Town of Westerly, RI
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 260-45 Development plan review.

A. 
Intent. The purpose of this section is to assure the orderly development of those uses which either by their nature or scale and intensity of use significantly impact the Town’s public services and facilities. More specifically, the intent is to minimize traffic hazards and congestion; to guarantee the adequate provision of water, sewage disposal, police, fire and other public services; and to promote the overall public health, safety, and general welfare of the community and its citizens.
B. 
Applicability. Uses requiring development plan review:
(1) 
Required activities. Development plan review by the Planning Board is required for all uses other than single-family and two-family residential and uses accessory thereto.
(2) 
Exempt activities. Except where otherwise provided in this chapter, development plan review by the Planning Board will not be required for an activity which does not involve a change of use of any structure or any land if such changes involves only:
(a) 
Site improvements that do not involve physical alterations of the land, such as paving of a driveway.
(b) 
Landscaping, except as required for new or redeveloped uses and facilities under this section.
(3) 
With respect to municipal water facilities, at least 15 days prior to conducting its development plan review, the Planning Board will give notice to those property owners and in the same manner as would be required in an application for a variance as set forth in § 260-33C above.
[Added 12-13-2004 by Ch. No. 1520]
C. 
Planning Board/administrative review. The Planning Board shall review all applications for development plan review. On applications not requiring variance, special permit, or Zoning Ordinance amendment, the Planning Board shall have the authority to approve, approve with conditions or disapprove the application. On applications requiring a variance, special use permit, or Zoning Ordinance amendment, the Planning Board review shall be advisory to the Zoning Board of Review or Town Council.
D. 
Application; fee schedule.
[Amended 9-11-2006 by Ch. No. 1580]
(1) 
Application. Application for development plan review shall be submitted to the Town Planner by the owner of the property or the owner's agent on forms provided by the Planning and Zoning Department, together with the pertinent application fee. Within 15 working days of submittal, the Town Planner will give the applicant written notice of the following: whether the application is complete for purposes of submission to the Planning Board or, if not, what additional information or exhibits are required. If the application is complete, the written notification to the applicant shall include notice of the number of additional copies of the application the applicant must submit to the Planning Board and a statement that the Planning Board has the discretion to require additional information or exhibits from the applicant.
(2) 
Fee schedule: major and minor development plan review. The following fee schedule shall apply to the review of major and minor development plans, with the term “unit” defined as one apartment/condominium/town home or one commercial space in a retail complex:
(a) 
Preapplication and concept review: $100.
(b) 
Master plan: $250, plus $20/unit.
(c) 
Preliminary plan: $500, plus $20/unit.
(d) 
Final plan: $250, plus $20/unit.
E. 
Submittal requirements. An application for development plan approval, in addition to any information which the Town Planner or the Planning Board may require, shall include the following:
(1) 
Owner/developer. Names and addresses of the owner(s) of the property; the applicant/developer, if different; and preparer of the plans; tax plat and lot number(s) and project name if any.
(2) 
Other properties affected. A list of the names and addresses of all property owners within 200 feet of all property lines of the subject property.
(3) 
Composite site plan. The composite site plan shall be prepared by a registered engineer or land surveyor, stamped and dated, and shall meet all of the following requirements pertinent to the subject project:
(a) 
Plans of a scale of one inch to 40 feet or larger with a cover sheet drawn to suitable scales showing the entire site and indicating match lines for each page of the plan.
[Amended 5-15-2000 by Ch. No. 1300]
(b) 
A vicinity map which indicates the location of the site in relation to the immediate surrounding area.
(c) 
Names of property owners adjacent to and immediately across any adjacent street from the subject property. Approximate location and notation of the nature of adjacent buildings and land uses. Names of any adjacent public and private streets. All existing or proposed easements, rights-of-way, or proposed open space areas.
(d) 
Proposed and existing structures, including footprints of foundations, porches, decks, with dimensions to property lines from structures and overall building dimensions, including building heights.
(e) 
All street lines, lot lines, driveways, setback lines, proposed parking areas, including arrangement and dimensions of parking spaces and drive aisles as well as existing and proposed points of ingress/egress.
(f) 
Identification of any wetland located on the site and flood hazard information, if applicable, and any coastal features as defined by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, DEM regulations and CRMC preliminary determinations; buffer zones and building setbacks from buffer zones as required by CRMC preliminary engineering and biological reports.
(g) 
If the building is in a Historic District, the recommendations of the Rhode Island Historic Preservation Commission.
(h) 
Existing and proposed sewers, water mains, culverts, and other underground facilities, indicating pipe sizes, grades, manholes, and location, both on site and off site.
(i) 
Existing and proposed stormwater drainage system.
(j) 
Location and type of lighting.
(k) 
Location and dimensions of pedestrian entrances, exits, and walkways.
(l) 
Location of any proposed signs.
(m) 
Location of proposed dumpster pad.
(n) 
Phasing of construction if the project is to be constructed in phases.
(o) 
Existing and proposed grades shown at two-foot intervals.
(p) 
Benchmarks that can be used in the field to verify conditions.
(4) 
Utility plan. Written and drawn plan indicating how all utility needs will be met and accompanied by letters from utilities confirming that necessary hookups can be made.
(5) 
Coordinate agency review. Letters from the Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Public Utilities Director and Town Engineer stating that they have reviewed the plans and including any recommendations or comments they may have.
(6) 
Additional information. Any additional information deemed necessary by the reviewing official or Board for adequate review of the proposed project. This may include:
(a) 
Architectural plans. Plans, sections, and or elevations of any proposed buildings.
(b) 
Water/wastewater analysis. Information and analysis prepared by a registered or licensed professional regarding projected average daily water consumption for potable and nonpotable purposes, projected average daily wastewater flow, frequency and duration of peak usage of water and sewer facilities, effluent characteristics, water pressure.
(c) 
Traffic impact analysis. Information and analysis prepared by a registered or licensed professional regarding existing roadway capacity and traffic counts; projected average daily vehicle trips and peak hour trips generated by the proposed project.
(d) 
Natural conditions analysis. A natural conditions analysis of the site prepared by a registered or licensed professional indicating the soil, geologic, hydrologic, and vegetative conditions of the site. For projects within CRMC jurisdiction, CRMC preliminary engineering and biological reports reflecting site inspection data may be required if such reports are obtainable.
(e) 
Landscape plan. A landscape plan prepared by a registered landscape architect at a scale of one inch to 20 feet showing the relations of structures to topography, existing and proposed planting and grading.
(f) 
Open space management plan. An open space plan showing agricultural, recreational and conservation uses of the site together with a management plan detailing how all common or public lands will be maintained, used, and managed.
(g) 
Analysis of toxic or hazardous use impacts. Information and analysis by a registered or licensed professional regarding use, containment, and disposal of any toxic or hazardous materials to be used or stored on the site.
F. 
Standards for Development Plan review. In addition to the appropriate standards set forth in Article XI and Article XII, the following standards shall be applied by the Town Planner and the Planning Board for review and disposition of applications for development plan approval. The Town Planner may waive any standards that are not applicable to the application. Development plan approval shall be granted unless the development plan fails to meet one or more of the applicable standards.
(1) 
Relation of proposed buildings to vicinity. The design and layout of the buildings and other structures shall be harmonious with the terrain and with existing buildings in the vicinity. Visual compatibility, not uniformity, with the surrounding area shall be emphasized, with particular attention to the scale (mass), height, and proportions of the proposed buildings and other structures, the nature of the setbacks and open spaces surrounding the buildings, the design of the buildings (including roof style, facade, architectural style and detailing), and building materials. If the building is in a Historic District, the recommendations of the Rhode Island Historic Preservation Commission shall be incorporated in the Administrative or Planning Board review. In conducting its development plan review of oceanfront historic hotels, in addition to obtaining the recommendations of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, the Planning Board shall engage up to three experts in historical preservation and architecture as consultants, at the expense of the applicant, for advice in reviewing its development plan.
[Amended 10-12-2004 by Ch. No. 1510; 5-22-2006 by Ch. No. 1575]
(2) 
Vehicular access. The proposed layout of access points shall be designed so as to avoid multiple curb cuts and unnecessary adverse impacts on existing vehicular and pedestrian traffic patterns. Particular consideration shall be given to the location, number and limitation of access points, capacity of adjacent streets, traffic flow, site distances, turning lanes, and existing or proposed traffic signalization. Provisions shall be made for safe emergency vehicle access to all buildings and structures on the site.
(3) 
Parking and circulation. The layout and design of vehicular and pedestrian circulation, including walkways, interior drives, and parking areas shall be safe and convenient and, insofar as practicable, enhance the pedestrian use of the vicinity. Particular attention shall be given to interior circulation, separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, service traffic, drive-up facilities, loading areas, and the arrangement and use of parking areas.
(4) 
Surface water drainage. Adequate provision shall be made for surface drainage so that removal of surface waters will not adversely affect neighboring properties, downstream conditions, or the public storm drainage system and shall be held to a zero-percent off-site increase after development. On-site absorption shall be utilized to minimize discharges whenever possible. All drainage calculations shall be based on a twenty-five-year storm frequency. Particular emphasis shall be placed on the protection of floodplains, preservation of stream corridors, establishment of drainage rights-of-way and the adequacy of the existing storm drainage system and the need for improvements, both on site and off site, to adequately control the rate, volume, and velocity of surface water drainage. Maintenance procedures shall be reviewed to determine their adequacy.
(5) 
Utilities. All utilities included in the development plan shall be reviewed as to their adequacy, safety, and impact on the property under review and surrounding properties. The development plan shall show what provisions are proposed for water supply, wastewater, solid waste disposal and storm drainage. Whenever feasible, all electric, telephone, and other utility lines shall be installed underground. Any utility installations aboveground shall be located so as to have minimum negative impact on the site and the vicinity.
(6) 
Signs/other advertising features. The size, location, design and lighting of all exterior signs and advertising structures or features shall not detract from the layout of the site and the design of proposed buildings and structures or those in the vicinity and shall not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
(7) 
Exterior lighting. All exterior lighting shall be designed to encourage energy efficiency, to ensure safe movement of people and vehicles, and to minimize adverse impact on neighboring properties and public ways.
(8) 
Landscaping. Landscaping shall be designed to ameliorate the appearance of off-street parking areas, to enhance the appearance of the site, and to minimize any negative visual impact of the development on neighboring properties and on public ways. Particular attention shall be paid to the use of plantings to break up parking areas. Grade changes shall be in harmony with the general character of neighboring areas. Landscaping shall be provided as part of the overall site design and integrated into building arrangements, topography, parking, and buffering requirements.
(9) 
Special features. Exposed storage areas, exposed machinery installations, service areas, truck loading areas, utility buildings and structures, and similar accessory uses and structures shall be subject to such screening methods as may reasonably be required to minimize their negative impact on the site and surrounding properties and public ways.
(10) 
Environmental factors. A development plan shall not be approved if it would result in water pollution, damage to shoreline vegetation, or inhibition of public access to waters.
G. 
Expiration of development plan approval. Approval of the development plan shall become null and void unless the use of the land has commenced or a building permit issued within 180 days from the date of approval. Upon the request of the developer, approval of the development plan may be revalidated for up to an additional ninety-day period if all factors of the original development plan review are the same and the developer requests validation prior to the expiration of the original approval period.
H. 
Revisions. A development plan may be revised upon written approval of the Town Planner if all revisions are done in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and with any conditions to which the original approved plan is subject; provided, however, that any revision to a development plan determined by the Town Planner to be a substantial revision will require resubmission for approval as for a new plan.

§ 260-46 Cluster development.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of these cluster development regulations is to provide for the following:
(1) 
To achieve high quality, affordable housing for present and future generations.
(2) 
To protect and preserve sensitive natural resources and areas.
(3) 
To achieve development and population densities that are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and with existing densities of development and that do not overburden the Town’s public services.
(4) 
To permit flexibility in site design and road system design to avoid conflicts and to utilize buildable land efficiently and aesthetically.
(5) 
To provide open space areas and recreational amenities consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and established planning principles.
(6) 
The purpose and objectives of this section are to be realized through flexibility in lot areas and dimensions, preservation and dedication of open space areas and innovative design that is clearly superior to conventional development techniques.
B. 
Land use requirements. The following requirements should be applicable to all cluster development:
(1) 
Permitted areas. Cluster developments are permitted in Residential Districts in the RR-60, LDR-43, LDR-40 and MDR-30 Zoning Districts and only in accordance with the standards, requirements, and procedures established herein.
(2) 
Standards for approval. Cluster residential developments are allowed only when the developer can demonstrate that a cluster development would be a better use of the land than a conventional subdivision and is in the best interests of the Town.
(3) 
Permitted uses. Permitted uses in a cluster residential development shall be limited to single-family detached dwellings, playgrounds, recreation areas, parks, open spaces, and natural areas and uses and structures customarily accessory to single-family dwellings, including private garages, swimming pools, pool houses, recreational facilities and structures.
(4) 
Minimum land area. The minimum land area required for a cluster development shall be 10 acres; however, if a cluster development includes any private roads, the minimum land area required shall be 25 acres.
(5) 
Permitted number of dwellings. The maximum number of dwelling units in a cluster residential development shall not exceed the number computed by the following formula:
(a) 
Step 1: Deduct from the gross area of the property freshwater and coastal wetlands.
(b) 
Step 2: Deduct an additional 15% of the area of the property remaining after Step 1 as an allowance for streets and open space or recreation which would be present in a conventional subdivision.
(c) 
Step 3: Deduct the area of any existing utility easements within the property.
(d) 
Divide the remaining land resulting from Steps 1, 2, and 3 by 40,000 square feet, or the minimum lot size for the zoning district in which the tract lies, whichever is greater. The result of this calculation rounded to the nearest whole number is the number of dwellings permitted in the cluster development.
C. 
Site development requirements. The following site development requirements shall apply to all cluster developments.
(1) 
Minimum building lot area. Each single-family detached dwelling in the cluster residential development shall be located on a lot having a minimum area of 10,000 square feet with a width at the building setback line of at least 80 feet.
(2) 
Building locations. Buildings shall be located in conformance with the following:
(a) 
All buildings adjacent to public streets shall comply with the front yard setback of the existing zone. All buildings adjacent to private streets shall comply with the front yard setback of the existing zone as measured from the edge of the road.
(b) 
There shall be a buffer of open space at least 75 feet wide around the entire perimeter of the cluster development to provide a visual and audio screen between the cluster development and adjacent land uses. This requirement may be reduced in the following circumstances: where the adjacent land is already open space and is likely to remain so, for example, because it is a privately or publicly owned park or wildlife sanctuary; or where there exists a substantial and lasting barrier which would serve as a buffer.
(c) 
All buildings shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any lot line within the cluster development.
(d) 
Each residential building shall be separated at least 25 feet from every other residential building or accessory building on a given lot.
(e) 
The maximum height of any structure in a cluster development shall be 35 feet.
(3) 
Open space. Open space shall be developed in accordance with the following:
(a) 
The cluster development shall be designed to provide open space that preserves natural resources, provides convenient access to dwellings, and acts as a buffer to adjacent land uses. Access to the open space shall be made available to all residents of the cluster development by providing suitable access corridors.
(b) 
All land that is not used or reserved for cluster dwellings, associated structures, recreation facilities, or roads shall be dedicated as open space. The applicant shall restrict the use of open space areas through the use of conservation restrictions. The developer may be required to provide recreation facilities within the open space proportional to the demand created by the cluster development. The developer may reserve the right to improve certain areas of open space with associated recreational facilities, provided that the improvements are intended for the sole use of the development occupants and their guests. The area so reserved may not exceed 10% of such open space.
(c) 
All open space provided in a cluster development for public or common use shall be conveyed either to a nonprofit land conservation organization, to an owners’ association, or to the Town, which will accept it for park, open space, agricultural or other specific uses. Where said open space is conveyed to the Town, the Town shall be deemed to hold said conveyance for the benefit of the Town and the property owners within and abutting said cluster development, their heirs, successors and/or assigns and such conveyance shall not be released or modified in whole or in part without the unanimous consent of said property owners and the consent of the Town Council.
(d) 
In any case where open space is not conveyed to the Town in fee, a conservation restriction shall be given in the form of a development easement, granted to the Town with respect to such areas, provided that such land shall be kept in the condition(s) approved and shall not be built upon or developed except as provided in Subsection C(3)(b) above. The Town shall be deemed to hold such development easement for the benefit of the Town and the property owners within and abutting said cluster development, their heirs, successors and assigns, and such development easement shall not be released or modified in whole or in part without the unanimous consent of the property owners and the consent of the Town Council.
(e) 
If the open space is to be held by an owners’ association, ownership of the open space subject to the development easement shall pass with the conveyance of lots or units. In such case, the developer must demonstrate suitable financial arrangements for the maintenance of the open space, which shall include a written agreement or contract to be executed between the developer and the Town, stating:
[1] 
That in the event of failure of the owners’ association to maintain any common open space, recreation areas, landscaping features, or other required improvements, the Town may enter into said development and perform such necessary maintenance work and charge the cost, including attorney fees to the owner.
[2] 
That the owner or developer will construct the development and install improvements in accordance with the approved development plan.
[3] 
That this contract shall be binding upon the successors, assigns, or receivers of the development and shall constitute a lien on all property in the development.
[4] 
Any other conditions required by the Planning Board.
(4) 
Landscaping. The following regulations regarding landscaping shall govern all cluster developments:
(a) 
The cluster development plan shall provide for reasonable landscaping around all residential dwellings, accessory buildings, and recreational facilities.
(b) 
Additional landscaping may be required around the perimeter of the cluster if existing vegetation is inadequate to screen the cluster development from adjacent land uses.
(c) 
Landscaped buffers of existing vegetation or new materials shall be required and buffer areas shall be restricted from modification and so noted on the cluster development plan.
(5) 
Streets. The following regulations regarding streets shall govern all cluster developments:
(a) 
The cluster development shall be served by an improved street system that connects to an existing Town street or state highway. The streets in the cluster development may be public or private; public streets shall be located on a full right-of-way as required under Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations; the required width of private street rights-of-way shall be determined in relation to all pertinent factors of the site design.
(b) 
All streets in the cluster development shall be constructed in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations; however, the width of pavement may be reduced to no less than 22 feet if the streets are to be privately owned and are intended for internal circulation within the development and to no less than 18 feet if intended for access to individual clusters. “Cape Cod” type berms shall be encouraged in lieu of conventional curbs. All pavement widths shall exclude curb or berms widths. The reduction in street width may be permitted if it is demonstrated that the reduction improves site design, preserves property character, and provides additional recreational or other amenities to serve the cluster development.
(6) 
Utilities. The following regulations regarding utilities shall govern all cluster development:
(a) 
All dwellings in the cluster development shall be served by either a public sanitary sewer or individual septic system. If a dwelling is to be served by an individual septic system, no building permit for such dwelling shall be issued until approval for the individual septic system is obtained from the RIDEM. Public sanitary sewers shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, of the Town and any other applicable requirements or conditions imposed.
(b) 
All dwellings in the cluster development shall be served by a public water system designed and constructed in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, and any other applicable requirements or conditions imposed.
(c) 
All other utilities shall be underground and shall be in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations.
(d) 
Where public or private utilities serve a cluster with private roads, easements shall be provided to the appropriate utilities.
(7) 
Application procedure. The following procedural requirements shall apply to all cluster developments:
(a) 
No part of the construction of a cluster development shall begin until the plan of development has been granted final approval by the Planning Board in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, applicable to such development.
(b) 
Upon approval, the cluster development plan shall be signed by the Chairman or Secretary of the Planning Board and all plans, easements, or conveyances shall be recorded in the land evidence records. In the event of conditional final approval, pursuant to pertinent provisions of Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, such cluster development shall not be signed, released by the Planning Board, nor recorded, until final determination that such cluster development is not in conflict with the Fresh Water Wetlands Act, Title 2, Chapter 1 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, as amended, and the Coastal Resource Management Act, Title 46, Chapter 23 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, as amended, and/or any rules or regulations duly adopted pursuant thereto.
(c) 
No building permit shall be issued within a cluster development until the Finance Director has accepted a certified check or performance bond as set forth in pertinent provisions of Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations.

§ 260-47 Rear lots.

[Amended 4-13-2009 by Ch. No. 1670]
The Planning Board may authorize the creation of rear lots for residential purposes in the RR-60, LDR-43, LDR-40, MDR-30, MDR-20, and HDR-15 Zones. The following requirements shall be applicable:
A. 
Site plan application. A site plan shall be submitted for Planning Board review and approval. The plan shall demonstrate that the proposed lot meets the following standards:
(1) 
Lot area of not less than 50,000 square feet or not less than two times the district requirement for lot area, whichever is greater.
(2) 
Individual driveway strip not less than 20 feet wide per lot, deeded as part of the parcel for an access to a single dwelling unit, with adequate provisions for drainage and maintenance.
(3) 
Assurance by notation on the survey map and in the deed recorded in the office of the Town Clerk that: “each rear lot will be limited to a single-family residence only. No further subdivision of this approved rear lot may be undertaken at a future date for the erection of another residential unit, except in compliance with these Regulations and all others that apply.”
(4) 
A sight line of at least 150 feet is available at the intersection of the driveway and the street line assuring adequate vision upon entering traffic.
(5) 
No more than two driveway strips serving no more than two rear lots may be located adjacent to one another.
B. 
Conditions. The Planning Board may impose other such conditions it finds necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including but not limited to drainage, yard requirements, lot size, driveway position and lot arrangements. Where said driveway strip intersects with the public street, it shall be paved for a width of not less than 15 feet and for a depth of not less than 20 feet.

§ 260-48 Planned Development (PD) Zoning District.

A. 
Planned development authorized.
(1) 
This Zoning Ordinance permits the creation of land development projects in which one or more lots, tracts, or parcels of land are to be developed or redeveloped as a coordinated site for a planned resort.
(2) 
The Planned District is intended to give the Town Council an alternative to a traditional Zoning Map amendment for such use on large parcels of land. The Planned District procedures provide for review by other appropriate agencies concerning transportation and environmental issues as well as public hearings and review by the Planning Board in advance of Town Council consideration of the Zoning Map amendment. If adopted the amendment becomes a contract which can only be modified after notice and public hearing by the Town Council.
B. 
Objectives.
(1) 
Encourage developers to better use the natural features and protect the natural and historic resources by providing the opportunity for more creative approaches in the development of land.
(2) 
Encourage a more efficient, aesthetic and desirable use of land for recreation, conservation and open space uses.
(3) 
Encourage and promote variety in the physical development of land use in the Town of Westerly.
(4) 
Allow for efficient provision and effective use of physical improvement and municipal services relative to land use development.
C. 
Standards and requirement for PD Districts.
(1) 
The following provisions shall apply in a PD District, which district shall also be subject to other provisions of this chapter, except that where a conflict in regulations occurs, the regulations specified in this section shall apply.
(a) 
No PD District shall be established or plans reviewed by the Planning Board unless and until there is on file with the Town written consent of every property owner within such district at the time of the establishment of the district agreeing that the applicant shall be bound by the conditions and regulations proposed and which will be effective within the district.
(b) 
Requirements for area, coverage, density, yard requirements, parking and screening for PD Districts shall be governed by the standards in Table 1 of this section. Exceptions to these standards by the Planning Board and Town Council are possible when these bodies find that such exceptions are warranted in terms of total proposed development or unit thereof.
(c) 
The purpose of these regulations is to encourage the effective and timely development of land in accordance with the objectives and policies of the Comprehensive Plan; to assure suitable design in order to protect the property values and the residential environment of adjacent neighborhoods; and to minimize traffic congestion on the public streets and to deter undesirable strip commercial development. The Town Council may apply such special conditions and stipulations to any PD approval as it may, in its opinion, deem necessary to maintain harmony with neighboring uses and promote the objectives and purposes of the Comprehensive Plan and this Zoning Ordinance.
(d) 
Permitted accessory buildings, structures and uses. The following accessory buildings, structures, and uses may be permitted as part of the PD approval.
[1] 
Off-street parking and loading, including parking structures, subject to the provisions of § 260-77.
[2] 
Any accessory building, structure or use customarily incidental and directly related to the operation of the principal use.
[3] 
Signs, subject to the provisions of § 260-86.
[4] 
The outside storage of goods or materials, provided that no goods or materials shall be stored within any required yards and that landscaping and screening is provided and approved in the development plan review process.
[5] 
All PDs shall conform to off-street parking, off-street loading, lighting, signs and other regulations of the Zoning Ordinance unless modified by the approval.
(e) 
Drawings must be submitted that show that the relationship of interior and exterior environment is desirable and just as desirable as the strict requirements of this chapter.
(f) 
The following regulations regarding utilities shall govern all PD Districts:
[1] 
All buildings in the PD District shall be served by either a public sanitary sewer or individual septic system. If a building is to be served by an individual septic system, no building permit for such building shall be issued until approval for the individual septic system is obtained from the RIDEM. Public sanitary sewers shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, and any other applicable requirements or conditions imposed.
[2] 
All buildings in the PD District shall be served by a public water system with such additional lines as are necessary and shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, and any other applicable requirements or conditions imposed.
[3] 
All other utilities shall be underground and shall be in accordance with Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations.
[4] 
Where public or private utilities serve a planned development with private roads, easements shall be provided to the appropriate utilities.
(g) 
Ownership and maintenance of water and sewer facilities must be arranged to the satisfaction of the Town prior to final approval of a PD District.
(h) 
All areas proposed for dedication to the Town under the planned development (PD) approach must be acceptable as to shape, size and location, as required by the Planning Board.
(i) 
Public utility and other similar easements cannot be used for a space exchange under the planned development approach.
(j) 
Any planned development which includes the proposal to dedicate to the Town land for park and open space used under the planned development approach, must include by dedication or by other reasonable means, the total park area, at the time of filing of final map on all, or any portion of the tract.
(2) 
Regulations for Planned Resort Facilities Development (PRFD).
(a) 
Purpose. The Planned Resort Facilities Development Zoning District is intended to provide for coherent development for resort development and recreational use to assure the necessary supporting infrastructure, and to promote opportunities for expanding the Town’s economy.
(b) 
Permitted uses. The following principal uses shall be permitted as part of the PRFD approval:
[1] 
Hotel.
[2] 
Motels.
[3] 
Convention centers.
[4] 
Inns.
[5] 
Associated facilities.
[a] 
Health clubs.
[b] 
Swimming pools.
[c] 
Golf/Driving range.
[d] 
Tennis court.
[e] 
Riding trails/stables.
[f] 
Performance halls.
(c) 
Special conditions.
[1] 
Planned resort developments shall be consistent with the Town Comprehensive Plan, shall not have less than 80 acres, shall require public water, and in the event ISDS pretreatment of effluent is not provided for, public sewer shall also be required.
[2] 
A planned resort area shall not be developed on any site under the jurisdiction of the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). All structures within a planned resort area shall be located as far as practicable from the property boundaries, while golf courses, fitness or bicycle trails may be located at the limit of the buffer. The architectural design of such a planned resort area shall conform to the character of the architecture of the area where it is to be located. The minimum buffer areas provided hereinafter may be increased in relation to the intensity of the development of the site.
(d) 
Area and dimensional requirements.
[1] 
Minimum lot area: 80 acres.
[2] 
Minimum lot frontage and width: 150 feet.
[3] 
Minimum front yard: 125 feet. Yards abutting a residential zone shall be a vegetated, landscaped buffer area.
[4] 
Minimum side yard: 125 feet. Yards abutting a residential zone shall be a vegetated, landscaped buffer area.
[5] 
Minimum rear yard: 125 feet. Yards abutting a residential zone shall be a vegetated, landscaped buffer area.
[6] 
Maximum building height: 35 feet.
[7] 
Maximum lot coverage: 60%.
[8] 
Landscape open space percentage: 15%.

§ 260-49 PD project application procedure.

A. 
Preapplication sketch plan. The applicant for a PD project shall approach the Planning Board with a preapplication sketch plan and conference prior to submission of a preliminary development plan.
(1) 
The applicant shall file with the Planning Board:
(a) 
Twelve legible black-line or blue-line prints of the preapplication concept plan.
(b) 
A location map showing the physical relationship of the proposed project to the area within a radius of 1/4 mile. Such map shall show major and arterial streets and street names; general location of public utilities; public transportation routes if applicable; public schools, parks and playgrounds; zoning classification and zoning boundaries; and existing shopping facilities. The location map shall be drawn at a scale of one inch to 100 feet.
(c) 
A proposed time schedule if the development of the project is to proceed by stage.
(2) 
The Planning Board may jointly review and discuss the preapplication sketch plan with the applicant, the Superintendent of Public Works, the Building Inspector, Town Engineer, Zoning Inspector and Town Planner and representatives of the utility companies at a regularly scheduled meeting and the Planning Board may inspect the proposed project in the field and approve in principle, approve subject to modification or disapprove the plan at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Planning Board will return one copy of the plan to the applicant with a statement of approval in principle, approval subject to modification or disapproval and the reasons therefor noted on the plan. At such time, and if appropriate, the Planning Board will advise the applicant of the necessity to establish conformance of such project with the state’s Wetlands Acts.
(3) 
The preapplication concept plan shall encompass the entire tract of land in contiguous ownership by the applicant and shall contain the following:
(a) 
Name of the project, name of owner, name of architect, registered engineer and registered land surveyor, zoning classification and zoning boundaries, including flood hazard zones where appropriate, date, North arrow, approximate scale and street names.
(b) 
The scale of the preapplication sketch plan shall be 100 feet to one inch.
(c) 
Approximate topographic conditions including general designation of any salt or freshwater wetlands. Where applicable, fresh and salt water wetlands shall be indicated as well as extent of coastal resources management zone and floodplain hazard districts; and
(d) 
Street layout of entire project.
(e) 
Approximate dimensions of streets.
(f) 
Number and approximate area of structures.
(g) 
Existing utilities and TV cables to include the size and approximate location of lines.
(h) 
Proposed recreation or open areas.
(i) 
Any existing deed restrictions or protective covenants.
(j) 
Any other preliminary information of data which is relevant to good land planning and design that may be required by the Planning Board.
B. 
Preliminary development plan.
(1) 
At a scheduled meeting, the applicant shall submit a preliminary development plan to the Planning Board for review and approval in principle, and the Planning Board shall so approve prior to the submission of a PD rezoning application (application for amendment of Zoning Ordinance). The tentative written consent of all property owners within the proposed PD project shall be on file with the Town before Planning Board review of preliminary development plan shall be commenced.
(2) 
Approval in principle of the preliminary development plan shall be limited to conformance to the following regulations and to the general acceptability of the land uses proposed and their interrelationship, and shall not be construed to endorse precise location of uses, configuration of parcels or engineering feasibility. Any preliminary development plan and text shall be prepared and endorsed by a qualified land planning specialist (planner, architect, landscape architect or engineer).
(a) 
The applicant shall file with the Planning Board the following:
[1] 
Twelve black-line or blue-line prints of the preliminary development plan.
[2] 
Twelve copies of center-line profiles of proposed streets at a suitable horizontal and vertical scale showing the location of proposed sewer, water and other utility lines, proposed underground drainage structures and facilities, the proposed street surface grades and the existing ground elevations.
[3] 
Report of the Director, State Department of Environmental Management, as to the suitability of the soil within the project boundaries for the safe and proper operation of a sewage disposal system together with RIDEM approval of proposed construction of such system, if such is planned.
[4] 
No freshwater wetland, as defined in Chapter 213 of the Public Laws of 1971, as amended, relating to freshwater wetlands, shall be excavated, drained or filled nor shall any extraneous materials be placed into these wetlands. Water flow shall not be diverted nor shall any change be made to the natural condition of a freshwater wetland without the prior approval of the Director of RIDEM and the Westerly Town Council in accordance with the provisions of said chapter. Such report, where appropriate, shall accompany the preliminary development plan.
(b) 
The Planning Board will discuss the preliminary development plan and the accompanying material, will inspect the proposed project site in the field if such is deemed advisable and will approve, approve subject to modification, or disapprove the preliminary development plan within 60 days of receipt. The Planning Board will return one copy of the preliminary development plan to the applicant with the statement of approval, approval subject to modification and the required modification, or disapproval and the reasons for disapproval noted on the preliminary development plan. Such sixty-day period will not start until such time that the Planning Board receives all material required herein. If the application requires modification, the applicant may, within 30 days of notification or within such further period as may be agreed to by the Planning Board, submit an amended preliminary development plan containing the required changes. If an amended plan is not filed within the prescribed period, the original preliminary development plan shall be considered disapproved. If an amended preliminary development plan is filed within the prescribed period, the Planning Board shall approve or disapprove the plan within 30 days after the date of the filing or within such further period as may be agreed to by the applicant.
(c) 
The preliminary development plan shall contain the following information and data:
[1] 
Name of project, name of owner, name of architect, registered engineer, or registered land surveyor, zoning classification and zoning boundaries, date, north point and scale and names of streets.
[2] 
The scale of the preliminary development plan shall be 40 feet to one inch.
[3] 
Names of owners of all land within 200 feet.
[4] 
Boundary line of project and total acreage encompassed.
[5] 
Existing Town boundary lines, watercourses, water wetlands, railroad and street rights-of-way, utility lines and easements, surface and subsurface drainage facilities, and building setback lines.
[6] 
Proposed street right-of-way, curb lines and street names; traffic circulation within confines of the project; easements; lot lines; building setback lines; and street trees.
[7] 
Dimensions as follows: Widths of street right-of-way; right-of-way lines and project boundaries; areas of lots; location and general layout and dimensions of principal and accessory building.
[8] 
Existing and proposed contours at intervals of not greater than five feet.
[9] 
Parcels of land proposed for conveyance to the Town for public purposes.
[10] 
Location of existing and proposed permanent monuments.
[11] 
Where appropriate, the Planning Board may additionally require:
[a] 
Location, arrangement and dimensions of automobile and truck parking, bays, aisles and loading space and docks;
[b] 
Location and dimensions of vehicular drives, entrances, exits, acceleration/deceleration lanes;
[c] 
Location and dimensions of pedestrian walkways including entrances, and exits;
[d] 
Location, arrangement and dimensions of truck loading and unloading spaces and docks;
[e] 
Architectural sketches of the proposed buildings;
[f] 
A market analysis shall be required for a PD project prepared and signed by a recognized independent market analyst acceptable to the Planning Board;
[g] 
A statement of financial responsibility;
[h] 
Location, height and materials of wall, fences and screen planting;
[i] 
Ground cover, finished grades, slopes, banks, and ditches;
[j] 
Location and general exterior dimensions of principal and accessory buildings;
[k] 
Location, size, height, and orientation of all signs other than flat signs on building facades;
[l] 
Preliminary architectural drawings for all buildings;
[m] 
Proposed land uses, population densities and building intensities;
[n] 
Delineation of the construction in progression;
[o] 
Relation to future land uses in surrounding areas and Comprehensive Plan; and
[p] 
Any additional information that the Westerly Planning Board may require.
C. 
General development plan.
(1) 
Application. Within one year after approval of the preliminary development plan the applicant shall file with the Planning Board, at a scheduled meeting, the following:
(a) 
Four copies of the general development plan plus four copies of the street profiles; one copy shall be reproducible Mylar; three prints shall be on standard white drawing paper. The size of the sheets shall be 24 by 30 inches.
(b) 
Filing fee of $2,000 payable to the Town of Westerly.
(c) 
Certificate of the Tax Collector of the Town of Westerly that all taxes due on the land described in the general development plan have been paid for five years preceding the date of filing and that there are no outstanding tax liens thereon.
(d) 
Names and addresses of all owners of abutting land within 100 feet of the project as determined from the most recent tax record.
(e) 
A warranty deed conveying all street rights-of-way and other appropriate open areas to the Town of Westerly.
(f) 
A statement of the applicant describing any easements and the conditions thereof to the Planning Board.
(g) 
Copies of existing and proposed deed restrictions and protective covenants to run with land in the project, if such exist or are proposed.
(h) 
In lieu of the completion and installation of the required improvements to the land upon approval of the general development plan, the applicant shall submit to the Planning Board a certified check or performance payment bond for the faithful performance of construction and installation of such required improvements to the land.
(i) 
Certification by a registered professional civil engineer that all drainage structures and facilities will accommodate the average hourly rainfall for the area.
(2) 
Notice and hearing. Notice and hearing shall proceed in accordance with the following:
(a) 
The Planning Board shall fix a date for public hearing to be held within 36 days of the filing of the general development plan with the Planning Board.
(b) 
Not less than 21 days prior to the hearing, the Planning Board will give written notice thereof, by registered mail, to the applicant and to owners of all land within 100 feet of the project.
(c) 
The Planning Board shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town of Westerly a notice of the date, time and place of the hearing together with the names of the owners of record and the general location of the project not less than 14 days prior to the date of the hearing.
(3) 
The general development plan shall contain the following information and data:
(a) 
Name of project, name of owner, name of architect, registered professional engineer or registered land surveyor, zoning classification and zoning boundaries, date, North point and scale.
(b) 
The scale of the final plat shall be 40 feet to one inch. One transparency of one inch equals 100 feet shall be submitted to the Tax Assessor.
(c) 
Names of owners of all land within 100 feet.
(d) 
Boundary line of project and total acreage encompassed.
(e) 
Existing watercourses, wetlands, railroad right-of-way, street and other easements.
(f) 
Street right-of-way, street names, easements, and building setback lines.
(g) 
Dimensions as follows: Widths of street right-of-way; rights-of-way lines and project boundaries; curve data to include lengths of rail, central angles and tangent distances; the location, sizes and lengths of waterlines, sanitary sewers, surface and subsurface drainage facilities.
(h) 
Parcels of land to be conveyed to the Town of Westerly.
(i) 
Location and character of all permanent monuments.
(j) 
Certification of a registered professional architect, civil engineer or registered land surveyor that the general development plan is correct, that permanent monuments shown on the plan have been properly placed and that their location and character are correctly shown.
(k) 
Location of all freshwater wetlands and indication of extent of flood hazard zone, wetland delineation accompanied by official verification from the Department of Environmental Management.
(l) 
All the information required on the preliminary development plan; the approximate location of structures; nonresidential building intensity; and land use considered suitable for adjacent properties.
(m) 
Where appropriate the Planning Board may additionally require:
[1] 
A schedule for the development to be constructed in progression and description of the design principles for buildings and street scopes; tabulations of total number of acres in the proposed project and the percentage thereof designated for various uses; estimated number of nonresidential population; and anticipated timing for construction.
[2] 
Stage construction. If the development of the resort is to be carried out in progressive stages each stage shall be so planned that the requirements and intent of this chapter shall be fully complied with at the completion of each stage. No final plan for the initial stage of development of any resort shall be approved unless such stage can exist independent of the remaining stages.
[3] 
Evidence that the applicant has sufficient control over the land to effectuate the proposed plan, can exist independent of the remaining stages.
[4] 
Engineering feasibility studies as necessary.
[5] 
Site plan showing buildings, various functional use areas, circulation and their relationships.
[6] 
Preliminary building plans, including floor plans and exterior elevations, and an outline specification of materials to be used for construction.
[7] 
Landscape plans.
[8] 
Engineering plans, including site grading, street improvements, drainage and public utility extensions, as necessary.
[9] 
Any additional information that the Planning Board may require.
(4) 
In addition to submission by the applicant of the general development plan, application shall be made to the Town Council for amendment of Zoning Ordinance.
D. 
Planned development approval. Planned development approval by the Planning Board, valid for one year, shall be secured for each unit of a PD as delineated on the general development plan. Such approval may be extended for an additional year upon application to the Planning Board. Minor changes to an approved PD pertaining to siting may be approved by the Planning Board in writing, provided that the change is in accord with the intent expressed in the general development.
(1) 
The Planning Board shall indicate its approval or disapproval of the general development plan to the applicant by certified mail, precisely stating the reasons for disapproval within 45 days of the submission of such general development plan to the Planning Board. The Planning Board approval may be conditioned on required permits and/or approvals of the RIDEM.
(2) 
When the general development plan is disapproved by the Planning Board, the applicant may apply to the Zoning Board of Review for a review of the decision of the Planning Board. If the general development plan is disapproved by cause of noncompliance with the preliminary plan, the general development plan may thereafter be submitted to the Planning Board as an amended preliminary plan. The procedure for consideration of an amended preliminary plan shall be the same as that for an original preliminary plan.
(3) 
Change of general development plan: If the applicant wants to make an amendment to an approved plan, a written request shall be submitted to the Planning Board. If, in the opinion of the Planning Board, a requested change is sufficiently substantial, the Planning Board shall require the submission of an amended plan.
E. 
Findings required. The Planning Board, after public hearing (on the general development plan), may recommend to the Town Council the establishment of a PD District with such special conditions as it deems advisable, and the Town Council, after public hearing may by ordinance establish a PD District, provided that the facts submitted with the application and presented at the hearing establish that:
(1) 
The proposed PD District with such special conditions it deems advisable, or given unit thereof, can be substantially completed within four years of the establishment of the PD District;
(2) 
That each individual unit of development, as well as the total development, can exist as an independent unit capable of creating an environment of sustained desirability and stability or that adequate assurance will be provided that such objective will be attained; that the uses proposed will not be detrimental to present and potential surrounding uses, but will have a beneficial effect which could not be achieved under other zoning districts;
(3) 
That the streets and thoroughfares proposed are suitable and adequate to carry anticipated traffic, and increased densities will not generate traffic in such amounts as to overload the street networks outside the PD Districts;
(4) 
That any proposed resort can be justified economically at the locations proposed;
(5) 
That any exception from standard ordinance requirements is warranted by the design and amenities incorporated in the general development plan;
(6) 
That the area surrounding said development can be planned and zoned in coordination and substantial compatibility with the proposed development;
(7) 
That the PD District is in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Westerly; and
(8) 
That the existing or proposed utility services are adequate for the population densities proposed.
F. 
Planning Board and Town Council action.
(1) 
If from facts presented, the Planning Board or Town Council is unable to make the necessary findings, the application shall be denied. In taking action, the Planning Board may recommend denial to the Town Council of the general development plan and general development schedule as submitted, or may recommend approval of said plan and schedule subject to specified amendments. In no instance shall a Planning Board decision be binding on an action by the Town Council relative to granting a zone change for a PD District. The Town Council, after receiving the general development plan and recommendations from the Planning Board, shall make final determination of zone change. Should the Planning Board recommend denial, the Town Council shall give the applicant an opportunity to present his side of the conflict to the Town Council.
(a) 
Major changes in a general development plan shall be considered the same as a change in the zoning map and shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance.
(b) 
At the time of adopting any ordinance amendment establishing a PD District the Town Council shall make appropriate arrangements with the applicant, which will insure the accomplishment at the scheduled times of the public improvements and grants of easement shown on the approved general development plan.
(c) 
If no development has occurred to effectuate a PD District development within one year after the district is created, the Planning Board shall review the action and determine whether or not the continuation of a given PD District is in the public interest and so notify the Town Council of their findings.
(2) 
Other requirements. Underground facilities, including telephone and electric systems, are required within the limits of all PD Districts. Appurtenances to these systems which can be effectively screened may be excepted from this requirement if the Planning Board finds that such exception will not violate the intent or character of the proposed PD District.
(3) 
The Town Council may, in establishing a PD District, also vary the dimensional regulations herein where it determines that such variation is not in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan or the use, enjoyment, or value of neighboring property.

§ 260-50 Affordable housing.

[Added 11-10-2003 by Ch. No. 1470; amended 4-16-2007 by Ch. No. 1599]

§ 260-50.1 Definitions.

When used in § 260-50, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Year-round housing that has a sale price that is within the means of a household of moderate income or less, as that term is defined by the Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004, RIGL 42-128-8.1(d), as amended. Year-round rental housing must have a rent that is within the means of a low-income household.
APPROVED AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN
An affordable housing plan that the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Administration has approved as meeting the guidelines for a comprehensive plan as promulgated by the State Planning Council.
A. 
Reasonable in view of the state's need for low- and moderate-income housing, considered with the number of low-income persons in Westerly; and
(1) 
The need to protect the health and safety of the community; or
(2) 
The need to promote better site design and building design in relation to the surroundings; or
(3) 
The need to preserve open spaces.
B. 
Not designed or intended to exclude low- and moderate-income residents from Westerly or to discourage or frustrate the likelihood of success of a project.
C. 
Applied as equally as possible to both subsidized and unsubsidized housing.
INCLUSIONARY ZONING
A zoning ordinance provision that requires the development of low- or moderate-income housing as part of residential development.
INCLUSIONARY DWELLING UNIT
A low- or moderate-income dwelling unit developed pursuant to an inclusionary zoning provision.
LAND UNSUITABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT
Land that cannot be included in the buildable acreage of a parcel when calculating the maximum number of lots or dwelling units permitted. Land unsuitable for development consists of wetlands as they are defined by state law but not wetland buffers, land in any public or private easement on which electrical transmission lines or other aboveground structures are built, and areas with a slope greater than 15%.
LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME HOUSING
Housing that counts toward satisfying a community's goal of maintaining 10% of its housing stock as affordable. The housing must be:
A. 
Affordable to low- or moderate-income households, as defined by state law;
B. 
Subsidized by a federal, state, or town program intended to assist in providing affordable housing; and
C. 
Affordable through a deed restriction or land lease for at least 99 years from initial occupancy.
LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
A household with an adjusted gross income that is 80% or less of the area median income. See the Rhode Island Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Act, RIGL 45-53-3(5).
MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
A household with an adjusted gross income that is more than 80% but less than 120% of the area median income. Low-income housing is housing that is affordable for a family with an adjusted gross income that is 80% or less of the area median income. See the Rhode Island Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Act, RIGL 45-53-3(5).
MUNICIPAL SUBSIDY
Assistance the Town provides for construction or rehabilitation of low- and moderate-income housing to encourage the creation of that housing, and to mitigate the cost of the development, pursuant to RIGL 45-53-3(5). Municipal subsidies include, but are not limited to, density bonuses, and payments from the Town's restricted account containing fees in lieu of construction for the creation of additional low- and moderate-income dwelling units.
YIELD PLAN
A plan of a conventional subdivision or land development project that shows the basic maximum number of building lots or dwelling units permitted on the parcel when the lot area and dimensional regulations of the Zoning Ordinance are applied, after land unsuitable for development has been eliminated.

§ 260-50.2 Inclusionary zoning.

A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
The purpose of inclusionary zoning is to guide new residential development so that it supports Westerly's housing goals, as stated in the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan, including the goal that at least 10% of Westerly's year-round housing will be low- or moderate-income housing. This section is intended to ensure that all development providing six or more additional dwelling units will contribute to the supply of low- or moderate-income housing in Westerly.
(2) 
To help satisfy the Town's low- or moderate-income housing goals, a portion of the additional dwelling units resulting from all such development must be affordably priced according to state guidelines, must receive a federal, state or municipal subsidy, and must have affordability guaranteed for 99 years by a deed restriction or land lease.
B. 
Required inclusionary dwelling units.
(1) 
In every residential subdivision or land development project that consists of six or more lots intended for the construction of dwelling units, or that consists of six or more new dwelling units, a portion of the dwelling units must be low- or moderate-income. This requirement applies to development of rental property as well as development of property for sale. The number of low- or moderate-income dwelling units required is determined by taking the basic number of lots or dwelling units permitted, as shown by a yield plan, and multiplying that number by 20%. Fractions of 0.5 or above shall be rounded up to the next whole number, and fractions of less than 0.5 shall be rounded down to the next whole number.
(2) 
In developments where the units will be offered for sale, the inclusionary dwelling unit shall be affordable for a family with an adjusted gross income that is less than 100% of the area median income. Construction of additional required inclusionary dwelling units shall conform to this sequence. In developments where the units will be rental units, the rent for all inclusionary dwelling units must be affordable for a family with an adjusted gross income that is 80% or less of the area median income.
(3) 
The exterior appearance of the inclusionary dwelling units must be substantially similar to that of the market-rate units, except that the inclusionary units may be no smaller than 960 square feet. The inclusionary dwelling units must be compatible in scale and architectural style with the market-rate units. The average number of bedrooms in the inclusionary dwelling units shall be equal to or greater than the average number of bedrooms in the market-rate units.
(4) 
The inclusionary dwelling units must be integrated throughout the development, rather than segregated in a particular area or areas, so they will not be in less desirable locations than market-rate units. The inclusionary units shall, on average, be no less accessible to public amenities such as open space or recreational features than market-rate units. In developments consisting of multiunit dwelling structures, the inclusionary dwelling units must be integrated throughout the structure.
(5) 
The inclusionary dwelling units must be built simultaneously with the market-rate units. For developments consisting of single-household or two-household dwellings, the percentage of market-rate units for which building permits have been issued shall not exceed the percentage of inclusionary dwelling units for which building permits have been issued by more than 20%. A certificate of use and occupancy shall not be issued for the final market-rate unit until certificates of use and occupancy have been issued for all of the inclusionary dwelling units. In subdivisions or land development projects that are constructed in phases, these requirements apply separately to each phase.
C. 
Density bonuses.
(1) 
In every development in which required inclusionary dwelling units are constructed, the number of dwelling units permitted on the parcel shall be increased above the number that otherwise would be permitted. The purpose of this density bonus is to mitigate the cost of creating inclusionary dwelling units by providing sites on which the units can be developed. The basic number of dwelling units permitted on the parcel, as shown in a yield plan, shall be increased by a number equal to the number of low- and moderate-income dwelling units required.
(2) 
When residential density is increased in a development, the Planning Board shall have the authority to adjust the lot frontage, lot width, front yard setback, side yard setback, rear yard setback, accessory dwelling setback, maximum impervious surface requirements and other dimensional regulations otherwise applicable in the zoning district if the Board finds the adjustments to be necessary and consistent with good planning practice. The adjusted dimensional regulations applicable to the development shall be shown on the final plat and shall be recorded in the land evidence records as a separate document that lists each lot, the street address of that lot, and the dimensional regulations applicable to that lot.
D. 
Alternatives to construction of inclusionary units. When in the judgment of the Planning Board a density increase or on-site construction of inclusionary dwelling units would not be in the best interests of good planning, or when a density increase is otherwise prohibited by law or regulation, the developer shall contribute to the Town's supply of low- and moderate-income housing through any one of, or any combination of, the following methods, subject to the approval of the Planning Board. The Planning Board's decision to require an alternative to on-site construction of inclusionary units shall be in writing and accompanied by findings of fact.
(1) 
Payment of a fee in lieu of construction.
(a) 
The fee for each inclusionary dwelling unit that is not constructed shall be the difference between the median sale price of all homes sold in Westerly during the previous calendar year and the sale price that would be paid for that home by a household of four persons with an income of 100% of the area median income.
(b) 
Fees in lieu of construction shall be calculated and paid at the time of the recording of the final plan for each phase of a development. The fees shall be paid into a restricted account maintained by the Town pursuant to RIGL 45-23-47, as amended.
(2) 
Rehabilitation of existing units.
(a) 
A developer may create low- and moderate-income units for sale, or low-income units for rent, by rehabilitating an existing structure and imposing deed restrictions or a land lease to assure affordability for ninety-nine (99) years. Dwelling units that are rehabilitated cannot be units that already qualify as low- and moderate-income housing.
(b) 
The Planning Board may, in its sole discretion, provide a density bonus equal to up to 100% of one dwelling unit at the rehabilitation site. If no density bonus is provided, the developer shall receive another municipal subsidy or subsidies.
(c) 
The number of low- and moderate-income units created shall be equal to or greater than the number that would have been required at the primary development site. The newly-created low- and moderate-income units must be constructed and occupied contemporaneously with the market-rate units being constructed at the primary development site.
(3) 
Construction of low- and moderate-income units at an off-site location.
(a) 
Low- and moderate-income dwelling units may be constructed at another site or sites. The developer must demonstrate that the alternate site does not have constraints to development that would prevent it from accommodating residential construction.
(b) 
The Planning Board may, in its sole discretion, provide a density bonus equal to up to 20% of one dwelling unit at the off-site location. If no density bonus is provided, the developer shall receive another municipal subsidy or subsidies.
(c) 
The number of low- and moderate-income units constructed off site shall be equal to or greater than the number otherwise required. The exterior appearance of the off-site low- and moderate-income units must be substantially similar to that of the market-rate units, except that the off-site low- and moderate-income units may be no smaller than 960 square feet. The average number of bedrooms in the off-site low- and moderate-income units shall be equal to or greater than the average number of bedrooms in the market-rate units. The newly-created low- and moderate-income units must be constructed contemporaneously with the market-rate units being constructed at the primary development site.
(d) 
Construction of new off-site units on existing single lots is preferable to construction of new subdivisions or land development projects containing multiple dwelling units.
E. 
Assurance of affordability and fair marketing.
(1) 
The developer shall contract with a monitoring agency approved by the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation for the following purposes:
(a) 
To determine pricing for initial sale, resale, or lease of the inclusionary dwelling units;
(b) 
To qualify purchasers or renters for initial occupancy based in household size and income;
(c) 
To determine pricing for resale or transfer of dwelling units; and
(d) 
To assist in the development of a marketing and resident selection plan, to be approved by the Planning Board, that meets state and federal fair housing requirements.
(2) 
Long-term affordability shall be assured through a land lease or deed restriction recorded in the Westerly Land Evidence Records before the sale or rental of the inclusionary dwelling unit. The lease or deed restriction shall include information regarding:
(a) 
The basis for calculation of the maximum sale or rental price for the unit, both initially and for future buyers or renters;
(b) 
Restrictions concerning who may occupy the unit and for what period;
(c) 
Provisions for monitoring, and assurance of compliance over time.
(3) 
Deed restrictions or land leases shall include the following restrictions:
(a) 
Inclusionary dwelling units that are sold shall be occupied by the buyers as their primary residence and shall not be leased to other occupants, seasonally or otherwise.
(b) 
Inclusionary dwelling units that are rentals shall not be subleased.
F. 
Cumulative impact. When a subdivision or land development project that creates fewer than six additional lots for development or fewer than six additional principal dwelling units is approved on a portion of a parcel of land, leaving another portion of the same parcel undeveloped, the portion left undeveloped shall not be subdivided or developed for residential use or mixed use within 25 years of final approval of the first development unless the undeveloped portion is subject to the inclusionary requirements of this article. The number of inclusionary units required in the second development shall be calculated as if the earlier development were part of it. This provision does not apply when an entire parcel receives master plan approval and is developed in phases.
TABLE 1
Required Inclusionary Units and Density Bonus
Basic Number of Lots or Units in Yield Plan
Required Number of Inclusionary Units
Number of Lots or Units Added by Density Bonus
Total Number of Lots or Units
6
1
1
7
7
1
1
8
8
2
2
10
9
2
2
11
10
2
2
12
11
2
2
13
12
2
2
14
13
3
3
16
14
3
3
17
15
3
3
18
16
3
3
19
17
3
3
20
18
4
4
22
19
4
4
23
20
4
4
24
21
4
4
25
22
4
4
26
23
5
5
28
24
5
5
29
25
5
5
30
26
5
5
31
27
5
5
32
28
6
6
34
29
6
6
35
30
6
6
36
31
6
6
37
32
6
6
38
33
7
7
40
34
7
7
41
35
7
7
42
36
7
7
43
37
7
7
44
38
8
8
46
39
8
8
47
40
8
8
48

§ 260-50.3 Comprehensive permits.

[Amended 9-24-2007 by Ch. No. 1616]
A. 
Statutory authority and purpose.
(1) 
In accordance with Title 45, Chapter 53 of the Rhode Island General Laws, entitled "Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Act," an applicant proposing to build a development with low- or moderate-income housing may submit to the Planning Board a single application for a comprehensive permit to build that development, instead of separate applications to the local boards and officials having jurisdiction over zoning and land use who would otherwise have the authority to approve the application. This procedure is available only for proposals in which at least 25% of the housing will be low- or moderate-income housing.
(2) 
In keeping with the goals and objectives of the Westerly Comprehensive Community Plan, low- and moderate-income housing shall be provided in a manner that maintains the character of the community and is commensurate with the ability of the Town to provide good quality and cost-effective services to its residents. In meeting the needs for affordable housing, priority consideration shall be given to the retrofitting of existing dwellings and the assimilation of low- and moderate-income housing into existing developments and neighborhoods.
B. 
Annual caps on comprehensive permits. In accordance with Westerly's Comprehensive Plan and RIGL 45-53-4(a)(4)(xiii), Westerly Town Council limits the annual total number of market rate and affordable dwelling units in comprehensive permit applications from for-profit developers to an aggregate of 1% of the total number of year-round housing units in the town, as recognized in the affordable housing plan. Notwithstanding the timetables set forth elsewhere in this section, the Planning Board shall have the authority to consider comprehensive permit applications from for-profit developers, which are made pursuant to this subsection, sequentially in the order in which they are submitted.
C. 
Housing density bonus. A goal of Westerly's Comprehensive Plan is to ensure that low- and moderate-income housing units are spread throughout the entire community, and are not confined to a handful of locations before reaching the annual cap on comprehensive permits. In order to achieve this objective, a bonus in the combined number of market rate and affordable units proposed for any single comprehensive permit shall be provided, reflecting a "one step" density increase within the established hierarchy of the Schedule of Dimensional Regulations (§ 260-19). The following table illustrates maximum allowed density bonuses for each of the Town's residential zoning districts. For example, a comprehensive permit proposed in the HDR-15 Zone (15,000 square feet per unit or 2.90 units per acre) could be submitted with densities allowed in the HDR-10 Zone (10,000 square feet per unit or 4.36 units per acre). Any density bonus granted by the Planning Board shall further be contingent on provisions contained in Subsection G below, including suitability of project design, environmental characteristics of the parcel, and the development's relationship to supporting utility and roadway infrastructure.
Comprehensive Permit - Zoning Hierarchy Density Table
Zoning District
Allowed Density, Schedule of Dimensional Regulations (§ 260-19)
Maximum Density for Comprehensive Permit Applications (Market-Rate and Affordable Units Combined)
HDR-6
7.26 units/acre
8.71 units/acre (20% density bonus)
HDR-10
4.36 units/acre
7.26 units/acre (66% density bonus)
HDR-15
2.90 units/acre
4.36 units/acre (50% density bonus)
MDR-20
2.18 units/acre
2.90 units/acre (33% density bonus)
MDR-30
1.45 units/acre
2.18 units/acre (50% density bonus)
LDR-40
1.09 units/acre
1.45 units/acre (33% density bonus)
LDR-43
1.00 unit/acre
1.33 units/acre (33% density bonus)
RR-60
0.73 units/acre
1.00 unit/acre (37% density bonus)
D. 
Application procedure.
(1) 
Preapplication conference.
(a) 
An applicant for a comprehensive permit shall request a preapplication conference with the Town Planner. The purpose of the conference is to review a concept plan of the proposed development.
(b) 
To request a preapplication conference, the applicant shall submit a short written description of the project, including the number of units, type of housing, and a location map.
(c) 
The Town Planner shall have 30 days from receipt of a request for a preapplication conference to conduct the conference. If the preapplication conference has not taken place within 30 days, the applicant has the right to file the comprehensive permit application.
(2) 
Submission requirements. Applications for a comprehensive permit shall include an original and 24 copies of the following:
(a) 
A written application for a comprehensive permit on a form provided by the Planning Department for that purpose. The application shall identify the specific ordinances and regulations from which the applicant is seeking relief, together with a specific description of what relief is needed, including the permitted and the proposed housing density. A yield plan, which shall be subject to Planning Board approval, shall be included to show allowed density according to the Schedule of Dimensional Regulations (§ 260-19).
(b) 
For applications that do not propose a major land development project or a major subdivision, the applicant shall submit all of the material required by the applicable provision of the Zoning Ordinance or the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations,[1] including the master plan checklist for major land developments and major subdivisions, and the Town Planner shall indicate which provisions are not applicable at the preapplication conference.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 260, Zoning, or Ch. A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, respectively.
(c) 
For applications that propose a major land development project or a major subdivision, the applicant shall submit all items on the master plan checklist for major land developments and major subdivisions in the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations.
(3) 
Supporting materials. Applications shall include the following:
(a) 
A letter of eligibility or documentation of eligibility for a state or federal subsidy, or identification of the municipal subsidy sought;
(b) 
A proposed timetable for the commencement of construction and completion of the project, including a timetable for construction phasing that includes the percentage of low- and moderate-income housing that will be constructed during each phase;
(c) 
A sample land lease or deed restriction with affordability liens, in conformance with guidelines of the agency providing the subsidy, that will restrict use of the low- and moderate-income units to low- and moderate-income housing for 99 years;
(d) 
Identification of an approved entity that will monitor the long-term affordability of the low- and moderate-income units;
(e) 
A financial pro forma for the proposed development, including but not limited to evidence of the acquisition price, expenses, and other economic factors that comprise the total cost for the construction and administration of the facility and the resulting rental rates or sale prices to be charged for all units constructed;
(f) 
Scaled architectural drawings including floor plans of typical units, typical elevations, and sections, identifying construction type and exterior finish materials;
(g) 
A list of all state and federal approvals and permits required for construction of the development;
(h) 
A description of the proposed buildings by type and size (numbers of buildings, residential units, bedrooms, floor area), and percentage of the site that will be covered by structures and other impervious surfaces;
(i) 
An application fee of $1,500. Additional fees for legal advertising and third-party engineering review may be assessed pursuant to Chapter A261, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, § A261-12D and E.
E. 
Certification of Completeness
(1) 
The Town Planner shall certify a new application as complete or incomplete, according to the provisions of the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, within 30 days of the day it is received. If the application is certified as incomplete, the Town Planner shall specify, in writing, the missing or incomplete items. That time period stops running if the Town Planner determines that the application is incomplete. When the application is resubmitted, the Town Planner shall certify it as complete or incomplete within 14 days of the date of resubmission.
(2) 
When an application is certified as complete, the Planning Department shall transmit a complete copy of the application to the Town Council, the Conservation Commission, the Zoning Board of Review, the Zoning Enforcement Officer, the applicable fire district, and the Department of Public Works.
(3) 
Notwithstanding the submission requirements set forth in this section, the Planning Board may request additional reasonable documentation during review of the application, including but not limited to opinions of experts, credible evidence of application for necessary federal or state permits, and opinions or recommendations from other town boards, commissions, or officials.
F. 
Review of application
(1) 
A master plan application for a major land development project or major subdivision shall be scheduled for a public hearing as soon as practical. The Planning Board shall render a decision on the master plan application no more than 120 days after the date on which the application was certified as complete, unless the applicant and the Planning Board agree to a longer period of time. Preliminary plan review and approval and final plan review and approval shall take place pursuant to the provisions of the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, provided, however, that the preliminary plan application shall be certified as complete within forty-five (45) days of the day it is submitted.
(2) 
An application proposing any type of development other than a major land development or major subdivision, including but not limited to a minor land development, minor subdivision, Zoning Ordinance relief, or relief from any other local ordinance or regulation, shall be reviewed according to the procedures specified in the Zoning Ordinance or in the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations for that type of relief, provided, however, that a public hearing shall be conducted on each such application. The Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing on the application as soon as practical after the application is certified as complete, and shall render a decision no more than 95 days after the date on which the application was certified as complete, unless the applicant and the Planning Board agree to a longer period of time. The time from voting by the Planning Board until the written decision is issued shall not be included in any mandatory time period.
(3) 
If a decision is not rendered within the time periods in this section, the application shall be considered approved, and the necessary permits shall be issued immediately.
G. 
Decision.
(1) 
In a decision approving an application for a comprehensive permit, the Planning Board shall make positive findings on each of the following applicable criteria. The findings shall be supported by legally competent evidence on the record, and the decision shall disclose the nature and character of the observations on which the Planning Board members acted.
(a) 
The proposed development is consistent with local needs as identified in the Comprehensive Plan, with particular emphasis on the affordable housing plan, or the proposed development has satisfactorily addressed the issues where there may be inconsistencies.
(b) 
The proposed development is in compliance with the standards and provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, or where those standards and provisions have been waived or varied, local concerns that have been affected by the relief granted do not outweigh the state and local need for low- and moderate-income housing.
(c) 
All low- and moderate-income housing units proposed are integrated throughout the development, are similar in scale and architectural style to the market rate units in the development, and will be built and occupied prior to, or simultaneously with, the construction and occupancy of the market rate units.
(d) 
There will be no significant negative environmental impacts from the proposed development as shown on the final plan, with all required conditions for approval.
(e) 
There will be no significant negative impacts on the health and safety of current or future residents of the community, in areas including, but not limited to, safe circulation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, provision of emergency services, sewage disposal, availability of potable water, adequate surface water runoff, and the preservation of natural, historical or cultural features that contribute to the attractiveness of the community.
(f) 
All of the proposed land development, or all lots in a subdivision, will have adequate and permanent access to a public street in accordance with the requirements of RIGL 45-23-60(a)(5).
(g) 
The proposed development will not result in the creation of individual lots with such physical constraints to development that building on those lots according to the applicable regulations and building standards would be impracticable, unless the lots are created solely as permanent open space or are permanently reserved for a public purpose on the approved and recorded plat.
(2) 
The Planning Board may deny the application for any of the following reasons:
(a) 
Westerly's affordable housing plan has been approved, Westerly has adopted the implementation plan contained in the approved plan, Westerly has not unreasonably denied applications made pursuant to the approved affordable housing plan, and the application is inconsistent with the approved affordable housing plan;
(b) 
The proposal is not consistent with local needs, including, but not limited to, the needs identified in an approved Comprehensive Plan, and/or the Zoning Ordinance and procedures promulgated in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan;
(c) 
The proposal is not in conformity with the Comprehensive Plan;
(d) 
Westerly has met, or has plans to meet, the goal of having 10% of its year-round housing units as low or moderate income housing;
(e) 
The application does not adequately address concerns for the environment and for the health and safety of current town residents.
(3) 
When making its decision, the Planning Board shall have the same powers as the boards and officials who would otherwise have the authority to approve the application.
(4) 
The Planning Board shall have the authority to impose conditions and requirements on the decision with respect to site plan, height, size or shape, or building materials, that are consistent with the provisions of this section, consistent with the approved affordable housing plan, and supported by competent legal evidence in the record.
(5) 
The decision of the Planning Board shall be by a majority vote of the membership of the Board. The decision shall be in writing and shall be posted in the office of the Town Planner and in the office of the Town Clerk. A copy shall be sent to the applicant.
(6) 
A comprehensive permit shall expire unless construction is started within 12 months and completed within 60 months of final plan approval unless the Planning Board and the applicant agree to a longer and/or phased period for development. Low- and moderate-income housing units shall be built and occupied prior to or simultaneously with the construction and occupancy of market rate units.
H. 
Appeals.
(1) 
Any person aggrieved by the issuance of an approval may appeal to the Washington County Superior Court within 20 days of the issuance of approval.
(2) 
If the application is denied, or is granted with conditions or requirements that make the construction or operation of the housing infeasible, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the State Housing Appeals Board. The appeal shall be made within 20 days of the date of notice of the decision.

§ 260-50.4 Municipal Affordable Housing Fund.

[Added 1-14-2008 by Ch. No. 1625]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish an Affordable Housing Fund that will receive and hold monies that will be used to increase the Town's supply of low- and moderate-income housing.
B. 
Sources of fund. The Affordable Housing Fund may receive and hold monies from the following sources:
(1) 
Fees paid by developers in lieu of construction of inclusionary dwelling units pursuant to § 260-50.2, Inclusionary zoning.
(2) 
Fees paid pursuant to any other ordinance enacted to implement the housing element of the Town's Comprehensive Plan, including its Affordable Housing Plan.
(3) 
Town appropriations.
(4) 
Contributions from individuals, corporations, charitable or governmental entities.
C. 
Administration of fund. The Affordable Housing Fund shall be established as a restricted account that is administered by the Department of Finance pursuant to RIGL 45-23-47, as amended.
D. 
Purposes for which money may be used. Money held in the Affordable Housing Fund may be used by nonprofit and for-profit developers in the following ways to carry out goals of Westerly's Affordable Housing Plan, provided that a minimum of 50% of all dwelling units are set aside for low- and moderate-income households. In developments where the housing units will be offered for sale, low- and moderate-income units shall be affordable for a family with an adjusted gross income that is less than 100% of area median income. In developments where the housing units will be rentals, the rent for all low- and moderate-income units shall be affordable for a family with an adjusted gross income that is 80% or less of area median income.
(1) 
Grants to pay for all or part of the cost of constructing new low- or moderate-income housing or to purchase existing structures for rehabilitation and conversion to low- or moderate-income housing.
(2) 
As a municipal subsidy used to leverage funds from other sources in order to construct low- or moderate-income housing.
(3) 
To purchase land on which low- or moderate-income housing will be constructed.
(4) 
As repayable loans for the construction or creation of low- or moderate-income housing.
E. 
Town Council to award funds. Monies from the Affordable Housing Fund may from time to time be awarded by the Town Council after a public hearing. The date, time, location and purpose of the public hearing shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in Westerly at least 14 days before the date of the public hearing.
F. 
Fund distributions. Entities seeking Affordable Housing Fund financing shall provide all of the following information to the Planning Department, which will determine the completeness of the application prior to Town Council action. Missing or incomplete items must be provided before the Planning Department will certify the application as complete.
(1) 
Name, address and phone number of applicant;
(2) 
Address of the site proposed for affordable housing, and site description;
(3) 
Evidence that the applicant controls the site;
(4) 
Number and type (homeownership or rental) of housing units proposed;
(5) 
Other sources and amounts of housing construction financing;
(6) 
Relevant project details, including percentage of units for low- or moderate-income households, income eligibility standards, and maintenance of long-term affordability of low- or moderate-income housing units based on § 260-50.2E(2) and (3);
(7) 
Statement of conformance with Westerly's Affordable Housing Plan;
(8) 
Financial pro forma demonstrating that the project is financially feasible on the basis of estimated development costs (land acquisition, construction, financing and administration), and the resulting rental rates or sales prices to be charged for all units constructed;
(9) 
Proposed timetable for commencement of construction and project completion, including a timetable for construction phasing that includes the percentage of low- and moderate-income housing that will be constructed during each phase;
(10) 
Identification of a monitoring agent approved by the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation to assure affordability and fair marketing, pursuant to § 260-50.2E;
(11) 
Scaled architectural drawings including floor plans of typical units, typical elevations, identifying construction type and exterior finish materials; and
(12) 
List of all state and federal approvals and permits required prior to construction.
G. 
Monitoring of fund distributions. Entities receiving affordable housing funds shall submit quarterly reports to the Planning Department on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each calendar year until project completion. The following information shall be provided:
(1) 
All expenditures of affordable housing funds, including support materials necessary to justify expenditures (i.e., receipts for work performed).
(2) 
A written project status narrative describing activities undertaken during the reporting period, changes in the scope of work, changes in timetables affecting project completion dates, and specific accomplishments, problems or anticipated delays.