

        (3) The location and number of access-ways shall be so arranged that they will reduce traffic hazards as much as possible.

§ 1807 OFF-STREET PARKING AREAS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) All off-street parking spaces and servicing drives shall be located within the boundaries of the property being developed as a shopping center and provided for in accordance with Article 13 and this section.

    (B) All off-street loading areas shall be provided in accordance with Article 13. In addition, each shop or store shall have a rear or side entrance that is accessible to a loading area and service drive. Service drives shall be a minimum of 26 feet in width and, wherever practicable, shall be in addition to, and not part of, the drives or circulation system used by the vehicles of shoppers. The arrangement of truck loading and unloading facilities for each shop or store shall be such that in the process of loading or unloading, no truck will block or extend into any other private or public drive or street used for vehicular circulation. Loading and delivery zones shall be clearly marked.

§ 1808 LIGHTING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All parking area and access ways shall be lighted at night during business hours. All outside lighting shall be arranged and shielded to prevent glare or reflection, nuisance, inconvenience or hazardous interference of any kind on adjoining streets or residential properties.

§ 1809 WASTE RECEPTACLE ENCLOSURES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Each building shall be provided with an enclosed waste receptacle and enclosure of sufficient size to accommodate all trash and waste stored on the premises.

§ 1810 TRASH BURNERS AND INCINERATORS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    There shall be no exterior burning of trash or rubbish on the premises.

§ 1811 Special Requirements for Stand-Alone Buildings.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A separate building, such as a bank or restaurant, constructed on land used for a shopping center, but not physically connected to other buildings in the shopping center, shall not be approved unless both of the following requirements are met:

    (A) The area for the separate building, including parking, lanes for drive-up windows, and the building itself, shall be clearly set off from the remainder of the shopping center by a boundary consisting of asphalt or concrete berms, tightly-spaced plantings, or other permanent and unobtrusive means of separation, with not more than two openings for vehicular access to the separate building. Signs shall be placed at each opening in the boundary to clearly show drivers where to enter and exit the separate building area.

    (B) The separate building shall be located at least 50 feet from any other principal building in the shopping center, measured from the boundary of the separate building area to the other building.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 19 CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT

        Article Outline
        § 1900. General
        § 1901. Purpose
        § 1902. Applicability
        § 1903. Permitted Uses
        § 1904. Density
        § 1905. Open Space
        § 1906. Dimensional Requirements

§ 1900 GENERAL.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) No Conservation Subdivision/Land Development Project (CSD) shall be permitted in town except in accordance with the standards and procedures as set forth in this subchapter and in the Middletown Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land.

    (B) Where this subchapter is in conflict with other provisions of this chapter, the Middletown Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land or other town regulations, this subchapter shall prevail.

§ 1901 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

The purposes of conservation subdivision/land development project design are:

    (A) To encourage the preservation of open space for its scenic beauty and the appropriate use thereof;

    (B) to preserve historical and archeological resources;

    (C) To protect natural resources, including but not limited to those containing woodlands, unique vegetation, streams, floodplains, wetlands, recharge areas, agricultural lands, wellheads, and vernal pools, by setting them aside from development.

    (D) to protect the value of real property;

    (E) to promote more sensitive siting of buildings and roads, and better overall site planning;

    (F) To provide a buffer between new development and existing streets, neighborhoods, active farmland, and adjacent park or conservation land.

    (G) to perpetuate the appearance of Middletown's traditional rural/agricultural landscape;

    (H) to allow landowners a reasonable return on their investment while also reducing the infrastructure costs for development;

    (I) to facilitate the construction and maintenance of streets, utilities, and public services in a more economical and efficient manner;

    (J) to offer an alternative to conventional subdivision development;

    (K) To provide for a diversity of lot sizes, building densities, and housing choices to accommodate a variety of age and income groups, and residential preferences, so that the population diversity of the community may be maintained.

    (L) To create neighborhoods with direct visual and/or physical access to open land, with amenities in the form of neighborhood open space, and with a strong neighborhood identity.

    (M) To implement adopted land use, transportation and community service policies, as set forth in the Comprehensive Plan.

§ 1902 APPLICABILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This subchapter shall apply to any project required to be developed as a CSD by the Planning Board under the provisions § 602 and the Rules and Regulation Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land. The process for review and approval of Conservation Subdivision/Land Development Projects by the Planning Board is provided in the Rules and Regulation Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land.

§ 1903 PERMITTED USES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Open Space. Agriculture, recreation, and other conservation uses are allowed within the designated open space in all CSD developments consistent with the provisions of § 1905.

    (B) Residential Uses. Single and two-family dwellings are permitted in all residential zoning districts, allowed by special use permit in the LB and OB Districts, and are prohibited in other commercial and industrial districts. Multi-family (townhouse style) dwellings are permitted in the R-30, R-20, R-10, RM districts, and by special permit in the LB and OB districts. Other multifamily housing is not permitted.

    (C) Commercial and Industrial Uses. Uses in the GB, LB, OB, LI, and OP districts shall be consistent with the provisions of § 602.

    (D) Accessory Uses. Article 7 shall govern accessory uses.

§ 1904 DENSITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Maximum Density. The maximum density for a conservation development (CSD) shall not exceed what could reasonably be expected to be developed on the site through conventional development. Maximum density shall be determined through the yield density formula provided in the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land or development of a yield plan conforming to the dimensional requirements of § 603 and any and all other applicable sections of this subchapter. The proponent shall have the burden of proof with regard to the reasonableness and feasibility of the basic maximum number of lots/units, provided, however, that the Planning Board's determination of the basic maximum number shall be conclusive.

    (B) Basic Maximum Number. The basic maximum number of units in a CSD shall not exceed the maximum number of units permitted in a conventional subdivision, regardless of the type of unit proposed. Calculations of maximum dwelling units shall be based on permitted uses in § 602, and as follows.

        (1) Residential Uses. The basic maximum number of units in a CSD shall not exceed the maximum number of units permitted in a conventional subdivision, regardless of the type of unit proposed. Calculations of maximum dwellings shall be based on permitted uses in § 602.

        (2) Mixed Residential Uses. When the CSD includes a mix of residential types, the total number of dwelling units shall be the maximum allowed under § 603. Each lot of the CSD shall conform to the applicable dimension regulations of § 604.

        (3) Nonresidential Development. The development intensity for a nonresidential land development project shall not exceed that which is allowed under conventional development standards for the total area of land in the CSD plan. All dimensional requirements of this subchapter as well as parking, landscaping, safety, and other requirements must be met.

§ 1905 OPEN SPACE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Open Space shall be provided and administered in accordance with Section 514 of the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land.

    (A) The required open space shall be a separate and distinct lot(s) to which ownership shall be vested in a legally viable entity, which shall be responsible for the use and maintenance of the open space. Ownership of required open space shall be conveyed to one of the following:

        (1) The town (if accepted for park, open space, agricultural, or other specified use or uses),

        (2) A nonprofit organization, the principal purpose of which is the conservation of open space or resource protection,

        (3) A corporation or trust owned or to be owned by the owners of lots or units within the development, or owners of shares within a cooperative development (if such a corporation or trust is used, ownership shall pass with conveyances of the lots or units); or

        (4) Private ownership if the use is limited to agriculture, habitat or forestry, as the town has set forth in the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance, and where private ownership is necessary for the preservation and management of the agricultural, habitat or forest resources.

    (B) In any case where the open space is not conveyed to the town:

        (1) A restriction, in perpetuity, enforceable by the town or by any owner of property in the conservation or other land development project in which the land is located shall be recorded providing that the land is kept in the authorized condition(s) and not built upon or developed except as allowed by this section; and

        (2) The developmental rights and other conservation easements on the land may be held, in perpetuity, by a nonprofit organization, the principal purpose of which is the conservation of open space or resource protection.

        (3) All open space land provided by a conservation development or other land development project shall be subject to a town-approved management plan that will specify the permitted uses for the open space.

    (C) Amount Required. Open space lots may consist of developable as well as unbuildable area such as wetlands; however, only the buildable area shall be counted towards the requirements of this section. The amount of developable land required to be preserved as open space shall comply with the following table:

REQUIRED OPEN SPACE
Zoning District Minimum Amount of Required Open Space
R60, R60A     45%
R40, R40A     40%
R30, R30A; R20, R20A     30%
R10, R10A; RM, RMA     20%
All commercial districts (business, industrial, office)     35%

    (D) Use.

        (1) Primary use of open space shall be limited to one or more of the following:

            (a) Natural Areas. Areas of significant or outstanding natural value, conservation areas, wildlife preserves, bird sanctuaries, or areas of scenic, historic or archaeological value.

            (b) Open recreation uses of a non-commercial nature occupying no more then 50% of the required open space, including playfields and playgrounds, tennis or other outdoor court games, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses, parks, and beaches or swimming pools.

            (c) Open agricultural uses such as raising of crops, orchards, nurseries, and tree farms, but excluding areas for buildings or structures associated with commercial farms, greenhouses, or other commercial uses.

            (d) Buffer areas between adjacent or nearby residential areas, or neighboring streets or property. Such buffer areas may contain fences or other natural or architectural screens. Buffer areas shall not constitute the majority of open space in a CSD.

            (e) Landscaped areas such as lawns, fields, wooded areas, plantings, gardens or courtyards.

            (f) Pedestrian facilities such as walks, footpaths or bridges incorporated into the overall open space plan.

        (2) The following uses of open space may be permitted subject to the limitations provided:

            (a) Underground utilities and/or drainage facilities such as stormwater retention or detention areas, provided that such facilities are incorporated into the open space landscaping and occupy no more than 20% of the required open space.

            (B) Vehicular facilities such as driveways and parking areas as may be necessary to provide access to open recreational uses and consisting of no more than 10% of the required open space. Public streets or areas within a public street right of way shall not be allowed within the open space.

§ 1906 DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The development must meet the area, setbacks and other dimensional requirements provided in § 604 or the commercial design requirements contained in Article 5 of the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land.

    (B) Dimensional requirements for townhouse development as part of a CSD are provided in Article 15.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 20 CEMETERIES

        Article Outline
        § 2000. Purpose
        § 2001. Procedures and Standards for Proposed Development
        § 2002. Development Plan Requirements
        § 2003. Minimum Area
        § 2004. Special Purpose Buffer Zone
        § 2005. Regrading
        § 2006. Alteration of Water Courses
        § 2007. Alteration of Existing Stone Walls
        § 2008. Crematorium
        § 2009. Funeral Parlors
        § 2010. Lot Coverage
        § 2011. Height
        § 2012. Equipment
        § 2013. Security
        § 2014. Enforcement

§ 2000 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of these regulations is to allow for the use of private property as cemeteries and burial grounds, to protect neighboring property owners from undesirable development of property as a cemetery and to make the use of property for a cemetery in open space districts consistent with the preservation-conservation aspect of open space zones. It does not pertain to public or municipal cemeteries.

§ 2001 PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all cemeteries. No permit shall be granted for the construction of a cemetery until the Building Inspector has received a development plan which demonstrates that the following standards are met.

§ 2002 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An application for a permit to operate a cemetery shall contain, as a minimum, a development plan and supplementary information as required by Article 7, plus the following:

    (A) A development plan showing the location and dimensions of driveways through cemeteries or burial grounds; all above-ground water courses, underground water courses where known; existing stone walls; areas or spaces intended for the placement of graves, tombs, mausoleums, crypts, columbariums, storage of crypts, equipment or fill; structures or parking areas; required special purpose buffer zones and plans for regrading or changing of grade of the premises.

    (B) Plans for regrading or changing of grade of the premises.

    (C) No cemetery shall change its operations and the location of activities shown on the development plan without revising its plan and obtaining approval of the Building Inspector for compliance with the standards herein set forth.

§ 2003 MINIMUM AREA.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The minimum lot size for any property used as a cemetery shall be four acres.

§ 2004 SPECIAL PURPOSE BUFFER ZONE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All cemeteries shall have a minimum five-foot wide buffer zone from any abutting property which shall not be used for graves, tombs, mausoleums, crypts, columbariums, storage of crypts, equipment or fill, structures, driveways or parking areas, but this section shall not preclude driveways crossing through the special purpose buffer zone areas to access cemeteries.

§ 2005 REGRADING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The regrading or changing of the grade of any cemetery or burial ground shall be subject to the soil erosion and sedimentation ordinance of the town. Where soil conditions permit, all underground burial sites shall be at least 24 inches below grade.

§ 2006 ALTERATION OF WATER COURSES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    There shall be no alterations of streams, brooks, rivers, or other above or underground water courses running through any cemetery except as permitted by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

§ 2007 ALTERATION OF EXISTING STONE WALLS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    There shall be no alterations of existing stone walls running through any cemetery or burial ground except as required for access or to repair.

§ 2008 CREMATORIUM.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No cemetery shall be permitted to have a crematorium.

§ 2009 FUNERAL PARLORS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No funeral home or show room for caskets shall be allowed in any cemetery.

§ 2010 LOT COVERAGE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No cemetery shall be permitted to have lot coverage in excess of 5% percent of the lot area, including the portion of lots covered by columbariums, mausoleums and similar structures involving above ground burials.

§ 2011 HEIGHT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No structure in any cemetery shall exceed 30 feet in height.

§ 2012 EQUIPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Construction equipment, backhoes, bulldozers, dump trucks, graders and the like shall not be operated in any special use buffer zone except for landscaping purposes. Such equipment shall not be used between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. during any day without special permit from the MiddleTown Council. All equipment shall be operated in conformance with the town's ordinances regulating noise.

§ 2013 SECURITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Vehicular access to cemeteries shall be blocked by gates, fences or chains from sunset to 6:00 a.m. each day.

§ 2014 ENFORCEMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 21 RESIDENTIAL CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES

        Article Outline
        § 2100. Purpose
        § 2101. Uses and Restrictions
        § 2102. Procedure for Proposed Development
        § 2103. Development Plan Requirements
        § 2104. Standards of Development
        § 2105. Off-Street Parking

§ 2100 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of these regulations is to encourage the appropriate use of land for the development of residential care and assisted living facilities. This subchapter recognizes a need for this particular housing alternative for the elderly. The standards set forth in this subchapter are intended to ensure that these developments provide a level of service and facilities to accommodate the residents' needs and to also minimize any adverse effect of the residential care and assisted living facility on surrounding properties. It is the intention of these regulations to ensure that these facilities be compatible with the general character of the surrounding area. This provision recognizes that housing for the elderly customarily has less adverse impact on surrounding properties than multifamily developments and, therefore, deserves separate consideration.

§ 2101 USES AND RESTRICTIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Building containing dwelling units may be single family, two family or multifamily.

    (B) Each dwelling unit, except for one unit that may be reserved for an on-site manager, shall be occupied by persons who are 60 years of age or older, persons of any age who require assisted care or persons of any age who cannot or should not live alone because they require assistance with daily living activities or health care.

    (C) Community space consisting of a minimum of 15 square feet per bedroom shall be required to provide social and recreational facilities for the development.

    (D) Buildings without kitchen facilities in every dwelling shall contain congregate dining facilities providing regular daily meals for residents. This requirement may also be met by one on-site central dining facility if, in the opinion of the Zoning Board, the needs of the occupants would be adequately met.

    (E) Buildings that do not include laundry facilities within each dwelling unit shall include adequate common laundry facilities within the development.

    (F) All structures, buildings and facilities within the development shall be designed and operated for the project residents and their guests only.

    (G) Articles of incorporation, declaration of association, by-laws, endowments, leases, deed restrictions and all similar documents shall be reviewed for compliance with this subchapter by the Town Solicitor as a condition of approval.

§ 2102 PROCEDURE FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No building permit for a residential care and assisted living facility shall be issued until the Zoning Board of Review has granted a special use permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Upon receipt of a completed application, the Zoning Board shall refer two copies of the application to the Planning Board for development plan review. The Planning Board shall submit a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days of receipt of application and plans. Upon receipt of the Planning Board's report, the Zoning Board shall hold a public hearing on the application. When the Zoning Board's decision differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board, reasons shall be clearly stated in writing.

§ 2103 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In addition to the information required by § 305, an application for a special use permit to construct a residential care and assisted living facility shall contain a development plan, including the following:

    (A) Building design and site layout shall show: Public, semi-private and private spaces, ensuring a sense of protection and community identity; minimization of public barriers to handicapped residents; and provision of plantings and landscaping which adequately buffer abutting property.

    (B) Computation of projected sewage volumes and sewage flow calculations. The Town Engineer shall render an opinion as to the adequacy of the proposed sewer size and design of the proposed sewer system and its ability to accept the projected volumes and flows.

    (C) Computation of projected water use, along with a letter from the City of Newport Water Department, to be obtained by the applicant, rendering its opinion as to the adequacy of the water supply and pressure in the water system to serve the needs of the proposed facility.

    (D) Written comments from the Middletown Fire Department regarding adequacy of fire safety provisions.

    (E) Planning Board shall also be charged with reviewing and commenting on the architectural design of the project.

§ 2104 STANDARDS OF DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all residential care and assisted living facility developments:

    (A) No residential care and assisted living facility shall be located on any lot of less than 100,000 square feet of developable land area.

    (B) No lot on which a residential care and assisted living facility is located shall have less than 2,000 square feet of developable land area for each unit within the facility. Each bedroom shall be considered a separate unit for the purpose of this section. For the purposes of this subchapter, a BEDROOM shall be defined as any room or portion of a room of at least 70 square feet within a dwelling unit allocated to sleeping, dressing and/or personal care.

    (C) Residential buildings shall be separated from any other building by a minimum of 25 feet.

    (D) Maximum lot coverage shall be 25%.

RESIDENTIAL CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY SETBACK REQUIREMENTS
Setbacks shall be:

Front
40 feet
Side
20 feet
Rear
50 feet
Maximum height shall be:
35 feet

    (E) Open space shall be provided on the same lot as the principal buildings(s) for the use and enjoyment of the residents. Said open space shall be defined and regulated in accordance with Regulation of Open Space and Open Space Standards of this chapter. An open space management plan shall be reviewed by the Planning Board and Zoning Board as a condition of approval.

    (F) No development or structure shall be permitted unless each dwelling unit is serviced by public water and a sewage system of adequate capacity.

    (G) All developments shall provide for the safe and adequate disposal of surface water runoff as provided for in § 715.

    (H) Individual units may have a kitchenette facility with a refrigerator and/or microwave oven. A kitchenette facility does not qualify as a kitchen facility for purposes of § 2101(D).

    (I) All units shall be handicapped accessible, designed with handicap accessible doorways and bathrooms and shall include a functioning emergency call system. Individual units in buildings containing four or more units shall not have an exterior entrance or exit.

§ 2105 OFF-STREET PARKING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following off-street parking requirements shall apply to residential care and assisted living facilities:

    (A) One space per every three dwelling units.

    (B) One space per employee per highest shift.

    (C) No off-street parking facility, except driveways, shall be located closer than 25 feet to any lot line.

    (D) No off-street parking area shall be locate within ten feet of any wall of a residential building (except a garage) used for residential purposes.

    (E) All parking areas shall be adequately landscaped and no row of parking spaces shall exceed 100 feet without a landscape separation of at least ten feet in width. There shall be a separation of at least ten feet between rows.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 22 SENIOR INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITIES

        Article Outline
        § 2200. Purpose
        § 2201. Uses and Restrictions
        § 2202. Procedure for Proposed Development
        § 2203. Development Plan Requirements
        § 2204. Standards of Development
        § 2205. Off-Street Parking

§ 2200 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

   The purpose of these regulations is to provide a housing alternative for persons aged 55 and older who wish to live in a community setting with similar individuals. This subchapter recognizes a need for this particular housing alternative. The standards set forth in this subchapter are intended to ensure that these developments provide a quality of life and level of service to accommodate the residents' needs and to also minimize any adverse effect on surrounding properties. It is the intention of these regulations to ensure that these facilities be compatible with the general character of the surrounding area. This provision recognizes that housing for persons aged 55 or older customarily has less impact on the community and surrounding properties than multifamily developments and, therefore, separate development standards apply.

§ 2201 USES AND RESTRICTIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Buildings containing dwelling units may be single-family, two-family or contain up to six dwelling units.

    (B) Community space consisting of a minimum of 15 square feet per bedroom shall be required to provide social and recreational facilities for the development.

    (C) The Senior Independent Living Facility shall be occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older, provided that

        (1) At least 80% of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit;

        (2) The housing accommodation has significant facilities and services designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons, or if the provisions* of those facilities and services is not practicable, that the housing is necessary to provide important opportunities for older persons; and

            [* So in original; should probably be "provision".]

        (3) The owner or manager has published and adhered to policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older.

    (D) Buildings that do not include laundry facilities within each dwelling unit shall include adequate common laundry facilities within the development.

    (E) All structures, building and facilities within the development shall be designed and operated for the development's community and their guests only.

    (F) Article s of incorporation, declaration of association, by-laws, endowments, leases, deed restrictions and all similar documents shall be reviewed for compliance with this subchapter by the Town Solicitor as a condition of approval, and shall include a recorded covenant or restriction as to the age requirement in division (C).

§ 2202 PROCEDURE FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No building permit for a senior independent living facility shall be issued until the Zoning Board of Review has granted a special use permit in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance. Upon receipt of the completed application, the Zoning Board shall refer two copies of the application to the Planning Board for development plan review. The Planning Board shall submit a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days receipt of the application and plans. Upon receipt of the Planning Board's report, the Zoning Board shall hold a public hearing on the application. When the Zoning Board's decision differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board, reasons shall be clearly stated in writing.

§ 2203 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In addition to the information required by § 305, an application for special use permit to construct a senior independent living facility shall contain a development plan, including the following:

    (A) Building design and site layout shall show: public, semi-private spaces, ensuring a sense of protection and community identity; minimization of public barriers to handicapped residents; and provision for planting and landscaping which buffer abutting property by maintaining a landscaped area of at least one and a half of the required setback.

    (B) Computation of the projected sewage volumes and sewage flow calculations. The Town Engineer shall render an opinion as to the adequacy of the proposed sewer size and the design of the proposed sewer system and its ability to accept the projected volumes and flows.

    (C) Computation of the projected water use, along with a letter from the City of Newport Water Department, to be obtained by the applicant, rendering its opinion as to the adequacy of the water supply and the pressure in the water system to serve the needs of the proposed facility.

    (D) Written comments from the Middletown Fire Department regarding adequacy of fire safety provisions.

    (E) Preliminary architectural drawings demonstrating that the buildings will have exteriors of traditional building materials used in New England, such as wood shingles and clapboards or materials closely resembling these materials. Buildings shall have traditional roofs such as gable, gambrel or hip. Roof pitches shall be greater than 8/10 for the majority of the buildings. The architectural design shall be subject to the development plan review and subject to the commercial development review standards of the Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land.

§ 2204 STANDARDS OF DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all senior independent living facilities developments:

    (A) No senior independent living facility shall be located on any lot less than five acres of developable land area.

    (B) (1) No lot on which a senior independent living facility is located shall have less than 8,000 square feet of developable land area for each unit in the facility in an R-10 district, 15,000 square feet of developable land area in a R-20 district, 22,500 square feet of developable land area in an R-30 district and 30,000 square feet of developable land area in an R-40 district.

        (2)These land area requirements are the minimum required in each underlying zoning district. No applicant for a development under the provisions of this section shall be permitted to build more dwelling units than the number of dwelling units (single-family, duplex, or multifamily) that would be allowed on the subject property using the underlying zoning designation, unless the applicant demonstrates in the development impact statement, under § 305(A) using statistics for housing limited to persons aged 55 or older, that the proposed development would have no greater impact upon municipal services, facilities, traffic, and other terms listed in § 305(A) and (B).

    (C) Developments which include both senior independent and assisted living facilities must meet the appropriate standards for each type unit.

    (D) Residential buildings shall be separated from any other building by a minimum of 25 feet and there will be no more than six units in any building.

    (E) Dimensions:

SENIOR INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITIES DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

R-10
R-20
R-30
R-40
Minimum frontage on a public street:
50 feet
50 feet
50 feet
50 feet
Maximum lot coverage shall be as follows:




    Buildings
25%
20%
20%
15%
    Additional impervious
40%
25%
25%
20%
Maximum building height
35 feet
35 feet
35 feet
35 feet
Maximum length of any side of any building
160 feet
160 feet
160 feet
160 feet
SENIOR INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITIES SETBACK REQUIREMENTS
Setbacks shall be:

(i) For buildings with three or less units:

        Front
50 feet
        Side
30 feet
        Rear
50 feet
(ii) For buildings of four or more units:

        Front
100 feet
        Side
40 feet
        Rear
60 feet

    (F) No development or structure shall be permitted unless each dwelling unit is serviced by public water and public sewage systems. The applicant must demonstrate to the town's satisfaction that each system has adequate capacity to serve the development.

    (G) All developments shall provide for safe and adequate disposal of surface water runoff as provided for in § 715.

    (H) At least 20% percent of senior independent living facility dwelling units shall have handicap accessible doorways and provisions for the conversion of bathrooms to handicap accessible.

§ 2205 - Off-Street Parking.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following off-street parking requirements shall apply to senior independent living facility:

    (A) Two spaces for every unit of senior independent living; there will be one visitor space per unit which may be on driveways or common parking areas.

    (B) One space per employee per highest shift.

    (C) No off-street parking facility, except driveways, shall be located closer than 25 feet to any lot line.

    (D) No off-street parking area shall be located within ten feet of any wall of a senior independent living facility (except a garage) used for residential purposes.

    (E) All common parking areas shall be adequately landscaped and no row of parking spaces shall exceed 100 feet without a landscape separation of at least ten feet in width. There shall be a separation of at least ten feet between rows of parking spaces. Parking areas shall comply with all other landscaping requirements in this chapter.

    (F) No common parking areas shall be located within ten feet of any residential building.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 23 MOBILE HOME PARKS

        Article Outline
        § 2300. Purpose
        § 2301. Procedures for Proposed Development
        § 2302. Development Plan Requirements
        § 2303. Standards for Development
        § 2304. Minimum Area
        § 2305. Width and Depth
        § 2306. Buffering
        § 2307. Recreation and Open Space
        § 2308. Access
        § 2309. Lot Requirements
        § 2310. Street System
        § 2311. Uses Permitted
        § 2312. Occupancy
        § 2313. Mobile Home Subdivisions
        § 2314. Prohibition of Individual Mobile Homes

§ 2300 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of these regulations is to regulate the location and design of mobile home parks in such a manner as to create neighborhoods designed for long-term residential occupancy, to ensure compatibility with surrounding areas and with the natural environment, and to provide safe, sanitary and attractive living conditions for occupants of mobile homes located in such parks.

§ 2301 PROCEDURES FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No building permit shall be granted for the construction of a mobile home park until the Zoning Board of Review shall grant a special use permit therefore in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Upon receipt of a completed application as required by § 2302, the Zoning Board shall refer two copies of the application to the Planning Board for Development Plan Review, who shall make a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days of receipt of the application. The Zoning Board may then hold a public hearing on the application for a special use permit. Where the decision of the Zoning Board of Review differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board, the reasons therefore shall be clearly stated in writing.

§ 2302 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An application for a special use permit to construct a mobile home park shall contain, as a minimum, development plans and supplementary information as required by § 902, plus the following:

    (A) A development plan showing the location and dimensions of streets and other roadways; lot or spaces intended for the placement of mobile homes, required buffer zones, recreation areas and open space, and the location and nature of all proposed land uses.

    (B) Typical lot improvements to include lot dimensions, required yards, setbacks and location of mobile homes, off- or on-street parking.

    (C) A plan or other description indicating all utilities and methods of sewage disposal and water supply.

    (D) Proposals for garbage and trash removal, and outdoor storage.

    (E) Evidence of compliance with all appropriate State laws and regulations, particularly those dealing with licensure of mobile home parks.

    (F) Preliminary architectural plans of any proposed permanent buildings, such as community buildings, recreation halls or service buildings.

§ 2303 STANDARDS FOR DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all mobile home parks.

§ 2304 MINIMUM AREA.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A mobile home park shall contain a minimum of ten acres.

§ 2305 WIDTH AND DEPTH.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    For purposes of the tract used for general vehicular entrances and exits only, the lot width shall be a minimum of 50 feet; for portions containing mobile home lots and buildings open generally to occupants, the width of the lot shall be a minimum of 250 feet.

§ 2306 BUFFERING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Along all exterior property lines of a mobile home park, a landscaped buffer zone shall be maintained.

    (A) Such buffer zone shall be no less than 100 feet wide along all property lines.

    (B) Such buffer zone shall be planted, screened, or otherwise maintained in a natural condition in order to provide year round visual obstruction of the mobile home lots from abutting land and streets. Such buffer zone may be used for recreation of a non-intensive character provided, however, that no structure be located thereon.

§ 2307 RECREATION AND OPEN SPACE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    At least 10% of the gross land area of the mobile home park shall be reserved for recreational open space uses. Such recreation and open space may be located within the required buffer zone required in § 2306. However, this figure is in addition to any other open areas required by yard provisions or other sections of this chapter.

§ 2308 ACCESS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All mobile home parks shall have a minimum lot frontage of 50 feet on a public street.

§ 2309 LOT REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Individual mobile home lots or spaces which are leased as lots, within mobile home parks shall conform to the following requirements:

    (A) Lot Size. Each individual mobile home lot shall contain a minimum area of 6,000 square feet.

    (B) Lot Width and Depth. The minimum width of each mobile home lot shall be 60 feet and the minimum depth of each lot shall be 100 feet.

    (C) Required Separation Between Mobile Homes.

        (1) Mobile homes shall be separated from each other and from other buildings by at least 30 feet.

        (2) Any accessory structure which has a horizontal area exceeding 25 square feet, is attached to a mobile home or located within ten feet of a window, and has an opaque top or roof that is higher than the nearest window shall, for purposes of all separation requirements, be considered to be part of the mobile home.

    (D) Setback. No mobile home shall be located closer than 20 feet to a lot line abutting an internal street.

§ 2310 STREET SYSTEM.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All mobile home parks shall be provided with safe and convenient vehicular access from abutting public streets. Alignment and gradient shall be properly adapted to topography. Each mobile home lot shall have frontage on an internal street.

    (A) Access.

        (1) Access to mobile parks shall be designed to minimize congestion and hazards at the entrance and exit and allow free movement of traffic on adjacent streets.

        (2) The entrance street connecting the park streets with a public street shall have a minimum street pavement width of 34 feet where parking is permitted on both sides, or a minimum street pavement width of 28 feet where parking is limited to one side. Where the primary entrance street is more than 100 feet long and does not provide access to abutting mobile home lots within such distance, the minimum street pavement width may be 24 feet, provided parking is prohibited at both sides.

    (B) Internal streets. Surfaced streets shall be of an adequate paved width to accommodate anticipated traffic, and in any case shall meet the following minimum requirements:

        (1) All streets except minor streets: 26 feet.

        (2) Minor streets, no parking: 24 feet (acceptable only if less than 500 feet long and serving less than 25 mobile homes or of any length if one-way and providing access to abutting mobile home lots on one side only.)

        (3) Dead end streets shall be limited in length to 1,000 feet and shall be provided at the closed end with a turnaround having an outside pavement diameter of at least 60 feet.

    All surfaced streets shall be constructed in a manner consistent with § 1301(A).

    (C) Required Off-Street parking areas.

        (1) Off-street parking areas shall be provided in all mobile home parks for the use of park occupants and guests. Such areas shall be furnished at the ratio of at least two car spaces for each dwelling unit, and shall be located upon the lot of the mobile home it is intended to serve.

        (2) Use of joint carports is allowed, provided that no carport shall have an area greater than 450 square feet.

§ 2311 USES PERMITTED.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following uses are permitted in any mobile home park:

    (A) Principal Uses. Mobile homes as defined in § 2301.

    (B) Accessory Uses. Uses directly accessory to a mobile home including parking areas, carports, patios and semi-enclosed outdoor storage sheds. Provided, however, that the total floor area of enclosed accessory buildings does not exceed 400 square feet per mobile home.

    (C) Community buildings, recreation halls, or service buildings intended primarily to serve the residents of the mobile home park.

    (D) Temporary model homes provided they are used only for display of mobile homes for sale within the mobile home park. Under no circumstances shall any retail sales of mobile homes be permitted in any mobile home park.

    (E) Administrative offices for the management of the mobile home park, including maintenance and service areas for same.

§ 2312 OCCUPANCY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Mobile home parks as permitted in this chapter are intended for long-term residential occupancy. No lot shall be rented for placement of a mobile home, and no mobile home shall be rented or sold for residential occupancy except for periods of 90 days or more.

§ 2313 MOBILE HOME SUBDIVISIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) A subdivision of land for the purpose of selling individual lots for the placement and occupancy of mobile homes shall be permitted only in zoning districts where mobile home parks are permitted as provided in § 602; and

    (B) Each lot within the subdivision shall contain the land area required for single family homes under the provisions of § 603 for the zoning district in which it is located; and

    (C) The subdivision of land shall meet all the procedures and construction requirements of the Middletown Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land, as amended.

§ 2314 PROHIBITION OF INDIVIDUAL MOBILE HOMES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No mobile home shall be permitted to be used as a dwelling on any individual lot in the town except in a mobile park as provided in this subchapter.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 24 TRANSIENT TRAILER PARKS

        Article Outline
        § 2400. Purpose
        § 2401. Definitions
        § 2402. Procedures for Proposed Development
        § 2403. Development Plan Requirements
        § 2404. Standards of Development
        § 2405. Required Recreation Area
        § 2406. Buffering
        § 2407. Required Separation Between Transient Trailers
        § 2408. Transient Trailer Park Streets System
        § 2409. Access
        § 2410. Internal Streets
        § 2411. Off-Street Parking and Maneuvering Space
        § 2412. Water Supply and Sewage Disposal
        § 2413. Environmental and Open Space Requirements
        § 2414. Soil Ground Cover Requirements
        § 2415. Uses Permitted
        § 2416. Prohibition of Individual Trailers

§ 2400 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    It is the intent of this subchapter to provide areas which are propery located and designed to accommodate the leisure time and vacation activities of transient residents utilizing transient trailers and similar recreational vehicles, and intended for short-term residential occupancy only. It is further intended to safeguard the health and safety of residents of trailer parks, to ensure compatibility with the natural environment and to ensure harmony with the character of the surrounding area.

§ 2401 DEFINITIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    For purposes of this subchapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

    TRANSIENT TRAILER includes any of the following:

        (1) CAMPING TRAILER. A canvas, folding structure, mounted on wheels and designed for travel, recreation and vacation use;

        (2) MOTOR HOME. A portable, temporary dwelling to be used for travel, recreation and vacation, constructed as an integral part of a self-propelled vehicle;

        (3) PICK-UP COACH. A structure designed to be mounted on a truck chassis for use as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation and vacation;

        (4) TRAVEL TRAILER. A vehicular, portable structure built on a chassis, designed to be used as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreation and vacation uses;

        (5) Any other mobile recreational vehicle subject to the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 24-21*, as amended.

            [*So in original; the reference should be to Chapter 23-21.]

    TRANSIENT TRAILER PARK A parcel of land in which two or more spaces are occupied or intended for occupancy by transient trailers for transient dwelling purposes and in which transient trailer spaces are rented by the day or week only, and the occupancy of such space remains in same transient trailer park for not more than 90 days within a period of one year.

§ 2402 PROCEDURES FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No building permit shall be granted for the construction of a transient trailer park until the Zoning Board of Review shall grant a special use permit therefore in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Upon receipt of a completed application as required by § 2403, the Zoning Board shall refer two copies of the application to the Middletown Planning Board for Development Plan Review, who shall make a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days of receipt of the application for a special use permit. Where the decision of the Zoning Board differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board, the reasons therefore shall be clearly stated in writing.

§ 2403 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An application for a special use permit to construct a transient trailer park shall contain, as a minimum, development plans and supplementary information as required by § 305, plus the following. Complete engineering plans and specifications of the proposed park showing:

    (A) The area and dimensions of the tract of land;

    (B) The number, location and size of all transient trailer spaces;

    (C) The location and width of streets and walkways;

    (D) The location of service buildings, sanitary stations, and any other proposed structures;

    (E) The location and area of required recreation areas;

    (F) The location of water and sewer line and riser pipes;

    (G) Plans and specifications of the water supply and refuse and sewage disposal facilities;

    (H) Plans and specifications of all buildings constructed or to be constructed within the transient trailer park;

    (I) The location and details of lighting and electrical systems; and

    (J) Evidence of compliance with all appropriate state laws and regulations, particularly those dealing with sanitation, sewage disposal and water supply.

§ 2404 STANDARDS OF DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following standards of development shall apply to all transient trailer parks:

    (A) Minimum Area. No transient trailer park shall be less than ten acres in land area.

    (B) Density Requirement. The overall density of the transient trailer park shall not exceed 20 transient trailer spaces per acre of area of such park.

    (C) Area of Transient Trailer Spaces. The minimum area of any transient trailer space shall not be less than 1,200 square feet.

§ 2405 REQUIRED RECREATION AREA.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In all transient trailer parks there shall be at least one recreation area which shall be easily accessible from all transient trailer spaces. The size of such recreation area shall be not less than 20% of the area of such park.

§ 2406 BUFFERING.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    A landscaped buffer strip shall be maintained along all exterior property lines of a transient trailer park. Such buffer strip shall be no less than 100 feet wide and shall be planted, screened or otherwise maintained in a natural condition in order to provide year-round visual obstruction of the transient trailer spaces from abutting land and streets. Such buffer strip may be used for recreation of a non-intensive character provided however, that no structures be located thereon. In the event that terrain or other natural features, such as adjacent water bodies, are located so that the landscaped buffer strip will not serve the intended purpose, then no such buffer strip shall be required.

§ 2407 REQUIRED SEPARATION BETWEEN TRANSIENT TRAILERS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Transient trailers shall be separated from each other and from other structures by at least 20 feet. Any accessory structure such as attached awnings, carports or individual storage facilities shall for purposes of this separation requirement be considered to be part of the transient trailer. Distance between permanent structures and transient trailers must be at least 30 feet.

§ 2408 TRANSIENT TRAILER PARK STREETS SYSTEM.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All transient trailer parks shall be provided with safe and convenient vehicular access from abutting public streets. Each transient trailer space shall have direct access to an interior street. Alignment and gradient shall be properly adapted topography. Surfacing need not be permanent pavement, but shall provide a smooth, hard and dense surface which shall be drained.

§ 2409 ACCESS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All transient trailer parks shall have a minimum lot frontage of 50 feet on a public street. Access to transient trailer parks shall be designed to minimize congestion and hazards at their entrance or exit and allow free movement of traffic on adjacent streets. All traffic into or out of such parks shall be through such entrances and exits.

§ 2410 INTERNAL STREETS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All internal streets shall be a minimum of 20 feet wide.

§ 2411 OFF-STREET PARKING AND MANEUVERING SPACE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Each transient trailer park shall provide sufficient parking and maneuvering space so that the parking, loading or maneuvering of transient trailers shall not necessitate the use of any public street, sidewalk or right-of-way or land not part of the transient trailer park.

§ 2412 WATER SUPPLY AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All requirements regarding supply of water and disposal of sewage in transient trailer parks shall conform to all applicable laws and requirements of the State of Rhode Island, Department of Environmental Management.

§ 2413 ENVIRONMENTAL AND OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Condition of soil, groundwater level, drainage and topography shall not create hazards to the property or to the health or safety of the occupants. The site shall not be exposed to objectionable smoke, noise or odors. No portion subject to unpredictable and/or sudden flooding, subsidence or erosion shall be used for any purpose which would expose persons or property to hazards.

§ 2414 SOIL GROUND COVER REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Exposed ground surface in all parts of every parking area shall be paved, or covered with stone screenings, or other solid material, or protected with a mulch or vegetative growth that is capable of preventing soil erosion and of eliminating dust.

§ 2415 USES PERMITTED.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following uses are permitted in any transient trailer park:

    (A) Principal Uses. Transient trailers as defined in § 2401.

    (B) Accessory Uses. Uses directly accessory to a transient trailer space such as picnic area, fireplace, utility service, etc.

    (C) Community buildings. Recreation halls, laundry facilities, showers or rest rooms, convenience stores or other service buildings intended primarily to serve the residents of the transient trailer park.

    (D) Outdoor recreation facilities. Provided, however, that any active recreation facilities shall not be located within the landscaped buffer strip required in § 1301.

    (E) Administrative offices for the management of the transient trailer park, including maintenance and service areas for same. A resident manager may be permitted to occupy no more than one single family dwelling located within the transient trailer park.

§ 2416 PROHIBITION OF INDIVIDUAL TRAILERS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No transient trailer shall be permitted to be used as a dwelling on any individual lot in the town except in a transient trailer park as provided in this subchapter.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 25 WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

        Article Outline
        § 2500. Purpose
        § 2501. Basic Requirements
        § 2502. Procedure for Proposed Development
        § 2503. Development Plan Requirements
        § 2504. Standards of Development
        § 2505. Miscellaneous Additional Requirements
        § 2506. Special Requirements for Disguised Facilities
        § 2507. Special Requirements for Co-located Antennas
        § 2508. Conflict with Other Zoning Provisions

§ 2500 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The overall purpose of this subchapter is to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare while accommodating the telecommunication needs of residents and business. Specifically, this subchapter seeks to:

    (A) Facilitate the provisions of wireless telecommunication services to the residents and businesses of the municipality in full compliance with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996;

    (B) Minimize adverse visual effects of communication towers by requiring them to have minimal visual impact and by setting minimum standards for their design (including innovative camouflaging techniques), siting, screening and landscaping;

    (C) Designate the appropriate zoning districts for wireless telecommunication facilities;

    (D) Avoid potential danger to adjacent properties from tower failure through structural standards and setback requirements;

    (E) Mitigate tower proliferation through tower sharing requirements (co-locations) for all new tower applicants and those existing towers that are physically capable of sharing;

    (F) Establish the standards and criteria for evaluation of application for wireless telecommunications facilities and fair and reasonable procedures to process applications; and

    (G) Provide for the removal of abandoned and unsafe wireless telecommunications towers and antennas.

§ 2501 BASIC REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Four types of wireless telecommunications facilities shall be permitted in the town:

    (A) Communication towers. Only monopole communications towers shall be permitted, and no tower shall be approved unless the applicant demonstrates that the need for wireless telecommunications services that will be satisfied by constructing the tower cannot, for technological, legal, or economical reason, other than the financial circumstances of the applicant, be reasonably satisfied by using an existing or approved tower, or by using or constructing one or more building-mounted facilities, pole-mounted antennas, or disguised facilities.

    (B) Building-mounted facilities. Wireless telecommunications facilities shall be permitted on existing buildings subject to the requirements of this subchapter, except that no building-mounted facility shall be approved unless the applicant demonstrates that the need for wireless telecommunications services that will be satisfied by means of the building-mounted facility cannot, for technological, legal or economical reasons, be reasonably satisfied by using an existing or approved tower, or by using or constructing one or more disguised facilities.

    (C) Pole-mounted antennas. Pole-mounted antennas shall be permitted on existing poles or standards subject to the requirements of this subchapter, except that no pole-mounted antenna shall be approved unless the applicant demonstrates that the need for wireless telecommunication services that will be satisfied by means of the pole-mounted antenna cannot, for technological, legal or economical reason, be reasonably satisfied by using an existing or approved tower, or by using or constructing one or more disguised facilities.

    (D) Disguised facilities. Disguised facilities shall be permitted subject to all applicable provisions of this subchapter except § 2505.

§ 2502 PROCEDURE FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Special-use Permit. No wireless telecommunications facility shall be established or substantially modified in any zoning district unless a special use permit is obtained from the Zoning Board of Review. In addition, all facilities to be located on public property, such as pole-mounted antennas on structures on a public street, shall be approved by the Town Council, after the granting of a special use permit by the Zoning Board, and shall be maintained and operated under the terms of a license or lease approved by the Town Council.

    (B) Development Plan Review. Upon receipt of a completed application for a wireless telecommunications facility, the Zoning Board of Review shall refer two copies of the application to the Planning Board for Development Plan Review, which shall make a written report to the Zoning Board within 45 days after receiving the application. The Zoning Board shall then hold a public hearing on the application for a special use permit. If the decision of the Zoning Board differs from the recommendations of the Planning Board the reasons therefore shall be clearly stated in writing.

    (C) Notice. All notice requirements of § 317, shall apply to applications for a special use permit under the subchapter, except that applications to construct or substantially modify a communications tower shall require notice by first class mail to:

        (1) all owners of real property located within 1,000 feet of the proposed tower site, and

        (2) the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.

    (D) Burden of proof. The applicant shall have the burden of producing evidence to satisfy all applicable requirements and standards set out in the subchapter.

§ 2503 DEVELOPMENT PLAN REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In addition to the information required by §§ 303 and 305, an application for a special use permit to construct or substantially modify a wireless telecommunications facility shall provide the following information.

    (A) All facilities.

        (1) Documentation by a qualified licensed engineer or other person qualified by education or experience to show why the proposed facility cannot, for technological, legal or economical reasons, be located on an existing or approved facility. The documentation should discuss the following factors:

            (a) The proposed facility would cause unacceptable interference with the operation of an existing or planned facility or with other types of electronic facilities or equipment, or would be subject to unacceptable interference from other facilities or equipment, and that such interference cannot be prevented or eliminated at a reasonable cost.

            (b) The proposed facility cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved tower due to structural deficiencies, and that such deficiencies cannot be eliminated at a reasonable cost.

            (c) The proposed facility cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved tower or other structure because no other reasonably available tower or structure can accommodate the facility's antenna at the height necessary for the communication services to be offered.

            (d) Other reasons that make it infeasible to locate the proposed wireless telecommunications facility on an existing or approved tower or other existing structure.

        (2) A service area map depicting the territorial extent of the applicant's planned coverage, including any areas within the City of Newport and the Town of Portsmouth if the facility will be capable of providing wireless telecommunication services to customers in those municipalities. Such map shall contain or be accompanied by a graph or chart showing, with respect to the type of service for which the wireless telecommunications facility is designed:

            (a) The percentage of the Town of Middletown covered by the proposed facility;

            (b) The extent of any coverage in communities other than Middletown, shown on a radius map of coverage; and

            (c) An estimate of the number of other similar facilities that will be needed to fully cover the Town of Middletown if the proposed facility is constructed.

        (3) A description of all proposed equipment building or boxes, including proposed shielding and details of materials.

        (4) A report from a licensed engineer affirming that the proposed wireless telecommunications facility will comply with applicable emission standards of the Federal Communications Commission, and that the installation of the facility will not interfere with public safety communications.

        (5) Documentation by a licensed professional engineer of what steps the applicant has taken, or will take, to avoid interference with public safety telecommunication facilities.

        (6) Inventory and master plan report. Each application for a wireless telecommunications facility shall include an inventory report of the applicant's existing or approved towers and antennas in Middletown and within one mile of the border of Newport or Portsmouth. This report shall become part of the public record and may be use by Town Board and official in connection with future applications from other applicants. The inventory report shall specify:

            (a) The type, design, and location of each tower and antenna, including the longitude and latitude of each tower;

            (b) The ability of each tower to accommodate additional antennas;

            (c) Where applicable, the height of the support structures on which the applicant's existing antennas are located; and

            (d) The applicant's master plan for establishing additional towers on Aquidneck Island during the next five years.

    (B) Communication towers. In addition to the development plan requirements for all wireless telecommunications facilities set out in division (A), an application to construct or substantially modify a communications tower shall include:

        (1) Proof of ownership of the site or of a contractual right to its long-term use, and evidence that necessary easements have been or will be acquired.

        (2) A report from a licensed professional engineer showing the design of the tower, including a cross-section view and elevations and the description of the tower's capacity, including the number and type of antennas it can accommodate as well as the proposed location of all mounting positions for co-located antennas and the minimum separation distances between antennas.

        (3) A scaled site plan, prepared by a licensed engineer, clearly indicating:

            (a) The location, type and height of the proposed tower;

            (b) The fall zone and setbacks;

            (c) Other structures and uses or activities on the site and on all properties within 200 feet of the site perimeter;

            (d) Adjacent roadways;

            (e) Proposed means of access;

            (f) Elevation drawings of the proposed tower and all other structures;

            (g) Topography;

            (h) Proposed parking area;

            (i) The zoning classification of the site and of adjacent property on all sides of the site; and

            (j) Other information deemed necessary by the Planning Department to assess compliance with this subchapter.

        (4) Certification by a licensed structural engineer that the design of a new communications tower or substantial modification of an existing tower will comply with the latest version of the American Institute of Steel Construction Code Standards (TIA/EIA-22-F) and American Concrete Institute (ACI 318) Standards.

        (5) A report, which may be in the form of a letter, from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicating that it has no objection to the proposed tower or that the design of the proposed tower does not violate applicable FAA requirements.

        (6) A landscape plan showing specific landscape materials details of proposed fencing, including color.

        (7) A bond as surety for the cost of removing an abandoned communications tower, as provided in § 2505(G). The bond shall be in an amount fixed by the Town Engineer after consultation with the applicant and others knowledgeable about demolition of such structures.

    (C) Building-mounted facilities. In addition to the development plan requirements for all wireless telecommunications facilities set out in division (A), the following information shall be provided on or with the development plan for building-mounted facilities that do not qualify as disguised facilities under this subchapter.

        (1) A plan, drawn to scale, showing where and how the proposed antenna will be affixed to a particular building or structure.

        (2) Details of all proposed antenna and mounting equipment, including size and color.

§ 2504 STANDARDS OF DEVELOPMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Co-location. Communications towers shall be designed for and shall permit the co-location of future wireless telecommunications facilities. Each application for a new tower shall include a statement, to be separately signed by the owner of an authorized agent, acknowledging that the tower will be designed and constructed to accommodate the equipment of at least five competitive carriers, and agreeing to provide for the shared use of the tower at reasonable and prevailing market lease rates.

    (B) Fall zone. Communications towers shall be located on the site so as to provide for a fall zone in which no structures may be placed except associated structures for wireless telecommunications equipment, storage sheds, garages, and other unpopulated buildings. The purpose of the fall zone is to safeguard citizens and property during hurricanes and other storms from the dangers of a falling or collapsing tower structures and windborne objects or debris from the structure. The fall zone shall consist of the area surrounding the tower calculated as follows:

        (1) From the base of the tower toward the nearest lot line of any lot containing a single-family, two-family, or multifamily dwelling, a distance equal to 125% of the height of the tower;

        (2) From the base of the tower toward any other lot line, a distance equal to 50% of the height of the tower, except that if any populated building is closer to the tower than the distance equal to the height of the tower, the fall zone shall be equal to 75% of the distance from the tower to the nearest such building. For purposes of the division, a POPULATED BUILDING means any building in which human activity is regularly carried on.

        (3) Setbacks. Wireless telecommunications facilities shall meet the setback requirements for the district in which they are located. For purposed of this subchapter, all buildings and other structures for communications equipment shall be considered part of the principal use for setback requirements.

    (C) Lot size. Telecommunications towers shall not be located on any lot less than 20,000 square feet in area, or the minimum lot size for the zoning district, whichever is greater.

    (D) Height. Wireless telecommunications facilities shall not exceed the following height limitations:

        (1) Communications towers. The maximum height of a tower shall be 160 feet, measured from the average existing level of the ground surrounding the tower and within ten feet thereof to the highest point of the tower, including any antenna or other appurtenances.

        (2) The maximum height of a building-mounted or pole-mounted antenna shall be 20 feet above the highest point of the roof (excluding chimneys and other appurtenances) or of the pole.

        (3) The maximum height of a disguised facility not located in an existing building shall be 60 feet.

    (E) Lighting. Telecommunications towers and antennas shall not be illuminated and shall not display any lights unless:

        (1) One or more lights are specifically required by the FAA or other governmental authority, and

        (2) The requirement for lights cannot be eliminated by reducing the height of the tower and/or antenna to the minimum height at which its intended use is feasible.

    (F) Signs.

        (1) Each telecommunications tower site shall display a non-illuminated identification sign containing the corporate name of the owner and an emergency telephone number. At the owner's option, the sign may also contain a corporate logo and/or a mailing address, but no other information or graphics. The sign shall be:

            (a) Made of durable, graffiti-resistant material;

            (b) Not greater than three square feet in area or four feet high;

            (c) Posted in a place visible to the general public.

        (2) No other signs shall be displayed on the tower or at the site unless expressly required by a federal or state agency.

    (G) Accessory equipment structures. Accessory equipment structures at tower sites shall not contain more than 2,400 square feet of gross floor area for all accessory equipment for all carriers, or be more than eight feet in height. Accessory equipment structures may be partially or completely located underground, and underground space shall not be counted in determining the maximum size of the structure. No externally visible accessory equipment structures shall be allowed in connection with building-mounted facilities, disguised facilities, or pole-mounted antennas except as otherwise permitted by this subchapter.

    (H) Aesthetics. The applicant shall successfully demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that the proposed telecommunications facility will have minimal visual impact. The term MINIMAL VISUAL IMPACT means that there are no other reasonably available sites in the town that will provide the same level of wireless telecommunications service with less visual impact than the proposed facility, as measured by the standards set forth in this section. The fact that another site would require more towers or other facilities to achieve the same level of service may be taken into consideration, but shall not be determinative if the other site would have less overall visual impact. In determining whether the minimal visual impact requirement has been satisfied, the Board shall consider, among other factors:

        (1) The height of the proposed tower as compared to the height of other nearby structures, the elevation of the site, and the distance from which the tower would be observable from various locations in the town;

        (2) The exterior components of building-mounted facilities shall be of a color that is identical to, or closely compatible with, the color of the building and shall be located on the building at the point of least visibility to persons on adjacent property, unless such location is shown to be impractical for substantial reasons.

        (3) Pole-mounted antennas shall be of a color that is identical to, or closely compatible with, the color of the structure on which they are mounted.

        (4) Telecommunication tower sites shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screens the view of the base of the tower and any accessory equipment structures from adjacent property. Existing mature tree growth and natural land forms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible. In some cases, such as when towers are sited on large, wooded lots, natural growth around the property perimeter may be a sufficient buffer. In locations where the visual impact of the tower, particularly on residential lots, would be minimal, the landscaping requirements may be reduced or waived.

    (I) Security. All wireless telecommunications facilities shall be protected against access by children and other unauthorized persons to the maximum extent reasonably possible for the type and location of the facility. Security measures shall include vandal-resistant design of accessory equipment structures.

        (1) Telecommunications towers, including any guy wires and accessory equipment structures, shall be surrounded at a minimum distance of ten feet with opaque climb-resistant fencing eight feet high. Gates allowing access to the tower shall be of the same material and height as the fence and shall be equipped with strong weather-proof locks. Any ladder or other means of climbing to the tower shall be separately protected against unauthorized climbing by a lock or other means.

        (2) Telecommunications equipment inside building-mounted facilities shall be designed and located to insure limited access for authorized persons only, such as by locating it in a separate lockable room, cage or box, and access to antennas attached to the roof of the building shall be through a lockable door.

        (3) Telecommunications equipment inside disguised facilities in existing structures shall be disguised and located to insure limited access for authorized persons only, such as by locating it in a separate lockable room, cage or box.

§ 2505 MISCELLANEOUS ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Visual impact preview. Because aesthetics are a major concern relating to wireless telecommunications facilities, all applicants for a special use permit to construct a new telecommunications tower shall comply with the following visual impact requirements.

        (1) Comparative height illustration. The purpose of this requirement is to show the relative height of a proposed telecommunications tower as compared to landmarks familiar to Middletown residents.

            (a) Applications to construct or substantially modify a communications tower shall include an architectural drawing or scaled photo simulations showing the proposed tower as it would look if it were constructed on the same site with the World War I Memorial Tower in Miantonomi Park and the chapel tower at St. Georges's School. Each structure shall be drawn to scale and situate at a level that corresponds to the actual level of that structure as measured from sea level, so that the drawing or photo simulation will take into account the different elevations of land at the site of the proposed tower and at the site of the existing structures.

            (b) A copy of the drawing required by division (A)(1)(a) shall be published in the newspaper advertisement with the notice of all public hearings in connection with the application and shall be made available to the public on request. In addition, an enlarged copy of this drawing, not less than six square feet in area, shall be on display at all public hearings and shall be kept at the Town Hall available for inspection until the conclusion of all hearings on the application.

        (2) Crane demonstration. After publication of the newspaper notice of an application for a new telecommunications tower, but before the first public hearing on the applicant, the applicant shall arrange for the following demonstration:

            (a) A crane shall be positioned as near as possible at the exact location of the proposed tower and extended to the height of the proposed tower for two consecutive days, including one weekend day, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., after the advertisement of the Zoning Board hearing has been advertised and before the hearing is held.

            (b) In addition to the advertised notice of the Zoning Board hearing, the applicant shall publish a display advertisement, not less than eight column inches in size, in the same newspaper as the notice advertisement, stating the dates and times of the crane demonstration.

    (B) Anti-proliferation requirement. No new telecommunications tower shall be recommended by the Planning Board unless the applicant demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the Board that the proposed wireless telecommunications facility cannot be co-located on an existing tower or established as a building-mounted facility, pole-mounted antenna, or disguised facility.

    (C) Certification of continued operation. On or before February 1 of each year the owner of a wireless telecommunications facility shall file a certification with the Planning Department as to the continued operation of the facility, including all co-located facilities. Failure to file the certification shall create a rebuttable presumption that the facility has been abandoned. Such certification shall be on a form provide by the Planning Department and shall contain, to the extent possible:

        (1) An affirmation that each telecommunications tower and antenna in the facility is currently in operation or, if not, the owner's plans with respect to renewed operation or removal the tower or antenna;

        (2) A statement whether any tower or antenna is expected to cease operation within the next year;

        (3) A current list of all tower user names, and the name and mailing address of an agent of each user authorized to receive communications from the town;

        (4) A description of the insurance coverage on all facilities, including the name and mailing address of a claims agent for each insures; and,

        (5) Any other information which the Planning Department believes is relevant to monitor compliance with the provisions of this subchapter.

    (D) Certification of continued structural integrity. Every five years, or within 60 days after a catastrophic act of nature or other emergency that might effect the structural integrity of the tower, the owner shall file with the town Engineer a certification of continued structural integrity prepared and signed by a licensed engineer. The certification shall affirm that a thorough and complete inspection of the tower was conducted and that the tower and all accessory structures are and will continue to perform as originally designed.

    (E) Insurance. Liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 shall be maintained by the owner and operator of a wireless telecommunications tower until the tower is dismantled and removed from the site. Failure to maintain insurance coverage shall continue a violation of this chapter and grounds for revocation of a permit.

    (F) Performance bond. The owner or operator of a wireless telecommunications tower shall obtain and keep in force as long as the tower is located on the site a performance bond payable to the town in the amount of not less than $50,000, or such other greater amount as found by the Town Engineer to cover the estimated reasonable costs of removal of the tower, including direct and administrative costs associated with demolition, dismantling, removal and disposal of the tower by the town or its contractor, if the owner of operator fails to comply with the requirements of division (G).

    (G) Abandonment. A wireless telecommunications facility shall be removed by the owner within 365 days after it ceases to be operated, unless at the time the owner has a signed agreement for the facility to be re-activated within an additional 60-day period. Upon removal the site shall be restored to its previous appearance and, where appropriate, re-vegetated to blend with the surrounding area. A facility not removed in accordance with this subsection shall be considered abandoned and may be removed by the town at the owner's expense.

§ 2506 SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DISGUISED FACILITIES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An applicant for a wireless telecommunication facility, that qualifies as a disguised facility as defined in the subchapter, shall be subject to all applicable provisions of this subchapter except § 2505 and to the following requirements

    (A) Special-use permit. The applicant shall obtain the development plan requirements and standards of development in §§ 2504 and 2505 of this subchapter and shall not be subject to development plan review under this chapter, provided that the following requirements are met in a special use permit for the facility under special-use Permits. In granting such a permit, the Zoning Board may attach one or more conditions under § 904. For disguised facilities located on existing buildings, such conditions may include:

        (1) Limitations on the size, height, or shape of any antenna, component or accessory equipment visible from outside the building, in addition to the limitations imposed by this subchapter; and

        (2) Reasonable requirements for painting, hiding, or otherwise screening any part of the facility from public view.

    (B) Dimensional requirements. Disguised facilities of new construction shall meet all dimensional requirements of the district in which they are located, except that height limitations may be modified by the Zoning Board pursuant to the standards of § 902.

    (C) Verification of status. The purpose of the following requirements is to ensure that a wireless telecommunications facility, established pursuant to this section, is a disguised facility as defined in this subchapter.

        (1) Existing structures. An applicant for a disguised facility to be located in or on an existing structure shall submit, as part of the permit application, at least four color photographs of the structure containing or constituting the disguised facility taken within the month preceding the filing of the application. Such photographs shall be approximately eight by ten inches in size and shall show clearly each side or facet of the existing structure as it appears to observers located on adjacent property.

        (2) New structures. An applicant for a disguised facility that will be a new structure shall submit, as part of the permit application:

            (a) A site map showing the location of the proposed facility and all existing structures on the lot, and

            (b) One or more sketches or drawings of the proposed facility, drawn to scale and showing details as they will appear to observers located on adjacent property.

        (3) Approval of an application for a disguised facility shall be conditioned on submission to the Planning Department, within one month after completion of the facility, of one or more photographs of the completed facility. If the facility is located in or on an existing structure, this submission shall consist of a set of photographs corresponding in all respects to the photographs submitted as part of the permit application, except that the photographs required by this subsection shall be taken after completion of the facility. If the facility is a new structure, the photographs or photographs shall correspond as closely as reasonably possible to the sketches or drawings submitted with the application.

§ 2507 SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CO-LOCATED ANTENNAS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    An additional antenna may be installed as a matter or right on a telecommunications tower that has been approved for co-location, but does not have the full number of antennas for which it was approved. A copy of the lease or other agreement by which the owner of the tower permits co-location shall be filed with the Planning Department within 30 days after it has been signed or before installing the additional antenna, whichever first occurs. Before the lease or agreement is filed it may be edited to block disclosure of financial or other sensitive information.

§ 2508 CONFLICT WITH OTHER ZONING PROVISIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All construction and placement of wireless telecommunications facilities are subject to the provisions of this subchapter in addition to all other provisions of this chapter. In the event of conflict between a provision of this subchapter and any other provision of this chapter, the provisions of this subchapter shall prevail.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 25A WIND TURBINES

        Article Outline
        § 25A00. Purpose
        § 25A01. Applicability
        § 25A02. Definitions
        § 25A03. Basic requirements
        § 25A04. Design standards
        § 25A05. Procedures
        § 25A06. Unused or abandoned wind turbines
        § 25A07. Enforcement

§ 25A00 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The purpose of this article is to provide for the construction and operation of wind turbines, also known as wind energy conversion facilities, and to provide standards for the placement, design, construction, monitoring, modification and removal of wind turbines that address public safety, minimize impacts on scenic, natural and historic resources of the town, and provide adequate financial assurance for the costs of decommissioning and removal.

§ 25A01 APPLICABILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This article applies to all wind turbines constructed or substantially modified after the effective date of this article .

§ 25A02 DEFINITIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

    BUILDING-MOUNTED WIND TURBINE. A wind turbine mounted on an existing building.

    FALL ZONE. The calculated area of the land surrounding a wind turbine that may be affected by debris should the supporting structure collapse or any component of the wind turbine or anything attached to it fall to the ground. The fall zone for all wind turbines shall be measured at ground level below the center of the wind turbine as a circular area with a radius of 175 percent of the height of the wind turbine.

    HEIGHT. The height of a wind turbine measured from pre-development grade to the tip of the rotor blade at its highest point, or blade-tip height.

    OCCUPIED BUILDING. Any building regularly occupied by one or more persons on a daily basis. Buildings ordinarily used for storage, such as garages, sheds, and the like, are not occupied buildings even though they may be entered for brief periods on a daily basis.

    PROMINENT PUBLIC VANTAGE POINT. A location from which a significant number of the public views a scenic, natural or historic landscape in the Town of Middletown.

    SETBACK. The setback requirements for wind turbines shall be those applicable to principal structures, as defined in Article 4.

    TOWER-MOUNTED WIND TURBINE. A wind turbine mounted on a free-standing tower that does not exceed 120 feet in height.

    WIND MONITORING OR METEOROLOGICAL TOWER. A temporary tower equipped with devices to measure wind speeds and direction, used to determine how much wind power a site can be expected to generate.

    WIND TURBINE. A device that converts kinetic wind energy into rotational energy that drives an electrical generator. A wind turbine typically consists of a tower, nacelle body, and a rotor with two or more blades. Unless the wording or context indicates otherwise, a wind turbine for purposes of this article includes the tower and the base or foundation on which it is mounted (but not the building supporting a building-mounted wind turbine), and all equipment, machinery and structures on site utilized in connection with the collection, storage, and transmission of electricity from the wind turbine.

§ 25A03 BASIC REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) No wind turbine shall be permitted in any zoning district, except that building-mounted turbines, and tower-mounted turbines not to exceed 120 feet in height, may be permitted on parcels where the primary use is comprised of one or more of the following: field crop farms or horticultural nurseries; livestock farm.

    (B) No wind turbine may be constructed or substantially modified without first obtaining a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Review.

    (C) Generally.

        (1) Wind facilities shall be constructed and operated in a manner that minimizes any adverse visual, safety, and environmental impacts.

        (2) Wind turbines shall have an automatic braking, governing, or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding and excessive pressure on the tower structure, rotor blades and other turbine components.

        (3) FAA Regulations. Wind facilities shall comply with applicable requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

        (4) Setbacks. Wind turbines shall be set back from all property lines a minimum distance equal to three (3) times the height of the turbine.

        (5) Fall zone. The fall zone shall be a condition of obtaining a special use permit for a wind turbine, which may not be varied by means of a dimensional variance or special use permit. The fall zone shall be located entirely within the boundaries of the lot on which the wind turbine is located. Except for building-mounted wind turbines, no occupied building shall be located within the fall zone of a wind turbine.

        (6) The minimum ground clearance for the wind turbine blades of horizontal axis turbines shall be 25 feet. The minimum ground clearance for blades of vertical axis turbines shall be ten feet.

        (7) Wind turbines shall not be located in areas that will result in the wind turbine dominating the view of a scenic, natural or historic resource of the town from one or more prominent public vantage points.

        (8) Temporary wind monitoring or meteorological towers shall be permitted in all zoning districts subject to issuance of a building permit and subject to reasonable conditions imposed by the Building Official. Such towers shall be erected as near as reasonably possible to the proposed location of the wind turbine on the site, and shall comply with the setback and fall zone requirements of this article . Temporary wind monitoring or meteorological towers shall not remain in place for more than one year.

        (9) Maintenance. Wind turbines shall be maintained in good condition. Such maintenance shall include painting, structural repairs, and integrity of security measures. The proposed maintenance schedule shall be provided with the application package. A report demonstrating compliance with the maintenance schedule shall be submitted annually to the Department of Building and Zoning on the anniversary of the issuance of the building permit.

        (10) Insurance obligation. At all times from the installation of a wind turbine until its removal the owner shall maintain liability insurance in an amount sufficient to cover loss or damage to persons and structures that might proximately caused by the wind turbine. The insurance policy shall provide for notification to the Department of Building and Zoning a minimum of 30 days prior to its expiration or cancellation.

    (11) The height of a building-mounted wind turbine may not exceed 15 feet above the height limit for the type of building on which it is mounted.

§ 25A04 DESIGN STANDARDS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Color and finish. All components of the wind turbine shall be painted a neutral, non-reflective exterior color designed to blend with the surrounding environment, such as white, light gray or light blue.

    (B) Lighting. Wind turbines shall be lighted only if required by the FAA. Lighting of non-tower parts of the wind turbine, such as appurtenant structures, shall be limited to that required for safety, security, and operational purposes, and shall be reasonably shielded from abutting properties. Lighting shall be designed to minimize glare on abutting properties and except as required by the FAA be directed downward with full cut-off fixtures to reduce light pollution.

    (C) Shadow/flicker. Wind turbines shall be sited to ensure that no shadowing or flicker occurs on neighboring property. The applicant has the burden of proving that the wind turbine will not produce shadowing or flicker on neighboring property. A failure to meet this burden of proof shall result in denial of the wind turbine application.

    (D) Noise. Noise levels resulting from operation of a wind turbine shall not exceed 30 dB(A) as measured at the property line, and averaged over a ten minute time period. This provision is to be considered a minimum standard, and the Zoning Board of Review may impose more restrictive requirements as deemed necessary. The applicant shall present appropriate documentation and/or analysis to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Zoning Board of Review that the proposed installation will comply with this requirement.

    (E) Signs. A clearly visible warning sign concerning voltage shall be placed at the base of all large-tower wind turbines. No other signs shall be permitted on any wind turbine, except signs necessary to identify the owner, provide emergency contact information, and warn of other dangers associated with the wind turbine. Also permitted are educational signs providing information about the wind turbine and the benefits of renewable energy. All signs shall comply with the requirements of Article 12, Signs.

    (F) Before issuance of a permit for the wind turbine, the applicant shall submit documentation from the utility approving the proposed connection. All electrical connections, including transformers, shall be installed underground unless the utility, as shown by the documentation, requires the electrical connections to be installed above-ground.

    (G) Unauthorized access. Wind turbines shall be designed to prevent unauthorized access. When deemed reasonably necessary because of the location of the wind turbine on the site and the surrounding neighborhood, the Zoning Board of Review may require protective fencing.

    (H) Appurtenant structures. Appurtenant structures, such as equipment shelters, storage facilities, transformers, and substations, shall be contained within the turbine tower or other existing structures on the property whenever technically and economically feasible; shall be used only for housing of equipment for this particular site; and, whenever reasonable, shall be shielded from view by vegetation and/or located in an underground vault and joined or clustered to avoid adverse visual impacts. Appurtenant structures to wind turbines are subject to regulations of this chapter pertaining to accessory buildings in Table 6-2, § 603.

    (I) Towers. Monopole towers, rather than lattice or cable-supported towers, shall be used for wind turbines unless the Zoning Board of Review finds, for reasons stated in its opinion, that the use of a monopole tower is impractical. If a cable-supported tower is used, reflective colored objects, such as flags, reflectors, or tape, shall be placed on the anchor points of guy wires and along the guy wires up to a height of ten feet from the ground.

    (J) Other considerations. In deciding whether to grant a special-use permit for a wind turbine, the Zoning Board of Review may consider relevant matters not expressly mentioned in this article, such as the potential adverse impacts of the wind turbine on wildlife habitats and scenic vistas, and interference with electromagnetic communications, such as telephone, radio, and television. Wind turbines shall not interfere with any telecommunications transmissions, including local emergency responders, military and civilian personal radio use. The Board shall consider the provisions of § 904 and impose special conditions reasonably necessary to remove or alleviate any potential adverse impacts.

§ 25A05 PROCEDURES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The following information shall be provided to the Zoning Board of Review on or with an application for a special-use permit to install a wind turbine:

        (1) Site Plan. A plan of the proposed wind turbine site, scaled at one inch equals 20 feet, with contour intervals of no more than 2 feet, showing the following:

            (a) Property lines for the site parcel and adjacent parcels within 200 feet.

            (b) Outline of all existing buildings, including purpose (e.g. residence, garage, etc.) on site parcel and all adjacent parcels within 200 feet. Include distances from the wind turbine to each building shown.

            (c) Location of all roads, public and private, on the site parcel and on adjacent parcels within 200 feet, and proposed roads or driveways, either temporary or permanent.

            (d) Proposed location and design of the wind turbine(s), including ground equipment, appurtenant structures, transmission infrastructure, access, fencing, and exterior lighting.

            (e) Location of the representations required by division (A)(6) below.

        (2) Environmental Analysis. For a tower-mounted wind turbine proposed to exceed 100 feet in height, an environmental impact analysis report, prepared by a professional environmental consulting firm, shall be submitted with the application package. The report shall, at a minimum, address the following factors:

            (a) Constraints imposed by environmental and archeological regulations.

            (b) The presence of animal species of concern, or critical habitat for these species.

            (c) Presence of plant communities of concern.

            (d) Presence of critical areas of species congregation, such as maternity roosts, hibernation sites, staging areas, winter ranges, neting sites, and migration stopovers.

            (e) The potential impact of habitat fragmentation.

            (f) Current studies of avian risk specific to the proposed turbine type and its potential impact on known species that are either present, migrate through the project area, or may be attracted by site alteration.

            (g) The environmental analysis should include the following recommendations:

                (1) Suitability of the site for wind development in light of its environmental impact.

                (2) Design and operational recommendations to avoid or minimize significant adverse environmental impacts.

                (3) Recommended mitigation measures if significant adverse habitat impacts cannot be avoided.

                (4) Determination if post construction studies are advised to evaluate animal mortality and develop operational measures for mitigation if necessary.

        (3) After the special-use permit has been approved by the Zoning Board of Review, a copy of the site plan shall be provided to the Middletown Fire Department. Upon request of the Fire Department, the applicant shall cooperate with local emergency services in developing an emergency response plan.

        (4) Documentation showing that the safety requirements of § 25A03(C) will be satisfied.

        (5) Documentation showing that a policy of insurance satisfying the requirement of § 25A03(C)(10) is available to the applicant. Further documentation showing that such insurance has been obtained must be presented to the building official in order to obtain a building permit for the wind turbine.

        (6) Visual impact illustrations. The purpose of this requirement is to show how the proposed wind turbine will affect the existing viewscape in the area, including the impact of the wind turbine on scenic, natural and historic resources of the town. To satisfy this requirement the applicant shall submit color photo representations of the proposed wind turbine, including three to six sight lines, one from the nearest occupied building with a view of the wind turbine. Such representations shall include actual photos for pre-construction views and accurate post-construction simulations (e.g. superimpositions of the wind turbine onto photographs of existing views). Sites for the view representations shall be selected from populated areas or public ways within a 2-mile radius of the wind turbine. View representations shall include existing and proposed buildings and tree coverage, and shall describe the technical procedures followed in producing the representations (distances, angles, lens, etc.).

        (7) An impact statement prepared by a qualified individual or firm which identifies the potential adverse impacts of the wind turbine to the community, neighborhood, and the built environment. Measures for mitigating any potential adverse impacts, such as noise, flicker or shadowing, and electronic communications interference shall be identified in the statement.

        (8) Landscape Plan. A plan indicating all proposed changes to the landscape of the site, including temporary or permanent roads or driveways, grading, vegetation clearing and planting, exterior lighting, and screening vegetation or structures.

        (9) An operation and maintenance plan, describing the general procedures for operational maintenance of the wind turbine and for maintenance of access roads and storm water controls, if applicable. The plan shall also describe the provisions for remote monitoring, and the proposed maintenance and inspection schedule.

    (B) Independent consultants. The Zoning Board of Review is authorized to hire outside consultants, at the applicant's expense, as necessary to fully evaluate the design and potential impacts of the proposed wind turbine.

    (C) Required finding on protection of scenic, natural and historic resources. In view of the requirement in the Middletown Comprehensive Community Plan that wind turbines be located so as not to dominate the visual qualities of the land from prominent public vantage points, the Zoning Board of Review, in considering an application for a special use permit to install a wind turbine, shall make a specific finding as to whether the proposed wind turbine will dominate the view of any scenic, natural or historic resource of the town from any prominent public vantage point, and shall support its finding with reasons based on evidence.

§ 25A06 UNUSED OR ABANDONED WIND TURBINES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Any wind turbine which has been abandoned shall be removed. Abandonment shall be presumed if the wind turbine is not operated for a period of 60 days or more. This presumption may be rebutted by submission of a letter or other signed document from the owner to the Building Official which satisfactorily states the reasons for cessation of operation and plans for restoring operation, including an estimated time for repairs or other work necessary.

    (B) At least 30 days before a [large-tower]* wind turbine is scheduled to be decommissioned, the owner shall notify the Building Official by certified mail of the proposed date of discontinued operations and plans for removal. The owner is responsible for securing any necessary state and local permits prior to dismantling the wind turbine.

    (C) Abandoned wind turbines, including towers and their base or foundation and all associated structures and components, shall be physically removed from the site. [Medium-tower and large-tower w]* Wind turbines shall be removed within 90 days from cessation of operation. If the owner fails to remove the wind turbine in accordance with the requirements of this section, the town shall have the authority to enter the property and physically remove the wind turbine. In that case, the owner of the wind turbine shall be responsible for removal costs incurred by the town, and the obligation shall be recorded in the Land Evidence Records as a lien against the property.

    (D) When a turbine is removed, the site shall be restored to the state it was in before the wind turbine was constructed. If applicable, solid and hazardous waste generated by the wind turbine shall be disposed in accordance with local and state waste disposal regulations, and the site shall be stabilized and vegetation planted to minimize erosion. The owner is responsible for securing any necessary state and local permits prior to dismantling the wind turbine.

    [*Should probably be deleted.]

§ 25A07 ENFORCEMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Violations of this article shall be enforced by the Zoning Officer under Article 3.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 26 PUBLIC ZONING DISTRICTS

        Article Outline
        § 2600. Creation of Public Zoning Districts
        § 2601. Change of Use

§ 2600 CREATION OF PUBLIC ZONING DISTRICTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    There shall be a Public Zoning District (P) which shall be shown on the Official Zoning Map. The Public District is established as a district in which the land is owned by federal, state or municipal governments, or agencies thereof. The only uses permitted in Public Zoning Districts are the use of land or structures or both by the United States government, the State of Rhode Island, or the Town of Middletown, or any agency thereof in the exercise of a governmental or proprietary function.

§ 2601 CHANGE OF USE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Should the title or any interest in any land located in a Public District be transferred to a person other than a federal, state or municipal government or agency thereof, no use other than that permitted by this subchapter shall be permitted until such land is re-zoned by the Town Council in accordance with the Comprehensive Community Plan to an appropriate zoning district compatible with surrounding uses, and according to the procedure for amendment specified in Article 28.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 27 COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

        Article Outline
        § 2700. Purpose
        § 2701. Application of Standards
        § 2702. Administration of Performance Standards
        § 2703. Required Data
        § 2704. Report by Expert Consultants
        § 2705. Zoning Officer's Action
        § 2706. Required Alterations
        § 2707. Zoning Board of Review to Hear Appeal
        § 2708. Continued Enforcement
        § 2709. Cancellation or Permits
        § 2710. Exemptions
        § 2711. Noise
        § 2712. Vibration
        § 2713. Smoke and Air Pollution
        § 2714. Sewage and Waste
        § 2715. Odors
        § 2716. Toxic Matter
        § 2717. Heat and Glare
        § 2718. Radiation
        § 2719. Fire and explosives
        § 2720. Conduct of activities

§ 2700 PURPOSE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The purpose of this subchapter is to provide performance standards in the control of commercial and industrial uses in the town. These standards are designed to prevent health and safety hazards, public nuisances, and harmful effects upon the natural environment. They are also designed to permit potential industrial nuisances to be measured factually and objectively, and to ensure that all commercial and industrial uses will provide methods to protect the town from hazards which can be prevented by processes of control and elimination.

    (B) If any standards are established by local or state building or fire codes, by local waste water or solid waste chapters, by any department or agency of the State of Rhode Island or by any federal agency, which conflict with the standards specified in this subchapter, the more stringent or restrictive standards shall apply.

§ 2701 APPLICATION OF STANDARDS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The provisions of this subchapter shall apply to any commercial or manufacturing use located anywhere within the town and shall also apply to any use established in any business or light industrial zoning district.

    (B) Performance standards for any use or process operating in LI (Light Industry) District shall be measured at the zoning district boundary at a point nearest the use or process being measured. Performance standards for any use or process operating in any district other than LI shall be measured at the lot line at a point nearest the use or process being measured.

§ 2702 ADMINISTRATION OF PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) The administration of the performance standards herein set forth is charged to the Zoning Officer. Any proposed use or process, alteration or change to an existing use or process, or determination of compliance for an existing use or process, either as a permitted use or a nonconforming use, shall be reviewed by the Zoning Officer who shall determine compliance or noncompliance herewith.

    (B) Subsequent to a study of the use, the Zoning Officer may determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the use may violate the performance standards set herein and may initiate an investigation.

§ 2703 REQUIRED DATA.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Following the initiation of an investigation, the Zoning Officer may require the owner or operator of any proposed use to submit such data and evidence as is needed to make an objective determination. The evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following items:

        (1) Plan of the existing or proposed construction and development.

        (2) A description of the existing or proposed machinery, processes and products.

        (3) Specifications for the mechanisms and technique used or proposed to be used in restricting the possible emission of any of the items referred to in §§ 2711 through 2718.

        (4) Measurements of the amount or rate of emissions of the items referred to in §§ 2711 through 2718.

        (5) Certification by a registered professional engineer that the proposed use or construction would comply with the requirements and standards for the regulation of commercial and industrial processes as set forth in this subchapter.

    (B) Failure to submit data required by the Zoning Officer shall constitute ground for denying a certificate of zoning compliance for any use of land.

§ 2704 REPORT BY EXPERT CONSULTANTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In the investigation of the compliance with the standards set forth in this subchapter by any existing or proposed use, the Zoning Officer may require the owner or operator of the existing use or the applicant for the proposed use to provide a study and report by an expert consultant as to the compliance or noncompliance with said standards of the existing or proposed use and advice as to how such existing or proposed use if not in compliance, can be brought into compliance with said standards.

§ 2705 ZONING OFFICER'S ACTION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Within 30 days following the receipt of the required evidence, or receipt of the reports of expert consultants, the Zoning Officer shall make a determination as to compliance, he shall authorize the issuance of any permits which may have been withheld pending said determination. The issuance of a permit for a proposed use shall not constitute compliance with the performance standards if, after construction and operation, there is evidence of noncompliance with such standards.

§ 2706 REQUIRED ALTERATIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Zoning Officer may require modifications or alterations in the existing or proposed construction or the operational procedures to insure that compliance with the performance standards will be maintained. The operator shall be give a reasonable length of time to effect any changes prescribed by the Zoning Officer for the purpose of securing compliance with the performance standards.

§ 2707 ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW TO HEAR APPEAL.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Zoning Officer's action with respect to the performance standards procedures may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Review within 30 days following said action. In the absence of such appeal, the Zoning Officer's determination shall be final.

§ 2708 CONTINUED ENFORCEMENT.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Zoning Officer shall investigate any purported violation of performance standards and, for such investigation, may request that the Zoning Board employ qualified experts. If he finds that a violation occurred or exists, a copy of said findings shall be forwarded to the Town Solicitor. The services of any qualified experts, employed by the Zoning Officer to advise in establishing a violation, shall be paid by the violator if said violation is established, otherwise, it shall be paid by the town.

§ 2709 CANCELLATION OF PERMITS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    If, after the conclusion of time granted for compliance with the performance standards, the Zoning Officer finds the violation is still in existence, any permits previously issued shall be void and the operator shall be required to cease operation until the violation is remedied.

§ 2710 EXEMPTIONS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The following uses and activities shall be exempt from the noise and vibration level regulations of this subchapter:

    (A) Noises and vibrations not under the control of the property user.

    (B) Noises and vibrations emanating from construction activities between 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M.

    (C) The noises of safety signals, warning devices, and emergency pressure relief valves.

    (D) Transient noises and vibrations of moving sources such as automobiles, trucks, airplanes and railroads.

§ 2711 NOISE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Noise levels shall comply with the applicable standards of the town ordinance relating to noise, §§ 130.75-130.91 of this code. Noise levels at the receiving property shall be measured at the property line closest to the source of the noise.

§ 2712 VIBRATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    No vibration is permitted which is discernible to human sense of feeling for three minutes or more duration in any one hour of the day between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M., or of 30 seconds or more duration in any one hour of the day between the hours of 7:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. No vibration at any time shall produce an acceleration of more than 0.1g or shall result in any combination of amplitudes and frequencies beyond the "safe" range of table 7, U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin No. 442, "Seismic Effects of Quarry Blasting," on any structure. The methods and equations of said Bulletin No. 442 shall be used to compute all values for the enforcement of this regulation.

§ 2713 SMOKE AND AIR POLLUTION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All applicable commercial and manufacturing operations shall conform to the "Air Pollution Control Regulations" of R.I. Gen. Laws Title 23, Chapter 23-23, as amended, which regulations are hereby incorporated in and made a part of this section.

§ 2714 SEWAGE AND WASTE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Sewage and waste shall be deposited in the public sewerage system when available. All requirements of the Newport Industrial Pretreatment Program as authorized under Chapter 1040* of the codified ordinances of the City of Newport, entitled "Sewers, Generally" shall, as a minimum, be met.

    *Should probably be to Chapter 13.10, entitled "Industrial Pretreatment."

    (B) Effluent from any applicable commercial and manufacturing operation which is discharged into the ground shall at all times comply with "Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems, December 1, 1980," and subsequent amendments thereto, of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, issued under the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 42-17.1-2(1), (m), (4) and (s), as amended, which regulations are hereby incorporated in and made a part of this section.

§ 2715 ODORS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Emission of odorous gases or other odorous matter released from any operation or activity shall not exceed the odor threshold concentration beyond lot lines, measured either at ground level or habitable elevation.

    (B) The odor threshold is the concentration in air of a gas or vapor which will just evoke a response in the human olfactory system. Odor thresholds shall be measured in accordance with ASTEM d1391-57 "Standard Method for Measurement of Odor in Atmospheres (Dilution Method)" or its equivalent.

§ 2716 TOXIC MATTER.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The measurement of toxic matter shall be at ground level or habitable elevation and shall be the average of any 24 hour sampling period. The release of measurable airborne toxic matter is not allowed at any time.

§ 2717 HEAT AND GLARE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Any applicable commercial or manufacturing operation producing heat or glare (as differentiated from interior illumination) shall be shielded so that no heat or glare can be recorded at the property line.

    (B) No exterior lighting shall be used in such a manner that produces glare on public highways or neighboring property. Exterior lighting shall be shielded and directed to the ground and away from all abutting properties and streets, and shall not be discernible at the property line. All street lighting shall be of a design intended to minimize glare and night-sky pollution.

§ 2718 RADIATION.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All applicable commercial and manufacturing operations shall cause no dangerous radiation at the property line as specified by the regulations of the State of Rhode Island Radiation Control Agency or the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, whichever is applicable.

§ 2719 FIRE AND EXPLOSIVES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All uses and storage facilities shall be approved by the town Fire Marshal with regard to fire and explosive hazards.

§ 2720 CONDUCT OF ACTIVITIES.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    All land use activities in a light industrial district abutting a residential district or use shall be conducted indoors, except for outside storage permitted by this chapter.

[Next Article ]   [Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
ARTICLE 28 AMENDMENT

        Article Outline
        § 2800. General
        § 2801. Conditions Upon Amendments
        § 2802. Additional Procedures for Amendment to Zoning Map
        § 2803. Further Provisions as to Amendment of Zoning Map
        § 2804. Duties of the Town Clerk
        § 2805. Duties of Planning Board
        § 2806. Repetitive Petitions for Amendment of chapter or for Granting of Exception or Variance
        § 2807. Landowners' Protests

§ 2800 GENERAL.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The regulations, restrictions, and boundaries set forth in this chapter may be amended by the Town Council; and any person, group of persons, or corporation may make application to the Town Council for an amendment. Any amendment may be adopted only after due notice and public hearing as prescribed by the Rhode Island General Laws. Prior to the enactment of any amendment, a public hearing shall be held by the Town Council in relation thereto, at which hearing all interested persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Following the public hearing, the Town Council may act upon the proposed amendment in such manner as it deems to be in the best interest of the Town. The Town Council may require the applicant to bear the cost of advertising and mailing relative to the public hearing.

§ 2801 CONDITIONS UPON AMENDMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Town Council may, in approving a zone change, limit such change to one of the permitted uses in the zone to which the subject land is rezoned, and impose such limitations and conditions upon the use of the land as it deems necessary. The Town Clerk shall cause the limitations and conditions so imposed to be clearly noted on the zoning map and recorded in the records of land evidence of the town. If the permitted use for which the land has been rezoned is abandoned or if the land is not used for that purpose for a period of two years or more, the Town Council may after a public hearing as herein before set forth, change the land to its original zoning use before such petition was filed.

§ 2802 ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES FOR AMENDMENT TO ZONING MAP.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    If the proposed amendment involves a change to the zoning map, the applicant shall submit a plan, accurately drawn, showing the shape and dimension of the area in question, abutting property within 200 feet, location by tax assessor's plat and lot number and street and, if available, street numbers, and the location of all zoning district boundaries as they affect the property in question. In addition, the applicant shall submit a list of the names and addresses, determined from public record, of the owner or owners of the property in question and abutting property within 200 feet, and such other information as may be deemed necessary by the Town Council for the consideration of a proposed amendment.

§ 2803 FURTHER PROVISIONS AS TO AMENDMENT OF ZONING MAP.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) If, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, amendments are made in zoning district boundaries or other matter shown on the zoning map, such amendments shall be made as soon as is practicable after their adoption by the Town Council. Each such amendment shall be accompanied by an entry on the zoning map of the date of enactment, and appropriate reference to the Town Council records where the amendment is described.

    (B) A description of an adopted amendment shall be attached to the zoning map until such time as the amendment is made a part of the zoning map.

§ 2804 DUTIES OF THE TOWN CLERK.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk to maintain and update the text and zoning map, to have custody of the zoning map and to ensure that entries are made on the zoning map as specified in §§ 2801 and 2803. Changes which impact the zoning map shall be depicted on the map within 90 days of the authorized changes.

    (B) The Town Clerk shall make available copies of this chapter and all subsequent amendments to town officials and the public. The Town Clerk shall also, from time to time, publish copies of the zoning map which shall be available for general distribution.

§ 2805 DUTIES OF PLANNING BOARD.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Planning Board shall file with the town Council an advisory opinion giving its findings and recommendations on all amendments to this chapter within 45 days after receipt of the proposal and shall review this chapter at reasonable intervals and whenever changes are made to the Comprehensive Plan shall identify any changes necessary to this chapter and forward the recommended changes to the Town Council. In addition, the Planning Board shall recommend amendments to the text and map of this ordinance wherever there is a provision for major extension of water or sewer service, location of a major employment facility or major highway construction. Among its findings and recommendations to the Town Council with respect to a proposal for adoption, amendment or repeal of a Zoning ordinance or zoning map, the Planning Board shall:

    (A) Include a statement on the general consistency of the proposal with the Comprehensive Plan, including the goals and policies statement, the implementation program, and all other applicable elements of the comprehensive plan; and

    (B) Include a demonstration of recognition and consideration of each of the applicable purposes of zoning, as presented in § 100.*

    *So in original; should probably be § 101.

    (C) At least once every two years, the Planning Board shall review this chapter and make recommendations concerning its revision.

§ 2806 REPETITIVE PETITIONS FOR AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER OR FOR GRANTING OF EXCEPTION OR VARIANCE.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    (A) Where the Town Council, in the case of an amendment, or the Zoning Board, in the case of a special use permit or variance, denies an application, the Town Council or the Board may not consider another application requesting the same amendment, special-use permit or variance for a period of one year from the date of such denial or withdrawal.

    (B) The Town Council or the Zoning Board, as the case may be, may accept such an application after six months; provided that the application is accompanied by an affidavit setting forth facts, to the satisfaction of the Council or Board, showing a substantial change of circumstance justifying a rehearing.

§ 2807 LANDOWNERS' PROTESTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    The Town Council shall have power, after a public hearing as herein provided, from time to time to amend or repeal this chapter and thereby change said regulations or districts; provided, that, if there shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk on or before the day of such hearing or within three days thereafter a written protest against such proposed amendment or repeal signed and acknowledged by the owners of 20% or more of the street frontage of the property proposed to be affected, or by the owners of 20% or more of the boundary line between the property proposed to be affected and the property immediately in the rear thereof when there is no street between said properties, no such amendment or repeal shall be passed except by a three-fifths vote of the Town Council. The word OWNER as used in this section shall not be construed to include attaching creditors or lien holders other than mortgagees.

[Preceding Article ]   [Table of Contents]
Article 29. LEGAL STATUS

        Article Outline
        § 2900. Severability
        § 2901. Provisions of chapter Declared to be Minimum Requirements
        § 2902. Effective Date

SECTION 2900 SEVERABILITY.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    Each article, section, subsection, requirement, regulation or restriction established by this chapter or any amendment thereto is hereby declared to be independent, and if any part of this chapter shall be held invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other part of this chapter.

§ 2901 PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER DECLARED TO BE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS.  [Next section]   [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    In their interpretation and application the provisions of this chapter shall be construed to be minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, morals and general welfare. Wherever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations, ordinances, deed restrictions, or covenants, the more restrictive of those imposing the higher standards, shall govern.

§ 2902 EFFECTIVE DATE.  [Preceding section]  [Article Outline]

    This chapter shall take effect upon its adoption and all chapters or any parts of chapters inconsistent herewith shall be repealed; provided, nevertheless, that the provisions of this chapter are substituted for the prior zoning ordinance and are to be considered as a continuance and modification to the prior chapter rather than as an abrogation of the prior ordinance and a re-enactment of a new ordinance.