[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 6-9-1970, as amended 3-14-1972; 1-23-1973 (Sec. 16-1 of the 1985 Code of Ordinances). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 316.
The Town Council finds that the historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the Town should be preserved to enrich the experience of present and future generations, and that the continued expansion of urban and suburban development threatens the existence of historical sites and structures.
There is hereby established an "Historical District Commission" to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
The Commission shall consist of seven members, residents of the Town, to be appointed by the Town Council. Members shall be appointed for a term of three years, except that the initial appointment of two members shall be for one year, two members for two years and three members for three years. Members shall be eligible for reappointment.
In the event of a vacancy on the Commission, the Town Council shall make an interim appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. In the event that a Commission member shall have missed three consecutive meetings without consent of said Commission, then his membership shall expire forthwith and the Town Council shall make an interim appointment to fill the unexpired term of the vacancy.
In making appointments to the Commission, the Town Council may consult with any duly organized historic or preservation society which may submit a list of qualified citizens for the Town Council's consideration.
The Commission shall organize annually and, by election, shall select from its membership a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary and may adopt any rules of procedure deemed necessary in discharging its duties.
Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, and no vacancy in the membership shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all of the duties of the Commission.
The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
Establish criteria for evaluating historical, architectural or cultural sites, buildings, places, landmarks or areas so as to determine their value in terms of the national, state or local importance and to adjudge their worthiness for inclusion in the Town's Historic District Map;
Prepare, or cause to be prepared, for the Town the boundaries of historic districts to be incorporated on and to comprise the Town's Historic District Map; and
Submit said Historic District Map to the Town Council for acceptance, approval and filing.
In preparing said Historic District Map, the Commission shall bear in mind that the purpose of said map is to safeguard the heritage of the Town by preserving districts which reflect elements of Smithfield's cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history, to stabilize and improve property values in such districts, to foster civic beauty, to strengthen the local economy and to promote the use of such historic districts for the education, pleasure and welfare of the citizens of the Town.
In preparing said Historic District Map, the Commission may consult with the Town Council, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board, the Building Official or any other Town official or officials.
Upon the adoption by the Town Council of the Historic District Map the powers and duties of the Commission shall be expanded by ordinance to the full extent provided in Chapter 131, Public Laws 1959, entitled "An Act Providing for Historic Zoning," as amended.
Editor's Note: State law reference - Historical area zoning, G.L. 1956, § 45-24.1-1 et seq.