[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Charlestown 7-13-1981 as Ch. 124. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a Planning Commission.
There shall be a Planning Commission composed of five (5) members. They shall be elected at large on a nonpartisan basis for terms of six (6) years, except that the initial elections shall be held in November 1982 and shall be for terms of two (2) members for two (2) years, two (2) members for four (4) years and one (1) member for six (6) years, respectively. In addition, there shall be two (2) alternate members elected for terms of two (2) years, and any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled by one (1) of the alternates until the next general election. All members shall serve until their respective successors have been elected. The Administrator, the Director of Public Works and the Superintendent of Schools shall serve as ex officio members, and a member of the Council may also serve as an ex officio member of this Commission.
Editor's Note: For similar provisions, see the Charter, § C-172.
Each candidate for the Planning Commission shall be a qualified elector of the town qualified to vote upon a proposition to impose a tax or for the expenditure of money in the town.
Candidates for the Planning Commission shall be nominated by petition signed by fifty (50) qualified electors of the town qualified to vote upon a proposition to impose a tax or for the expenditure of money.
The petition shall be on a form provided by the Town Clerk, and the name of the intended nominee shall be affixed thereto by the Town Clerk. The Seal of the Town of Charlestown shall be affixed to the front page of said petition.
Every qualified elector signing a nominating petition shall sign his name and shall indicate thereon his place of residence. A signature shall not be invalid because of the manner of indicating place of residence if the identity of the elector reasonably may be determined.
No qualified elector shall sign nominating petitions for a greater number of candidates than are to be elected, and, should he do so, his signature shall be counted upon the first petitions filed and shall be void on all other petitions.
Each nominating petition shall set forth the name and place of residence of the candidate thereby nominated and shall state that the nomination is for the office of Planning Commissioner and that the petitioners are legally qualified to vote for such candidate.
Each nominating petition also shall contain a statement to the effect that it has been circulated in good faith for the sole purpose of endorsing the person therein named in order to secure his selection as stated in the petition.
The nominating petition for any one (1) candidate may consist of several petitions which shall be assembled into one (1) petition before filing with the Town Clerk and shall be considered as a single petition.
Each nominating petition shall be verified by oath or affirmation of one (1) or more of the persons circulating the petition, taken and subscribed before a person qualified to administer an oath, to the effect that the petition was signed by each of the signers thereof in the handwriting of the signer.
Before a nominating petition may be filed with the Town Clerk, there shall be filed with the Town Clerk an acceptance of the nomination, in writing, signed by the candidate, which shall certify that the nominee consents to stand as a candidate and that, if elected, he agrees to take office and serve.
Petitions for the nomination of candidates shall be filed with the Town Clerk not less than twenty-one (21) days previous to the date of the election.
Upon receiving the nominating petition and statement of acceptance of any candidate, the Town Clerk forthwith shall deliver the petition to the canvassing authority, which shall certify to the Town Clerk within seven (7) days after its receipt the validity of any petition having sufficient number of proper signatures.
The Town Clerk shall certify a list of candidates and shall cause to be published twice on separate days in one (1) or more newspapers having a general circulation in the town the names and addresses of the candidates who have filed valid nominating petitions and acceptances.
Each qualified elector of the town qualified to vote upon a proposition to impose a tax or for the expenditure of money shall be entitled and shall be instructed to vote for five (5) members of a Planning Commission and two (2) alternate members of the Planning Commission.
If any elector shall vote for more than five (5) candidates for the Planning Commission and two (2) alternate members of the Planning Commission at an election at which paper ballots are used, all of his votes for candidates shall be invalid.
The election for a Planning Commission shall be by machine ballot at the general election commencing in November 1982 and every two (2) years thereafter.
Provisions will be made for absentee ballots under the same regulations that govern state general elections. Information regarding applications can be obtained from the Board of Canvassers.
Candidates for the Planning Commission shall be elected at large without party or political designation and shall be listed alphabetically on the ballot used for the election.
The five (5) candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected and shall constitute the Planning Commission, and the two (2) candidates for alternate member receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected and shall constitute the alternate members of the Planning Commission.
The votes shall be counted and the result of the election declared by the canvassing authority in the manner provided for other elections.
The Planning Commission may, subject to the approval of the Town Council and within the limit of funds appropriated to it, enter into cooperative agreements with other city or town, state, regional or federal agencies or private organizations to undertake studies deemed to be in the best interest of the locality, including cooperative agreements with cities or towns in neighboring states, where problems of common interest are deemed to exist. Such a board or commission may be authorized to accept technical and financial assistance from other public agencies or private organizations, subject to the approval of the Town Council.
Within the limit of the funds appropriated to it, the Planning Commission may engage technical or clerical assistance to aid in the discharge of its duties.
[Ratified 3-9-1992 by Ord. No. 185]
The Planning Commission shall make studies and prepare plans for the utilization of the resources and satisfaction of the needs of the town, with reference to its physical growth and development as affecting the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the people and the economy and efficiency of community life. Such studies and plans may include, among other things, the following:
The utilization of land for residential, commercial, industrial, public, institutional and other purposes.
The location and character of transportation routes, including railroads, highways, streets, sidewalks, bridges, terminals, heliports and other facilities.
The location and character of public facilities, including offices, fire or police stations, schools, recreation areas and other public places and structures.
The location and character of public service and utility systems, such as water supply, drainage, sewerage, street lighting and power or fuel transmission.
Blighted areas, including the designation of general areas for redevelopment or renewal.
Environmental pollution: air, land and water.
The conservation and utilization of natural resources, including soil, ground- or surface water, minerals, plant and animal life and topographic features.
Historic sites or buildings.
Survival from possible disaster.
The economic and sociological aspects of the town.
[Ratified 3-9-1992 by Ord. No. 185]
The Commission shall periodically update the Comprehensive Plan for the development and improvement of the town. That plan shall, among other things, show the proposed location and arrangement of the uses of the land; transportation routes; public facilities; utility systems; deteriorating or blighted neighborhoods planned for redevelopment, rehabilitation or other improvement; natural resources and historic sites to be preserved; and disaster survival proposals. The plan shall also include recommendations for the enactment of development controls deemed necessary to properly implement the features of the plan, such as zoning, subdivision control, official street map, minimum housing standards, pollution control, etc. No portion of the Comprehensive Plan or amendment thereto shall be adopted without a public hearing.
[Ratified 3-9-1992 by Ord. No. 185]
The Commission shall regulate the platting or any other subdivision of land in accordance with the provisions of the General Laws of Rhode Island.
[Added 3-9-1992 by Ord. No. 185]
The Zoning Board of Review shall act as the Planning Board of Review pursuant to Sections 45-23-14 and 45-23-15 of the Rhode Island General Laws and, as such, shall have the power to hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Planning Commission in the enforcement of this chapter or of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. Further, said Planning Board of Review shall have the power, in appropriate cases and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, to grant special exceptions to the rules and regulations of the Planning Commission in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the rules and regulations.