ARTICLE 1 – AUTHORITY AND INTENT
These Land Development and Subdivision Regulations are adopted pursuant to the authority contained in Title 45, Chapter 23, Sections 25 through 74 of the Rhode Island General Laws, known as the Rhode Island Land Development and Subdivision Review Enabling Act of 1992.
The purpose of these regulations is to establish procedural and substantive provisions for the subdivision and development of land that will, consistent with the provisions of the Comprehensive Community Plan and the Zoning Ordinance, accomplish the following:
a) Protect the public health, safety and welfare of the community;
b) Provide for the orderly, thorough and expeditious review and approval of subdivisions and land development projects;
c) Promote high quality, and appropriate design and construction of subdivisions and land development projects that preserve the rural character of the Town;
d) Protect existing natural and built environments and, wherever possible, to enhance the nature of the natural environment through the development process;
e) Promote subdivision and land development designs that are well-integrated into surrounding neighborhoods, and concentrate development in areas that can best support intensive use because of natural characteristics and existing infrastructure.
f) Provide for design and construction standards that are appropriate to the community;
g) Require measures for mitigating the impact of new development on the community that are based on clear documentation of needs and are fairly applied and administered;
h) Direct the development of land consistent with state of the art practices that promote and foster growth in a manner that protects the Town's distinctive character while at the same time accommodating economic growth;
i) Guide land development with an emphasis on siting subdivision improvements so as to allow for the maximum preservation of existing natural features;
j) Insure that proposed designs institute best management practices that acknowledge existing site constraints and the natural setting.
k) Encourage development consistent with the policies, goals and objectives of the Town's Comprehensive Plan, particularly with regard to the protection of interconnected networks of open space and greenway systems
l) Encourage the ecological enhancement and restoration of existing site conditions on land proposed for development.
1.3 Construction and Intent
1.3.1 These regulations are not intended to supersede, abrogate, or interfere with any provision of any ordinance of the Town.
1.3.2 In the event of a conflict between a general regulations and a specific regulation the more specific regulation shall be controlling.
1.3.3 These regulations are intended to be consistent with, and further the implementation of, the Comprehensive Community Plan.
1.3.4 If any section or subsection of these regulations is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remainder of these regulations.
1.4 Vested rights
1.4.1 Vesting of land development and subdivision regulations for major developments
If a major subdivision or land development project has received master plan approval or any further approval, the land development and subdivision regulations in effect on the date of master plan approval shall apply in subsequent review and approval of the application, notwithstanding any amendments to the regulations, unless the applicant requests that the application be reviewed under the regulations currently in effect. The vesting of these regulations does not apply to any approval that has expired and has not been reinstated.
1.4.2 Vesting of land development and subdivision regulations for minor developments
If a minor subdivision or land development project has received preliminary plan approval, the land development and subdivision regulations in effect on the date of preliminary plan approval shall apply to final approval of the application, notwithstanding any amendments to the regulations, unless the applicant requests that the application be approved under the regulations currently in effect. The vesting of these regulations does not apply to any approval that has expired and has not been reinstated.
1.4.3 Vesting of zoning provisions
If the Administrative Officer has certified as complete an application for master plan approval of a major subdivision or land development project, or an application for preliminary plan approval of a minor subdivision or land development project, the application shall be considered substantially complete, and the zoning ordinance in effect on the date of the certificate of completeness shall apply in subsequent review and approval of the application, notwithstanding any amendments to the ordinance, unless the applicant chooses to comply with the zoning ordinance currently in effect. The vesting of zoning ordinance provisions does not apply to any approval that has expired and has not been reinstated.
1.4.4 Vesting of phased development
When a subdivision or land development project is approved and developed in phases, the zoning ordinance and the land development and subdivision regulations in effect on the date of master plan approval for the entire development shall be applied to review, approval and development of all phases, provided that the review, approval and construction takes place within the time limitations established or extended by the Planning Board.
(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)