Zoning Board of Review

  1. Jamie Gorman

    Building Official & Zoning Enforcement
    Phone: (401) 789-9331 x1228

  1. Jessica Spence

    Administrative Support Associate
    Phone: (401) 789-9331 x1225

Zoning Board Member Needed Immediately

The Town Council is seeking residents who wish to be considered for appointment to fill an existing vacancy on the Zoning Board of Review.  This board has the power to hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or refusal of approval made by the Building Inspector in the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance; grant special exceptions as authorized; grant variances as authorized. Click here for an application and for more information about appointment to Town boards and commissions.

Current Zoning Board of Review Members

Robert Cagnetta, Chairman

Thomas Daniels, Vice-Chair

Richard Jurczak, Member

William Rosen, Member

Casey Charkowick, Member

Susan Walsh, Alt. #1

Vacancy, Alt. #2

The Zoning Board of Review holds the authority to grant special use permits and Variances from the Zoning Ordinance; and is committed to providing a fair and impartial hearing on all applications, in a timely manner. In addition the Zoning Board of Review is charged with hearing and considering the appeal of decisions made by the Planning Board, The Historic District Commission, and the Zoning Enforcement Officer;

The duties performed by the Zoning Board of Review include, but are not limited to:

  • Have authority to grant Variances from the Zoning Ordinance
  • Have authority to grant Special Use & Use Permits
  • Hear and consider the appeal of decisions made by the Planning Board, The Historic District Commission, and the Zoning Enforcement Officer

Criteria for Granting of a Variance or a Special Use Permit:  Section 907 Standards for Relief


Standards for relief.

1.

Variance. In granting a variance, the board shall require that evidence satisfying the following standards be entered into the record of the proceedings:

(a)

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 not due to a physical or economic disability of the applicant, except where necessary to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with physical disabilities addressed in the Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act, the United States Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA), the Rhode Island Civil Rights of Individuals with Handicaps Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA);

(b)

That said 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;

(c)

That the granting of the requested variance will not alter the general characteristic of the surrounding area or impair the intent or purpose of this zoning ordinance or the comprehensive plan of the town;

(d)

That the relief to be granted is the least relief necessary;

(e)

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 the zoning ordinance. Nonconforming use of neighboring land or structures in the same district and permitted use of land or structures in an adjacent district shall not be considered grounds for granting a use variance; and

(f)

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.

2.

Special use permit. In granting a special use permit, the board shall require that evidence to the satisfaction of the following standards be entered into the record of the proceedings:

(a)

That the special use is specifically authorized by this ordinance, and setting forth the exact subsection of this ordinance containing the jurisdictional authorization;

(b)

That the special use meets all of the criteria set forth in the subsection of this ordinance authorizing such special use; and

(c)

That the granting of the special use permit will not alter the general character of the surrounding area or impair the intent or purpose of this ordinance or the comprehensive plan of the town. In so doing, the board shall consider, whether or not satisfactory provisions and arrangements have been or will be made concerning, but not limited to, the following matters, where applicable:

(1)

Ingress and egress to the lot and to existing or proposed structures thereon with particular reference to automotive and pedestrian safety and convenience, traffic flow and control, and access in case of fire, emergency or catastrophe;

(2)

Off-street parking and loading areas where required, with particular attention to the items in subsection A.1., above, and the noise, glare or odor effects of the special use permit on adjoining lots;

(3)

Trash, storage and delivery areas with a particular reference to the items in (1) and (2) above;

(4)

Utilities, with reference to locations, availability and compatibility;

(5)

Screening and buffering with reference to type, dimensions and character;

(6)

Signs, if any, and exterior lighting with reference to glare, traffic safety, and compatibility and harmony with lots in the zoning district;

(7)

Required yards and other open space;

(8)

General compatibility with lots in the same or abutting zoning districts.