Town of Coventry, RI
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Coventry as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-12-1991 by Ord. No. 9-91-0181 as Ch. 1, §§ 1-2 and 1-6, of the 1991 Code]

§ 1-1 Definitions and rules of construction.

In the construction of this Code and of all ordinances hereafter enacted, the following interpretations shall be placed on the words and phrases hereinafter mentioned, unless such construction or interpretation would be manifestly inconsistent with the evident intent of the Town Council or repugnant to the context or to the evident purport of any ordinance.
A. 
Definitions. As used in this Code, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHARTER
The Charter of the Town of Coventry, as adopted on November 7, 1972, and as subsequently amended or replaced and which is printed in Part I of this volume.
CODE
The Code of Ordinances of the Town of Coventry as designated in Article II of this chapter.
CORPORATE LIMITS, CORPORATION LIMITS or TOWN LIMITS
The legal boundary of the Town of Coventry.
COUNCIL or TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council of the Town of Coventry.
COUNTY
The County of Kent in the State of Rhode Island.
KEEPER or PROPRIETOR
Includes persons, firms, associations, corporations, clubs and partnerships, whether acting by themselves or through a servant, agent or employee.
MONTH
A calendar month.
OATH
Includes an affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the words "swear" and "sworn" shall be equivalent to the words "affirm" and "affirmed."
OWNER
Applied to a building or land, includes any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, tenant in partnership, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
PERSON
Includes a corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization, club, society, body corporate or politic, or any other group acting as a unit, as well as a natural person.
PERSONAL PROPERTY
Includes every species of property except real property.
PRECEDING and FOLLOWING
Next before and next after, respectively.
PREMISES
Place or places.
PRESIDENT
The President of the Town Council.
PROPERTY
Includes real and personal property.
PUBLIC PLACE
Includes, without limitation, any park, cemetery, schoolyard or open space adjacent thereto, and all beaches, canals or other waterways, and any public street or way.
REAL PROPERTY
Includes lands, tenements and hereditaments and rights thereto and interests therein.
SIGNATURE or SUBSCRIPTION
The signature or subscription of a person shall include a mark when the person cannot write.
STATE
The State of Rhode Island.
STREETS, HIGHWAYS and WAYS
Includes public boulevards, avenues, courts, lanes, alleys, squares, drives, roads, corners and sidewalks.
TENANT or OCCUPANT
Applied to a building or land, includes any person holding a written or oral lease of or who occupies the whole or a part of such building or land, either alone or with others.
TOWN
The Town of Coventry in the County of Kent and the State of Rhode Island.
WEEK
Seven days.
WRITTEN or IN WRITING
Includes any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing or otherwise.
YEAR
A calendar year.
B. 
Rules of construction.
(1) 
Computation of time. The time in which an act is to be done shall be computed by excluding the first and including the last day, except that, when the last day falls on a Sunday or a legal holiday, the act may be done on the next succeeding day which is not a Sunday or a legal holiday. When a public office in which an act is to be performed is closed to the public for the entire day which constitutes the last day for doing such act, or before its usual closing time on such day, then such act may be performed on the next succeeding day which is not a Sunday or legal holiday.
(2) 
Delegation of authority. Whenever a provision appears requiring the head of a department or other officer of the Town to do some act or to make certain inspections, it is to be construed to authorize the head of the department or other officer of the Town, as the case may be, to designate, delegate and authorize subordinates to perform the required act or make the required inspection unless the terms of the provision or section designated otherwise.
(3) 
Gender. A word importing the masculine gender only shall extend and be applied to females and to firms, partnerships and corporations, as well as to males.
(4) 
Interpretation. In the interpretation and application of any provision of this Code, it shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare. Where any provision of the Code imposes greater restrictions upon the subject matter than the general provisions imposed by the Code, the provision imposing the greater restriction or regulation shall be deemed to be controlling.
(5) 
Joint authority. All words giving a joint authority to three or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers.
(6) 
Name of officer. Whenever the name of an officer is given, it shall be construed as though the words "of the Town of Coventry" were added.
(7) 
Nontechnical and technical words. Words and phrases shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language, but technical words and phrases and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be construed and understood according to such meaning.
(8) 
Number. A word importing the singular number only may extend and be applied to several persons and things as well as to one person and thing.
(9) 
Or; and. "Or" may be read "and," and "and" may be read "or," if the sense requires it.
(10) 
Tense. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.

§ 1-2 General penalty; continuing violations.

A. 
Whenever in this Code or in any ordinance or resolution of the Town any act is prohibited or is made or declared to be unlawful or a misdemeanor or an offense, or whenever in such Code, ordinance or resolution the doing of any act is required or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful or a misdemeanor or an offense, where no specific penalty is provided therefor, the violation of any such provision of this Code or any such ordinance or resolution shall be punished by fine of not less than $1 nor more than $500, or by imprisonment of not less than one day nor more than 30 days and/or require restitution in cases involving property damage or personal injury in an amount up to $2,500 and/or for voluntary community service for a Town agency for not more than 10 days for any one offense, unless other penalties therefor, or penalties within other limits, are specifically prescribed by statute, to be prosecuted by some office appointed for that purpose, and to be recovered to the use of the Town, or of such person or persons, and in such proportions, as such ordinances or regulations shall designate. Each day any violation of this Code or of any such ordinance or resolution shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 03-09-273]
B. 
In addition to the penalty provided in Subsection A of this section, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this Code or any ordinance shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be abated by the Town as provided by law, and each day that such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense.
C. 
In all cases where the same offense may be made punishable, or shall be created by different clauses or sections of the ordinances of the Town, the Town Solicitor may elect under which to proceed; but not more than one recovery shall be had against the same person for the same offense.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 03-09-273]

§ 1-3 Approval, adoption and enactment of Code.

The codification of a complete body of legislation for the Town of Coventry, County of Kent, State of Rhode Island, as revised, codified and consolidated into chapters, articles and sections by General Code, LLC, and consisting of Chapters 1 through 255, together with an Appendix, is hereby approved, adopted, ordained and enacted as a single ordinance of the Town of Coventry, which shall be known and is hereby designated as the "Code of the Town of Coventry," hereinafter referred to as the "Code."

§ 1-4 Effect of Code on previous provisions.

The provisions of this Code, insofar as they are substantively the same as those of the prior 1991 Code, ordinances and resolutions in force immediately prior to the enactment of this ordinance, are intended as a continuation of such ordinances and resolutions and not as new enactments, and the effectiveness of such provisions shall date from the date of adoption of the prior ordinance or resolution. All such provisions are hereby continued in full force and effect and are hereby reaffirmed as to their adoption by the Town Council of the Town of Coventry, and it is the intention of said Town Council that each such provision contained within the Code is hereby reenacted and reaffirmed as it appears in said Code. Only such provisions of former ordinances as are omitted from this Code shall be deemed repealed or abrogated by the provisions of § 1-5 below, and only changed provisions, as described in § 1-8 below, shall be deemed to be enacted from the effective date of this Code, as provided in § 1-17 below.

§ 1-5 Repeal of ordinances not contained in Code.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances of a general and permanent nature adopted by the Town of Coventry and in force on the date of the adoption of this Code and not contained in the Code are hereby repealed as of the effective date given in § 1-17 below, except as hereinafter provided.

§ 1-6 Ordinances saved from repeal; matters not affected by repeal.

The adoption of this Code and the repeal of ordinances provided for in § 1-5 of this ordinance shall not affect the following ordinances, rights and obligations, which are hereby expressly saved from repeal; provided, however, that the repeal of ordinances pursuant to § 1-5 or the saving from repeal of ordinances pursuant to this section shall not be construed so as to revive any ordinance previously repealed, superseded or no longer of any effect:
A. 
Any ordinance adopted subsequent to December 31, 2007.
B. 
Any right or liability established, accrued or incurred under any legislative provision of the Town prior to the effective date of this ordinance or any action or proceeding brought for the enforcement of such right or liability or any cause of action acquired or existing.
C. 
Any offense or act committed or done before the effective date of this ordinance in violation of any legislative provision of the Town or any penalty, punishment or forfeiture which may result therefrom.
D. 
Any prosecution, indictment, action, suit or other proceeding pending or any judgment rendered prior to the effective date of this ordinance, brought pursuant to any legislative provision of the Town.
E. 
Any franchise, license, right, easement or privilege heretofore granted or conferred by the Town or any lawful contract, obligation or agreement.
F. 
Any ordinance appropriating money or transferring funds, promising or guaranteeing the payment of money or authorizing the issuance and delivery of any bond of the Town or other instruments or evidence of the Town's indebtedness.
G. 
Any ordinance adopting an annual budget or establishing an annual tax rate.
H. 
Any ordinance providing for the levy, imposition or collection of special taxes, assessments or charges.
I. 
Any ordinance authorizing the purchase, sale, lease or transfer of property or acquiring property by acceptance of deed, condemnation or exercise of eminent domain.
J. 
Any ordinance annexing land to the Town.
K. 
Any ordinance providing for or requiring the construction or reconstruction or opening of sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
L. 
Any ordinance or part of an ordinance providing for laying out, opening, altering, widening, relocating, straightening, establishing grade, changing name, improvement, acceptance or vacation of any right-of-way, easement, street, road, highway, sidewalk, park or other public place or property or designating various streets as public highways.
M. 
Any ordinance establishing water, sewer or other special purpose districts and designating the boundaries thereof; providing for a system of sewers or water supply lines; or providing for the construction, extension, dedication, acceptance or abandonment of any part of a system of sewers or water supply lines.
N. 
Any ordinance providing for the making of public improvements.
O. 
Any ordinance providing for the salaries and compensation of officers and employees of the Town or setting the bond of any officer or employee.
P. 
The Zoning Regulations and any ordinance concerning changes and amendments to the regulations and/or the Zoning Map.
Q. 
Any ordinance relating to or establishing a pension plan or pension fund for municipal employees.
R. 
Any ordinance or portion of an ordinance establishing a specific fee amount for any license, permit or service obtained from the Town.
S. 
The Subdivision Regulations and any amendments thereto.

§ 1-7 Inclusion of new legislation prior to adoption of Code.

All ordinances of a general and permanent nature adopted subsequent to the date given in § 1-6A and/or prior to the date of adoption of this ordinance are hereby deemed to be a part of the Code and shall, upon being printed, be included therein. Attested copies of all such ordinances shall be temporarily placed in the Code until printed supplements are included.

§ 1-8 Changes and revisions in previously adopted ordinances.

A. 
Nonsubstantive grammatical changes. In compiling and preparing the ordinances and resolutions of the Town for adoption and revision as part of the Code, certain nonsubstantive grammatical and style changes were made in one or more of said ordinances. It is the intention of the Town Council that all such changes be adopted as part of the Code as if the ordinances and resolutions so changed had been previously formally amended to read as such.
B. 
Substantive changes and revisions. In addition to the changes and revisions described above, changes and revisions of a substantive nature, as set forth in Schedule A attached hereto and made a part hereof, are hereby made to various ordinances and resolutions included in the Code.[1] These changes are enacted to bring provisions into conformity with the desired policies of the Town Council, and it is the intent of the Town Council that all such changes be adopted as part of the Code as if the ordinances and resolutions so changed had been previously formally amended to read as such. All such changes and revisions shall be deemed to be in effect as of the effective date of the Code specified in § 1-17.
[1]
Editor's Note: In accordance with § 1-8B, the chapters, parts and sections which were added, amended, adopted or deleted by this ordinance are indicated throughout the Code by a footnote referring to Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II. During routine supplementation, footnotes indicating amendments, additions or deletions will be replaced with the following history: "Amended (added, deleted) 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 03-09-273." Schedule A, which contains a complete description of all changes, is on file in the Town offices.

§ 1-9 Interpretation of provisions.

In interpreting and applying the provisions of the Code, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare. Where the provisions of the Code impose greater restrictions or requirements than those of any statute, other ordinance, resolution or regulation, the provisions of the Code shall control. Where the provisions of any statute, other ordinance, resolution or regulation impose greater restrictions or requirements, the provisions of such statute, other ordinance, resolution or regulation shall control.

§ 1-10 Titles and headings; editor's notes.

A. 
Chapter and article titles, headings and titles of sections and other divisions in the Code or in supplements made to the Code are inserted in the Code and may be inserted in supplements to the Code for the convenience of persons using the Code and are not part of the legislation.
B. 
Editor's notes indicating sources of sections, giving other information or referring to the statutes or to other parts of the Code are inserted in the Code and may be inserted in supplements to the Code for the convenience of persons using the Code and are not part of the legislation.

§ 1-11 Filing of copies of Code.

At least one copy of the Code in a post-bound volume shall be filed with the Ordinance Book in the office of the Town Clerk and shall remain there for use and examination by the public. Upon adoption, such copy shall be certified to by the Town Clerk, as provided by law, and such certified copy shall remain on file in the office of the Town Clerk, available to persons desiring to examine the same during all times while said Code is in effect.

§ 1-12 Amendments to Code.

Any and all additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to the Code, when passed and adopted in such form as to indicate the intention of the Town Council to be a part thereof, shall be deemed to be incorporated into such Code so that reference to the Code shall be understood and intended to include such changes. Whenever such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to the Code shall be adopted, they shall thereafter be printed and, as provided hereunder, inserted in the post-bound book containing said Code as amendments and supplements thereto.

§ 1-13 Code books to be kept up-to-date.

It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk or someone authorized and directed by him or her to keep up-to-date the certified copy of the book containing the Code required to be filed in the office of the Town Clerk for the use of the public. All changes in said Code and all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Town Council subsequent to the effective date of this codification which the Town Council shall adopt specifically as part of the Code shall, when finally adopted, be included therein by reference until such changes or new ordinances or resolutions are printed as supplements to said Code books, at which time such supplements shall be inserted therein.

§ 1-14 Publication of notices.

The Town Clerk, pursuant to law, shall cause to be published in the manner required a notice of the introduction and of the adoption of the Code in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. The enactment and application of this ordinance, coupled with the publication of the notices of introduction and adoption, as required by law, and the availability of at least one copy of the Code for inspection by the public, shall be deemed, held and considered to be due and legal publication of all provisions of the Code for all purposes.

§ 1-15 Altering or tampering with Code; penalties for violation.

It shall be unlawful for anyone to improperly change or amend, by additions or deletions, or to alter or tamper with the Code or any part or portion thereof, in any manner whatsoever, which will cause the law of the Town to be misrepresented thereby. Anyone violating this section of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine as set forth in the general penalty applicable to this Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. I, Interpretation and Enforcement, § 1-2, of this chapter.

§ 1-16 Severability.

The provisions of this ordinance and of the Code adopted hereby are severable, and if any clause, sentence, subsection, section, article, chapter or part thereof shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment or decision shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation and application to the clause, sentence, subsection, section, article, chapter or part thereof rendered illegal, invalid or unconstitutional. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Town Council that this ordinance and the Code would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional clause, sentence, subsection, section, article, chapter or part thereof had not been included therein.

§ 1-17 Effective date.

All provisions of this ordinance and of the Code shall be in force and effect on and after March 23, 2009.