The Town Council of the Town of Richmond hereby ordains that Chapter 18.58 of the Zoning Ordinance is amended to read as follows:  


Chapter 18.58



            18.58.010        Town council authority to adopt and amend.            

            18.58.020        Application by property owner.         

            18.58.030        Planning board recommendation.      

            18.58.040        Notice of public hearing.

            18.58.050        Public hearing.

            18.58.060        Appeal of ordinance enactment or amendment.

            18.58.070        Maintenance of the ordinance.


18.58.010   Town council authority to adopt and amend.  For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, morals and general welfare, the town council shall have the authority to adopt and amend the zoning ordinance. The ordinance, including text and map, shall be consistent with the comprehensive community plan and shall provide for the implementation of that plan.

(Ord. dated 4-1-14)


18.58.020   Application by property owner.  An application for amendment to the zoning ordinance shall be submitted to the town clerk on a form provided for that purpose. The town clerk shall transmit copies of the application to the town council, the planning board, and the town planner. The planning board shall review the proposal and shall make a written recommendation to the town council within forty-five (45) days.

(Ord. dated 4-1-14)


18.58.030  Planning board recommendation.  A planning board recommendation to the town council concerning a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance, whether the proposal originates from a property owner or from the planning board itself, shall include:


A.  A statement about the consistency of the proposal to the comprehensive plan, including the plan’s goals and policies statement, implementation program, and all other applicable elements of the plan.


B.  A statement concerning how the proposal addresses each of the purposes of zoning in R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-30 that are applicable to the proposal.

(Ord. dated 4-1-14)


18.58.040   Notice of public hearing.  

A. The town council shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed amendment. The public hearing shall be advertised in a newspaper that circulates in Richmond at least once a week for three successive weeks. The third week may be the week in which the public hearing is to be held. The notice shall:

(Ord. dated 5-21-24)

1.   State the date, time, and location of the hearing.

2.   State that adoption, amendment or repeal of the zoning ordinance is under consideration.

3.   Reproduce or summarize the proposed amendment.

4.   State the time and place where a copy of the entire proposed amendment may be examined or copied.

5.   State that the proposal may be altered or amended before the public hearing closes, without further advertising, because of further study or because of views expressed at the public hearing.

B.  If the proposed amendment includes a specific change in a zoning map but does not affect zoning districts generally:

1.   The newspaper advertisement shall include a map of the property that is the subject of the amendment, showing the existing lots and lot boundaries, the existing and proposed zoning district boundaries, existing streets and their names, and town boundaries if applicable, and

      2.   Written notice, which may be a copy of the newspaper advertisement, shall be mailed at least two (2) 2 weeks before the public hearing, by first class mail. The notice shall be mailed to:

            (Ord. dated 5-21-24)


            a.   The owners of property within two hundred (200) feet of the property that is the subject of the amendment, whether located in Richmond or an adjacent town. The last known names and addresses of the property owners shall be obtained from current real estate tax assessment records.

            b.   The town council of any town adjacent to Richmond, if the subject property is located within two hundred (200) feet of the boundary of that town.

            c.   The town council of Richmond or any other town, if 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 that town and within two thousand (2,000) feet of the subject property.

            d.   The governing body of any state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company, or any private property owner, 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 and that is within two thousand (2,000) feet of the property that is the subject of the application, provided that the governing body of the state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company, or the private property owner, has filed with the Richmond building official a map survey, which shall be kept as a public record, showing the areas of surface water resources and/or watersheds and parcels of land within two thousand (2,000) feet thereof.

            e.   Any individual or entity holding a recorded conservation or preservation restriction on the property.

If the applicant mails the notices, the applicant must submit to the town clerk before the public hearing an affidavit attesting to the mailing, a copy of the notice mailed, and the names and addresses to which the notices were mailed.

(Ord. dated 5-21-24)


C.  At least 14 days before the date of the public hearing, the notice shall be posted in the town clerk’s office, in the police station, and on the home page of the town’s website.

(Ord. dated 5-21-24)


D.  If a proposed text amendment would cause one or more lots to become nonconforming in area or frontage, written notice, which may be a copy of the newspaper advertisement, shall be mailed at least two (2) weeks before the public hearing, by first class mail, to the owner of each lot that would become nonconforming. If this Title contains a section automatically merging nonconforming lots in the same ownership, the notice shall contain a copy of the merger section and shall state that adoption of the proposed amendment may cause a legal nonconforming lot to merge with an adjacent nonconforming lot if both lots are owned by the same person or persons. 

(Ord. dated 11-20-18; Ord. dated 5-21-24)


E.  No defect in the form of any notice shall render any ordinance amendment invalid, unless the defect is found to be intentional or misleading. The applicant for the ordinance amendment shall bear the cost of the newspaper advertisement and any individual notice required.          

(Ord. dated 4-1-14; ord. dated 11-3-15; Ord. dated 5-21-24)


18.58.050   Public hearing.

A.  The town council shall conduct the public hearing within sixty-five (65) days of the day it receives the amendment application when the amendment is proposed by a property owner.


B.  If the advertised proposal is altered or amended, the change must be presented during the public hearing so that interested persons have an opportunity to comment on it.


C.  The town council shall act on the proposed ordinance amendment within forty-five (45) days after the date the public hearing is closed, unless the property owner who requested the amendment consents to a longer period. 


D. When approving a zoning ordinance amendment, the town council may restrict the use of the property to one or more of the permitted or conditionally permitted uses in the zoning district, and may impose limitations, conditions, and restrictions on the property that include, but are not limited to:

1.   A requirement that a property owner obtain a permit or approval from any state or local governmental agency or instrumentality having jurisdiction over use of the land.

2.   Limitations, conditions or restrictions related to the effectiveness or continued effectiveness of the zoning ordinance amendment.

3.   Limitations, conditions or restrictions concerning the use of the land.


The town clerk shall clearly note any limitations, conditions, or restrictions on the zoning map, and shall record the limitations, conditions, or restrictions in the land evidence records. If any limitation, condition, or restriction in an ordinance is declared invalid by a court, the remainder of the ordinance shall not be invalid.

(Ord. dated 4-1-14)


18.58.60   Appeal of ordinance enactment or amendment.

A.  An aggrieved party, a legal resident of Richmond, a Richmond property owner, or a group of residents or property owners, whether or not incorporated, may appeal a zoning ordinance enactment or amendment by filing a complaint in Washington County superior court within thirty (30) days of the date the ordinance took effect. 


B.  The complaint shall state with specificity the manner in which the ordinance does not conform to the comprehensive community plan or the manner in which it constitutes a taking of private property without just compensation.


C.  Filing of the complaint shall not stay enforcement of the ordinance, but the court may, in its discretion, grant a stay on appropriate terms, which may include the filing of a bond, and make other orders that it deems necessary for an equitable disposition of the appeal.


D.  The court shall conduct the review without a jury. The court shall first consider whether the enactment or amendment conforms to the comprehensive plan. If the enactment or amendment is not in conformance with the comprehensive plan, the court shall invalidate the enactment or amendment, or those parts of the enactment or amendment that are not in conformance with the comprehensive plan. The court shall not revise the ordinance to conform with the comprehensive plan, but may suggest appropriate language as part of the court decision.


E.  In a complaint filed by an aggrieved party, if the court has found that the enactment or amendment conforms to the comprehensive plan, the court shall next determine whether the enactment or amendment works as a taking of property from the aggrieved party without just compensation. If the court determines that there has been a taking, the court shall remand the case to the town council with its findings that a taking has occurred, and order the town to either provide just compensation or rescind the enactment or amendment within thirty (30) days.

(Ord. dated 4-1-14)


18.58.070   Maintenance of the ordinance.

A.  The town clerk is the custodian of the zoning ordinance, including the zoning map, and shall depict amendments to the zoning map within ninety (90) days of enactment. The town clerk shall make printed copies of the current zoning ordinance, including the zoning map, available to the public. The town clerk shall provide the supreme court law library with copies of the zoning ordinance at no charge.

(Ord. dated 5-21-24)


B.  The town planner shall be responsible for review of the zoning ordinance at reasonable intervals. When amendments are made to the comprehensive plan, the town planner shall advise the planning board of any zoning ordinance amendments required by the amendments to the comprehensive plan. The town planner and the planning board shall prepare the necessary ordinance amendments and shall transmit them to the town council together with a written recommendation.   

(Ord. dated 4-1-14)



R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 45-24-30, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 58, 71.




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