ARTICLE 2 - DEFINITIONS

 

The following words or phrases, when used in these regulations, shall have the following meaning, unless otherwise specifically provided.  A word or phrase used in these regulations that is not defined in this article but is defined in Chapter 18.08 of the zoning ordinance, entitled “Definitions,” shall have that meaning, unless otherwise specifically provided.

(Amended 10/27/15)

 

Administrative Officer – The municipal official who administers the review, approval, recording and enforcement provisions of these regulations, chairs the Technical Review Committee, and coordinates planning functions with the Planning Board, the Town Council, other town boards and staff, and state agencies.

(Adopted 8/11/09)

 

Administrative subdivision   Re-subdivision of existing lots that yields no additional lots for development, and involves no creation or extension of streets. Re-subdivision involves divisions, mergers, mergers and division or adjustments of boundaries of existing lots.

(Adopted 9/9/03)

 

Applicant – A person who applies to the Planning Board for approval of a subdivision or land development project.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Board of Appeal – The Zoning Board of Review, sitting in its capacity as the board that hears appeals from actions of the Administrative Officer and the Planning Board on matters involving land development or subdivision.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Buffer – Land that is maintained in either a natural or landscaped state, and is used to mitigate the impacts of development on surrounding properties or streets, or to screen a use or structure from view. 

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Buildable lot – A lot where construction is considered practicable by the Planning Board, considering the physical constraints to development of the site as well as the requirements of pertinent federal, state and local regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Certificate of completeness – A notice issued by the Administrative Officer informing the applicant that the application meets the requirements of these regulations, and that the applicant may proceed with the approval process.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Concept plan – A drawing with accompanying information showing the basic elements of a proposed land development plan, as used for pre-application meetings and early discussions, and classification of the project within the approval process.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Conservation development – A type of subdivision that uses specified site planning techniques to conserve open land, protect site features and provide flexibility in the siting of structures, services and infrastructure.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Conventional subdivision – A subdivision in which land is being subdivided and dedicated to either development lots or street rights of way, not to open space. Not a Conservation Development.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Cul-de-sac – The terminus of a street that has only one outlet, laid out to provide a circular type of turn-around for vehicles at the closed end.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Development Overlay Plan – A plan that shows the proposed development, including open space, streets, buildings and lot lines, as an overlay to the Existing Conditions and Resources Plan. 

(Adopted 10/27/15)   

 

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.

(Adopted 9/9/03)

 

Easement – The right to use all or part of the property of another for a specific purpose.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Endorsement – The signature of the Administrative Officer or Planning Board Chairperson on an approved plat.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Environmental constraints – Natural features, resources, or land characteristics that are sensitive to change and may require conservation measures or the application of special development techniques to prevent degradation of the site, or may require limited development, or in certain instances, may preclude development.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Existing Conditions and Resources Plan – A plan that shows the existing conditions and resources on and around a proposed development site to illustrate how the conditions and resources relate to each other and how they can be protected.

(Adopted 10/27/15)

 

Farm lot A type of lot in a conservation development or residential compound in the agricultural overlay district. The lot is intended for residential use and also for farming or forestry use because of its size and its prime agricultural soils. There are two types of farm lots:

 

a)   Farm lots in conservation developments: A farm lot in a conservation development is made up of some or all of the subdivision's required open space. One acre of the lot is reserved for the principal residential structure. If there is more than one farm lot in a conservation development, one must be at least 25 acres.    

 

b)   Farm lots in residential compounds: All lots in a residential compound are farm lots of at least eleven (11) acres. 

(Adopted 10/27/15)

 

Final plan – The final stage of subdivision or land development project review.

Adopted 9/9/03)

 

Final plat – The final drawing(s) of a land development project that are recorded in the land evidence records.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Floodplain or flood hazard area – An area that has a one percent (1%) or greater chance of inundation in any given year, as delineated by the federal emergency agency pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. §4011 et. seq.).

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09) 

 

Gross floor area – The sum of the horizontal area of all floors of a building, excluding unoccupied basements or attics, measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the center line of a common wall separating two buildings or units within a building.

(Adopted 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15, amended 10/24/17)

 

Hammerhead – The terminus of a street, laid out to provide a turn-around area for vehicles.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Improvement – Any structure, plant, or other item that becomes part of, is placed upon, or is affixed to real estate.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Improvement guarantee – Cash, a bond, or another security instrument submitted to the Town to ensure that a land development project will be completed according to the approved plans and in compliance with these regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Land development project – A project in which one or more lots are developed or redeveloped as a coordinated site for a complex of uses or structures, and may include subdivision of land as a component of the development. Land development projects include, but are not limited to, Conservation Developments, planned unit developments, and planned district developments. Any development that contains more than one principal structure, one or more multifamily buildings, or more than twenty-four (24) parking spaces is a land development project.

Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Land disturbing activity – Any physical land development activity that includes clearance of vegetation, moving or filling of land, removal or excavation of soil or mineral resources or similar activities.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Land unsuitable for development – Fresh water wetlands, except that area of perimeter wetland within fifty (50) feet of the edge of any bog, marsh, swamp or pond, or any applicable 100-foot or 200-foot riverbank wetlands, as defined by R.I. Gen. Laws § 2-1-20, as amended; special flood hazard areas A and A1 through A30, as shown on the Richmond Flood Insurance Rate Maps, as amended, and the flood boundary and floodway maps dated November 5, 1980, as amended; land within any publicly or privately held easement on which above-ground utilities, including but not limited to electrical transmission lines, are constructed; and any area of ledge or rock outcrops at or within four feet of the land surface, as identified in the Soil Survey of Rhode Island by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or as identified by on-site investigation. (Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Maintenance guarantee – Cash, a bond, or another security instrument acceptable to the Finance Director to ensure that the improvements and facilities constructed or installed in a land development project in compliance with the approved plans will function as required for a specified period of time.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Major land development projectA land development project that consists of more than five dwelling units, or includes non-residential development, or a land development project for which the applicant requests waiver of any of these regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15, amended 4/25/17)

 

Major subdivision – A subdivision of land that results in more than five lots or a subdivision for which the applicant requests waiver of any of these regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15, amended 4/25/17)

 

Master plan – A site plan for a proposed major land development project or subdivision that shows general development intentions rather than specific engineering or other details. It is intended to describe the basic parameters of the project.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Minimum lot area – The smallest contiguous area permitted for a buildable lot. Freshwater wetlands, flood hazard areas, easements for above-ground utilities, and land with ledge or rock outcrops within four feet of the surface area may be included in any lot but shall not make up any part of the minimum lot area. Land shall not be excluded from minimum lot area because of its natural gradient.

(Adopted 10/27/15)

 

Minor land development projectA residential development consisting of between two and five dwelling units in one or more structures on one or more lots for which the applicant does not request waiver of any of these regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15, amended 4/25/17)

 

Minor subdivision – A subdivision of land that results in five or fewer lots for which the applicant does not request waiver of any of these regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15, amened 4/25/17)

 

Non-buildable lot – A lot that is created for a purpose other than development of commercial, industrial, or residential uses.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

ParcelA lot, or a group of contiguous lots in single ownership or under single control that is treated as a unit for the purposes of development. Also referred to as a tract.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Phased development – Development, usually for large-scale projects, where construction of improvements proceeds in sections after approval of a master plan for the entire site.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Physical constraints to development – Natural or man-made characteristics of a site that present significant difficulties in constructing the uses permitted on the site, or would require the use of extraordinary construction methods.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Plat – A site plan of a land development project showing the boundaries of lots, the location of streets and improvements, and any other information required by these regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Pre-application conference – An applicant’s initial presentation of his or her development proposal at a Planning Board meeting that gives the applicant the opportunity to explain the proposal and hear Planning Board members’ informal comments and suggestions.  

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Preliminary plan – The stage of land development project or subdivision review at which an applicant must submit detailed engineered drawings and all required state and federal permits.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Prime agricultural soils, prime farmland, and farmland of statewide importance – Soils and land areas identified as such in maps and other data prepared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or its successor agency.

(Adopted 10/12/10)

 

Public improvement – Any street, sidewalk, pedestrian way, vegetation; off-street parking area, stormwater management structure, or any other facility or improvement constructed by an applicant that the Town will own, maintain, or operate after the Town approves or accepts the facility or improvement.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Residential development – Development consisting entirely of dwelling units.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Re-subdivision – A change to a subdivision plan or plat recorded in the land evidence records, including plans or plats created before the adoption of the land development and subdivision regulations; or a change to the boundaries of a lot of record, including lots created before the adoption of the land development and subdivision regulations.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Right of way – An easement for the purpose of passing through or crossing property belonging to another. Compare with “Street right of way.”

(Adopted 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15, amended 4/25/17)

 

Site Context MapA rough sketch of a proposed development superimposed over an aerial photograph or other representation of the development location to show the relationship of the proposed development to nearby streets and other transportation networks, natural features, cultural features, and land uses.     

(Adopted 10/27/15)

 

Storm water detention – A provision for storage of storm water runoff and the controlled release of such runoff during and after a flood or storm.

(Adopted 9/9/03)

 

Storm water retention – A provision for storage of storm water runoff.

(Adopted 9/9/03)

 

Street – A lot used as a thoroughfare for motor vehicles.  Streets are public or private.

a)   Public street – A thoroughfare owned by the Town or the State.

b)   Private street – A thoroughfare other than a driveway that is not owned by the Town or the State.  

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15)

 

Street right of way – The entire area to be dedicated for street use, including the pavement or travel surface, and the areas on both sides of the pavement or travel surface that may be reserved for installation of sidewalks, utilities, drainage improvements or other purposes. Compare with “Right of way.”

(Adopted 8/11/09, amended 10/27/15, amended 4/25/17)

 

Stub street – An undevelopable lot between a street and a property line that is reserved for future construction of a street that would provide access to adjacent property.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 10/27/15)

 

Subdivision – The division or re-division of a lot, tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, tracts, or parcels, including the division of property for purposes of financing; adjustment to the lot lines of a recorded lot by any means; and re-subdivision.

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Vested right – The right to initiate or continue the approval or development of a project under the ordinance provisions or regulations that were in effect at an earlier time.

(Adopted 8/11/09)

 

Viewshed – The primary area that can be viewed from a defined observation point.          

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

Yield Plan – A site plan showing a conventional subdivision of land on the parcel to be developed that satisfies the requirements of these regulations and the requirements of the zoning ordinance, with land unsuitable for development subtracted from the gross parcel area. 

(Adopted 9/9/03, amended 8/11/09)

 

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