For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare, the Johnston Town Council shall have the power, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and subject to R.I.G.L. § 45-24-50, to adopt, amend, or repeal, and to provide for the administration, interpretation, and enforcement of this chapter, all such actions to be consistent with and to provide for the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.
The Johnston Town Clerk shall receive all proposals for adoption, amendment, or repeal of this chapter and/or the Zoning Map(s). Such application shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $400, per Resolution No. 174, payable to the Town of Johnston. The filing fee shall be waived for any application submitted on behalf of any Town agency.
Immediately upon receipt of the proposal, the Town Clerk shall refer the proposal to the Town Council and to the Johnston Planning Board for study and recommendation. The Planning Board shall, in turn, notify and seek the advice of the Town Planner and shall report to the Town Council within 45 days after receipt of the proposal, giving its findings and recommendations as prescribed in § 340-111 of this article.
Where a proposal for adoption, amendment, or repeal of this chapter or the Zoning Map is made by the Johnston Planning Board, the requirements for study by the Planning Board may be waived, provided that the proposal by the Planning Board includes its findings and recommendations pursuant to § 340-111 of this article.
The Johnston Town Council shall hold a public hearing within 65 days of receipt of a proposal, giving proper notice as prescribed in § 340-112.
The Town Council shall render a decision on any proposal within 45 days after the date of completion of the public hearing. The provisions of this section pertaining to deadlines shall not be construed to apply to any extension consented to by an applicant.
Among its findings and recommendations to the Town Council with respect to a proposal for adoption, amendment, or repeal of this chapter or the Zoning Map, the Planning Board shall:
Include a statement on the general consistency of the proposal with the Johnston Comprehensive Plan, including the goals and policies, and the implementation program, and all other applicable elements of the Comprehensive Plan; and
This chapter shall not be adopted, repealed, or amended until after a public hearing has been held upon the question before the Johnston Town Council. The Town Council shall first give notice of the public hearing by publication of notice in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town at least once each week for three successive weeks prior to the date of the hearing, which may include the week in which the hearing is to be held, at which hearing opportunity shall be given to all persons interested to be heard upon the matter of the proposed ordinance.
Written notice, which may be a copy of the newspaper notice, shall be mailed to the Associate Director of the Division of Planning of the Rhode Island Department of Administration, and, where applicable, to the parties specified in Subsections C through F of this section, at least two weeks prior to the hearing. The newspaper notice shall be published as a display advertisement, using a type size at least as large as the normal type size used by the newspaper in its news articles, and shall:
Specify the place of the hearing and the date and time of its commencement;
Indicate that adoption, amendment, or repeal of the chapter is under consideration;
Contain a statement of the proposed amendments to the chapter that may be printed once in its entirety, or summarize and describe the matter under consideration;
Advise those interested where and when a copy of the matter under consideration may be obtained or examined and copied; and
State that the proposals shown thereon may be altered or amended prior to the close of the public hearing without further advertising, as a result of further study or because of the views expressed at the public hearing. Any alteration or amendment must be presented for comment in the course of the hearing.
Where a proposed amendment to the existing chapter includes a specific change in the Zoning District Map, but does not affect districts generally, public notice shall be given as required by Subsections A and B of this section, with the additional requirements that:
Notice shall include a map showing the existing and proposed boundaries, zoning district boundaries, and existing streets and roads and their names, and Town boundaries where appropriate; and
Written notice of the date, time, and place of the public hearing and the nature and purpose thereof shall be sent to all owners of real property whose property is located in or within not less than 200 feet of the perimeter of the area proposed for change, whether within the Town of Johnston or within an adjacent city or town. The notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the owners, as shown on the current real estate tax assessment records of the Town of Johnston or an adjacent city or town. Per Town Council Ordinance No. 931, if at least eight different abutters do not fall within the two-hundred-foot radius for notification to abutters, the radius for such notification shall be increased to 500 feet. This requirement is to provide for a meaningful public hearing, and to protect the rights of nearby landowners in areas of the Town that are sparsely developed.
Notice of a public hearing shall be sent by first class mail to the city or town council of any city or town to which one or more of the following pertain:
Which is located in or within not less than 200 feet of the boundary of the area proposed for change; or
Where there is a public or quasi-public water source, or private water source that is used or is suitable for use as a public water source, within 2,000 feet of any real property that is the subject of a proposed zoning change, regardless of municipal boundaries.
Notice of a public hearing shall be sent to the governing body of any state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company that has riparian rights to a surface water resource and/or surface watershed that is used or is suitable for use as a public water source and that is within 2,000 feet of any real property which is the subject of a proposed zoning change, provided, however, that the governing body of any state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company has filed with the Building Inspector a map survey, which shall be kept as a public record, showing areas of surface water resources and/or watersheds and parcels of land within 2,000 feet thereof.
No defect in the form of any notice under this § 340-112 shall render any ordinance or amendment invalid, unless the defect is found to be intentional or misleading.
In granting a zoning ordinance amendment, notwithstanding the provisions of R.I.G.L. § 45-24-37, the Town Council may limit the change to one of the permitted uses in the zone to which the subject land is rezoned, and impose such limitations, conditions, and restrictions, including, without limitation:
Requiring the petitioner to obtain a permit or approval from any and all state or local governmental agencies or instrumentalities having jurisdiction over the land and use which are the subject of the zoning change;
Those relating to the effectiveness or continued effectiveness of the zoning change; and/or
Those relating to the use of the land; as it deems necessary.
The Town Clerk shall cause the limitations and conditions so imposed to be clearly noted on the Johnston Zoning Map and recorded in the land evidence records, provided, however, in the case of a conditional zone change, the limitations, restrictions, and conditions shall not be noted on the Zoning Map until the zone change has become effective. If the permitted use for which the land has been rezoned is abandoned or if the land is not used for the requested purpose for a period of two years or more after the zone change becomes effective, the Town Council may, after a public hearing as hereinbefore set forth, change the land to its original zoning use before the petition was filed. If any limitation, condition, or restriction in an ordinance is held to be invalid by a court in any action, that holding shall not cause the remainder of the ordinance to be invalid.
The above requirements are to be construed as minimum requirements.
Where the Town Council, in the case of an amendment, or the Zoning Board, in the case of a special use permit or variance, denies an application or grants the applicant leave to withdraw the same, the Town Council or the Zoning Board may not consider another application request for the same amendment, special use permit or variance for a period of two years from the date of such denial or withdrawal, per Ordinance No. 772.
The Town Council or the Zoning Board, as the case may be, may accept such an application after one year, per Ordinance No. 772, provided that the application is accompanied by an affidavit setting forth facts, to the satisfaction of said Town Council or Zoning Board, showing a substantial change of circumstances justifying a rehearing.