Town of Barrington, RI
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Barrington 2-9-1953 and 10-25-1965 (Ch. II, Secs. 3 and 5, of Title Seven of the 1965 Code); amended in its entirety 1-17-1983. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
RHODE ISLAND GENERAL LAWS (AS AMENDED)
Excavation near underground utility facilities — See § 39-1.2-1 et seq.
Excavation of coastal wetlands — See § 2-1-21.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning Board of Review — See Ch. 2 of Title 12 of the Charter.
Building construction — See Ch. 73.
Zoning — See Ch. 185.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 200.
Fee and Fine Schedule — See Ch. A225.

§ 99-1 Permit required.

Except as hereinafter specifically provided, no land not in public use shall be filled with any soil, loam, sand or gravel nor shall any soil, loam, sand or gravel be removed from any such land within the Town of Barrington nor shall any person engage in any construction or other development lying wholly or partly in any special flood hazard area unless such filling, removal, construction or other development is authorized by a permit issued in accordance with § 99-3 hereof.

§ 99-2 Definitions.

In addition to definitions otherwise herein set forth, any reference herein contained to the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION
The same meaning as given to that term in the regulations adopted by the Federal Insurance Administration as modified from time to time.
CONSTRUCTION OR OTHER DEVELOPMENT
Any action, exclusive of those which require the issuance of a building permit under the Rhode Island State Building Code[1] or those with respect to a final subdivision plat approved by the Barrington Planning Board, which is located landward of the reach of mean high tide, including but not limited to the following:
A. 
Construction or placement of facilities or improvements not normally requiring a building permit, such as fences, sheds, animal shelters, tanks, paved areas, retaining walls, drainage structures and similar items.
B. 
Any earth, gravel or mineral removal or extraction or alteration of topography by filling, grading or cutting in special flood hazard areas, irrespective of whether the same constitutes filling or removal as referred to in § 99-1 hereof.
C. 
The storage of bulk materials outside of a structure.
A. 
The addition of soil, loam, sand or gravel to land not in public use; and
B. 
The taking or extraction of soil, loam, sand or gravel from land not in public use, except that "filling" or "removal" shall not include the filling with or removal of any material for purposes of excavating and grading for foundations, wells, sanitary facilities, roads or underground services; the grading or filling of any lot in connection with any construction thereon authorized by a building permit theretofore issued by the Building Inspector; the removal of topsoil and depositing of loam for the purpose of seeding of grass or planting of trees and shrubs, provided that such seeding or planting shall take place within ninety (90) days of such removal or filling; the removal of topsoil or filling for farming purposes or for the purposes of cultivating vegetable and flower gardens; or the filling or removal from any area of less than three hundred (300) square feet within the boundaries of any lot.
LAND NOT IN PUBLIC USE
All land owned by any person, corporation or other entity other than the Town of Barrington, the State of Rhode Island or the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or as to which the filling or removal of soil, loam, sand or gravel is not for the use by said, town, state or United States of America.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA
Those areas identified as Zones A-1 to A-30 and V-1 to V-30 on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), as amended, on file at the office of the Building Inspector. Said maps and the accompanying Flood Insurance Study are hereby made a part of this section of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 73, Building Construction.

§ 99-3 Application information.

A. 
The permit required by § 99-1 shall not be issued until an application therefor is made to the Building Inspector. Such application shall include:
(1) 
The Tax Assessor's plat and lot number as to the location of such filling, removal or excavation.
(2) 
The purpose for which such filling, removal or excavation is being made.
(3) 
The quantities involved.
(4) 
The proposed plan for grading or planting or any alternative proposal of the same nature.
(5) 
Whether the applicant has made application for and/or secured all necessary permits required under any other state law or ordinance.
(6) 
Such other pertinent information as may be requested by the Building Inspector.
B. 
Such application shall be in a form authorized by the Town Council and accompanied by a fee established therefor by the Town Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A225, Fee and Fine Schedule.
C. 
In any case of an application for authorization to engage in any construction or other development in any special flood hazard area, the application shall also be accompanied by data showing the minimum and maximum elevation of the proposed site above mean sea level and the elevation above mean sea level of the flood level which is estimated to occur at a frequency of one hundred (100) years from the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). If the FIRM does not provide such an elevation, the application shall show an estimate of said elevation. Such application shall also include data showing the base flood elevation specified for the special flood hazard area, together with a description of the proposed construction or other development.

§ 99-4 Grant or denial of permit.

A. 
In connection with the application for a permit for filling or removal of soil, loam, sand or gravel, the Building Inspector may approve or reject any application filed pursuant to § 99-3 hereof in whole or in part and, in so acting, shall take into account public health, safety and welfare, including the possibility of dust, noise, unsightly waste, soil erosion and protection of property values, together with such other factors as he shall deem appropriate. The Building Inspector may require the applicant, as a condition to the grant of any such application, to grade the edges of the area for which the permit is sought to meet existing ground conditions and to seed and maintain such area until well established or, in lieu thereof or in addition thereto, to take such other action or to meet such other conditions as he shall deem appropriate to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
B. 
In addition to Subsection A above, where application is made for a permit for construction or other development in a special flood hazard area, the Building Inspector shall grant no permit under this chapter if said construction or other development will result in:
(1) 
The alteration of a watercourse in a manner which will result in any decrease in the carrying capacity of the watercourse or in any increase in the base flood elevation at any location within the Town of Barrington.
[Amended 4-5-1993 by Ord. No. 93-12]
(2) 
Encroachment upon a watercourse or any increase in the potential flood level; provided, however, that where the Building Inspector determines that such action may result in an increase in the potential flood level, he may require appropriate measures to offset the potential increase.
(3) 
The outdoor storage of materials or equipment in any special flood hazard area where such storage is likely to cause damage to property, create a potential obstruction to floodwaters, create a potential fire hazard or pollute the waters during flood periods. Such materials or equipment shall include but not necessarily be limited to lumber and other buoyant materials, water soluble materials, volatile or flammable materials, acids or poisons.
(4) 
Any alteration of a sand dune which would increase potential flood hazard.
C. 
In addition to Subsection B above, the Building Inspector shall grant no permit for construction or other development in any special flood hazard area unless:
(1) 
Provision shall be made for anchoring facilities, equipment and yard features which are capable of movement or flotation in floodwaters. Such items shall include but shall not necessarily be limited to fences, planters, sheds, animal shelters, tanks, storage boxes, vehicles, boats and other items normally positioned or stored on a site outside of a structure.
(2) 
Adequate drainage shall be provided so as to reduce or minimize the exposure of the site or any other land to flood hazards.
D. 
The filling or excavation of land may be permitted in Zones A-1 to A-30 and V-1 to V-30 only under the following conditions:
(1) 
Said action shall not encroach upon a watercourse as prescribed in Subsection B(2) above.
(2) 
Said filling or excavation shall not increase the potential flood level.
(3) 
Where it is determined by the Building Inspector that said action will raise the potential flood level, said action shall be offset by the removal of an equivalent amount of material to eliminate the potential rise in flood level.
E. 
The Building Inspector shall grant no permit under this chapter which shall be contrary to applicable state law or zoning, platting or other laws or ordinances or regulations[1] or where the applicant has not given evidence of receipt of all necessary permits and approvals from all governmental agencies for which approval is required by federal or state law or local ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 185, Zoning, and Ch. 200, Subdivision of Land.

§ 99-5 Appeals and variances.

A. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Building Inspector in granting or denying any permit may appeal such grant or denial to or may request a variance from the Zoning Board of Review within ten (10) days of the date thereof.
(2) 
Such appeal or request for a variance shall be accompanied by a statement of the basis of such appeal, and a list of the names and addresses of all the persons owning property within two hundred (200) feet of the boundary line of the lot or lots for which application was made to the Building Inspector, together with the fee established therefor by the Town Council. All such appeals or requests for variance shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
(3) 
The Zoning Board of Review shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or request for variance. The Town Clerk shall give written notice by ordinary mail of the time and place of the public hearing on such application, and the nature or purpose thereof, to all owners of real property listed by the applicant at least seven (7) days before the date of the hearing and by publication of a notice in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town of Barrington, one (1) time, not less than five (5) days prior to the date of such hearing. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.
B. 
Powers of Zoning Board of Review. In the case of an appeal from a grant or denial of a permit for filling with or removal of soil, loam, sand or gravel or for development in any special flood hazard area, the Zoning Board of Review shall have the power to hear and decide any such appeal where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Building Inspector in the grant or denial of any application for permit or in the enforcement of this chapter. In exercising said power, the Zoning Board of Review may reverse or affirm wholly or partly or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made and to that end shall have all the powers of the Building Inspector. All decisions of the Zoning Board of Review shall be by majority vote. The applicant and any person formally intervening in any such proceeding shall be notified of the decision of the Zoning Board of Review as soon as practicable.
C. 
Grant of variance.
(1) 
Where strict application of the requirements of those sections dealing with special flood hazard areas would create an extreme hardship, the Zoning Board of Review, in accordance with the procedures outlined in this § 99-5, may grant a variance from the application of provisions in this chapter. In granting such variance, the Board shall grant the least variance required to reduce such hardship and further shall:
(a) 
Make a written decision containing findings that strict compliance with said provisions would result in extreme hardship which is confiscatory in extent and would prevent any reasonable or economic use of the land or structure.
(b) 
Describe in its decision the exact extent of the variance granted.
(c) 
Indicate in its decision that the grant of said variance may affect the flood insurance rates as they apply to the subject property and, further, that construction or other development below the base flood elevation may increase risk to life and property.
(d) 
Forward a copy of its written decision to the applicant, the Building Inspector and the Rhode Island Office of State Planning and, further, include a report of such a variance in the annual town report to the Federal Insurance Administration.
(2) 
No variance may be granted by the Zoning Board of Review which will result in any increase in flood levels on the subject property or at any other location.

§ 99-6 Permit revocation; appeals.

Any person or persons who, after receiving a permit in accordance with this chapter, violates the conditions set forth in said permit shall be subject to having such permit revoked by the Building Inspector. Any person or persons aggrieved by any such revocation may appeal to the Zoning Board of Review in accordance with, and all such appeals shall be governed by, the provisions of § 99-5 hereof.

§ 99-7 Effect on other ordinances.

The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to, and not in substitution of, the provisions of any other town, state or federal law, ordinance or regulation.

§ 99-8 Violations and penalties.

Any person or persons found guilty of violating this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.) for each day such person or persons shall be in violation hereof.