18.12.010        Division into districts.

18.12.020        Zoning districts defined.

18.12.030        Official zoning map.


18.12.010  Division into districts.  The zoning ordinance divides the town into the following zoning use districts.  Zoning use districts are depicted by type and location on the official zoning map:





Residential use - 43,560 sq. ft. minimum lot size


Residential use - 87,120 sq. ft. minimum lot size


Residential use - 130,680 sq. ft. minimum lot size


Neighborhood business


General business


Light industrial




Aquifer protection overlay subdistrict A


Aquifer protection overlay subdistrict B


Planned unit development-village center


Planned development


Flex Tech 

AGR Overlay

Agricultural overlay district 


Flood hazard overlay


Shannock Village


Planned Development Resort District


Conservation and Open Space


Public and Governmental


(Ord. dated 12-19-94 (part); Ord. dated 11-16-02; Ord. dated 11-17-02; Ord. dated 9-2-03 (part); Ord. dated 11-19-13; Ord. dated 8-12-14; Ord. dated 6-16-15; Ord. dated 9-20-16; Ord. dated 7-20-21; Ord. dated 8-23-22; Ord. dated 7-18-23)


18.12.020  Zoning districts defined. 

A.  Residence 3 (R-3).  This district is located on fragile aquifer, watershed, streambelt, inland wetland and significant adjoining areas as delineated on a map entitled “Richmond, Rhode Island, Showing Area Underlain by the Stratified Drift Deposited” (adopted as the aquifer protection district map by the town of Richmond in 1985).  Permitted uses in this district are limited to low density residential uses not to exceed a density of one dwelling unit per three acres and, by special use permit, low intensity non-residential uses that meet performance standards with regard to groundwater protection.


B.  Residence 2 (R-2).  This district contains areas of the community that are partially or fully developed at an approximated density of one dwelling unit per two acres and areas that are planned for future development of this density.


C.  Residence 1 (R-1).  This district contains areas of the community that are partially or fully developed at an approximated density of one dwelling unit per acre and areas for which this density of development is considered appropriate.


D.  Neighborhood Business (NB).  This district is established to provide areas for small scale retailing and personal service activities, primarily intended to serve the day-to-day needs of persons living nearby.

(Ord. dated 1-19-21)


E.  General Business (GB).  This district is established to provide areas for commercial uses that depend on greater volumes of vehicular traffic and highway related uses.  Typical uses include those which offer accommodations and services to motorists, specialized retail outlets and uses that are more community oriented than those permitted in the neighborhood business district.


F.  Light Industrial (LI).  This district contains land that is considered suitable for more restrictive light manufacturing and related uses, such as commercial offices and warehouses, in order to protect the water quality of adjacent streams and wetlands.


G.  Industrial (I).  This district contains land that is currently in manufacturing use and related uses, and land that is considered suitable for future development in manufacturing.


H.  Planned Development (PD).  This district is in the area of town along Route 138 and Route I-95.  The planned district will allow for a mix of residential and commercial uses with design standards and a unified site design that allows for the clustering of buildings, common open space, building types and land uses. Planned developments require approval by the Planning Board as land development projects or through the development plan review process.


I.  Aquifer Protection Overlay District (AQU).  The boundaries of the aquifer protection overlay district are identical to those established by the R.I. department of environmental management and the R.I. department of health office of drinking water quality to delineate the boundaries of the Wood-Pawcatuck River basin aquifer, wellhead protection areas, and groundwater recharge areas. Those boundaries are shown on maps maintained on the R.I. geographic information system webpage at Subdistrict A is comprised of the aquifer and all wellhead protection areas. Subdistrict B is comprised of the groundwater recharge areas.

(Ord. dated 12-19-94(part); Ord. dated 6-16-15; Ord. dated 7-18-23)


J.  Agricultural Overlay District.  The purpose of the agricultural overlay district is to protect large contiguous areas of prime agricultural soils by imposing special low-density residential development requirements that create parcels reserved for farming. 

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)


K.  Flood Hazard Overlay District (FH).  The purpose of the flood hazard overlay district is to protect the public safety, minimize property damage, protect watercourses from encroachment, and preserve the ability of floodplains to retain and carry off floodwaters. 


L.  Flex Tech (FT). This district incorporates a mixture of general business and light industrial uses in a unified design that provides for clustering of buildings and areas of open space.


M.  Planned Unit Development-Village Center (PUD-VC). This district incorporates a mixture of residential uses at different densities, neighborhood businesses, professional offices, retail uses, governmental uses, and recreational facilities designed to create a distinct “sense of place” that has the scale and character of a traditional New England village center.

(Ord. dated 12-19-94(part), Ord. dated 7-15-97(part); Ord. dated 11-16-02 (part); Ord. dated 11-17-02 (part); Ord. dated 9-7-10; Ord. dated 10-5-10; Ord. dated 11-19-13)


N.  Shannock Village District (SV). The purposes of this district are to preserve the historic character of Shannock Village and to encourage economic vitality by allowing a mixture of residential and commercial uses.

(Ord. dated 8-12-14)


O.  Planned Development Resort District (RD). This district provides regulations for a unified development that includes commercial and non-commercial recreational facilities; hotel and event facilities, restaurants, and limited commercial uses to provide amenities for residents and guests; and a restricted-access residential area.


P.  Conservation and Open Space (COS).  This district is for recreation or conservation land owned by the town, the state, or the federal government, and for public or private land protected from development by open space, conservation, or preservation easements or restrictions.


Q.  Public and Governmental (PUB)  This district is for land owned by the town or by another governmental or quasi-governmental entity such as a chartered fire district or a regional school district. 

(Ord. dated 9-20-16; Ord. dated 7-20-21; Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.12.030  Official zoning map.  The location and boundaries of the zoning districts are established as shown on a map in the custody of the town clerk entitled “Town of Richmond, R.I. – Official Zoning Map,” revised March 2010 to show amendments through October 2009. This map and its subsequent amendments are made a part of this Title.

(Ord. dated 12-19-94; Ord. dated 9-7-10; Ord. dated 11-19-13)



R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-36.


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