Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 11-12-1996 by Ord. No. 981]
A. 
An application for relief from the literal requirements of this chapter because of hardship may be made by any person, group, agency, or corporation by filing with the Zoning Enforcement Officer an application describing the request and supported by such data and evidence as may be required by the Johnston Zoning Board. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall immediately transmit each application received to the Zoning Board and shall transmit a copy of each application to the Town Planner and the Planning Board.
B. 
In granting a variance, the Zoning Board shall require that evidence of the satisfaction of the following standards be entered into the record of the proceedings:
(1) 
That the hardship from which the applicant seeks relief is due to the unique characteristics of the subject land or structure and not to the general characteristics of the surrounding area; and is not due to a physical or economic disability of the applicant;
(2) 
That the hardship is not the result of any prior action of the applicant and does not result primarily from the desire of the applicant to realize greater financial gain;
(3) 
That the granting of the requested variance will not alter the general character of the surrounding area or impair the intent or purpose of this chapter or the Comprehensive Plan upon which this chapter is based; and
(4) 
That relief granted is the least necessary.
C. 
The Zoning Board shall, in addition to the above standards, require that evidence be entered into the record of the proceedings showing that:
(1) 
In granting a use variance the subject land or structure cannot yield any beneficial use if it is required to conform to the provisions of this chapter; nonconforming use of neighboring land or structures in the same district and permitted use of lands or structures in an adjacent district shall not be considered in granting a use variance; and
(2) 
In granting a dimensional variance, that the hardship that will be suffered by the owner of the subject property if the dimensional variance is not granted shall amount to more than a mere inconvenience, which shall mean that there is no other reasonable alternative to enjoy a legally permitted beneficial use of one's property. The fact that a use may be more profitable or that a structure may be more valuable after the relief is granted shall not be grounds for relief.
D. 
Criteria for issuance.
(1) 
The zoning official may provide for the issuance of modifications or adjustments from the literal dimensional requirements of this chapter in the instance of the construction, alteration, or structural modifications of a structure or lot of record. The zoning official shall be authorized to grant modification permits based upon the following criteria:
Zone
Allowable Variance
R-40
15% of any yard requirement
17% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
R-20
20% of any yard requirement
17% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
R-15
25% of any yard requirement
10% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
R-10
20% of any yard requirement
10% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
R-7
20% of any yard requirement
10% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
B-1
25% of any yard requirement
17% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from minimum distance of structure to R zone
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
B-2
20% of any yard requirement
16% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from minimum distance of structure to R zone
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
All I zones
20% of any yard requirement
16% of main or accessory structure maximum height
No variance from lot coverage
No variance from minimum distance of structure to R zone
No variance from setback requirements for accessory structures
(2) 
In addition:
(a) 
In no case may the front yard modification result in a front yard setback which is less than that of the adjoining or neighboring lots, if those lots have buildings.
(b) 
A modification shall not permit moving of lot lines.
(3) 
Within 10 days of receipt of a request for a modification, the zoning official shall make a decision as to the suitability of the requested modification based on the following determinations:
(a) 
The modification requested is reasonably necessary for the full enjoyment of the permitted use;
(b) 
If the modification is granted, neighboring property will neither be substantially injured nor its appropriate use substantially impaired;
(c) 
The modification requested is in harmony with the purposes and intent of the Town of Johnston Comprehensive Plan and this chapter; and
(d) 
The modification requested does not require a variance of a flood hazard requirement.
(4) 
Upon an affirmative determination, the zoning official shall notify, by registered or certified mail, all property owners abutting the property which is the subject of the modification request, and shall indicate the street address of the subject property in the notice, and shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town that the modification will be granted unless written objection is received within 30 days of the public notice.
(a) 
If written objection is received within 30 days, the request for a modification will be denied. In that case the changes requested will be considered a request for a variance and may only be issued by the Zoning Board of Review following the standard procedures for variances. In such cases, the application to the Zoning Board of Review will be considered a new application, and appropriate fees will be charged.
(b) 
If no written objections are received within 30 days, the zoning official shall grant the modification. The zoning official may apply such special conditions to the permit as may, in the opinion of the official, be required to conform to the intent and purposes of this chapter.
(5) 
The zoning official shall keep public records of all requests for modifications, and of findings, determinations, special conditions, and any objections received.
(6) 
Fees for such change requests will be determined based upon the standard Zoning Board fee schedule.
A. 
An application for the issuance of a special use permit may be made by any person, group, agency, or corporation by filing with the Zoning Enforcement Officer an application describing the request and supported by such data and evidence as may be required by the Zoning Board. The Table of Use Regulations[1] specifies the uses requiring special use permits in each district. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall immediately transmit each application received to the Zoning Board and shall transmit a copy of each application to the Town Planner and the Planning Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
In granting a special use permit, the Zoning Board shall require that evidence of the satisfaction of the following criteria be entered into the record of the proceedings:
(1) 
That granting of the special use permit will be compatible with the neighboring uses and will not adversely effect the surrounding neighbors' use and enjoyment of their property;
(2) 
That granting of the special use permit will be environmentally compatible with neighboring properties and the protection of property values;
(3) 
That granting of the special use permit will be compatible with the orderly growth and development of the Town of Johnston, and will not be environmentally detrimental therewith;
(4) 
That the best practices and procedures to minimize the possibility of any adverse effects on neighboring property, the Town of Johnston, and the environment have been considered and will be employed, including but not limited to considerations of soil erosion, water supply protection, septic disposal, wetland protection, traffic limitation, safety and circulation;
(5) 
That the purposes of this chapter, and as set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, shall be served by said special use permit;
(6) 
That granting of the special use permit will substantially serve public convenience and welfare; and
(7) 
That granting of the special use permit will not result in or create conditions that will be inimical to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community.
A. 
In granting a variance, special use permit, or in making any determination upon which it is required to pass after a public hearing under the provisions of this chapter, the Zoning Board may apply such special conditions that may, in the opinion of the Board, be required to promote the intent and purposes of the Comprehensive Plan and this chapter. Failure to abide by any special conditions attached to a grant shall constitute a zoning violation.
B. 
Such special conditions shall be based on competent credible evidence on the record, be incorporated into the decision, and may include, but are not limited to, provisions for:
(1) 
Minimizing adverse impact of the development upon other land, including the type, intensity, design, and performance of activities;
(2) 
Controlling the sequence of development, including when it must be commenced and completed;
(3) 
Controlling the duration of use or development and the time within which any temporary structure must be removed;
(4) 
Assuring satisfactory installation and maintenance of required public improvements;
(5) 
Designating the exact location and nature of development; and
(6) 
Establishing detailed records by submission of drawings, maps, plats, or specifications.
[Added 6-13-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-4]
A. 
Kennels. All buildings, structures, facilities, including runways, and any portions of property which are accessible to the animals being boarded at a kennel must be located at least 1,000 feet from any and all residential structures.
A. 
Referral to the Planning Board. The Zoning Board, immediately upon receipt of an application for a special use permit for an industrial use, may request that the Planning Board and/or the Town Planner report its and/or their findings and recommendations in accordance with § 340-27, including a statement on the general consistency of the application with the goals and purposes of the Comprehensive Plan.
B. 
Zoning Board public hearing. The Zoning Board shall hold a public hearing on any application for a special use permit or variance in an expeditious manner, after receipt, in proper form, of an application, and shall give public notice thereof at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. Notice of hearing shall be sent by first class mail to the applicant, and to at least all those who would require notice under this chapter and R.I.G.L. § 45-24-53. The notice shall also include the street address of the subject property. A supplemental notice may be posted at the location in question that an application for a special use permit or variance is under consideration. The posting shall be for information purposes only and shall not constitute required notice of a public hearing. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney. The cost of all notifications and postings shall be borne by the applicant.
C. 
Records of decision. All recording of findings of fact and written decisions of the Zoning Board shall be in conformance with § 340-127.
D. 
Appeals. Any appeals may be taken pursuant to Article XVIII of this chapter.
E. 
Expiration of a special use permit or variance. A special use permit or variance shall expire one year from the date of granting by the Zoning Board, unless the applicant exercises the permission granted or receives a building permit to do so and commences construction or use and diligently prosecutes the construction or use until completed. The Johnston Zoning Board may, upon application therefor, and for cause shown, grant an extension, provided that not more than one extension for a period of six months be granted.