Administrative appeal. An appeal from any decision of an administrative official or agency or a board charged with the implementation of this chapter may be taken by an aggrieved party to the Zoning Board of Review.
Judicial appeal. An appeal from a decision of the Zoning Board of Review may be taken by an aggrieved party to the Superior Court for Washington County; an appeal from a decision of the Town Council adopting or amending this Zoning Ordinance may be taken by an aggrieved party or by any legal resident or landowner of the Town or any association of residents or landowners of the Town to the Superior Court of Washington County.
Time for appeal. An appeal to the Zoning Board of Review shall be taken within 30 days of the date of public notice of the decision by the administrative official or agency or board.
[Amended 10-26-2020 by Ch. No. 1997]
Filing of appeal. An appeal shall be commenced by filing with the administrative official or agency or board from whom the appeal is taken and with the Zoning Board of Review a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof, together with payment of the pertinent fee.
[Amended 5-15-2000 by Ch. No. 1300; 10-26-2020 by Ch. No. 1997]
Each application for an appeal shall, at a minimum, require the following items be submitted:
Copies of all documents filed with the local official or local agency from which the appeal is taken;
Copies of all decisions of the official or agency from which the appeal is taken;
The record of any proceeding from which the appeal is taken; and
List of names and addresses of all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property and 10 copies of a map indicating all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property and/or all those property owners and entities which require notice under R.I.G.L. § 45-24-53 and § 260-41B of the Zoning Ordinance. Said map shall also depict any zoning district boundaries.
Each application form for an appeal shall, at a minimum, require the following:
Name and address of applicant, property owner, and lessee;
Location of the lot given as the street address, tax assessor's plat and lot number, and 911 address;
Zoning district the lot is located in;
Dimensions of the lot, in feet, to include frontage, depth, and area;
Present and proposed use of the lot;
Identification of all structures on the lot, including their size in feet;
How long the current owner has owned the lot;
The year that the lot was platted and recorded;
Whether the owner or applicant has received a Notice of Violation for this or any property in the Town of Westerly and the status of that alleged violation. If a Notice of Violation was issued, a copy is to be attached to the application;
Identification of the section of the Zoning Ordinance under which this application is filed;
A description of the proposed alterations;
A specific identification of the relief sought by this appeal;
A specific statement of the grounds for which the appeal is filed; and
The application is to be signed by the applicant or owner.
Transmission of record. The administrative official or agency or board from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Zoning Board of Review all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the administrative official or the agency or board from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Zoning Board of Review, after an appeal shall have been duly filed, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would in the opinion of the official, agency or board cause immanent peril to life or property. In that case, proceedings shall not be stayed other than by a restraining order, which may be granted by a court of competent jurisdiction on application therefor and upon notice to the administrative official or the agency or board from whom the appeal is taken on due cause shown.
[Amended 5-15-2000 by Ch. No. 1300]
Public hearing required. Prior to disposition of an appeal by the Zoning Board of Review, a duly noticed public hearing shall be held at which opportunity shall be given to the parties to the appeal. Each party to the appeal shall have the right to be represented by an attorney, to present evidence directly and through witnesses, and to cross-examine other parties and their witnesses.
Notice. Public notice shall be given at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. Notice of the hearing shall be sent by the appellant by both first-class mail, postage prepaid and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the parties of interest at least 14 days prior to the date of hearing. Notice shall be sent to the last known mailing address as shown on the current real estate tax assessment records, and if such address is different from the property address, also to said property address by first-class mail, postage prepaid. All notices shall state the name of the party taking the appeal, the title of the official or agency whose decision is being appealed, the substance of the decision appealed from, the street address of the subject property, and the date, time, and place of the initial public hearing. Prior to the hearing, appellant or its legal representative shall file with the Board a notarized affidavit that the notice provisions have been satisfied. The cost of the notification shall be borne by the party taking the appeal.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Review and disposition. The Zoning Board of Review shall act upon all appeals before it in accordance with the following:
The public hearing shall be held within a reasonable time of the filing of the appeal with the Zoning Board of Review. The public hearing shall be held open until all parties have been given an opportunity to present their evidence and legal arguments.
The Zoning Board of Review, within 45 days of the close of the public hearing, shall deliberate at a meeting open to the public as to whether the appeal shall be granted and, if so, what disposition shall be made.
The decision of the Zoning Board of Review shall be in writing and shall set forth the evidence presented at hearing and taken from the record presented by the administrative official or the agency whose action is being appealed from upon which it bases its decision. The written decision shall include all findings of fact and shall show the vote of each member participating in the decision, the absence of any member, and the failure of any member present to vote.
Participation in a zoning hearing or other proceeding by a party shall not be a cause for civil action or liability except for acts not in good faith, intentional misconduct, a knowing violation of law, transactions where there is an improper personal benefit, or malicious, wanton, or willful misconduct.
In exercising its powers, the Zoning Board of Review may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm wholly or partly, and may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination appealed from and may make such orders, requirements, decisions, or determinations as ought to be made, and to that end shall have the powers of the administrative official or agency from whom the appeal was taken. All decisions and records of the Zoning Board of Review respecting an appeal shall conform to the provisions of RIGL 45-24-61.
Appeals from actions of the Zoning Board of Review or of the Town Council to the Superior Court for Washington County shall be taken in accordance with the applicable provisions of state law.