Chapter 18.54  DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW

 

18.54.010        Purpose.

18.54.020        When required.

18.54.030        Zoning enforcement officer’s review of plans.

18.54.040        Application procedure and review.

18.54.050        Application and project review fees.

18.54.060        Appeal.

18.54.070        Waiver of review.

18.54.080        Advisory development plan review.

18.54.090        Approval of site plans for land development projects.

18.54.100        Development standards.

18.54.110        Enforcement.

           

18.54.010  Purpose.

A.  Development plan review ensures that plans for development or redevelopment comply with the purposes, standards, and requirements of this title in order to provide for safe vehicular and pedestrian traffic, ensure high standards of site design, and enhance the visual character of the Town.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)

 

18.54.020  When required.

A.  Development plan approval is required for:

1.   Development or construction of new principal uses that are permitted by right under this title.

2.   Alteration or redevelopment of existing principal uses that are permitted by right under this title if the alteration or redevelopment involves enlarging the footprint of a principal structure, enlarging a parking area by ten thousand (10,000) square feet or more, or establishing or expanding an outdoor location.

3.   Alteration or redevelopment for a change of use from one use code to another.

 

1.   One-family and two-family dwellings.

2.   Routine building maintenance.

3.   Incidental landscaping or landscape maintenance, including repaving.

4.   Accessory structures.

5.   A change of use that involves only reconstruction or renovation of a building interior.

6.   Agricultural uses except farm stands regulated by section 18.16.030(G) of this ordinance and indoor horticulture included in section 18.16.010, use code 214 of this ordinance.

7.   Subdivisions and land development projects.

 

B.  Development plan review is not required for:

 

(Ord. dated 9-7-10; Ord. dated 6-16-15; Ord. dated 1-2-18)

 

18.54.030  Zoning enforcement officer’s review of plans. 

A.  The zoning enforcement officer shall review applications for building permits and other development proposals, and shall refer projects that require development plan review to the planning department. A record shall be kept of the zoning enforcement officer’s determination as to each application or proposal.

 

B.  No building permit shall be issued for construction that requires development plan review until a development plan approved by the planning board has been recorded in the land evidence records.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)

 

18.54.040  Application procedure and review.

A.  Development plan review shall be conducted by the planning board.  An applicant for development plan approval shall submit an application to the planning department containing all of the information required by the development plan review checklist in Article 15 of the land development and subdivision regulations.  The planning board shall have the authority to request additional information during review if necessary to determine whether the development plan complies with the purposes and requirements of this title. 

 

B.  An applicant who wishes to discuss the application with the planning board before it is formally submitted may request a pre-application conference with the planning board. The applicant shall submit a written request for a pre-application conference and eleven (11) copies of the items required in checklist B in Article 15 of the land development and subdivision regulations.

 

C.  Within twenty-one (21) days of the day a development plan review application is submitted, the administrative officer shall determine if the application contains all of the information required by this Chapter.  If the application is complete, the administrative officer shall notify the applicant and shall place the matter on a planning board meeting agenda. If the application is not complete, the administrative officer shall inform the applicant in writing what information is missing.

 

D.  Planning board review of the development plan may take place at one or more public meetings. The planning board’s decision to approve or disapprove the development plan shall be in writing and shall include findings of fact regarding the development plan’s compliance with the requirements of this Title and its consistency with the comprehensive community plan. The applicant shall submit to the administrative officer a recordable Mylar© of the approved site plan for endorsement, plus five (5) paper copies, and any other documents comprising the approved plan.  

 

E.   The planning board may ask other town departments, agencies, or officials to comment in writing on particular aspects of the proposed development plan. 

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

 

18.54.050  Application and project review fees.

A. The applicant shall pay a base fee of $350, plus $100 for each 5,000 square feet of land to be developed. The total application fee, excluding the fee for a preapplication conference, shall not exceed $3,000. The applicant shall pay a fee of $350 for a pre-application conference.

 

B.  If the administrative officer or the planning board require professional assistance to determine whether a development plan satisfies all applicable requirements, the applicant shall bear the cost of technical review by any professionals who are not employees of the Town. Collection and expenditure of project review fees shall be governed by section 11.3.2 of the land development and subdivision regulations.

(Ord.dated 9-7-10; Ord. dated 2-15-11)

 

18.54.060  Appeal.  An applicant shall have the right to appeal the decision of the planning board to the board of appeal in the same manner that appeals from other planning board decisions are taken pursuant to Chapter 18.60 of this Title.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)

 

18.54.070  Waiver of review.  The planning board may waive development plan review when a development plan or a change in use does not involve extensive improvements. An applicant seeking waiver of development plan review shall submit to the planning department information regarding the present use of the site, the proposed use of the site, and the impact the proposed use will have on the property and on nearby properties. To waive development plan review, the planning board must find that the proposed use will not affect stormwater drainage, traffic circulation, or the relationship of buildings to each other, that extensive changes in landscaping, buffering, or lighting are not proposed, and that the existing facilities do not require additional site improvements.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)

 

18.54.080  Advisory development plan review. 

A.  The planning board shall review development plans according to the requirements of this chapter and issue an advisory opinion to the zoning board of review when:

1.   The zoning enforcement officer transmits an application for a special use permit or a variance to the planning board for advisory development plan review before a public hearing is scheduled, or

2.   The zoning board of review refers an application to the planning board for advisory development plan review.

 

B.  The planning board shall review development plans according to the requirements of this chapter and issue an advisory opinion to the town council when the town council refers an application for an amendment to this title or an amendment to the zoning map to the planning board for advisory development plan review.

 

C. An applicant for advisory development plan review shall pay the application fee and project review fees required by section 18.54.050 of this Chapter. 

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

 

18.54.090  Approval of site plans for land development projects.  When reviewing and approving land development projects, the planning board may, with the applicant’s agreement, postpone development plan approval of particular sites or areas within a land development project until after final approval has been granted for the project. The purpose of bifurcating review by postponing planning board approval of landscaping, lighting, paving, and other specific site improvements is to provide the owner or lessee of a particular site or area with an opportunity to prepare and submit development plans. When review of plans for a particular site or area takes place after final approval of the land development project, the application shall be considered an application for development plan review of a permitted use under this chapter, and the planning board’s decision shall be appealable.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)   

 

18.54.100  Development standards.  The planning board shall review development plans for conformity with the following development standards:

 

A.  General considerations.

1.   The plan shall show compatibility with and protection of adjacent uses, and shall mitigate impacts on municipal services and facilities, including the public street system, police services, and open spaces. The planning board shall have the authority to controlling the sequence of development when it is necessary to protect the public health or safety.

 

B.  Site design.

1.   The plan shall relate to the natural terrain and be visually compatible with the community and with nearby uses. Environmentally sensitive areas, scenic vistas, historical sites, historically significant structures, and specimen vegetation should be protected and preserved.

2.   Existing site features such as stone walls, cemeteries, and ledge faces shall be preserved wherever possible. Existing buildings of character should be reused whenever possible. Walkways, greenways, travel lanes, parking areas and driveways should be connected with similar facilities on adjacent property whenever possible. The planning board shall have the authority to require pedestrian walkways or easements for future pedestrian walkways to connect buildings within the site to adjacent sites.

3.   The plan should conform to sections 13.3 (commercial and industrial site design) and 13.14 (utilities) of the land development and subdivision regulations to the extent the regulations are applicable to the particular development plan under review.

 

C.  Building design and location.

1.   Proposed structures should relate harmoniously to the terrain and to the existing buildings in the vicinity. Building location, bulk, height, scale, style, form, size, color, and materials should be compatible with the character of the area. Corporate or franchise styles are not acceptable.

2.   New buildings should use traditional pitched roof forms that are compatible with the character of the town.

3.   Natural materials such as stone, brick, wood, and slate are preferable to materials such as exposed concrete blocks, anodized or galvanized metals, tinted glass, plastics, and vinyl.

4.   Rooftop equipment such as plumbing vents, ducts and roof-top mechanical equipment shall be screened from view. Dumpsters and other solid waste storage shall be located within a permanently screened and landscaped enclosure.

5.   Signs shall conform to the provisions of Chapter 18.24 of this title.

 

D.   Landscaping.

1.   The planning board may require vegetative or other buffers between lots or land uses sufficient to ameliorate the effects of dirt, litter, noise, odor, illumination, or parking areas on adjacent properties or uses.

2.   At least ten percent of all non-residential front yards shall be using evergreen or deciduous trees at least three inches in caliper and eight feet in height, evergreen and deciduous shrubs that are one to three feet in height, and a continuous living ground cover.

3.   The plan should conform to sections 13.7.4 (street trees), 13.8 (landscaping), 13.12 (stormwater management systems), 13.15 (soil erosion and sediment control), and 13.17 (flood hazard areas) of the land development and subdivision regulations to the extent the regulations are applicable to the particular development plan under review. Lighting shall comply with International Dark Sky Association standards as required in section 13.8.2 of the land development and subdivision regulations.

 

E.   Parking and traffic circulation.

1.   The plan shall provide for adequate and safe parking areas, loading areas, and traffic circulation, including separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and accessibility by emergency vehicles.

2.   Parking shall be located on the side or rear of buildings except where physical site constraints make such a location impossible.

3.   On corner lots, the principal point of access shall be from the secondary street.

4.   Proposed and existing driveways shall be located at least fifty (50) feet apart unless the length of the lot frontage makes such a distance impossible.

5.   Each lot shall have no more than two driveways entering and exiting to a street. The planning board shall have the authority to require combined driveways or access between adjoining parking lots to minimize the number of access points to public streets.

6.   The plan shall conform to Chapter 18.29 of this Title.

7.   The plan shall conform to sections 13.5 (street dimensions and design), 13.7.3 (pedestrian walkways), 14.1 (construction specifications), and 14.5 (pedestrian walkways adjacent to streets) of the land development and subdivision regulations to the extent the provisions are applicable to the particular development plan under review.

 

8.   Impervious parking areas, including gravel and paved, must comply with the standards of the most recent edition of the Rhode Island Stormwater Design and Installation Standards Manual adopted by the R. I. Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council, December 2010.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10; Ord. dated 11-19-13; Ord. dated 6-16-15; Ord. dated 5-16-17)

 

18.54.110  Enforcement.

A.  The zoning enforcement officer shall inspect each completed development to ensure that development takes place in conformity with the approved plans.

 

B.  Failure to install or maintain any part of an approved development plan shall constitute a zoning violation and may be prosecuted in the same manner as a violation of the zoning ordinance.

(Ord. dated 9-7-10)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 45-23-27 (a)(3), 45-23-50, 45-23-62(a), 45-24-31(21), 45-24-33(a)(19), 45-24-49, 45-24-58, 45-23-61,  45-24-64; Code ch. 4.28, 18.08, §§ 18.60.010, 18.60.070.

 

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