Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In all districts the triangle formed by the front lot lines of lots intersecting at an angle of less than 135º and a line joining points on such a line 30 feet distant from their point of intersection, no building or structure may be erected and no vegetation may be maintained between the heights of two feet and 10 feet above the plane through their street grades.
At each end of a through lot there shall be a front yard of the depth required in this chapter for the district in which each street frontage is located.
A. 
No individual sewage disposal system shall be located, designed, constructed, maintained, altered, or repaired except in accordance with R.I.G.L. Title 23, Chapter 19.5, as amended, and the Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems, as amended, promulgated by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (collectively, the "ISDS Law and Regulations").
B. 
No facility designed to leach fluid wastes into the soil and no structure shall be located near any water body, stream, brook or river except in compliance with the ISDS Law and Regulations and the Wetlands Law and Regulations (referenced below), as evidenced by such certificates and approvals as may be required by such Laws and Regulations.
No freshwater wetland, as defined in R.I.G.L. § 2-1-20, as amended, and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act, as amended, promulgated by the Rhode Island State Department of Environmental Management (collectively, the "Wetlands Law and Regulations"), shall be altered, excavated, drained or filled nor shall any extraneous materials be placed in these wetlands or water flow diverted out of or any other change be made to the natural condition of any freshwater wetland without prior approval of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and the Johnston Town Council in accordance with the provisions of said Law and Regulations.
A. 
The installation of a private swimming pool must comply with all applicable aspects of the State of Rhode Island One and Two Family Building Code (CABO Code), specifically, but not limited to Appendix D of the 1995 CABO Code.
B. 
Additionally, a private swimming pool must:
(1) 
Be located not less than 10 feet from a property line;
(2) 
Have the pool filter located as far as possible from the adjoining property lines, with the location at least 20 feet from the adjoining property lines;
(3) 
Installation shall not be undertaken until building and electrical permits have been secured.
Mobile homes or trailers shall not be permitted to be used as dwellings except in authorized trailer parks.
The following departures from the yard regulations otherwise applicable are hereby authorized:
A. 
Adjoining projecting buildings. Where a lot on one or both sides, having a main building which project beyond the established front yard line and has been so maintained since this chapter became effective, the front yard requirement on such lot may be the averages of said existing buildings or building. In no case shall this front yard requirement be less than 15 feet.
B. 
Projections of ornamental features. Projections of cornices, window sills, and other ornamental features may extend up to one foot into a required yard area from the structure.
C. 
Accessory structures. A permitted accessory structure may be placed in a rear yard area, but may be placed no closer than five feet to a lot line. No accessory structure so placed within a rear yard shall exceed 15 feet in height. Any structure which exceeds the height limitation will require a variance from the Zoning Board. No accessory structure shall exceed 150 square feet.
D. 
Fences and walls. Fences and walls not exceeding 10 feet may be placed in any yard area in an "I" district. In any other district, fences and walls may be constructed in side and rear yards up to six feet in height. In front yards the maximum height of walls and fences shall be four feet subject to the vision requirement in § 340-19 of this article.
E. 
Carports. A carport, where attached to the principal building, may be erected over a driveway in a side yard provided such structure is not over 24 feet in length and it is entirely open on three sides, except for necessary supporting columns and customary architectural features.
F. 
Three-sided lot. In the event that a lot contains only three sides, the width of the lot shall be considered to be the distance between side lot lines, measured along an arc at the required front yard depth.
G. 
Irregular lot. In the event the front yard of a lot abuts a curve, a cul-de-sac or a junction of two streets that form an interior angle approximating 90º, the width of the lot shall be considered to be the distance between the two side lot lines, measured at the required front yard depth.
H. 
In any Residential or Planned Development District, for those lots fronting entirely on cul-de-sac turnarounds, street frontage may be reduced to not less than 75% of the required frontage for the zone in which the property is located, but not less than 60 feet for any such lot. Frontage shall be measured along the chord to the street line as drawn between the two side lot lines. Lot width shall be maintained in accordance with the dimensional regulations of this chapter. Lot width shall be measured between the two side lot lines at the required front yard depth.
[Amended 11-10-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-15]
I. 
Corner lot. On a corner lot, both yards fronting on intersecting streets shall have the depth required in a front yard for the applicable district.
J. 
Waiver of side yards. For the purpose of side yard regulations, the following dwellings with common party walls shall be considered as one building occupying one lot:
(1) 
Duplex dwellings.
(2) 
Row or town houses.
[Added 2-12-1996 by Ord. No. 959]
A. 
Any lighting fixture used to illuminate any building, structure, improvement, parking area, or parcel of land shall be so arranged as not to direct light onto any adjoining parcel or street.
B. 
No lighting fixture shall be used unless reflectors and/or glass lenses are fitted to concentrate the illumination upon the desired area and shield adjacent parcels or streets from direct glare.
C. 
Lights used to illuminate any swimming pool, other outdoor activity, or driveway or parking area in any residence district shall be so arranged and shaded as to reflect away from adjoining premises.
D. 
This section shall become effective upon passage and all preexisting lighting fixtures shall come into compliance with this section by July 1,1996.
A. 
Scope. The provisions of this section shall apply to any construction or other development which lies wholly or partly within special flood hazard areas designated as Zones A, AE, AH, AO, or A99 within the Town of Johnston, Community No. 440018, on panels 44007C0283H, 44007C0284H, 44007C0292H, 44007C0301H, 44007C0303H, 44007C0304J, 44007C0311H, 44007C0312H, 44007CIND0D (Map Index) of the Providence County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) dated October 2, 2015, issued by FEMA for the administration of the National Flood Insurance Program and described in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report 44007CV001C, 44007CV002C, and 44007CV003C, revised October 2, 2015. The map, all subsequent amendments and revisions thereto, and the study are incorporated by reference. The FIRM and FIS are on file with the Town Engineer. The uses permitted and the dimensions and area requirements applicable to the respective zoning districts shall apply to special flood hazard areas, and the requirements set forth in this section shall be in addition to any requirements applicable in this chapter and in any other applicable regulation.
[Amended 6-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-6; 11-9-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-16]
B. 
Purpose. These regulations are designed to minimize hazards to persons and damage to property from inland and tidal flooding, to protect floodways from encroachment and to maintain the capacity of flood plains to retain and carry off flood waters. For the purpose of this section, "other development" shall be defined as any action which constitutes a use of land or structure, exclusive of actions which require the issuance of a building permit under the authority of the building code. Such development shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, the following:
(1) 
Earth, gravel, mineral removal or extraction.
(2) 
Alteration of the topography by cutting, filling or grading.
(3) 
The storage of bulk materials outside of a structure.
(4) 
Construction or placement of facilities not normally requiring a building permit such as fences, sheds, animal shelters, tanks, paved areas, retaining walls, drainage structures, and similar facilities.
C. 
Regulations. In addition to applicable requirements of the building code, subdivision regulations and this chapter, when applicable the following requirements shall apply to any construction or other development when located wholly or partly within special flood hazard areas:
(1) 
Except where covered by a building permit issued by the Building Inspector under the authority of the building code, any proposed construction or other development shall require the issuance of a development permit by the Building Inspector.
(2) 
Prior to the issuance of a development permit the applicant shall submit evidence that all necessary permits and approvals from all government agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law as a precedent to construction or other development have been obtained.
(3) 
The applicant shall provide data showing the minimum and maximum elevation of the proposed site and shall provide the base flood elevation specified for the special flood hazard area. Such data shall be shown on permit application.
(4) 
No watercourse may be altered in manner which will, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, result in any decrease in the water carrying capacity of the watercourse and no land shall be graded or altered in such a manner as to increase base flood levels within the Town of Johnston during the occurrence of base flood discharge. Where any alteration is permitted the Building Inspector shall notify adjacent communities, the Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program and the Federal Insurance Administration.
(5) 
The filling of land if otherwise authorized may be permitted only under the following conditions:
(a) 
Said filling shall not encroach upon a watercourse as prescribed in Subsection C(4) above.
(b) 
Said filling shall not increase the potential flood level.
(c) 
Where it is determined that filling will raise the flood level, said filling shall be offset by the removal of an equivalent amount of material in the immediate vicinity of the area filled.
(6) 
Within the regulatory floodway no encroachment including fill, new construction, substantial improvements to an existing structure or other development shall be permitted that will result in any increase in base flood levels within the community during the occurrence of base flood discharge.
(7) 
Adequate drainage shall be provided for any construction or other development so as to reduce the exposure of the lot or site or any other land areas to flood hazards.
(8) 
No outdoor storage of bulk materials or equipment shall be permitted in special flood hazard areas which is likely to cause damage to property, obstruction to flood waters, create a potential fire hazard or pollute the waters during flood periods. Such material or equipment shall include but not be limited to: lumber and other floatable materials, water soluble materials, volatile or flammable materials, acids or poisons.
(9) 
Provision shall be made for anchoring facilities, equipment yard features which are capable of flotation or movement in flood waters. Such items shall include but not necessarily be limited to: fences, planters, sheds, animal shelters, tanks, storage boxes, vehicles, boats and other items normally positioned or stored on a lot or site outside of a structure.
(10) 
A nonconforming use shall not be enlarged or extended when located in special flood hazard area.
[Amended 4-8-1996 by Ord. No. 968; 7-14-1997 by Ord. No. 1001; 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 1017; 5-24-1999 by Ord. No. 1082; 5-10-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-13]
A. 
Planning Board review.
(1) 
No building permit shall be issued for any industrial use construction in any zone of the Town until a site plan review of the proposed construction has been conducted by the Planning Board. In addition, any industrial use which requires a special use permit, at the Zoning Board's option, may be subject to a site plan review by the Planning Board before a public hearing is held by the Zoning Board. It shall also be required for any enlargement in size of any industrial building or change in use of any industrial building, including accessory structures.
(2) 
Site plan review is not required for repairs or alterations to existing industrial buildings or structures, provided that such work does not increase the floor area of any industrial building or structure and does not change the actual use thereof.
(3) 
The Planning Board, by majority vote, may waive site plan review and approval requirements or any specific provision(s) thereof for any change of use, and construction of an addition or accessory building to any other principal building, provided that the use is subordinate and customarily incidental to the principal use and provided that:
(a) 
Sufficient documentation is submitted to the Planning Board by an applicant to enable the Planning Board to determine if a waiver is permissible;
(b) 
Such building does not exceed 25% of the existing building(s) or 1,500 square feet, whichever is less;
(c) 
Such building does not exceed one story;
(d) 
Such building conforms to all requirements of the district in which it is located or any other requirements of this chapter; and
(e) 
No site improvements are intended, required or will result from such building, including, but not limited to, the development of additional parking spaces.
(4) 
A building wholly or partially destroyed may be rebuilt pursuant to this section if rebuilt without change to the building footprint or the square foot use of usable space.
B. 
Grounds for site plan review application denial. The Planning Board may reject an application for site plan review for any one of the following reasons:
(1) 
Noncompliance with this chapter;
(2) 
Incomplete application, including the application form, the accompanying site plan maps and supporting documentation, or the application fee as requested by the Planning Board; or
(3) 
Inability to impose reasonable conditions to mitigate adverse impacts in those areas in which guidelines for review have been established.
C. 
Site plan submission requirements.
(1) 
Each applicant for site plan review and approval shall file with the Building Inspector the required application form and fee and four copies of a site plan prepared and stamped by a registered professional land surveyor and a registered professional engineer drawn at a suitable scale to show the following:
(a) 
Name and address of the applicant and the designer of the plan;
(b) 
Date, North arrow, and contours at two-foot intervals;
(c) 
Plat and lot number(s);
(d) 
Existing zoning classifications;
(e) 
Location of any existing buildings or structures on the site;
(f) 
Existing sewers, water lines and hydrants;
(g) 
Location, arrangement and dimensions of off-street loading spaces and parking;
(h) 
Location, height and materials of walls, fences, screen plantings and other landscaping features;
(i) 
Ground cover, finished grades, slopes, banks and ditches;
(j) 
Location, proposed use and general exterior dimensions of principal and accessory buildings and signs;
(k) 
Percentage of the area to be covered by buildings;
(l) 
Percentage of the area to be hard surfaced or paved;
(m) 
Such additional information as may be required to enable the Planning Board to determine compliance with § 340-27 of this article.
(2) 
At the Planning Board's request, the applicant shall file up to four additional copies of the site plan.
D. 
Action on industrial site plans.
(1) 
Within 45 days of the Building Inspector's receipt of a site plan for industrial use, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing. At least 14 days prior to the hearing, the Planning Board shall give written notice of the time and place of such hearing, by certified mail, to the applicant and to persons owning land abutting the site. The cost of all notifications shall be borne by the applicant. The Planning Board shall also publish, in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Johnston, a notice of said hearing, at least 14 days prior to the hearing.
(2) 
The Planning Board may, within five days of receipt of the site plan application, transmit copies of the application to other agencies and departments of the Town for review and comment if the Planning Board is of the opinion such review will assist in its deliberations. The Planning Board shall not make a finding and determination upon an application until it has received a report from an agency/department to which the application has been referred, or until 21 days shall have elapsed since the transmittal of said copies of the application and site plan to other agencies/departments without such report being submitted. Failure of an agency/department to report within the allotted time shall be interpreted as nonopposition to the site plan.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall review the site plan for compliance with all articles of this chapter. The Planning Board shall approve, subject to modifications, or disapprove the site plan within 30 days from the date the public hearing was closed, unless the Planning Board and the applicant mutually agree to an extension of time. The decision of the Planning Board shall be transmitted to the applicant and the Building Inspector, and shall consist of either:
(a) 
A written finding that the development will be consistent with the guidelines for review set forth below in this section; or
(b) 
A written denial of the application stating the reasons for such denial, and which shall include a statement of the respect in which any elements in the particular features of the proposal are deemed to be inconsistent with the guidelines for review set forth below in this section; or
(c) 
A written finding and determination, subject to such reasonable mitigating conditions, modifications and restrictions set forth therein as the Planning Board may deem necessary to ensure that the proposed development achieves consistency with the guidelines for review established in this section.
E. 
Guidelines for review.
(1) 
Site plan approval is designed to provide a balance between landowner's rights to use his land with the corresponding rights of abutters and neighboring landowners to live or operate businesses without undue disturbance (e.g., noise, congestions, smoke, dust, odor, glare, stormwater runoff, etc.). Additional objectives include the preservation of the natural resources of the Town; and the creation of a better and safer living environment.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall review site plans and shall issue site plan approval, including appropriate revisions and mitigating conditions, if the Planning Board determines, and makes a written finding, that the industrial performance standards of Article IV of this chapter and each of the following standards can be achieved:
(a) 
Johnston's natural resources shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
(b) 
Erosion and sedimentation shall be controlled during and after construction and shall not adversely affect adjacent or neighboring property or public facilities or services.
(c) 
Increased runoff due to the development on the site shall not be injurious to any downstream property owner or cause hazardous conditions on adjoining streets.
(d) 
Direct discharge of untreated stormwater runoff to a wetland or watercourse from impervious surfaces, including, but not limited to, roadways, parking lots, driveways, basements, and roofs shall not be allowed.
(e) 
The proposed development shall not result in pollution of ground or surface waters, other than that anticipated under normal development practices with adequate mitigating measures to prevent significant impacts.
(f) 
The movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic within the site in relation to access streets shall be safe and convenient, and adequate provision shall be made for snow removal.
(g) 
Vehicular entrances and exits shall not be located within 75 feet of any street intersection.
(h) 
Traffic generated by the development shall not create significant congestion on the adjoining and nearby street system.
(i) 
Adequate off-street parking and loading shall be provided to prevent on-street traffic congestion.
(j) 
No development shall be allowed where there is unrestricted access to the public streets or where the public street must be utilized to maneuver in and out of a parking space.
(k) 
Buildings and the grounds adjoining them shall permit easy access and operation of fire, police and other emergency vehicles.
(l) 
Sensitive environmental land features such as steep slopes, wetlands and large outcroppings shall be preserved and protected.
(m) 
Buffering elements in the form of architectural design and landscape design that provide a logical transition to adjoining existing or permitted uses shall be provided.
[1] 
Where a business abuts a residential district, a landscape buffer of five feet in width shall be provided along the abutting side or rear lot lines.
[2] 
B-2 zones. Between a B-2 zone and any R zone, there shall be created and maintained a buffer zone with a minimum dimension of 50 feet. This buffer zone shall consist of vegetation, fencing, or other manner of buffering designed to shield the neighboring R zone from direct view and to diffuse sound generated to a B-2 site.
[3] 
No structure shall be built within the buffer zone. No parking shall be permitted within the buffer zone. Topography may be changed to accomplish the intent of the buffer zone requirements. The buffer zone may contain a playground, walking path, or similar recreational or educational provision which will serve as an accessory to the principal use of the site. Any such intended use shall require the approval of the Zoning Board.
(n) 
Glare from the installation of outdoor lights and signs and from the movement of vehicles on the site shall be shielded from the view of adjacent properties in a residential zone.
(o) 
Abutting properties and Town amenities shall not be degraded by undue disturbances caused by excessive or unreasonable noise, smoke, vapors, fumes, dust, and odors.
(p) 
Special buffer and screening requirements for I-L Districts:
[1] 
Where possible, the maximum amount of natural vegetation on the site shall be retained. Clear cutting in excess of that required for site development is prohibited.
[2] 
Outdoor storage of equipment and material shall be screened as to prevent vision of such equipment from any public road or adjacent property. There shall be no outdoor storage of equipment or materials between any building and any public road.
[3] 
Screening shall consist of existing natural vegetation on the site or an opaque hedge or fence at least six feet in height.
[4] 
The location of all screen planting and fencing shall be determined by the site plan review provisions of this section.
(q) 
Manufacturing, storing, processing, or packaging of cement, asphalt, bituminous asphalt, lime, chalk, or other similar products.
[1] 
These land uses are not allowed in or within 1,500 feet of residential districts R-40, R-20, R-15, R-10, or R-7, nor in or within 1,000 feet of business zones B-1 or B-2. They are allowed by special use permit in industrial zones I, I-L, I-S. Prior to a special use permit being issued, the use must be reviewed by the Planning Board, and must adhere to all applicable portions of Article IV and Article V.
[2] 
A proposed plant of this type which is claimed to be temporary, portable, or otherwise nonpermanent shall not be allowed to operate in a B-1 or B-2 zone. A proposed plant of this type which is claimed to be temporary, portable, or otherwise nonpermanent shall be allowed in an I, I-L, and I-S zone, though not within 1,500 feet of an R zone, for a fixed period of time, for use on and accessory only to, a construction project being undertaken in that area. Such plants must be located on the site of the construction, or within a distance therefrom acceptable to the Planning Board. If such a plant is located off of the construction site, there must be presented to the Planning Board sufficient reason and cause for such placement, and the location of said plant shall conform to all aspects of this subsection, including all distance restrictions.
[3] 
A time limit for use of the plant, including erection and dismantling, must be set and agreed to by the Zoning Board and the applicant. The applicant must present a reclamation plan for the proposed site to the Planning Board for acceptance. The applicant must post a bond of sufficient value to assure the dismantling and removal of the plant, and the reclamation of the site.
F. 
Subsequent to the approval of the site plan by the Planning Board, the applicant may apply to the Building Inspector for a building permit.
(1) 
A copy of the approved site plan endorsed by the Planning Board shall be transmitted to the Building Inspector, and said approved site plan shall be part of the building permit record. Any construction, reconstruction, substantial exterior alteration, or addition shall be carried out in conformity with any mitigating conditions, modifications and restrictions, subject to which the Planning Board shall have made its findings and determination and only in conformity with the application and site plan on the basis of which the findings and determinations are made. The Building Inspector shall enforce the fulfillment of any conditions which the Planning Board may impose.
(2) 
Minor changes to the approved site plan may be submitted to the Building Inspector for approval. All requests for minor changes shall, within one day of receipt, be referred to the Planning Board. The Planning Board, at its next regular or special meeting, shall evaluate the proposed changes against its previous findings under this section to determine if such changes are major or minor and shall advise the Building Inspector of its decision within two days of the meeting. If the change is minor, the Building Inspector is authorized to approve the change. If the change is considered to be major, resubmission of an application for site plan review and approval will be required.
(3) 
Any building, reconstruction or expansion not approved by the Building Inspector or the Planning Board shall be ordered halted and fully removed.
G. 
The approval of a site plan application, or a modification or amendment thereof, shall remain effective for a period of one year only from the date of such approval (either directly or by inaction) unless prior to the expiration of such one-year period, the applicant makes substantial efforts to build in accordance with the approved site plan, or unless, upon a written request from the applicant, the Planning Board votes to extend the time period for a period not to exceed one additional year.
H. 
Performance bond.
(1) 
The Planning Board shall require a bond in sufficient amount to cover the cost of all improvements in the approved site plan. The bonding period shall be established by the Planning Board and in no case shall this period exceed two years. An extension not to exceed one year may be granted if, pursuant to the applicable provisions of this section, the Planning Board grants a site plan approval extension.
(2) 
The form of the bond to guarantee the construction of the required site improvements of this section shall be acceptable to the Johnston Finance Director.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall inspect the site to ensure the requirements of the approved site plan have been followed and that required landscaping and other construction improvements have been completed or are in the process of being completed.
(4) 
Subsequent to this inspection and determination by the Planning Board that the requirements of the approved site plan have been followed, the Planning Board shall notify the Building Inspector of substantial site plan compliance and recommend the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the premises.
I. 
Action on referrals from Zoning Board for special use permits for industrial uses. When in accordance with § 340-77 of this chapter, the Zoning Board refers an application for a special use permit for an industrial use to the Planning Board for review and comments, the Planning Board's written report to the Zoning Board shall include, but not be limited to, all of the findings and determinations the Planning Board would make in reviewing a site plan under this section to the extent they are applicable to the information contained in the application for a special use permit.
J. 
Appeals. Persons aggrieved by a site plan review and approval decision may appeal to the Zoning Board pursuant to Article XVIII of this chapter.
[Added 11-10-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-15]
The provisions of this section shall pertain to properties under single ownership on a single or contiguous lot or lots with an overall size of one acre or more.
A. 
Planning Board.
(1) 
No building permit shall be issued for any commercial and/or business use construction in any zone of the Town until a site plan review of the proposed construction has been conducted by the Planning Board.
(2) 
In addition, any commercial and/or business use which requires a special use permit, at the Zoning Board's option, may be subject to a site plan review by the Planning Board before a public hearing is held by the Zoning Board. It shall also be required for any enlargement in size of any commercial and/or business building or change in use of any commercial and/or business building, including accessory structures, which is located on a parcel of land of one acre or more.
(3) 
Site plan review is not required for repairs or alterations to existing commercial and/or business buildings or structures, provided that such work does not increase the floor area of any commercial and/or business building or structure and does not change the actual use thereof.
(4) 
The Planning Board, by majority vote or through its Administrative Officer, may waive site plan review and approval requirements or any specific provision(s) thereof for any change of use, and construction of an addition or accessory building to any other principal building, provided that the use is subordinate and customarily incidental to the principal use and provided that:
(a) 
Sufficient documentation is submitted to the Planning Board by an applicant to enable the Planning Board to determine if a waiver is permissible;
(b) 
Such building does not exceed 25% of the existing building(s) or 1,500 square feet, whichever is less;
(c) 
Such building does not exceed one story;
(d) 
Such building conforms to all requirements of the district in which it is located or any other requirements of this chapter; and
(e) 
No site improvements are intended, required or will result from such building, including, but not limited to, the development of additional parking spaces.
(5) 
A building wholly or partially destroyed may be rebuilt pursuant to this section if rebuilt without change to the building footprint or the square foot use of usable space.
B. 
Grounds for site plan review application denial. The Planning Board may reject an application for site plan review for any one of the following reasons:
(1) 
Noncompliance with this chapter;
(2) 
Incomplete application, including the application form, the accompanying site plan maps and supporting documentation, or the application fee as requested by the Planning Board; or
(3) 
Inability to impose reasonable conditions to mitigate adverse impacts in those areas in which Guidelines for Review have been established.
C. 
Site plan submission requirement.
(1) 
Each applicant for site plan review and approval shall file with the Building Official the required application form with all the required signatures, including all owners of record plus the signatures of all applicants and the payment of the required fees.
(2) 
Fifteen copies of a site plan plus 15 eleven-inch-by-seventeen-inch reductions of all plans prepared and stamped by the appropriate licensed professional drawn to show the following:
(a) 
Project title and purpose.
(b) 
Location map with project site clearly delineated at a graphic scale sized approximately one inch equals 1,000 feet.
(c) 
Scale and graphic scale to appear on all pages in plan set.
(d) 
Assessor plat and lot numbers and street address location of project development site.
(e) 
Size of each parcel in the project and total acreage of project site.
(f) 
Name, address, and zip code of all existing property owners of project site by assessor plat and lot number.
(g) 
Name, address, and zip code of the applicant.
(h) 
Street index note block shall be placed left of title block in lower right-hand corner. Said notation shall read, "This Plan is to be indexed under the following streets:" and the names of all pertinent streets on the plan shall be identified.
(i) 
Identification of size of area to be disturbed by project development, size of area already developed, and size of any area which will be enlarged or be added to as the result of modifications to the site.
(j) 
Identification on plan of all abutting tax plats and lots and their corresponding property owners as contained on the latest municipal tax rolls.
(k) 
Name, address, zip code, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, and original professional stamp, original signature, and certification (as appropriate) of the designer responsible for preparing the proposed plan and design.
(l) 
Name, address, zip code, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, and original professional stamp/original signature of the professional engineer responsible for preparing the proposed plan and design.
(m) 
Name, address, zip code, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, original professional stamp/original signature and Class I Certification of the registered land surveyor responsible for preparing the proposed plan and design.
(n) 
Date of original plan, date(s) of all revisions to plan.
(o) 
North arrow (if magnetic north, date required).
(p) 
Existing zoning classification(s) of all property(ies) included in the project proposal and dimensional requirements for all included zoning districts.
(q) 
Location of any existing and proposed buildings or structures on the site and the distance of each from property boundary lines. If there are no existing structures on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
(r) 
Identification of existing and proposed use, occupancy, and general exterior dimensions of all existing and proposed principal and accessory buildings.
(s) 
Delineation of required setback areas for each parcel included in the project proposal.
(t) 
Location, size, composition, height, and purpose of all existing and proposed signs. If there are no existing or proposed signs for the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
(u) 
Delineation of proposed outdoor lighting and impacted lighted area. If there is no existing or proposed outdoor lighting for the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
(v) 
Identification of size and percentage of each of the following areas: area to be covered by buildings and other impervious surfaces; areas to be hard surfaced or paved. Location and labeling of all impervious surfaces and the nature of the impervious surface.
(w) 
Surveyed location of existing and proposed boundary lines; easements; metes and bounds; rights-of-way, both public and private; driveways and other circulation areas of the property and project; including all dimensions and angles. Identification of purpose and a label for each easement and right-of-way shown on the design plans. The Planning Board may require profiles to be prepared for all rights-of-way, driveways, and other circulation areas of the property and project. If there are no existing easements or rights-of-way on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
(x) 
Location, widths, and names of all existing and proposed streets abutting the site and within 200 feet of the perimeter of the site; pavement width as well as R-O-W widths shall be identified. The curbline shall be identified, if applicable.
(y) 
Location of existing and proposed monuments. The quantity of proposed monuments to be installed for the project development site will be determined by the Planning Board.
(z) 
Surveyed location of any historic areas, cemeteries, foundations, unusual natural features; natural rock outcroppings; if there are no existing historic areas and the like on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
(aa) 
Delineation of actual distance from closest residential properties; if no residential properties exist within 200 feet of property, plan shall identify the distances of the project to the closest residential properties;
(bb) 
Location of percolation test holes and/or groundwater determination test holes, if applicable.
(cc) 
Surveyed location and sizes of existing and proposed sewer lines and mains, water lines and mains, culverts, leach fields, septic systems, and other underground structures integral and within 200 feet of site.
(dd) 
Location of all existing and proposed parking areas, driveways, loading spaces and areas, stacking areas, and property access areas; location, arrangement, and dimensions of existing and proposed off-street parking spaces and required handicapped spaces; location of existing and proposed sidewalks, pedestrian traffic areas, curbing/curblines. Surface area material composition shall be identified.
(ee) 
Location, height, and materials of existing and proposed walls, fences, screen plantings, and other landscaping features and ground cover. Delineation of landscape buffers and materials between unrelated uses shall also be shown. Landscaping shall conform at a minimum to the landscaping provisions required in this chapter. A specification shall be provided covering the planting and maintenance for a period of two years for all street trees, site plantings, buffer vegetation, ground cover, etc.;
(ff) 
Location of freshwater wetlands, lakes, ponds, watercourses, proposed and/or existing detention/retention ponds and basins and drainage structures, and required buffer areas, and labeling of exact designation of each; location of floodplains and floodways and required buffer areas. If none of the areas exist on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
(gg) 
Delineation and designation of soils on the site as defined by USDA Soils Conservation Service shall be approximately located on the plan.
(hh) 
Surveyed topography of existing and proposed property contours and grades at two-foot intervals, including proposed finished grades, slopes, banks, and ditches, shall be shown on the plan; identification of average slope of property(ies) before and after development.
(ii) 
Location of proposed temporary and permanent soil erosion and sediment control measures shall be shown on plan with construction details provided for same.
(jj) 
Location of and proposed details for detention basins and other drainage structures, including but not limited to wall and floor elevations, capacity, fencing, plantings, shall be provided on plan.
(kk) 
Any additional information deemed necessary by the Planning Board.
(3) 
Additional documentation, 15 copies of each document to be provided:
(a) 
Drainage plan and calculations for project development. Drainage plan, calculations, and narrative report for the development and the areas downstream of development and an engineering analysis of the drainage system as existing and proposed.
(b) 
Building elevations for all structures, both principal and accessory; all views and the footprint of each structure shall be provided.
(c) 
Timetable for construction shall be identified.
(d) 
List of all property owners, their addresses, and zip codes, assessor plat and lot number, within 200 feet of the perimeter of property; if fewer than eight different property owners are located within the two-hundred-foot radius, the list shall be extended to five-hundred-foot radius of property. Abutting properties owned by the applicant and existing project property owners shall not be incorporated in determining whether the eight property owners criteria has been met
(e) 
Composite radius map depicting at least all tax plats and lots of properties within a two-hundred-foot radius of property (five-hundred-foot radius map required if eight or less owners are located within 200 feet of the property perimeter). Abutting properties owned by the applicant and existing project property owners shall not be incorporated in determining whether the eight property owners criteria has been met.
(f) 
RIDEM-approved Soil Suitability Report and/or approved ISDS design(s), as applicable, shall be submitted.
(g) 
Wetlands applicability determination from Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Freshwater Wetlands Division (RIDEM), if applicable. If the proposed project development requires a submission to RIDEM, approval of the project proposal shall be withheld until the approved RIDEM plan has been received and the project disturbance areas are found to be in conformance with said RIDEM approval.
(h) 
Traffic study, stamped and signed by the certified Traffic Engineer who prepared the study.
(i) 
Rhode Island Department of Transportation physical alteration permit approval for access to state roads and/or highways, if applicable.
(j) 
Approvals from all utilities relative to capacity available and capability to connect to utility, as applicable (sewer, water, etc.) shall be submitted.
(k) 
Engineering analysis of water system to establish that there will be no decrease in water pressure or supply to surrounding property owners and that there will be an adequate water supply and pressure to each new house in accordance with building code and NFPA requirements.
(l) 
Letter from appropriate water district stating availability of water for connection and sufficient capacity for the intended use of the proposed development (such as residential, business, industrial, commercial) and certification relative to the amount of water flow/pressure as designed by the applicant. Water pressure shall be sufficient enough to comply with NFPA fire safety standards, if applicable.
(m) 
Letter from appropriate sewer district stating availability for connection and sufficient capacity for public sewers, if applicable.
(n) 
Any approvals required from any other jurisdiction, such as Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), Providence Water Supply Board (PWSB), and the like.
(o) 
Fire Department approval of location of proposed fire hydrants, holding cisterns, dry piping, circulation and/or cul-de-sac design acceptability, etc., if applicable.
(p) 
Proposed easements and quit-claim deeds for streets and other rights-of-way and restrictions and covenants which shall be filed with the development at the time of recording.
(q) 
Proposal for perpetual care of any cemeteries on the site.
(r) 
Proposed schedule or timetable for completion of the proposed infrastructure and road improvements, construction of site improvements, structures, and any other proposed development of the property.
(s) 
Letter of approval of proposed street names, public and/or private, from the Fire Department and the Planning Department.
(t) 
Letter of approval of street and traffic control sign locations from the Police Department and Public Works Director.
(u) 
Performance bond proposal. This chapter requires a performance bond in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of all improvements in the approved site plan. Applicant shall propose form of performance bond to be offered. Approval of the amount and form of the bond shall be approved by the Planning Board.
(v) 
Tax Collector's certificate for payment of taxes for last five years.
(w) 
Such additional information as may be determined to be required to enable the Planning Board to determine compliance with this chapter.
D. 
Action on commercial and/or business site plans.
(1) 
Within 10 days of the Building Official's receipt of a site plan and required materials for commercial and/or business use, said documents shall be referred to the Planning Board for review. Within 21 days of receipt of these materials the Planning Board Administrative Officer shall determine if the submitted materials are complete in accordance with the provisions of this section. If a submittal is determined to be incomplete, the resubmission of said materials shall begin a new review period timeframe. A determination of completeness shall be made by the Administrative Officer before a public hearing shall be scheduled for the Planning Board's next regular or special meeting which complies with the adherence to the required notices as provided in this subsection.
(2) 
At least 14 days prior to the hearing, the Planning Board shall send written notice of the time and place of such hearing, by certified mail, to the applicant and to all persons owning land in accordance with the notice requirements for a variance as identified in this chapter. The Planning Board shall also publish, in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Johnston, a notice of said hearing, at least 14 days prior to the hearing. The cost of all notifications, printing, mailing, and adverting shall be borne by the applicant.
(3) 
The Planning Board may, within five days of receipt of the site plan application, transmit copies of the application to other agencies and departments of the Town for review and comment if the Planning Board is of the opinion such review will assist in its deliberations. The Planning Board shall not make a finding and determination upon an application until it has received a report from an agency/department to which the application has been referred, or until 21 days shall have elapsed since the transmittal of said copies of the application and site plan to other agencies/departments without such report being submitted. Failure of an agency/department to report within the allotted time shall be interpreted as nonopposition to the site plan.
(4) 
The Planning Board shall review the site plan for compliance with all articles of this chapter. An owner and/or applicant may request the Planning Board to waive any of the requirements referenced in this section. Waivers to this section may be granted by the Planning Board after due review and only under undue hardship pursuant to the relatively small size of the project as proposed or under extenuating circumstances, providing such waiver or waivers do not conflict with the intent of this chapter, the Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations,[1] or the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Board shall approve, subject to modifications, or disapprove the site plan within 45 days from the date the public hearing was closed, unless the Planning Board and the applicant mutually agree to an extension of time. The decision of the Planning Board shall be transmitted to the applicant and the Building Official, and shall consist of either:
(a) 
A written finding that the development will be consistent with the Guidelines for Review set forth below in this section; or
(b) 
A written denial of the application stating the reasons for such denial, and which shall include a statement of the respect in which any elements in the particular features of the proposal are deemed to be inconsistent with the Guidelines for Review set forth below in this section; or
(c) 
A written finding and determination, subject to such reasonable mitigating conditions, modifications and restrictions set forth therein as the Planning Board may deem necessary to ensure that the proposed development achieves consistency with the Guidelines for Review established in this section.
[1]
Editor's Note: See the current Subdivision Regulations on file in the Town offices.
E. 
Guidelines for review.
(1) 
Site plan approval is designed to provide a balance between a landowner's rights to use his land with the corresponding rights of abutters and neighboring landowners to live or operate businesses without undue disturbance (e.g., noise, congestions, smoke, dust, odor, glare, stormwater runoff, etc.). Additional objectives include the preservation of the natural resources of the Town and the creation of a better and safer living environment.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall review site plans and shall issue site plan approval, including appropriate revisions and mitigating conditions, if the Planning Board determines, and makes a written finding, that the provisions of this chapter and the Johnston Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations[2] and each of the following standards can be achieved:
(a) 
Johnston's natural resources shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
(b) 
Erosion and sedimentation shall be controlled during and after construction and shall not adversely affect adjacent or neighboring property or public facilities or services.
(c) 
Increased runoff due to the development on the site shall not be injurious to any downstream property owner or cause hazardous conditions on adjoining streets.
(d) 
Direct discharge of untreated stormwater runoff to a wetland or watercourse from impervious surfaces, including, but not limited to, roadways, parking lots, driveways, basements, and roofs shall not be allowed.
(e) 
The proposed development shall not result in pollution of ground or surface waters, other than that anticipated under normal development practices with adequate mitigating measures to prevent significant impacts.
(f) 
The movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic within the site in relation to access streets shall be safe and convenient and adequate provision shall be made for snow removal.
(g) 
Vehicular entrances and exits shall not be located within 75 feet of any street intersection.
(h) 
Traffic generated by the development shall not create significant congestion on the adjoining and nearby street system.
(i) 
Adequate off-street parking and loading shall be provided to prevent on-street traffic congestion.
(j) 
No development shall be allowed where there is unrestricted access to the public streets or where the public street must be utilized to maneuver in and out of a parking space.
(k) 
Buildings and the grounds adjoining them shall permit easy access and operation of fire, police and other emergency vehicles.
(l) 
Sensitive environmental land features such as steep slopes, wetlands and large outcroppings shall be preserved and protected.
(m) 
Buffering elements in the form of architectural design and landscape design that provide a logical transition to adjoining existing or permitted uses shall be provided. Where a business abuts a residential district, a landscape buffer of 10 feet in width shall be provided along the abutting side and rear lot lines.
(n) 
Glare from the installation of outdoor lights and signs and from the movement of vehicles on the site shall be shielded from the view of adjacent properties in a residential zone.
(o) 
Abutting properties and Town amenities shall not be degraded by undue disturbances caused by excessive or unreasonable noise, smoke, vapors, fumes, dust, and odors.
(p) 
Special buffer and screening requirements.
[1] 
Where possible, the maximum amount of natural vegetation on the site shall be retained. Clear cutting in excess of that required for site development is prohibited.
[2] 
Outdoor storage of equipment and material shall be screened as to prevent vision of such equipment from any public road or adjacent property. There shall be no outdoor storage of equipment or materials between any building and any public road.
[3] 
Screening shall consist of existing natural vegetation on the site or an opaque hedge or fence at least six feet in height and shall be approved by the Planning Board.
[4] 
The location of all screen planting and fencing shall be determined by the site plan review provisions of this section.
[2]
Editor's Note: See the current Subdivision Regulations on file in the Town offices.
F. 
Subsequent to the approval of the site plan by the Planning Board, the applicant may apply to the Building Official for a building permit. A copy of the approved site plan endorsed by the Planning Board shall be transmitted to the Building Official and said approved site plan shall be part of the building permit record. Any construction, reconstruction, substantial exterior alteration, or addition shall be carried out in conformity with any mitigating conditions, modifications and restrictions, subject to which the Planning Board shall have made its findings and determination and only in conformity with the application and site plan on the basis of which the findings and determinations are made. The Building Official shall enforce the fulfillment of any conditions which the Planning Board may impose.
(1) 
Minor changes to the approved site plan may be submitted to the Building Official for approval. All requests for minor changes shall, within one day of receipt, be referred to the Planning Board's Administrative Officer. The Administrative Officer shall evaluate the proposed changes against the Planning Board's previous findings under this section to determine if such changes are major or minor and shall advise the Building Official within two weeks of the referral. If the change is minor, the Building Official is authorized to approve the change. If the change is considered to be major, resubmission of an application to the Planning Board for site plan review and approval will be required.
(2) 
Any building, reconstruction or expansion not approved by the Building Inspector, the Planning Board, or the Planning Board Administrative Officer, as applicable, shall be ordered halted and fully removed.
G. 
The approval of a site plan application, or a modification or amendment thereof, shall remain effective for a period of one year only from the date of such approval (either directly or by inaction) unless, prior to the expiration of such one-year period, the applicant makes substantial efforts to build in accordance with the approved site plan, or unless, upon a written request from the applicant, the Planning Board votes to extend the time period for a period not to exceed one additional year.
H. 
Performance bond.
(1) 
The Planning Board shall require a bond in sufficient amount to cover the cost of all improvements in the approved site plan. The bonding period shall be established by the Planning Board, and in no case shall this period exceed two years. An extension not to exceed one year may be granted if, pursuant to the applicable provisions of this section, the Planning Board grants a site plan approval extension.
(2) 
The form of the bond to guarantee the construction of the required site improvements of this section shall be acceptable to the Town.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall inspect the site to ensure the requirements of the approved site plan have been followed and that required landscaping and other construction improvements have been completed or are in the process of being completed.
(4) 
Subsequent to this inspection and determination by the Planning Board that the requirements of the approved site plan have been followed, the Planning Board shall notify the Building Official of substantial site plan compliance and recommend the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the premises.
I. 
Action on referrals from Zoning Board for special use permits for commercial and/or business uses. When, in accordance with § 340-77 of this chapter, the Zoning Board refers an application for a special use permit for an commercial and/or business use to the Planning Board for review and comments, the Planning Board's written report to the Zoning Board shall include, but not be limited to, all of the findings and determinations the Planning Board would make in reviewing a site plan under this section to the extent they are applicable to the information contained in the application for a special use permit.
J. 
Appeals. Persons aggrieved by a site plan review and approval decision may appeal to the Zoning Board pursuant to Article XVIII of this chapter.
[Added 11-10-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-15]
A. 
Purpose and objectives. The purpose of this section is to promote and protect public health, safety, general welfare, and amenity. Effective site planning, development design, and landscaping can accomplish the following objectives:
(1) 
Promote the most desirable use of land and arrangement of development in the Town and preserve the value of land and buildings, thereby protecting the Town's tax revenues;
(2) 
Improve the physical environment through the provision of amenities such as open space; street trees, and live vegetation;
(3) 
Preserve the character and scale of existing development and control new development in conformity with the existing character of the area;
(4) 
Provide a transition between and a reduction in the environmental, aesthetic, and other impacts of one type of land use upon another, specifically when commercial/industrial developments abut or are near residential areas;
(5) 
Promote safe and efficient pedestrian and traffic circulation patterns;
(6) 
Lessen the transmission of noise, dust, pollution and glare from one lot to another;
(7) 
Improve air quality through production of oxygen and reduction of dangerous carbon monoxide;
(8) 
Through shading, provide cooling of air and land to offset radiational heating;
(9) 
Minimize the negative impacts of stormwater runoff to enhance and protect surface and groundwater quality, and promote effective flood control and management;
(10) 
Control damaging impacts of sheet runoff and resultant surface water contamination;
(11) 
Through vegetative root systems, stabilize groundwater tables and play an important and effective part in soil conservation, erosion control, flood control, and absorption of pollutants.
B. 
Landscaping standards.
(1) 
General requirements.
(a) 
Landscaping shall be provided as part of site plan design for all industrial, commercial, business, planned development, and multifamily zones and uses. It shall be conceived in a total pattern throughout the site, integrating various elements of site design, preserving and enhancing the particular identity of the site where appropriate. Landscaping shall constitute a minimum of 15% of the entire site.
(b) 
The Planning Board shall review and approve landscape designs and plans for all properties where one acre or more will be disturbed.
(c) 
The Town Planner, Town Engineer, and Building Official shall comprise a Landscape Review Committee. The Committee shall review all landscape designs and plans for properties less than one acre, shall review, comment, and forward recommendations to the Planning Board for all projects one acre or over, and shall supervise the installation of all landscape designs and improvements approved by the Planning Board or the Landscape Review Committee.
(d) 
Should the Landscape Review Committee determine that a site needs Planning Board review due to the specific situation of the development project or if the project and/or its impact(s) is integral to the development of an abutting or nearby project development and/or site, the project will be forwarded to the Board for review and recommendation, or review and approval, as necessary.
(e) 
Landscaping may include plant materials such as trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials, and annuals, and other materials such as rocks, water, sculpture, art walls, fences, and street furniture. The square footage of surface area on walls, fences, and street furniture, however, shall not contribute in any manner to and shall not be included in the calculation and determination for meeting the minimum landscape requirements.
(f) 
Soil erosion plan. A soil erosion plan for construction and installation of temporary and permanent soil erosion and sediment control measures shall be prepared by an appropriate certified professional, submitted to the Building Department for determination of applicability, and reviewed/approved by the Building Official before any land disturbance occurs. Said plan shall be in conformance with any and all landscape plans approved pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(2) 
Site protection and general planting requirements.
(a) 
Topsoil preservation. Topsoil moved during the course of construction shall be retained and redistributed within the site in accordance with the approved landscape plan.
(b) 
Site disturbance. To the maximum extent practicable, the developer shall minimize the areas of the site to be regraded or disturbed. All disturbed areas of the development site shall be immediately stabilized by seeding or planting landscaping materials.
(c) 
Removal of debris. All organic material, rubbish, deleterious materials or debris shall be removed from the site in a timely fashion. Disposal of cleared or grubbed and stripped materials shall be the responsibility of the developer. All roots, stumps, brush, foliage and other vegetation shall be removed and disposed of by the developer off the project site. This requirement may be modified by the Planning Board or the Landscape Review Committee, at the Planning Board's direction, for the disposal of organic materials only, where the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates that such materials will be disposed of on-site in such a manner that there will be no potential for subsidence to occur on the site in the future and that such organic material does not harbor disease or pests which may adversely affect plantings or buildings on the site.
(d) 
Protection of existing planting. Maximum effort should be made to save tree or other plant specimens which are large for their species, rare to the area, or of special horticultural or landscape value. In the event that any such tree or plant specimens are to be removed, they are to be replaced elsewhere on the project site with specimens of a comparable size and type. Such requirement may be waived Planning Board or the Landscape Review Committee, at the Planning Board's direction, where the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board or Committee that special site and design conditions so warrant. No material or temporary soil deposits shall be placed within the drip line shrubs or trees designated on the landscape plan to be retained. Protective barriers are to be installed around each plant and/or group of plants that are to remain on the site. Barriers shall not be supported by the plants they are protecting, but shall be self-supporting. They shall be a minimum of four feet high and constructed of durable material that will last until construction is completed. Snow fences and silt fences are examples of acceptable barriers.
(3) 
Slope plantings. Landscaping of all cuts and fills and/or terraces shall be sufficient to prevent erosion, and all roadway slopes steeper than one foot vertically to three feet horizontally shall be planted with vegetative ground cover appropriate to the purpose and for soil conditions and environment.
(4) 
Additional landscaping. All areas of the site not occupied by buildings and required improvements shall be landscaped by the planting of grass or other vegetative ground cover, shrubs, and trees as part of the approved landscape plan, unless the existing natural landscaping and terrain are to be maintained and otherwise approved by the Planning Board or the Landscape Review Committee, as applicable.
(5) 
Planting specifications. Deciduous trees shall have at least a 2 1/2 inch caliper at the time of planting. Such requirement may be modified by the Planning Board and/or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, where the applicant demonstrates satisfactorily that the type and groupings of the trees require a smaller caliper at the time of planting. Size of evergreens and shrubs shall be allowed to vary depending on setting and type of shrub. Only nursery-grown plant materials shall be acceptable, and all trees, shrubs and ground covers shall be planted according to acceptable horticultural standards. Dead and diseased plants and trees shall be removed and replaced by the owner on at least an annual basis. Failure to properly maintain trees shall result in such work being performed by the Town at the owner's expense.
(6) 
Plant species. The plant species selected shall be classified as hardy for the particular climate zone in which the development is located and appropriate in terms of function and size. The applicant is encouraged to select plant species which have minimal requirements for watering and fertilization. In selection of tree types a reference should be made to tree types recommended in the Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations[1] or of a variety approved by the Landscape Review Committee.
[1]
Editor's Note: See the current Subdivision Regulations on file in the Town offices.
(7) 
Shade trees.
(a) 
Location. Shade trees shall be either planted or manicured at intervals of no more than 35 feet along both sides of all new or existing streets abutting a development site in accordance with the approved landscape plan. The Landscape Review Committee may permit spacing of trees at greater intervals where the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Committee that such spacing is necessary for the preservation of large existing trees or other planting of large tree specimens.
(b) 
Tree type. Tree type may vary depending on overall effect desired, but as a general rule, all trees on a street shall be the same kind except to achieve special effects. In selection of tree types, a reference shall be made to the types recommended in Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations[2] or of a variety approved by the Landscape Review Committee.
[2]
Editor's Note: See the current Subdivision Regulations on file in the Town offices.
(c) 
Planting specifications. Street trees shall have a minimum caliper of 2 1/2 inches at time of planting, and must be nursery-grown, of substantially uniform size and shape and have straight trunks. Street trees, with the exception of ornamental trees, shall have or will have, when fully mature, a minimum caliper of 12 inches. Trees shall be properly planted and staked and provision made by the developer for regular watering and maintenance until they are established. Dead and diseased trees shall be removed and replaced by the owner on at least an annual basis. Failure to properly maintain street trees shall result in such work being performed by the Town at the owner's expense.
(8) 
Buffering.
(a) 
Function and materials. Buffering shall provide a year-round visual screen in order to minimize adverse impacts. It may consist of fencing, evergreens, berm, rocks, boulders, mounds, or combinations thereof to achieve the objectives.
(b) 
Buffer required.
[1] 
When required, every development shall provide sufficient buffering when topographical or other barriers do not provide reasonable screening and when the Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, determines that there is a need to:
[a] 
Shield neighboring properties from any adverse external effects of a development; or
[b] 
Shield the development from negative impacts of adjacent uses, particularly in situations where such buffering/screening falls between commercial and residential properties; or
[c] 
Minimize stormwater impacts on flood management and water quality. In high-density developments, when building design and siting do not provide privacy, the Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, may require landscaping, fences, or walls to screen abutters for privacy. Buffers shall be measured from side and rear property lines, excluding driveways.
[2] 
Minimum buffer size required:
[a] 
A five-foot-wide buffer strip of grass or other vegetation is required around the entire perimeter of the site, except for any curb cuts.
[b] 
Where more-intensive land uses abut less-intensive uses, a buffer strip (25 feet) in width shall be required between such uses.
[c] 
Parking lots, garbage collection and utility areas, and loading and unloading areas should be screened around their perimeters by a buffer strip a minimum of five feet wide.
[3] 
Buffer design. Arrangement of plantings in buffers shall provide maximum protection to contiguous properties and avoid damage to existing plant material. Earthen berms may be used in the buffer design, provided side slopes are adequately stabilized by plant materials. Such berms may be used to calculate effective buffer heights.
[4] 
Planting specifications. Plant materials shall be sufficiently large and planted in such a fashion that a year-round effective buffer height of at least eight feet in height shall be produced within three growing seasons. All plantings shall be installed according to accepted horticultural standards.
[5] 
Maintenance. Plantings shall be watered through the first growing season, and dead and dying plants shall be replaced by the applicant during the next planting season. The use of underground sprinkler or drip irrigation systems for landscaped areas is encouraged. No buildings, structures, storage of materials, or parking shall be permitted within the buffer area; buffer areas shall be maintained in a manner commensurate with the approved landscape plan and kept free of all debris, rubbish, weeds, and tall grass.
(9) 
Parking area landscaping requirements.
(a) 
Trees shall be planted within the planting strip or in sidewalk areas as may be appropriate, at intervals of no more than 35 feet, and shall have a minimum caliper at time of planting of 2 1/2 inches. The Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, may permit spacing of trees at greater intervals where the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, that such a spacing is necessary for the preservation of large existing trees or the planting of large tree specimens.
(b) 
The interior of parking areas shall be suitably landscaped with trees, shrubs, plants or other live vegetation. In addition to the required buffer strip, a minimum of 10 square feet of landscaping for each parking space shall be provided within any off-street parking area. Each row of parking spaces shall be terminated by landscaped islands which measure not less than five feet in width and not less than 18 feet in length. The interior of the parking area shall incorporate landscaped areas in appropriate locations in order to prevent long, uninterrupted rows of parking spaces. Such landscaped islands may be included in calculating the required landscaped area. Mandatory terminal islands shall be surrounded with continuous raised curbing. Interior islands and divider medians shall be protected from encroachment of motor vehicles in a manner approved by the Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable. Pedestrian paths may be incorporated within the landscaped area, provided a minimum dimension of four feet, exclusive of paved areas, is maintained for all landscaped areas.
(c) 
The interior of parking areas shall be shaded by deciduous trees (either retained or planted by the developer) that have or will have when fully mature a trunk of at least 12 inches in diameter. The minimum caliper of new trees at time of planting shall be at least 2 1/2 inches. At maturity, each tree shall be presumed to shade a circular area having a radius of 15 feet with a trunk as the center, and there must be sufficient trees so that, using this standard, 20% of the parking area will be shaded. Trees shall be located so that they are surrounded by at least 100 square feet of unpaved area, which may be counted towards calculating the required landscaped area. Parking areas shall be laid out and detailed to prevent vehicles from striking trees and to provide for the healthy growth of the selected tree species. Vehicles will be presumed to have a body overhang of three feet, six inches.
(d) 
The owner shall be responsible for maintaining the landscaping of a parking area in a neat and attractive manner. Only nursery-grown plant material shall be acceptable, and all plantings shall be installed according to accepted horticultural standards. The owner shall be responsible for watering plantings regularly and shall be responsible for removing and replacing all dead or diseased plantings on at least an annual basis. Failure to adequately maintain required plantings may result in the Town performing required maintenance at the expense of the landowner.
(10) 
Parking area design standards.
(a) 
All parking areas shall provide the minimum required widths for traffic aisles and driveways as described in the table below. At the discretion of the Town Engineer, the width of the aisles and driveways may be required to be greater than the minimum, should traffic and safety considerations so warrant.
(b) 
Required widths for Parking Area Aisles and Driveways:
Aisle Width
Parking Angle
(in degrees)
0
30
45
60
90
One-way traffic (feet)
13
11
13
18
24
Two-way traffic (feet)
20
20
21
23
24
(11) 
Pedestrian and vehicular circulation. Pedestrian and vehicular circulation areas shall be designed so as to provide safe and efficient traffic flow patterns; conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular traffic shall be minimized by providing physical and visual separation between pedestrian ways and traffic lanes or at crossings of each.
(12) 
Signage. The placement of all directional and street level advertising signage shall be subject to the review and approval of the Zoning Board of Review or Town Engineer, as applicable, to ensure that safe and efficient traffic circulation patterns and adequate sight distances will be maintained both within the public-right-of-way and the interior site parking area.
(13) 
Paving materials for pedestrian areas. Design and choice of paving materials used in pedestrian areas shall consider such factors as function, climate, characteristics of users, availability, cost, maintenance, glare, drainage, noise, appearance, and compatibility with surroundings. Acceptable materials shall include, but are not limited to, concrete, brick, asphalt, asphaltic pavers, cement pavers, and stone.
(14) 
Walls and fences. Walls and fences shall be erected where required for privacy screening, separation, security, erosion control, or to serve other necessary and reasonable functions. The design and materials used shall be functional and compatible with existing and proposed site architecture. No fence or wall shall be so constructed or installed as to constitute a hazard to traffic or safety.
(15) 
Street furniture. Street furniture, such as but not limited to trash receptacles, benches, and phone booths, shall be located and sized in accordance with function. The different street furniture components shall be compatible in form, material, and finish. Design and materials shall be coordinated with existing and proposed site architecture. Selection of street furniture shall also take into consideration function, durability, maintenance, and long-term cost.
C. 
Waivers. The landscaping design standards detailed in the section are to be considered minimum standards and may be waived by the Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, only under extenuating circumstances, providing such waiver does not conflict with the intent of this section, this chapter, the Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations,[3] or the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Johnston.
[3]
Editor's Note: See the current Subdivision Regulations on file in the Town offices.
D. 
Site plan submission requirements.
(1) 
Plan contents. The contents of the landscape design plan shall include the minimum identification requirements identified in the industrial and business site plan review processes in § 340-27.1 plus the design criteria required to reflect the minimum landscaping standards detailed in this section.
(a) 
Each applicant for site plan review and approval shall file with the Building Official the required application form with all the required signatures, including all owners of record plus the signatures of all applicants and the payment of the required fees.
(b) 
Fifteen copies of a site plan plus 15 eleven-inch-by-seventeen-inch reductions of all plans prepared and stamped by the appropriate licensed professional drawn to show the following:
[1] 
Project title and purpose.
[2] 
Location map with project site clearly delineated at a graphic scale sized approximately one inch equals 1,000 feet.
[3] 
Scale and graphic scale to appear on all pages in plan set.
[4] 
Assessor plat and lot numbers and street address location of project development site.
[5] 
Size of each parcel in the project and total acreage of project site.
[6] 
Name, address, and zip code of all existing property owners of project site by assessor plat and lot number.
[7] 
Name, address, and zip code of the applicant.
[8] 
Street index note block shall be placed left of title block in lower right-hand corner. Said notation shall read, "This Plan is to be indexed under the following streets:" and the names of all pertinent streets on the plan shall be identified.
[9] 
Identification of size of area to be disturbed by project development, size of area already developed, and size of any area which will be enlarged or be added to as the result of modifications to the site.
[10] 
Identification on plan of all abutting tax plats and lots and their corresponding property owners as contained on the latest municipal tax rolls.
[11] 
Name, address, zip code, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, and original professional stamp, original signature, and certification (as appropriate) of the designer responsible for preparing the proposed plan and design.
[12] 
Name, address, zip code, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, and original professional stamp/original signature of the professional engineer responsible for preparing the proposed plan and design.
[13] 
Name, address, zip code, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, original professional stamp/original signature and Class I Certification of the registered land surveyor responsible for preparing the proposed plan and design.
[14] 
Date of original plan, date(s) of all revisions to plan.
[15] 
North arrow (if magnetic north, date required).
[16] 
Existing zoning classification(s) of all property(ies) included in the project proposal and dimensional requirements for all included zoning districts.
[17] 
Location of any existing and proposed buildings or structures on the site and the distance of each from property boundary lines. If there are no existing structures on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
[18] 
Identification of existing and proposed use, occupancy, and general exterior dimensions of all existing and proposed principal and accessory buildings.
[19] 
Delineation of required setback areas for each parcel included in the project proposal.
[20] 
Location, size, composition, height, and purpose of all existing and proposed signs. If there are no existing or proposed signs for the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
[21] 
Delineation of proposed outdoor lighting and impacted lighted area. If there is no existing or proposed outdoor lighting for the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
[22] 
Identification of size and percentage of each of the following areas: area to be covered by buildings and other impervious surfaces; areas to be hard surfaced or paved. Location and labeling of all impervious surfaces and the nature of the impervious surface.
[23] 
Surveyed location of existing and proposed boundary lines; easements; metes and bounds; rights-of-way, both public and private; driveways and other circulation areas of the property and project including all dimensions and angles. Identification of purpose and a label for each easement and right-of-way shown on the design plans. The Planning Board may require profiles to be prepared for all rights-of-way, driveways, and other circulation areas of the property and project. If there are no existing easements or rights-of-way on the property, notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
[24] 
Location, widths, and names of all existing and proposed streets abutting the site and within 200 feet of the perimeter of the site; pavement width as well as R-O-W widths shall be identified. The curbline shall be identified, if applicable.
[25] 
Location of existing and proposed monuments. The quantity of proposed monuments to be installed for the project development site will be determined by the Planning Board.
[26] 
Surveyed location of any historic areas, cemeteries, foundations, unusual natural features; natural rock outcroppings. If there are no existing historic areas and the like on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
[27] 
Delineation of actual distance from closest residential properties. If no residential properties exist within 200 feet of property, plan shall identify the distances of the project to the closest residential properties.
[28] 
Location of percolation test holes and/or groundwater determination test holes, if applicable.
[29] 
Surveyed location and sizes of existing and proposed sewer lines and main, water lines and mains, culverts, leach fields, septic systems, and other underground structures integral and within 200 feet of site.
[30] 
Location of all existing and proposed parking areas, driveways, loading spaces and areas, stacking areas, and property access areas; location, arrangement, and dimensions of existing and proposed off-street parking spaces and required handicapped spaces; location of existing and proposed sidewalks, pedestrian traffic areas, curbing/curblines. Surface area material composition shall be identified.
[31] 
Location, height, and materials of existing and proposed walls, fences, screen plantings, and other landscaping features and ground cover. Delineation of landscape buffers and materials between unrelated uses shall also be shown. Landscaping shall conform at a minimum to the landscaping provisions required in this chapter. A specification shall be provided covering the planting and maintenance for a period of two years for all street trees, site plantings, buffer vegetation, ground cover, etc.
[32] 
Location of freshwater wetlands, lakes, ponds, watercourses, proposed and/or existing detention/retention ponds and basins and drainage structures, and required buffer areas, and labeling of exact designation of each; location of floodplains and floodways and required buffer areas. If none of the areas exist on the property, a notation shall be made to that effect on the plan.
[33] 
Delineation and designation of soils on the site as defined by USDA Soils Conservation Service shall be approximately located on the plan.
[34] 
Surveyed topography of existing and proposed property contours and grades at two-foot intervals, including proposed finished grades, slopes, banks, and ditches shall be shown on the plan; identification of average slope of property(ies) before and after development.
[35] 
Location of proposed temporary and permanent soil erosion and sediment control measures shall be shown on plan with construction details provided for same.
[36] 
Location of and proposed details for detention basins and other drainage structures, including but not limited to wall and floor elevations, capacity, fencing, plantings, shall be provided on plan.
[37] 
Any additional information deemed necessary by the Planning Board and/or Landscape Review Committee.
(2) 
Additional documentation, 15 copies of each document to be provided:
(a) 
Drainage plan and calculations for project development. Drainage plan, calculations, and narrative report for the development and the areas downstream of development and an engineering analysis of the drainage system as existing and proposed.
(b) 
Building elevations for all structures, both principal and accessory; all views and the footprint of each structure shall be provided.
(c) 
Timetable for construction shall be identified.
(d) 
List of all property owners, their addresses, and zip codes, assessor plat and lot number, within 200 feet of the perimeter of property. If fewer than eight different property owners are located within the two-hundred-foot radius; the list shall be extended to five-hundred-foot radius of property. Abutting properties owned by the applicant and existing project property owners shall not be incorporated in determining whether the eight property owners criteria has been met.
(e) 
Composite radius map depicting at least all tax plats and lots of properties within a two-hundred-foot radius of property (five-hundred-foot radius map required if eight or less owners are located within 200 feet of the property perimeter). Abutting properties owned by the applicant and existing project property owners shall not be incorporated in determining whether the eight property owners criteria has been met.
(f) 
RIDEM-approved Soil Suitability Report and/or approved ISDS design(s), as applicable, shall be submitted.
(g) 
Wetlands applicability determination from Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Freshwater Wetlands Division (RIDEM), if applicable. If the proposed project development requires a submission to RIDEM, approval of the project proposal shall be withheld until the approved RIDEM plan has been received and the project disturbance areas are found to be in conformance with said RIDEM approval.
(h) 
Traffic study, stamped and signed by the certified Traffic Engineer who prepared the study.
(i) 
Rhode Island Department of Transportation physical alteration permit approval for access to state roads and/or highways, if applicable.
(j) 
Approvals from all utilities relative to capacity available and capability to connect to utility, as applicable (sewer, water, etc.) shall be submitted.
(k) 
Engineering analysis of water system to establish that there will be no decrease in water pressure or supply to surrounding property owners and that there will be an adequate water supply and pressure to each new house in accordance with building code and NFPA requirements.
(l) 
Letter from appropriate water district stating availability of water for connection and sufficient capacity for the intended use of the proposed development (such as residential, business, industrial, commercial) and certification relative to the amount of water flow/pressure as designed by the applicant. Water pressure shall be sufficient enough to comply with NFPA fire safety standards, if applicable.
(m) 
Letter from appropriate sewer district stating availability for connection and sufficient capacity for public sewers, if applicable.
(n) 
Any approvals required from any other jurisdiction, such as, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), Providence Water Supply Board (PWSB), and the like.
(o) 
Fire Department approval of location of proposed fire hydrants, holding cisterns, dry piping, circulation and/or cul-de-sac design acceptability, etc., if applicable.
(p) 
Proposed easements and quit-claim deeds for streets and other rights-of-way and restrictions and covenants which shall be filed with the development at the time of recording.
(q) 
Proposal for perpetual care of any cemeteries on the site.
(r) 
Proposed schedule or timetable for completion of the proposed infrastructure and road improvements, construction of site improvements, structures, and any other proposed development of the property.
(s) 
Letter of approval of proposed street names, public and/or private, from the Fire Department and the Planning Department.
(t) 
Letter of approval of street and traffic control sign locations from the Police Department and Public Works Director.
(u) 
Performance bond proposal. This chapter requires a performance bond in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of all improvements in the approved site plan. Applicant shall propose form of performance bond to be offered. Approval of the amount and form of the bond shall be approved by the Planning Board.
(v) 
Tax Collector's certificate for payment of taxes for last five years.
(w) 
Such additional information as may be determined to be required to enable the Planning Board and/or Landscape Review Committee to determine compliance with this chapter.
E. 
Action on commercial and/or business site plans.
(1) 
Within 10 days of the Building Official's receipt of a site plan and required materials for commercial and/or business use, said documents shall be referred to the Planning Board for review. Within 21 days of receipts of these materials the Planning Board Administrative Officer shall determine if the submitted materials are complete in accordance with the provisions of this section. If a submittal is determined to be incomplete, the resubmission of said materials shall begin a new review period timeframe. A determination of completeness shall be made by the Administrative Officer before a public hearing shall be scheduled for the Planning Board's next regular or special meeting which complies with the adherence to the required notices as provided in this subsection.
(2) 
At least 14 days prior to the hearing, the Planning Board shall send written notice of the time and place of such hearing, by certified mail, to the applicant and to all persons owning land in accordance with the notice requirements for a variance as identified in this chapter. The Planning Board shall also publish, in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Johnston, a notice of said hearing, at least 14 days prior to the hearing. The cost of all notifications, printing, mailing, and advertising shall be borne by the applicant.
(3) 
The Planning Board may, within five days of receipt of the site plan application, transmit copies of the application to other agencies and departments of the Town for review and comment if the Planning Board is of the opinion such review will assist in its deliberations. The Planning Board shall not make a finding and determination upon an application until it has received a report from an agency/department to which the application has been referred, or until 21 days shall have elapsed since the transmittal of said copies of the application and site plan to other agencies/departments without such report being submitted. Failure of an agency/department to report within the allotted time shall be interpreted as non-opposition to the site plan.
(4) 
The Planning Board shall review the site plan for compliance with all articles of this chapter. An owner and/or applicant may request the Planning Board to waive any of the requirements referenced in this section. Waivers to this section may be granted by the Planning Board after due review and only under undue hardship pursuant to the relatively small size of the project as proposed or under extenuating circumstances, providing such waiver or waivers do not conflict with the intent of this chapter, the Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations,[4] or the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Board shall approve, subject to modifications, or disapprove the site plan within 45 days from the date the public hearing was closed, unless the Planning Board and the applicant mutually agree to an extension of time.
[4]
Editor's Note: See the current Subdivision Regulations on file in the Town offices.
(5) 
The decision of the Planning Board shall be transmitted to the applicant and the Building Official, and shall consist of either:
(a) 
A written finding that the development will be consistent with the guidelines for review set forth below in this section; or
(b) 
A written denial of the application stating the reasons for such denial, and which shall include a statement of the respect in which any elements in the particular features of the proposal are deemed to be inconsistent with the guidelines for review set forth below in this section; or
(c) 
A written finding and determination, subject to such reasonable mitigating conditions, modifications and restrictions set forth therein as the Planning Board may deem necessary to ensure that the proposed development achieves consistency with the guidelines for review established in this section.
F. 
Guarantee. The applicant shall post a performance bond for 100% cost of all improvements of a form approved by the Planning Board or Landscape Review Committee, as applicable, which shall be maintained for a period of two years after the completion of all required improvements pursuant to the approved landscape plan. Should any of the plantings or improvements fail during this time period, the plantings and/or improvements shall be replaced by the developer.
[Added 9-10-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-15]
A. 
Purpose. This section authorizes unified development review for any development in a B-3 zone. The Board may review and approve dimensional variances, use variances and/or special use permits for properties undergoing review as a land development or a subdivision.
B. 
Adoption of regulations and rules. In accordance with R.I.G.L. § 45-24-46.4 the planner shall draft, and the Board shall adopt regulations which implement unified development review.
C. 
Eligibility and relief. Any person, group, agency, or corporation that files an application for a land development project or a subdivision project in a B-3 zone may also file requests for relief from the literal requirements of a zoning ordinance on the subject property, pursuant to R.I.G.L. § 45-24-41, and/or for the issuance of special-use permits for the subject property, pursuant to R.I.G.L. § 45-24-42, by including such within the application to the administrative officer of the Board with the other required application materials, pursuant to R.I.G.L. § 45-23-50.1(b).