[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 1-13-1981 (Ch. 16, Art. II, Div. 1, of the 1985 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 316.
The Town Council is by this chapter creating a Planning Board for the purpose of making studies of the resources and needs of the Town relative to its physical growth and development as it affects the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the people as well as the economy and efficiency of communal life.
Editor's Note: State law reference - Planning Board, G.L. 1956, § 45-22-1 et seq.
Established. There is hereby established a "Planning Board," in this chapter called the "Board," to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
Membership; appointment. The Board shall consist of nine members, residents of the Town, to be a appointed by the Town Council. Members shall be appointed for a term of three consecutive years. Annual expiration of membership terms shall be on May 15. Members shall be eligible for reappointment.
Vacancy. In the event of a vacancy on the Board, the Town Council shall make an interim appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. In the event that a Board member shall have missed three consecutive meetings without the consent of said Board, then said person's membership shall expire forthwith and the Town Council shall make an interim appointment to fill the unexpired term of the vacancy.
Removal from office. Any member of the Board may be removed from office by the Town Council for due cause, subsequent to a public hearing.
Compensation. Board members shall be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, provided sufficient funds are available within the Board's annual appropriation account. Reimbursement will be provided to individual members upon their submission of a voucher delineating specific expenses to the Town Treasurer.
Organization. The Board shall organize annually at the scheduled regular meeting in June to elect from its membership a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Secretary. Said Board shall adopt any procedural rules deemed necessary to the discharge of its duties.
Quorum. Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and no vacancy in the membership shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the Board.
Technical assistance; cooperative agreements; clerical services. The Board, subject to the approval of the Town Council, and within the limits of funds appropriated to it, may enter into cooperative agreements with other municipal, state, regional or federal agencies or private organizations to undertake studies deemed to be in the best interest of the locality, including cooperative agreements with municipalities in neighboring states where problems of common interest are deemed to exist. Said Board is authorized to accept technical and financial assistance from other public agencies or private organizations, subject to the approval of the Town Council. Within the limits of the funds appropriated to it, the Board may engage technical assistance or clerical services to aid in the discharge of its duties. The Smithfield Planner's office, directly responsible to the Town Council, in addition to its other duties, may be assigned to provide technical assistance to the Board and to make studies and prepare plans and reports for said Board as provided in § 72-3.
The Board shall make studies and prepare plans and reports in accordance with the purpose of said Board. Such studies, plans and reports shall concern but shall not necessarily be limited to the following:
Land use and land use regulation;
Public facilities including recreation areas, utilities, schools, fire stations, police stations and others;
Blighted areas including the designation of general areas for redevelopment, renewal, rehabilitation or conservation;
Problems of housing and the development of housing programs;
Natural resource conservation;
Protection from disaster;
Economic and social characteristics of the population;
Preservation of historic sites and buildings; and
Subdivision regulations. The Board shall prepare regulations for the subdivision of land for submission to the Town Council as provided in Chapter 316, Subdivision of Land, Article I, Rules and Regulations. Said regulations shall be in conformance with the provisions of G.L. 1956, Title 45, Chapter 23. In rendering decisions, no plat shall be acted upon by the Board without a hearing thereon, except in the circumstances specified in G.L. 1956, § 45-23-9.
The Board shall prepare a Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Town. Said plan shall, among other things, show the general arrangement of and goals, objectives and standards for land use, transportation routes and facilities, public facilities and services, renewal or rehabilitation programs, housing programs, conservation areas, historic preservation areas and environmental protection programs, together with a recommended program of actions and improvements deemed necessary to implement the features of said plan. The Board, at its discretion, may hold public hearings on the Comprehensive Plan or any elements of the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan and all elements thereof shall be in general conformity with the goals, objectives, policies and general arrangements contained in any applicable state plan or element thereof.
The Board shall adopt said Comprehensive Plan or elements thereof and shall, upon adoption, use said plan or elements thereof as a guide to its actions in areas relating to the adopted plan or elements. At intervals of no greater than five years, the Board shall review said Comprehensive Plan or elements thereof and make any modifications, amendments or additions deemed necessary in the light of current and projected community development trends and needs.
Following adoption of a Comprehensive Plan or any element thereof by the Board and upon recommendation of said Board, the Town Council, following a public hearing, may adopt said Comprehensive Plan or element thereof as a statement of Town policy and a guide for community action in matters relating to community development.
Any Comprehensive Plan or element thereof may be modified or amended by the Town Council subsequent to a public hearing. Any such proposed modification or amendment shall be referred to the Board for its recommendation at least 30 days prior to the date of the public hearing by the Town Council. Failure of the Board to forward a recommendation to the Town Council within the thirty-day period shall be deemed an approval of the proposed modification or amendment by the Board. The affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the Town Council shall be required to adopt any modification or amendment to the Comprehensive Plan or element thereof where the Board has rendered an adverse recommendation.
Zoning matters; other referrals. The Board shall submit an advisory opinion and recommendation on all zoning matters referred to it under the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town and shall report on any other matter referred to it by the Town Council. Upon direction by the Town Council, the Board shall prepare, review or recommend approval or disapproval to said Council of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town.
Other duties. The Board shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to said Board from time to time by any act of the General Assembly or by any ordinance, code, regulation, order or resolution of the Town Council.
Authority. The Board shall have the authority to call upon other departments, Boards and committees of the Town and upon regional, state and federal agencies for information and assistance necessary to the performance of its duties and shall cooperate with such municipal, regional, state and federal agencies on matters of community, regional and state planning and development.
Editor's Note: State law reference - Duties of Planning Board, G.L. 1956, § 45-22-6 et seq.
The Board shall report annually to the Town Council, summarizing its work of the preceding year and recommending programs, plans and actions for future development. Said reports shall be received in sufficient time to be presented at the annual Financial Town Meeting.
A copy of said report shall be forwarded to the Rhode Island Department of Community Affairs. All studies, plans, and reports of the Board shall be submitted to the Town Council and to any other designated agency or official and shall, with the approval of the Town Council, be published and made available to the public.
Editor's Note: State law reference - Similar provisions, G.L. 1956, § 45-22-8.