As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
- Is a project in which one or more lots, tracts, or parcels of land are to be developed or redeveloped as a coordinated site for a complex of uses, units, or structures, including, but not limited to, planned development and/or cluster development for residential, commercial, institutional, recreational, open space, and/or mixed uses.
The purpose of this article is to authorize the creation of land development projects, to set forth the procedures for their creation, and to outline standards for their development.
Uses in a land development project are governed by the Schedule of Zoning District Use Regulations in Article VI, § 255-600, which is based upon the underlying zoning district.
Land development projects shall adhere to the regulations for major land development projects and minor land development projects contained in the Coventry Subdivision and Land Development Regulations.
If a use is not permitted in the underlying zoning district, the applicant may apply for a special use permit or a use variance, as applicable, or obtain a zone change from the Town Council, by establishing a planned development or planned business park district, in accordance with R.I.G.L. § 45-23-61(b) as amended. The approved zone change shall be designated on the Coventry Zoning Map.
An application to the Town Council for a zone change shall include:
Eight copies of the plan required for submission to the Planning Commission for the first approval stage of the proposed project;
A copy of the Tax Assessor's plat marked to indicate the boundary of the land intended to be developed and the boundary of the balance of the tract under ownership or control by the applicant.
A proposed time schedule for the development, with an indication as to how the development will be phased.
Development of an individual site within a land development project shall adhere to the regulations for development plan review in Article XVI if the Planning Commission did not review and approve the specific components of that site during the land development project review process and the proposed use is a single use or structure.
Residential land development projects in residential zone.
The density set forth in the underlying residential zone shall serve as a guide for the maximum number of dwelling units permitted in a residential land development project (hereafter "baseline density").
The baseline density may be altered, at the discretion of the Planning Commission, if it is determined that the land development project:
Is capable of supporting a more intensive use by reason of natural characteristics of the land or existing or planned infrastructure;
Is appropriately designed and reflects the natural characteristics of the land, including its suitability based on soil characteristics, topography, and susceptibility to surface or groundwater pollution;
Will not have a significant adverse impact on existing and planned public and/or private services and facilities, including schools, transportation systems, recreational facilities, police and fire protection.
Will promote a balance of housing choices;
Will be generally compatible with the Coventry Comprehensive Community Plan;
Will be generally compatible with lots in the same or abutting zoning districts;
Will not result in conditions inimical to the public health, safety, and welfare.
This section applies to all residential land development projects, including those requiring a zone change to planned development.
Land development projects shall adhere to the regulations for major land development projects and minor land development projects contained in the Coventry Subdivision and Land Development Regulations. If there are any inconsistencies between this article and the Coventry Subdivision and Land Development Regulations, this article shall control.
Relation to transportation. Access points shall be designed to encourage smooth traffic flow with controlled turning movements and minimum hazards to vehicles and pedestrians. Merging, turnout lanes and traffic dividers shall be provided where existing or anticipated heavy flows indicate need. The applicant shall provide combined access drives to adjacent uses within the proposed development. Roadways within the development shall not be constructed so as to encourage use of local streets in adjacent residential areas. Adequate access and egress must be provided for emergency vehicles. The Town Engineer shall approve the traffic pattern.
Relation to surrounding property. Site planning shall provide protection to surrounding areas from potentially adverse impacts from within the development.
Landscaping and screening. There shall be a landscaped buffer of existing vegetation or ornamental plant material between any structure in the development and the lot line of any adjoining property in accordance with Tables 14.1 and 17-1. The general standards for landscaping can be found in Article XVII and shall apply for all land development projects. All landscape plans shall be prepared by a registered landscape architect. Earthen, structural and/or other buffering material shall be provided along the perimeter of the development where needed to supplement a landscaped buffer in order to prevent visual, audible or environmental adverse impacts. In particular, the following uses and areas within the development shall be screened from adjacent residential districts or public streets:
Height requirements. No building shall exceed three stories or 35 feet above grade level, except for rooftop mechanical, cooling, electrical, and similar equipment, all of which may be constructed and maintained above the third story of any building. All rooftop mechanical, cooling, electrical, and similar equipment shall be housed in an approved shelter or suitably screened from public view. However, buildings in a business park may be 60 feet in height, and under certain conditions, upon approval of the Planning Commission depending on the type of use, type of building, and topography of the land, may be up to 100 feet in height; accessory uses may be 30 feet in height, and under similar conditions may be up to 50 feet in height (see Table 6-3).
Roadways. Roadways in land development projects may be private or public, at the Planning Commission's discretion, and shall adhere to the standards and requirements found in the Coventry Subdivision and Land Development Regulations and the property access standards of Article XXII of this chapter.
Drainage. The Town Engineer shall review all drainage plans and calculations to ensure that no net increase of runoff shall result. The plans shall be reviewed to ensure that the drainage in the land development project will not adversely impact adjacent properties. Drainage shall be constructed according to Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management standards.
Soil erosion and sediment control. The proposed project shall conform to the Town of Coventry Code of Ordinances, Chapter 200, Soil Erosion and Sediment Control.
As-built plans. As-built plans, stamped by a registered professional engineer, shall be required to be submitted to the Town Engineer after the road and infrastructure improvements, as detailed in the approved plans have been installed. Building permits for proposed structures within the development will only be issued upon a letter of certification from the Town Engineer that the as-built plans are complete.
Front yard setbacks. Multifamily development shall provide a minimum front yard setback of 40 feet along any public or private street. No building, accessory building, parking lot or utility area shall be located in said front yard. In addition, a landscaped or natural buffer zone of 40 feet in depth shall be maintained in the front yard and may be used for access driveways or for other necessary entrance and exit facilities.
Distance between multifamily buildings on same lot. The minimum distance between two buildings or any two rows of buildings substantially parallel to each other shall be 50 feet. The minimum distance between two abutting ends of buildings in the same general plane or row shall be 40 feet.
Distance between multifamily buildings and property line. The minimum distance from side and rear property lines for any multifamily building or accessory building shall be 40 feet.
Rubbish disposal. Each multifamily building shall be provided with an enclosed waste facility of sufficient size to accommodate all trash and waste stored on the premises. The waste facility and all utility areas shall be properly screened and buffered from all buildings and property lines in accordance with Article XVII.
Walkways. Pedestrian walkways shall be provided for all multifamily dwellings to provide safe and convenient access to public and private streets, as well as amenities, facilities and compatible adjacent uses. Pedestrian walkways shall adhere to the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Dwelling unit size. No multifamily structure shall contain any dwelling unit in excess of three bedrooms. There shall be only one three-bedroom unit for every 10 units in a multifamily project.
Permitted accessory uses. Customary uses accessory to residential dwellings such as laundry and drying facilities, refuse collection, lounges, rental offices, etc., which are intended for the residents thereof, are permitted. Such uses shall not exceed 2.5% of the floor area for residential uses.
Minimum ornamental landscaped area. A minimum of 10% of the overall area dedicated to buildings, parking lots, pedestrian walkways, and other site improvements shall have ornamental landscaped treatments, in addition to the open space requirements set forth in this article.
Minimum floor area. Minimum floor area for each building shall be 2,500 square feet.
Table 14.1 shall apply to Commercial/Business Park developments.
Front yard setbacks. Structures may be located along major arterial roadways if a setback of 80 feet, measured from the right-of-way to the face of the structure, is maintained. The Planning Commission may reduce the minimum buffer requirement upon determining that a reduced buffer will adequately protect the surrounding neighborhood from noise, lighting or other public health or safety hazards and will maintain existing natural resources and aesthetic character.
Minimum open space requirements. A minimum of 40% of the total tract in a land development project shall remain as permanent open space. A maximum of 50% of the minimum permanent open space may contain land unsuitable for development as defined in the Town of Coventry Subdivision and Land Development Regulations, as amended.
Buildings or uses for noncommercial, recreational or cultural purposes may be permitted in the open space areas only after approval of building site and operational plans by the Planning Commission. Such buildings or uses shall comply with all applicable regulations specified in this chapter. Yard areas of lots in private individual ownership, land area within the right-of-way of a public or private street, and land area between walkways or sidewalks and buildings shall not be considered open space for purposes of this section.
Wetlands, as defined by state law, excluding the setback requirement, lands located in Zone A on the Federal Flood Insurance Rate maps for Coventry, and unstable soils shall not contain structures for recreational uses or be altered in any way unless appropriate approvals are received.
Ownership of Open Space. All common open space shall be either:
Conveyed to a community association owned or to be owned by the owners of lots within the development. If such a community association is utilized, ownership thereof shall pass with conveyances of the lots in perpetuity;
Conveyed to a nonprofit organization, the principal purpose of which is the conservation or preservation of open space;
Conveyed to the Town, at no cost, and be accepted for a park, open space, or other specified use or uses. Such conveyance shall be at the option of the Town and shall require the approval of the Town Council; the common open space shall, at the option of the owner, and subject to the approval of the Town Council, be thereafter maintained by the Town or by the owner, whereby an agreement is entered into regarding the maintenance thereof;
Conveyed to a properly formed management company, the principal purpose of which is the management and preservation of the recreational or open space area.
Farmland owners are not required to convey the part of their property which is to become permanent agricultural open space, provided that they convey the development rights of that open space in a conservation easement prohibiting future development of the property.
The Town Council may, upon recommendation of the Planning Commission, require the dedication of land or the construction of public facilities, including but not limited to the development of public schools, recreational facilities, road improvements and other public facilities.
Amendments to increase the size of a land development project, including but not limited to land area, number of units, or building size, shall be viewed as a new application.