[Adopted 12-10-1979 by Ord. No. 440 as Secs. 2-38 to 2-44 of the 1979 Code]
In accordance with the provisions of R.I.G.L. § 45-22-1 et seq., there is established a Planning Board for the Town consisting of seven members resident in the Town. Members shall be elected at each annual financial Town meeting for a term of three years; except, that at the initial annual financial Town meeting three members shall be elected for terms of one year, two members for terms of two years and two members for terms of three years. Any vacancy of the Board shall be filed by the Town Council until the next annual financial Town meeting when the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. All members shall serve until their respective successors shall have been designated.
Note: The first annual Town meeting at which Planning Board members were elected was held in 1962.
After each annual financial Town meeting the Town Planning Board shall organize by electing a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and a Secretary. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held at least 10 times a year on such days as the Board may determine, and special meetings shall be held at the call of the Chairman or on the written request of three members. The Board shall adopt rules for the transaction of business and shall keep permanent and complete records of its proceedings, meetings, hearings and recommendations. Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum and no action shall be taken unless by the concurring vote of not less than four members.
The Town Planning Board shall make studies and when necessary prepare plans of the resources and 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 communal life. Such studies and plans may include among other things the following: land use; zoning; transportation facilities; public utilities; public facilities including schools, parks, beaches and other public areas and structures; blighted areas including plans for the redevelopment, rehabilitation and prevention of slum districts; air and water pollution; natural resources; protection from disaster; and economic and sociological characteristics of the Town.
The Town Planning Board shall prepare and adopt a Comprehensive Plan for the development and improvement of the Town. Such plan shall show among other things the existing and proposed location and arrangement of the uses of land in the Town; zoning districts; highways and appurtenant structures; transportation and utility routes, facilities, and structures; public schools, parks, and recreation areas; and public buildings and facilities. No portion of or amendment to the Comprehensive Plan shall be adopted by the Board without a public hearing thereon. Notice of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least twice each week for three successive weeks prior to such hearing.
When authorized by the Town Council, the Board shall collaborate with the Budget Committee in the annual preparation and recommendation to the financial Town meeting of a capital improvement budget for the following year and a comprehensive future capital improvement program.
The Board may call upon other departments, boards, or committees of the Town and agencies of the state and federal governments for assistance in the performing of its designated functions and shall cooperate with such other departments and with state and federal agencies on community, regional, and state planning and development. All Town officials and boards shall, upon request, furnish the Board such available information as it may require for its work.
The Town Planning Board shall submit a recommendation to the Town Council on all proposed ordinances and resolutions which concern the existing and proposed location and arrangement of the uses of land, or such other matters within the scope of § 9-4 that may be referred to it. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to restrict or prevent the Town Council from acting on any ordinance or resolution contrary to or in the absence of a recommendation of the Board.
The Town Planning Board shall report annually to the Town Council, summarizing the work of the preceding year and recommending plans of future development. All plans and reports of the Board shall be first submitted to the Town Council, but thereafter the Board may publish and distribute copies of plans and reports to promote public interest in and understanding of the work of the Board. An annual report shall also be filed with the State Development Council not later than November 1 of each year stating the activities and accomplishments of the Board for the year ending October 1 and preceding the filing of such reports.
The Town Planning Board may appoint such assistants and employees as it may deem necessary and may also employ consultants or enter into agreements with state, federal, or regional agencies; the Board may incur any expense necessary therefor, but it shall not for any purpose contract for or incur any expense larger than the amount appropriated or available therefor.