[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Westerly as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-21-2020 by Ch. No. 1995]
The Charter and ordinances and certain regulations of the Town of Westerly as codified by General Code, LLC, and consisting of the Charter and Chapters 1 through 260, together with an Appendix, shall be known collectively as the "Code of the Town of Westerly," hereafter termed the "Code." Wherever reference is made in any of the ordinances and regulations contained in the Code of the Town of Westerly to any other ordinance or regulation appearing in said Code, such reference shall be changed to the appropriate chapter title, chapter number, article number or section number appearing in the Code as if such ordinance or regulation had been formally amended to so read.
The adoption of the Code of the Town of Westerly shall have no effect on nor shall the adoption of this ordinance in any way affect the authority, powers, duties or responsibilities of the Planning Board by virtue of the inclusion in said Code of the regulations adopted by said Board, nor shall the regulations of the Planning Board be affected thereby, except as the regulations may have been amended by action of the Planning Board.
Definitions. In the construction of this Code and of all ordinances hereafter enacted, the following interpretations shall be placed on the words and phrases mentioned in this section, 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:
- The Charter of the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island.
- CORPORATE LIMITS; CORPORATION LIMITS; TOWN LIMITS
- The legal boundary of the Town of Westerly.
- COUNCIL or TOWN COUNCIL
- The Town Council of the Town of Westerly.
- COUNTY or THIS COUNTY
- The County of Washington 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.
- A calendar month.
- 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." The word "engaged" shall be equivalent to the word "sworn" or "affirmed."
- Applied to a building or land, shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, tenant in partnership, joint tenant by the entirety of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
- 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.
- Place or places.
- 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; LAND; REAL ESTATE
- Includes lands, tenements and hereditaments and rights thereto and interests therein.
- SIGNATURE; SUBSCRIPTION
- Includes a mark when the person cannot write.
- The State of Rhode Island.
- STREETS; HIGHWAYS; WAYS
- Includes public boulevards, avenues, courts, lanes, alleys, squares, drives, roads, corners and sidewalks.
- TENANT or OCCUPANT
- As 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.
- WRITTEN, IN WRITING
- Includes any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing or otherwise.
- The Town of Westerly in the County of Washington and the State of Rhode Island.
- Seven days.
Rules of construction.
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.
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 designate otherwise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Number. A word importing the singular number only may extend and be applied to several persons and things as well as to one person or thing, and a word importing the plural number may be applied to one person or thing.
Officers, departments, etc. Whenever the title of an officer, department, board or other agency is given it shall be construed as though the words "of the Town of Westerly" were added.
Or and and. "Or" may be read "and," and "and" may be read "or," if the sense requires it.
Preceding and following. The words "preceding" and "following" shall mean next before and next after, respectively.
Shall and may. The word "shall" is mandatory, whereas the word "may" is permissive.
Tense. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.
The provisions of the Code, insofar as they are substantively the same as those of the 2004 Code and other ordinances and regulations in force immediately prior to the enactment of the Code by this ordinance, are intended as a continuation of such ordinances and regulations and not as new enactments, and the effectiveness of such provisions shall date from the date of adoption of the prior ordinance or regulation. 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 Westerly, and it is the intention of said Town Council that each such provision contained within the Code is hereby reaffirmed as it appears in said Code. Only such provisions of former ordinances and regulations or sections of the 2004 Code as are omitted from this Code shall be deemed repealed or abrogated by the provisions of § 1-5 below.
All ordinances of a general and permanent nature heretofore adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Westerly and in force on the date of the adoption of this ordinance and not included in the Code of the Town of Westerly are hereby repealed as of the effective date of this ordinance, except as hereinafter provided.
The following provisions of the 2004 Code of Ordinances are specifically repealed:
Ch. 21, Code of Ethics, adopted 6-29-2017 by Ch. No. 1894.
Ch. 68, Art. III, Alcoholic Beverages: The Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn, adopted 4-25-2005 by Ch. No. 1530, as amended 1-11-2010 by Ch. No. 1699.
The repeal of ordinances provided for in § 1-5 of this ordinance shall not affect the following classes of ordinances, resolutions, rights and obligations, which are hereby expressly saved from repeal:
Any ordinance or resolution adopted subsequent to February 24, 2020.
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.
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.
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.
Any franchise, license, right, easement or privilege heretofore granted or conferred by the Town.
Any ordinance or resolution of the Town providing for the laying out, opening, altering, widening, relocating, straightening, establishing grade, changing name, improvement, acceptance or vacation of any right-of-way, easement, street, road, highway, park or other public place within the Town, or any portion thereof.
Any ordinance or resolution of the Town 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.
Ordinances or resolutions authorizing the purchase, sale, lease or transfer of property, or any lawful contract or obligation.
The levy or imposition of special assessments or charges.
The dedication of property.
Any ordinance or resolution relating to salaries and employee benefits.
Any rules, regulations, standards or specifications referred to or authorized to be adopted by any ordinance or resolution included in the Code.
Any ordinance adopting or amending the Zoning Map of the Town.
Any ordinance prescribing traffic regulations for specific locations, prescribing through streets, parking limitations, parking prohibitions, one-way traffic, limitations on loads of vehicles or loading zones, not inconsistent with the Code.
Any subdivision ordinance.
Any ordinance creating special districts or assessing taxes therefor.
Any ordinance granting specific tax exemptions.
Any temporary or special ordinance.
Any administrative ordinance.
Any ordinance concerning wastewater contribution regulations.
Nothing in this Code or the ordinance adopting this Code shall affect any offense or act committed or done, or any penalty or forfeiture incurred, or any contract or right established or accruing, before the effective date of this Code.
The repeal of an ordinance shall not revive any ordinances in force before or at the time the ordinance repealed took effect.
The repeal of an ordinance shall not affect any punishment or penalty incurred before the repeal took effect, nor any suit, prosecution or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal, for an offense committed or cause of action arising under the ordinance repealed.
A copy of the Code of the Town of Westerly, in loose-leaf form, has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Westerly and shall remain there for the use of and examination by the public until final action is taken on this ordinance; and if this ordinance shall be adopted, such copies shall be certified to by the Town Clerk of the Town of Westerly, and such certified copies shall remain on file in the office of said Town Clerk, to be made available to persons desiring to examine the same during all times while said Code is in effect.
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.
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.
Any and all additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to any of the ordinances and regulations known collectively as the "Code of the Town of Westerly" or any new ordinances or regulations, when enacted or 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 of the Town of Westerly shall be understood and intended to include such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements. Whenever such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to the Code of the Town of Westerly be enacted or adopted, they shall thereafter be printed and, as provided hereunder, inserted in the loose-leaf book containing said Code as amendments and supplements thereto. Nothing contained in this ordinance shall affect the status of any ordinance or regulation contained herein, and such ordinances or regulations may be amended, deleted or changed from time to time as the Town Council deems desirable.
All ordinances passed subsequent to this Code, which amend, repeal or in any way affect this Code, may be numbered in accordance with the numbering system of this Code and printed for inclusion herein, or in the case of repealed chapters, sections and subsections or any part thereof, by subsequent ordinances, such repealed portions may be excluded from the Code by omission thereof from reprinted pages affected thereby, and the subsequent ordinances, as numbered and printed, or omitted in the case of repeal, shall be prima facie evidence of such subsequent ordinances until such time that this Code and subsequent ordinances numbered or omitted are readopted as a new Code by the Town Council.
Amendments to any of the provisions of this Code should be made by amending such provisions by specific reference to the section of the Code in substantially the following language: "That section _______ of the Code of the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island, is hereby amended to read as follows:______ (Set out new provisions in full) ______."
In the event a new section not heretofore existing in the Code is to be added, the following language may be used: "That the Code of the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island, is hereby amended by adding a section (or article, chapter or other designation, as the case may be), to be numbered ______, which reads as follows: ______ (Set out new provisions in full)_______."
All sections, articles, chapters or other provisions of this Code desired to be repealed should be specifically repealed by section number, article number, chapter or other number, as the case may be.
It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk, or someone authorized and directed by the Town Clerk, to keep up-to-date the certified copies of the book containing the Code of the Town of Westerly 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 regulations adopted by the Town Council subsequent to the enactment of this ordinance, in such form as to indicate the intention of said Town Council to be a part of said Code, shall, when finally enacted or adopted, be included therein by temporary attachment of copies of such changes or ordinances or regulations until such changes or ordinances or regulations are printed as supplements to said Code book, at which time such supplements shall be inserted therein.
By contract or by Town personnel, supplements to this Code shall be prepared and printed whenever authorized or directed by the Town Council. A supplement to the Code shall include all substantive permanent and general parts of ordinances passed by the Town Council or adopted by initiative and referendum during the period covered by the supplement and all changes made thereby in the Code. The pages of a supplement shall be so numbered that they will fit properly into the Code and will, where necessary, replace pages which have become obsolete or partially obsolete, and the new pages shall be so prepared that, when they have been inserted, the Code will be current through the date of the adoption of the latest ordinance included in the supplement.
In the preparation of a supplement to this Code, all portions of the Code which have been repealed shall be excluded from the Code by the omission thereof from reprinted pages.
When preparing a supplement to this Code, the codifier (meaning the person, agency or organization authorized to prepare the supplement) may make formal, nonsubstantive changes in ordinances and parts of ordinances included in the supplement, insofar as it is necessary to do so to embody them into a unified Code. For example, the codifier may:
Organize the ordinance material into appropriate subdivisions;
Provide appropriate catchlines, headings and titles for sections and other subdivisions of the Code printed in the supplement, and make changes in such catchlines, headings and titles;
Assign appropriate numbers to sections and other subdivisions to be inserted in the Code and, where necessary to accommodate new material, change existing section or other subdivision numbers;
Change the words "this ordinance" or words of the same meaning to "this chapter," "this article," etc., as the case may be, or to "sections ___ to ___" (inserting section numbers to indicate the sections of the Code which embody the substantive sections of the ordinance incorporated into the Code); and
Make other nonsubstantive changes necessary to preserve the original meaning of ordinance sections inserted into the Code, but in no case shall the codifier make any change in the meaning or effect of ordinance material included in the supplement or already embodied in the Code.
Copies of the Code book containing the Code of the Town of Westerly, and any periodic supplementation thereof, may be purchased from the codifier contracted by the Town to prepare and print said Code book upon the payment of a fee to said codifier.
The Town Clerk of the Town of Westerly, pursuant to law, shall cause to be published, in the manner required, a notice of the introduction and enactment of this ordinance in the official newspaper of the Town. A copy of the Code of the Town of Westerly shall be maintained in the office of the Town Clerk for inspection by the public at all times during regular office hours. The enactment and publication of this ordinance, coupled with the availability of a 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.
Any person who, without authorization from the Town Clerk, changes or amends, by additions or deletions, any part or portion of the Code of the Town of Westerly, or who alters or tampers with such Code in any manner whatsoever which will cause the legislation of the Town to be misrepresented thereby, or who violates any other provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, article or part of this ordinance, or of any ordinance or regulation included in the Code of the Town of Westerly, or of any ordinance or resolution incorporated into the Code hereafter, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, article or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
This ordinance shall take effect upon its passage.
In compiling and preparing the ordinances for publication as the Code of the Town of Westerly, no changes in the meaning or intent of such ordinances have been made, except as provided for in Subsection B hereof.
Certain grammatical changes and other minor nonsubstantive changes were made in one or more of said pieces of legislation. It is the intention of the Town Council that all such changes be adopted as part of the Code as if the ordinances had been previously formally amended to read as such.
Certain nomenclature changes were made, as follows:
"Building Inspector" changed to "Building Official."
"Minimum Housing Officer/Official/Director/Inspector" changed to "Property Maintenance Code Official."
"Zoning Inspector" and "Zoning Enforcement Official" changed to "Zoning Official."
In addition, the amendments and/or additions set forth in Schedule A attached hereto are made herewith, to become effective upon the effective date of this ordinance.
Editor's Note: In accordance with § 1-21B, the chapters, articles and sections which were added, amended, adopted or repealed by this ordinance are indicated throughout the Code by a history referring to Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I. During routine supplementation, histories indicating amendments, additions or deletions will be replaced with the following history: "Amended (added, repealed) 9-21-2020 by Ch. No. 1995." Schedule A, which contains a complete description of all changes, is on file in the Town offices.
[Adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as § 1-13 of the 1991 Code]
[Amended 7-9-2018 by Ch. No. 1925]
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 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 an offense, where no specific penalty limit is provided therefor either in this Code or in state law, the violation of any such provision of this Code or any such ordinance or resolution shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 per offense or by imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Each day any violation of this Code or of any such ordinance or resolution shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
In addition to the penalty hereinabove provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this Code or any such ordinance or resolution shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be, by the Town, abated as provided by law, and each day that such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense.
[Amended 7-9-2018 by Ch. No. 1925]
Whenever under this Code or under an ordinance or resolution of the Town, a person is charged with an act which is declared to be unlawful or an offense, including, but not limited to, parking violations, zoning violations, housing standards, the jurisdiction and cognizance of such violation shall be, in the first instance, in the Municipal Court for the Town of Westerly in accordance with Chapter 15 of this Code.
[Added 7-9-2018 by Ch. No. 1925]
Fines may be assessed by complaint, summons or citation issued by the authorized officer or official of the Town in accordance with this Code of Ordinances. Within 30 days of receipt of a notice of assessment of fines for a violation under the provisions of this Code of Ordinances, the offending party shall make full payment to the Town of Westerly through the Municipal Court Clerk. Upon hearing and consideration of a complaint and summons, the Municipal Court Judge may impose such fine in an amount and in such manner as deemed appropriate to ensure continued compliance with the provision or provisions violated.