APPENDIX A:  SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS
RULES AND REGULATIONS
REGARDING THE SUBDIVISION AND DEVELOPMENT OF LAND
TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN, RHODE ISLAND
   1995
Adopted by the Middletown Planning Board
December 13, 1995
Amendments through November 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ARTICLE 1 - AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE
   SECTION 101 - AUTHORITY
   SECTION 102 - PURPOSES OF THE RULES AND REGULATIONS
   SECTION 103 - CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT
ARTICLE 2 - DEFINITIONS
ARTICLE 3 - CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT
   SECTION 301 - APPLICABILITY
   SECTION 302 - PROCEDURES
   SECTION 303 - CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT DESIGN PROCESS
   SECTION 304 - BASIC MAXIMUM NUMBER OF DWELLING UNITS
ARTICLE 4 - PROCEDURES FOR SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL
   SECTION 401 - GENERAL
   SECTION 402 - PRE-APPLICATION MEETINGS AND CONCEPT REVIEW
   SECTION 403 - APPLICATIONS FOR SUBDIVISION APPROVALS
   SECTION 404 - REQUIRED FINDINGS
   SECTION 405 - PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SUBDIVISION APPROVAL
   SECTION 406 - PROCEDURES FOR MINOR LAND DEVELOPMENT AND MINOR SUBDIVISION APPROVAL
   SECTION 407 - PROCEDURE FOR MAJOR LAND DEVELOPMENT AND MAJOR SUBDIVISION APPROVAL
   SECTION 408 - PUBLIC HEARING AND NOTICE REQUIREMENTS
ARTICLE 5 - REQUIRED MINIMUM STANDARDS OF DESIGN
   SECTION 501 - STREET ARRANGEMENT
   SECTION 502 - PAPER STREETS
   SECTION 503 - ACCESS PROVIDED TO ALL LOTS
   SECTION 504 - DEAD END STREETS
   SECTION 505 - COLLECTOR STREETS
   SECTION 506 - RESTRICTION OF ACCESS
   SECTION 507 - STREET NAMES
   SECTION 508 - STREET FRONTAGE
   SECTION 509 - OVERALL PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT
   SECTION 510 - SIDEWALKS
   SECTION 511 - PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS
   SECTION 512 - SIDE LOT LINES
   SECTION 513 - MODIFICATION OF LOTS
      Extra Size Lot
   SECTION 514 - OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION FACILITIES
      Section 514.1 - Conservation Development
      Section 514.2 - Conventional Development
   SECTION 515 - CONSTRUCTION SITE RUNOFF CONTROL
   SECTION 516 - STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
   SECTION 517 - FLOOD PRONE AREAS
   SECTION 518 - RETENTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES
   SECTION 519 - MULTI-STAGE SUBDIVISIONS
   SECTION 520 - FEES FOR REVIEWS/EVALUATIONS CONDUCTED BY CONSULTANTS/OTHER AGENCIES
   SECTION 521 - COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT
      Section 521.1 - Site Design
      Section 521.2 - Building Design and Architecture
      Section 521.3 - Landscaping
      Section 521.4 - Environmental Impacts
      Section 521.5 - Signage
ARTICLE 6 - SPECIFICATIONS FOR REQUIRED IMPROVEMENTS
   SECTION 601 - CONSTRUCTION PROCEDURES
   SECTION 602 - SPECIFICATIONS FOR REQUIRED IMPROVEMENTS
   SECTION 603 - GEOMETRIC DATA FOR STREET CONSTRUCTION
   SECTION 604 - STREET INTERSECTIONS
   SECTION 605 - CLEARING AND GRUBBING
   SECTION 606 - EARTH EXCAVATION
   SECTION 607 - LEDGE AND ROCK EXCAVATION
   SECTION 608 - SUBSURFACE WATER
   SECTION 609 - RETAINING WALLS
   SECTION 610 - SUB-DRAINS (ON LOTS)
   SECTION 611 - SPECIFICATIONS FOR STREET CONSTRUCTION
      Section 611.1 - Materials
      Section 611.2 - General Conditions
      Section 611.3 - Construction Methods
      Section 611.4 - Traffic Limitation
      Section 611.5 - Seasonal Limits
   SECTION 612 - WATER MAINS
   SECTION 613 - SANITARY SEWERS
   SECTION 614 - ELECTRICAL UTILITIES
   SECTION 615 - CAPE COD BERM
   SECTION 616 - SIDEWALKS
   SECTION 617 - CURB CUTS INTO HOUSELOTS
   SECTION 618 - LOT SLOPES
   SECTION 619 - SURFACE GUTTERS AND SUB-SURFACE STORM AND DRAINAGE PIPES AND FACILITIES
   SECTION 620 - SURFACE AND SUB-SURFACE DRAINAGE STRUCTURES AND FACILITIES
      Section 620.1 - Earthwork and Drainage
      Section 620.2 - Storm Drain and Sanitary Sewer Manholes/Catch Basins
      Section 620.3 - Minimum Cover
      Section 620.4 - Compaction
   SECTION 621 - MONUMENTS
   SECTION 622 - STREET TREES
   SECTION 623 - STREET NAME AND TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNS
   SECTION 624 - AS-BUILT DRAWINGS
   SECTION 625 - GATED COMMUNITIES AND LIMITED ACCESS GATES
ARTICLE 7 - IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE GUARANTEES
   SECTION 701 - SECURITY FOR COMPLETION OF IMPROVEMENTS
   SECTION 702 - AMOUNT OF SECURITY
   SECTION 703 - DURATION AND RELEASE OF GUARANTEE
      Section 703.1 - Security Duration
      Section 703.2 - Security Release
      Section 703.3 - Town Engineer Inspection and Certification
      Section 703.4 - Phased developments
      Section 703.5 - Planning Board Recommendation to Town Council
      Section 703.6 - Maintenance Bond
      Section 703.7 - Release Of Responsibility
      Section 703.8 - Partial Release of Security
   SECTION 704 - EXTENSION OF TIME
   SECTION 705 - DEFAULT
      Section 705.1 - Condition of Default
      Section 705.2 - Certificate of Default
      Section 705.3 - Execution of Guarantee
      Section 705.4 - Payment by Surety
      Section 705.5 - Insurance
ARTICLE 8 - ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES
   SECTION 801 - PENALTIES
   SECTION 802 - RECOVERY OF DAMAGES
   SECTION 803 - BOARD OF REVIEW
   SECTION 804 - POWERS OF THE ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW
   SECTION 805 - APPEAL PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 9 - SUPPLEMENTARY REGULATIONS
   SECTION 901 - ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
   SECTION 902 - ADMINISTRATIVE FEES
   SECTION 903 - MEETINGS, VOTES, DECISIONS AND RECORDS
   SECTION 904 - PRECEDENCE OF APPROVALS BETWEEN PLANNING BOARD AND OTHER LOCAL PERMITTING AUTHORITIES
   SECTION 905 - SIGNING AND RECORDING OF PLATS AND PLANS
   SECTION 906 - CHANGES TO RECORDED PLAT AND PLANS
   SECTION 907 - TIME REQUIREMENTS BETWEEN REVIEW STAGES, ENDORSEMENT AND    RECORDING OF PLANS, COMMENCEMENT AND COMPLETION OF SUBDIVISION  IMPROVEMENTS
   SECTION 908 - WAIVERS, MODIFICATIONS AND REINSTATEMENT OF PLANS
ARTICLE 10 - DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW
   SECTION 1001 - GENERAL
   SECTION 1002 - FAILURE TO ACT
   SECTION 1003 - PRE-APPLICATION MEETING REQUIRED
   SECTION 1004 - REQUIRED SUBMISSIONS AND DESIGN GUIDELINES
   SECTION 1005 - CERTIFICATION
   SECTION 1006 - REVIEW BY THE TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
   SECTION 1007 - REVIEW BY PLANNING BOARD
   SECTION 1008 - EXPIRATION OF APPROVAL
   SECTION 1009 - SCOPE OF REVIEW
   SECTION 1010 - SPECIFIC AND OBJECTIVE GUIDELINES FOR REVIEW
   SECTION 1011 - WAIVERS FROM THE DESIGN STANDARDS OF ARTICLE 5
APPENDIX A - FORMS AND CHECKLISTS
   § 1   APPLICATION FOR SUBDIVISION CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETENESS
   § 2   ADMINISTRATIVE SUBDIVISION CHECKLIST
   § 3   PRE-APPLICATION CHECKLIST
   § 4   MINOR SUBDIVISION CHECKLIST
   § 5   MAJOR SUBDIVISION CHECKLIST
   § 6   APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETENESS
   § 7   DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVIEW CHECKLIST
   § 8   ABUTTERS LIST
   § 9   STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN CHECKLIST
   § 10   PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT FORM 1 - COST ESTIMATE
APPENDIX B - DRAWINGS
   § 1   TYPICAL STREET CROSS SECTION DETAIL
   § 2   TYPICAL DRIVEWAY CURB CUT DETAIL
   § 3   CUL DE SAC DETAIL
   § 4   RIVERINE FLOOD HAZARD AREAS
APPENDIX C - CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT DESIGN PROCESS
Article 1 - AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE
Section 101 - Authority
The Planning Board of the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island, in accordance with the authority vested in the Town Of Middletown by Title 45, Chapter 23 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, 1992, as amended, and in accordance with an ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Authorizing and Empowering the Planning Board to Adopt, Modify and Amend Rules and Regulations Governing the Restricting the Platting or Other Subdivision of Land” passed at a meeting of the Town Council of said Town Of Middletown, duly held on February 17, 1969, does hereby declare its intention to exercise the power granted to it, and hereby adopts the following Rules and Regulations.
These Rules and Regulations are declared effective as of December 13, 1995 and supersede all previous Rules and Regulations Regarding the Platting or Other Subdivisions or Development of Land.
Section 102 - Purposes of the Rules and Regulations
These Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision and Development of Land are designed to:
   1.   Provide for the orderly, thorough and expeditious review and approval of land developments and subdivisions;
   2.   Promote high quality and appropriate design and construction of land developments and subdivisions;
   3.   Make adequate provisions for traffic to facilitate traffic flow and lessen traffic accidents;
   4.   Furnish guidance for the wise and efficient expenditures of funds for public works and to facilitate adequate, efficient and economic provisions for transportation, water supply, sewage, storm drainage, recreation and other public utilities and requisites.
   5.   Promote the protection of the existing natural and built environment and the mitigation of all significant negative impacts of any proposed development on the existing environment;
   6.   Promote design of land developments and subdivisions which are well-integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods with regard to natural and built features, and which concentrate development in areas which can best support intensive use by reason of natural characteristics and existing infrastructure;
   7.   Encourage local design and improvement standards to reflect the intent of the Comprehensive Community Plans and the Zoning Ordinance with regard to the physical character of the various neighborhoods and districts of the Town;
   8.   Promote thorough technical review of all proposed land developments and subdivisions by appropriate local officials;
   9.   Encourage local requirements for dedications of public land, impact mitigation, and payment-in-lieu thereof, to be based on clear documentation of needs and to be fairly applied and administered; and
   10.   Encourage the establishment and consistent application of procedures for local record-keeping on all matters of land development and subdivision review, approval and construction.
   11.   Further implementation of the goals and policies of applicable elements of the Comprehensive Community Plan.
Section 103 - Conservation Development
The Middletown Planning Board finds that in most circumstances conservation development fulfills the above stated goals to a greater extent than conventional development, as conservation development is designed to: 
   1.   Encourage the preservation of open space for its scenic beauty and the appropriate use thereof.
   2.   Preserve historical and archeological resources.
   3.   To protect natural resources, including but not limited to those containing woodlands, unique vegetation, streams, floodplains, wetlands, recharge areas, agricultural lands, wellheads, and vernal pools, by setting them aside from development.
   4.   Protect the value of real property.
   5.   Promote more sensitive siting of buildings and roads, and better overall site planning.
   6.   To provide a buffer between new development and existing streets, neighborhoods, active farmland, and adjacent park or conservation land.
   7.   Perpetuate the appearance of Middletown's traditional rural/agricultural landscape.
   8.   Allow landowners a reasonable return on their investment while also reducing the infrastructure costs for development.
   9.   Facilitate the construction and maintenance of streets, utilities, and public services in a more economical and efficient manner.
   10.   Offer an alternative to conventional subdivision and land development patterns.
   11.   To provide for a diversity of lot sizes, building densities, and housing choices to accommodate a variety of age and income groups, and residential preferences, so that the population diversity of the community may be maintained.
   12.   To create neighborhoods with direct visual and/or physical access to open land, with amenities in the form of neighborhood open space, and with a strong neighborhood identity.
   13.   To implement adopted land use, transportation and community service policies, as set forth in the Comprehensive Plan.
Article 2 - DEFINITIONS
As used in these Rules and Regulations, the following definitions shall apply where words or phrases used in this chapter are defined in the definitions section of either the “Rhode Island Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act,” section 45-22.2-4, or the “Zoning Enabling Act of 1991,” section 45-24-31, they shall have the meanings stated therein.  In addition, the following words or phrases shall have the following meanings.
Abutter.  One whose property abuts, that is, adjoins at a border, boundary, or point with no intervening land, or being separated from such a common border by a right-of-way, alley, or easement.
Administrative Officer.  The municipal official designated by these rules and regulations to administer the land development and subdivision regulations and to coordinate with local boards and commissions, municipal staff and state agencies. For purposes of these Rules and Regulations, the Town Planner is designated as the Administrative Officer.
Administrative subdivision.  Re-subdivision of existing lots which yields no additional lots for development, and involves no creation or extension of streets.  The re-subdivision only involves divisions, mergers, mergers and division, or adjustments of boundaries of existing lots.
Applicant.  The applicant for subdivision approval by the Planning Board, which also includes his/her authorized agents or representatives. For purposes of these Rules and Regulations, the terms applicant, subdivider and developer shall be synonymous.
Base Flood Elevation.  The water surface elevation of the base flood.
Base Flood.  The flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year; i.e., flood resulting from a 100-year frequency storm.
Board of appeal.  The local review authority for appeals of actions of the Administrative Officer and the Planning Board on matters of land development or subdivision, which is the local Zoning Board of Review constituted as the Board of Appeal.  See R.I.G.L. 45-23-57.
Bond.  See improvement guarantee.
Buildable lot.  A lot where construction for the use(s) permitted on the site under the local Zoning Ordinance is considered practicable by the Planning Board, considering the physical constraints to development of the site as well as the requirements of the pertinent federal, state and local regulations.  See R.I.G.L. 45-23-60 (4).
Certificate of completeness.  A notice issued by the Administrative Officer informing an applicant that the application is complete and meets the requirements of the municipality's regulations, and that the applicant may proceed with the approval process.
Concept plan.  A drawing with accompanying information showing the basic elements of a proposed land development plan or subdivision as used for pre-application meetings and early discussions, and classification of the project within the approval process.
Conservation Development (CSD).  A site planning technique which bases the layout of building lots and structures on the natural characteristics of the land and reduces lot sizes so that the remaining land can be used for recreation, common open space, and/or preservation of environmentally, historically and culturally sensitive features and/or structures. The number of developable lots created and the overall development density is no greater than what is permitted under conventional development.
Conservation Development Design Process. The process used to determine the layout of building lots, development, open space, and other improvements in a Conservation Subdivision/Land Development Project.  Consists of five steps: 1) Understanding the site, 2) Evaluating Site Context, 3) Designating the Required Open Space, 4) Locating Development Areas, and 5) Drawing in Lot Lines.
Consistency with the comprehensive plan.  A requirement of all local land use regulations which means that all these regulations and subsequent actions are in accordance with the public policies arrived at through detailed study and analysis and adopted by the municipality as the comprehensive community plan as specified in R.I.G.L. 45-22.2-3.
Conventional Development.  A subdivision or land development project in which an entire parcel of land is typically converted into privately owned building lots and public street rights-of way.  Generally, lots are of equal size and spread evenly throughout the parcel with little or no consideration of the natural setting or environmental and cultural features of the land.
Dedication, fee-in-lieu-of.  Payments of cash which are authorized in the local regulations when requirements for mandatory dedication of land are not met because of physical conditions of the site or other reasons.  The conditions under which the payments will be allowed and all formulas for calculating the amount shall be specified in advance in the local regulations.  See R.I.G.L. 45-23-47.
Development.  Any made-made change to improved or unimproved real estate; including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operation.
Development regulation.  Zoning, subdivision, land development plan, development plan review, historic district, official map, flood plain regulation, soil erosion control or any other governmental regulation of the use and development of land.
Division of land.  A subdivision.
Endorsement.  The approval of a final subdivision plat by means of signature on final plat drawings by the Chairman of the Planning Board or, in his absence, the Secretary, allowing the recording of the plat in the land evidence records of the Town.
Environmental constraints.  Natural features, resources, or land characteristics that are sensitive to change and may require conservation measures or the application of special development techniques to prevent degradation of the site, or may require limited development, or in certain instances, may preclude development.  See also physical constraints to development.
Final plan.  The final stage of land development and subdivision review.
Final plat.  The final drawing(s) of all or a portion of a subdivision to be recorded after approval by the Planning Board and any accompanying material as described in these regulations and/or required by the Planning Board.
Flood area, gross.  See R.I. State Building Code.
Flood Plain.  The term “flood plain” means that the land area adjacent to a river, stream, Narragansett Bay or other body of flowing or standing water, which is susceptible to being inundated by water from the base flood (100-year flood).
Floodway.  The term “floodway” means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge a 25-year frequency storm without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.
Governing body.  The Town Council.
Improvement.  Any natural or built item which becomes part of, is placed upon, or as affixed to, real estate.
Improvement guarantee.  A security instrument accepted by the Town to ensure that all improvements, facilities, or work required by the land development and subdivision regulations, or required by the Town as a condition of approval, will be completed in compliance with the approved plans and specifications of a development.
Local regulations.  The land development and subdivision review regulations adopted under the provisions of R.I.G.L. 45-23.  For purposes of clarification, here reference is made to local regulations, it is to be understood as these Rules and Regulations for the Subdivision of Land in the Town Of Middletown, Rhode Island and all related ordinances and rules properly adopted pursuant to R.I.G.L. 45-23.
Maintenance guarantee.  Any security instrument which may be required and accepted by the Town to ensure that necessary improvements will function as required for a specific period of time.  See improvement guarantee.
Major land development plan.  Any land development plan not classified as a minor land development plan.
Major subdivision.  Any subdivision not classified as either an administrative subdivision or a minor subdivision.
Master plan.  An overall plan for a proposed project site outlining general, rather than detailed, development intentions.  It describes the basic parameters of a major development proposal, rather than giving full engineering details.  Required in major land development or major subdivision review.
Minor land development plan.  A development plan for a residential project as defined in these rules and regulations, provided that the development does not require waivers or modifications as specified in these rules and regulations.  All non-residential land development projects are considered major land development plans.
Minor subdivision.  A plan for subdivision of land consisting of five (5) or fewer units or lots, provided that such subdivision does not require waivers or modifications as specified herein. 
Modification of requirements.  See Section 908.
Open Space.  Any parcel or area of land or water set aside, dedicated, designated, or reserved for public or private use or enjoyment or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring
the open space, provided that the area may be improved with only those buildings, structures, streets, and off-street parking, and other improvements that are designed to be incidental to the natural openness of the land.
Parcel.  A lot, or contiguous group of lots in single ownership or under single control, and usually considered a unit for purposes of development.  Also referred to as a tract.
Parking area or lot.  All that portion of a development that is used by vehicles, the total area used for vehicular access, circulation, parking, loading or unloading.
Permitting authority.  The local agency of town government specifically empowered by state enabling law and local ordinance to hear and decide on specific matters pertaining to local land use.
Phased development.  Development, usually for large-scale projects, where construction of public and/or private improvements proceeds by sections subsequent to approval of a master plan for the entire site.  See Section 509  and Section 518.
Physical constraints to development.  Characteristics of a site or area, either natural or man-made, which present significant difficulties to construction of the uses permitted on that site, or would require extraordinary construction methods.  See also environmental constraints.
Planning Board.  The Planning Board of the Town Of Middletown, Rhode Island.  Also referred to as the “Board” in these Rules and Regulations.
Plat.  A drawing or drawings of a land development or subdivision plan showing the location, boundaries, and lot lines of individual properties, as well as other necessary information as specified in these regulations.
Pre-application conference.  An initial meeting between developers and municipal representatives which affords developers the opportunity to present their proposals informally and to receive comments and directions from the municipal officials and others.  See Section 402.
Preliminary plan.  The required stage of land development and subdivision review which requires detailed engineered drawings and all required state and federal permits.  Section 407 C.
Public improvement.  Any street or other roadway, sidewalk, pedestrian way, tree, lawn, off-street parking area, drainage feature, or other facility for which the local government and other governmental entity either is presently responsible, or will ultimately assume the responsibility for maintenance and operation upon municipal acceptance.
Public informational meeting.  A meeting for the Planning Board or governing body preceded by a notice, open to the public and at which the public is heard.
Re-subdivision.  Any change of an approved or recorded subdivision plat or in a lot recorded in the municipal land evidence records, or that affects the lot lines of any areas reserved for public use, or that affects any map or plan legally recorded prior to the adoption of the local and development and subdivision regulations.  For the purposes of these Rules and Regulations any such action constitutes a subdivision.
Riverine.  The word “riverine” means relating to, formed by, or resembling a river (including tributaries), stream, brook, etc.
Significant environmental impacts.  Any activity which is likely to permanently or repeatedly degrade or destroy the quality of the air, water, soil, wetlands, or wildlife habitat; or which presents unacceptable risks to the public health. 
Site Analysis Map.  A map depicting natural, cultural, and recreational resources, as well as topography and infrastructure of the lot or lots being subdivided or developed.
Site Context Map.  An aerial photograph showing the area within a one-mile radius of the property and delineating natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
Storm water detention.  A provision for storage of storm water runoff and the controlled release of the runoff during and after a flood or storm.
Storm water retention.  A provision for storage of storm water runoff.
Street.  A public or private thoroughfare used, or intended to be used, for passage or travel by motor vehicles.  Streets are further classified by the functions they perform.  See street classification.
Street, access to.  An adequate and permanent way of entering a lot.  All lots of record shall have access to a public street for all vehicles normally associated with the uses permitted for that lot.
Street, alley.  A public or private thoroughfare primarily designed to serve as secondary access to the side or rear of those properties whose principal frontage is on some other street.
Street, cul-de-sac.  A local street with only one outlet and having an appropriate vehicular turnaround, either temporary or permanent, at the closed end.
Street, limited access highway.  A freeway or expressway providing for through traffic.  Owners or occupants of abutting property or lands and other persons have no legal right to access, except at the points and in the manner as may be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over the highway.
Street, private.  A thoroughfare established as a separate tract for the benefit of multiple, adjacent properties and meeting specific, municipal improvement standards.  This definition does not apply to driveways.
Street, public.  All public property reserved or dedicated for street traffic.
Street, stub.  A portion of a street reserved to provide access to future development, which may provide for utility connections.
Street classification.  A method of roadway organization which identifies a street hierarchy according to function within a road system, that is, types of vehicles served and anticipated volumes, for the purposes of promoting safety, efficient land use and the design character of neighborhoods and districts.  Local classifications shall use the following as major categories:
   Arterial.  A major street that serves as an avenue for the circulation of traffic into, out of, or around the municipality and carries high volumes of traffic.
   Collector.  A street whose principal function is to carry traffic between local streets and arterial streets but that may also provide direct access to abutting properties.
   Local. Streets whose primary function is to provide access to abutting properties.
Subdivider.  Any persons who (1) having an interest in land, causes it, directly or indirectly, to be divided into a subdivision or who (2) directly or indirectly sells, leases, or develops, or offers to sell, lease, or develop, or advertises to sell, lease or develop, any interest, lot, parcel, site, unit, or plat in a subdivision, or who (3) engages directly or through an agent in the business of selling, leasing, developing, or offering for sale, lease, or development a subdivision or any interest, lot, parcel, site, unit, or plat in a subdivision.
Subdivision.  The division or re-division, of a lot, tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, tracts, or parcels.  Any adjustment to existing lot lines of a recorded lot by any means is considered a subdivision.  All re-subdivision activity is considered a subdivision.  The division of property for purposes of financing constitutes a subdivision.
Technical Review Committee.  A committee appointed by the Planning Board for the purpose of reviewing, commenting, and making recommendations to the Planning Board with respect to approval of land development and subdivision applications.
Temporary improvement.  Improvements built and maintained by a developer during construction of a development project and prior to release of the improvement guarantee, but not intended to be permanent.
Town.  The word “Town” shall mean the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island.
Vested rights.  The right to initiate or continue to development of an approved project for a specified period of time, under the regulations that were in effect at the time of approval, even if, after the approval, the regulations change prior to the completion of the project.
Yield Plan. Plan of a conventional subdivision or land development used to demonstrate development potential, including the basic number of lots to be allowed in a conservation subdivision plan, based on the zoning and development requirements of the underlying zoning district.
Article 3 - CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT
This Article is adopted pursuant to and consistent with the purposes and standards provided in Article 19 of the Zoning Ordinance.
Section 301 - Applicability
A.   When Conservation Development is permitted under the Zoning Ordinance, the applicant for any subdivision/land development project application involving three acres or more of developable land areas shall submit a plan for both a conservation subdivision/land development project (CSD) and a conventional subdivision/development.  Conservation subdivision/land development projects involving less than three acres of developable land area are not permitted.
B.   Conservation Development plan submission shall not be required for:
      1.   Administrative subdivisions
      2.   Subdivisions that create lots that are not for the purpose of present or future development, provided that the lots are preserved in perpetuity as open space.
C.   Where a conservation subdivision/land development project plan is submitted, the Planning Board shall have the discretion to consider for approval either the CSD or the conventional plan of development provided that such determination is made at the Master Plan stage of review for all major subdivisions/developments, and prior to Preliminary Plan approval for minor subdivisions. In order to select the conventional plan for approval, rather than the conservation plan, the Board must find that one or more of the following statements is true:
      1.   Employing conservation development for the subject property would not offer significant public and/or environmental benefits compared to the conventional plan.  The board shall consider the plan's ability to address the following purposes for CSD when making this finding:
         (A)   To encourage the preservation of open space for its scenic beauty and the appropriate use thereof;
         (B)   To preserve historical and archeological resources;
         (C)   To protect natural resources, including but not limited to those containing woodlands, unique vegetation, streams, floodplains, wetlands, recharge areas, agricultural lands, wellheads, and vernal pools, by setting them aside from development;
         (D)   To protect the value of real property;
         (E)   To promote more sensitive siting of buildings and roads, and better overall site planning;
         (F)   To provide a buffer between new development and existing streets, neighborhoods active farmland, and adjacent park or conservation land;
         (G)   To perpetuate the appearance of Middletown's traditional rural/agricultural landscape;
         (H)   To allow landowners a reasonable return on their investment while also reducing the infrastructure costs for development;
         (I)   To facilitate the construction and maintenance of streets, utilities, and public services in a more economical and efficient manner;
         (J)   To offer an alternative to conventional subdivision development;
         (K)   To provide for a diversity of lot sizes, building densities, and housing choices to accommodate a variety of age and income groups, and residential preferences, so that the population diversity of the community may be maintained;
         (L)   To create neighborhoods with direct visual and/or physical access to open land, with amenities in the form of neighborhood open space, and with a strong neighborhood identity;
         (M)   To implement adopted land use, transportation and community service policies, as set forth in the Comprehensive Plan.
      2.   Compared to the conventional plan, employing conservation development for the subject property would cause a nuisance to neighboring uses, and would be detrimental to the appropriate use of neighboring properties.
      3.   Compared to the conventional plan, employing conservation development for the subject property will not result in the protection of the unique natural features of the land, provide environmental benefits, such as reduced storm water runoff, or reduce infrastructure construction and maintenance costs.
      4.   The conservation plan would not create a neighborhood with direct visual and/or physical access to the protected open space.
Section 302 - Procedures
Applications for CSD approval shall be made in accordance with procedures for approval of a major or minor subdivision or land development project based on the number of lots or dwellings in the development as provided in Section 403 of these Regulations.  In addition, applicants shall:
   A.   Schedule a pre-application meeting.
   B.   Submit all Conservation Development materials listed in Appendix A.
   C.   Provide the information used to determine the basic number of lots/units.
   D.   For the conservation plan, demonstrate to the Planning Board that the Conservation Development Design Process was used in siting open space.
   E.   For the conventional design plan, demonstrate to the Planning Board that the lots as depicted on the conventional plan are capable of supporting the proposed development given any land development constraints.
Section 303 - Conservation Development Design Process
   A.   The design of a Conservation Development shall follow the design process specified in Appendix C - Conservation Development Design Process.  As a guide in designing Conservation Developments, applicants are encouraged to review the provisions of the Rhode Island Conservation Development Manual, RIDEM, June 2003 (as amended), in the preparation of plans. The maps illustrated in this manual provide graphic examples of what is required of applicants.
   B.   Applicants shall demonstrate to the Planning Board that this design process was considered in determining the layout of proposed streets, building locations, and open space by submitting the following items:
   (Minor and Major Subdivision/Land Development Projects)
 
MINOR SUBDIVISION/LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Step
Required Item
Stage at which item must be submitted
Pre-application
Preliminary Plan
Final Plan
1.  Understanding the Site
Site Analysis Maps
T
T
2.  Evaluate Site Context
Site Context Map
T
T
3.  Designate Potential Conservation Areas
Potential Conservation Areas
T
T
4.  Determine Maximum Number of Units
Yield formula calculation
T
5.  Locate Development Areas
Sketch Plan
T
6.  Locate Building Sites
Site Plan
T
T
7.  Lay out Streets, Trails, and Other Infrastructure
Infrastructure & Utilities Plan
T
T
8.  Design and Program Open Space
Open Space Plan
T
T
9.  Draw in Lot Lines
Site Plan
T
T
10. Establish Ownership and Management of Open Space
Open Space Management Plan
T
T
 
 
MAJOR SUBDIVISION/ LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Step
Required Item
Stage at which item must be submitted
Pre-application
Master Plan
Preliminary Plan
Final Plan
1.  Understanding the Site
Site Analysis Maps
T
T
2.  Evaluate Site Context
Site Context Map
T
T
3.  Designate Potential Conservation Areas
Potential Conservation Areas
T
T
T
4.  Determine Maximum Number of Units
Yield formula calculation
T
5.  Locate Development Areas
Sketch Plan
T
T
6.  Locate Building Sites
Site Plan
T
T
T
7.  Lay out Streets, Trails, and Other Infrastructure
Infrastructure & Utilities Plan
T
T
8.  Design and Program Open Space
Open Space Plan
T
T
9.  Draw in Lot Lines
Site Plan
T
T
10. Establish Ownership and Management of Open Space
Open Space Management Plan
T
T
 
Section 304 - Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling Units
   A.   Yield Formula - The basic maximum number of dwelling units to be allowed in a proposed CSD project, regardless of the type of development proposed (i.e. single-family, two-family, or multi-family), shall be determined using the formulas below. Including only developable land area, and excluding land needed to account for roads and irregularities in parcel shape, the formulas determine the basic maximum number of dwelling units in a CSD, depending on the zoning district designation of the subject property:
 
Zoning District
R-10
Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling Units = Developable Land Area ÷ 9,000 sq.ft.
R-20
Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling Units = Developable Land Area ÷ 24,000 sq.ft.
R-30
Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling Units = Developable Land Area ÷ 36,000 sq.ft.
R-40
Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling Units = Developable Land Area ÷ 48,000 sq.ft.
R-60
Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling Units = Developable Land Area ÷ 72,000 sq.ft.
 
   Results of the formula calculation shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number.
   B.   Upon completion of its review, the Planning Board shall determine the initial Basic Maximum Number of lots/dwelling units permitted in a development. This initial determination shall be made at the master plan stage of review for major subdivisions and major land development projects, and at the preliminary stage of review for minor subdivisions and minor land development projects. The applicant shall use this initial determination as the basis for submission of more detailed information during subsequent stages of review. Upon further investigation and upon receipt of more detailed soils and environmental information as may be provided in subsequent stages of review, the Planning Board may reduce the number of lots/dwelling units contained in the initial Basic Maximum Number. For all developments, the final Basic Maximum Number shall be established by the Planning Board at the final stage of review.
   C.   In developments that require alterations to be made to freshwater wetlands, the Board may establish an initial Basic Maximum Number contingent upon confirmation by the RI Department of Environmental Management that such alterations are permitted under the provisions of the Freshwater Wetlands Act.
Article 4 - PROCEDURES FOR SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL
Section 401 - General
   A.   Any person proposing to subdivide or develop any land in the Town Of Middletown shall submit an application to the Planning Board or, in the case of an administrative subdivision, to the Administrative Officer for approval, or for referral to the Planning Board and/or its Technical Review Committee, as appropriate.  No plat of a subdivision or development of land in the Town shall be accepted for filing or recording in the land evidence records of the Town until it shall have been approved by the Planning Board or Administrative Officer, and such approval entered in writing on the plat by the Chairman or Secretary of the Board or the Administrative Officer in the case of an administrative subdivision or of a development requiring Development Plan Review ("DPR").
   B.   Whenever any subdivision of land is proposed, before any development shall take place thereon, before any permit for the erection of a structure shall be granted, and before any lot within said subdivision shall be sold, the owner of said land, or his designated representative, shall apply for and secure approval of such proposed subdivision in accordance with the following procedures.
Section 402 -  Pre-application meetings and concept review
   A.   General
   1.   Pre-application meetings allow the applicant to meet with appropriate officials, boards and/or commissions, planning staff, and, where appropriate, state agencies, for advice as to the required steps in the approvals process, the pertinent local plans, ordinances, regulations, rules and procedures and standards which may bear upon the proposed development project.
   2.   Pre-application meetings aim to encourage information sharing and discussion of project concepts among the participants. Pre-application discussions are intended for the guidance of the applicant and are not considered approval of a project or its elements.
   B.   Meeting required
   1.   One or more pre-application meetings shall be held for all major land development or subdivision applications and all minor land development or subdivision applications proposing the creation or extension of a public road.
   2.   Provided that at least one (1) pre-application meeting has been held for major land development or subdivision application or sixty (60) days has elapsed from the filing of the pre-application submission and no pre-application meeting has occurred within those sixty (60) days, nothing shall be deemed to preclude an applicant from thereafter filing and proceeding with an application for a land development or subdivision project in accordance with R.I.G.L. § 45-23-36.
   3.   Pre-application meetings may be held where not otherwise required upon request of either the municipality or the applicant.
   C.   Submittals
   1.   Where a pre-application meeting is required by this section, applicants shall submit the materials required by Appendix A, § 2 - Pre-application checklist.
   2.   Where a pre-application meeting is not required, applicants seeking a pre-application meeting or an informal concept review shall submit general, conceptual materials in advance of the meeting(s) as requested by municipal officials.
   D.   Concept Review
   At the pre-application stage the applicant may request that the Planning Board or the Technical Review Committee provide an informal concept plan review for a development. The purpose of the concept plan review is also to provide planning board or technical review committee input in the formative stages of major subdivision and land development concept design.
Section 403 - Applications for Subdivision Approvals
   A.   Any person intending to subdivide land in the Town of Middletown shall follow the procedure established in these Rules and Regulations and shall provide all the material required in the checklists for the appropriate subdivision contained in Appendix A. The Planning Board will refuse to consider a plat of a subdivision until all items in the appropriate checklists have been submitted by the applicant, and no subdivision shall be considered as having been submitted to the Board unless the proposed plat is accompanied by all the material required by the appropriate checklist.
   B.   Applications for subdivision approval shall be made to the Administrative Officer, who shall review all applications for form and content in conformity with the requirements set forth herein.  Complete applications shall then be officially filed for review by the Planning Board, and the Administrative Officer shall stamp all such applications with the date of official submission to the Town.
   C.   The Administrative Officer shall advise the applicant as to which approvals are required and the appropriate board for hearing an application for land development or subdivision project.  The following types of applications, as defined in Article 3, may be filed:
      1.   Administrative subdivision
      2.   Minor subdivision or minor land development plan
      3.   Major subdivision or major land development plan
   D.   An application shall be complete for purposes of commencing the applicable time period for action when so certified by the Administrative Officer.  In the event such certification of the application is not made within the time specified in this article for the type of plan, the application shall be deemed complete for purposes of commencing the review period unless the application lacks information required for such application as specified in this article and the Administrative Officer has notified the applicant, in writing, of the deficiencies in the application.
   E.   The Planning Board may subsequently require correction of any information found to be in error and submission of additional information specified in these Rules and Regulations but not required by the Administrative Officer prior to certification, as is necessary to make an informed decision.
   F.   Where the review is postponed with the consent of the applicant, pending further information or revision of information, the time period for review shall be stayed and shall resume when the Planning Board determines that the required application information is complete.
   G.   All proposed subdivisions must meet at least the minimum design requirements set forth in these Rules and Regulations. For conservation subdivision developments (CSD), applicants shall be prepared to demonstrate to the Planning Board that the Conservation Development Design Process outline in Appendix C of these regulations was considered in determining the proposed layout of open space, development areas and lots.
   H.   No streets or other improvements may be installed until the Planning Board has approved the final plat.  No lots may be sold until the final plat has been endorsed by the Planning Board Chairman or Secretary and recorded in the land evidence records of the Town.
Section 404 - Required Findings
The approving authorities responsible for land development and subdivision review and approval shall ensure that each proposal addresses the general purposes listed in Section 102 of these Rules and Regulations and shall make positive findings on the following prior to approving the proposed subdivision/development:
   A.   The proposed development is consistent with the comprehensive community plan and/or has satisfactorily addressed the issues where there may be inconsistencies;
   B.   The proposed development is in compliance with the standards and provisions of the Town Zoning Ordinance;
   C.   There will be no significant negative environmental impacts from the proposed development as shown on the final plan, with all required conditions for approval;
   D.   The subdivision, as proposed, will not result in the creation of individual lots with such physical constraints to development that building on those lots according to pertinent regulations and building standards would be impracticable.  (See definition of buildable lot).  Lots with such physical constraints to development may be created only if identified as permanent open space or permanently reserved for a public purpose on the approved, recorded plans; and
   E.   All proposed land developments and all subdivision lots shall have adequate and permanent physical access to a public street. Lot frontage on a public street without physical access shall not be considered compliance with this requirement.
Section 405 - Procedure for Administrative Subdivision Approval
   A.   Submittals
Any applicant requesting approval of a proposed administrative subdivision, as defined in these Rules and Regulations, shall submit to the Administrative Officer the items required by the Administration Subdivision Checklist at Appendix A.
   B.   Certificate of Completeness
The application shall be certified as complete or incomplete by the Administrative Officer within a fifteen (15) day period from the date of its submission according to the provisions of Section 403.
   C.   Review Process
   1.   Within fifteen (15) days of certification of completeness, the Administrative Officer shall review the application and approve, deny or refer it to the Planning Board with recommendations. The Administrative Officer shall report his/her actions to the Planning Board at its next regular meeting, to be made part of the record.
   2.   If no action is taken by the Administrative Officer within the fifteen (15) days, the application shall be placed on the agenda of the next regular Planning Board meeting.
   3.   If referred to the Planning Board, the Board shall consider the application and the recommendations of the Administrative Officer and shall either approve, approve with conditions, or deny the application within sixty-five (65) days of certification of completeness.  Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the administrative subdivision plan and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act within the required time and the resulting approval shall be issued on request of the applicant.
   4.   Denial of an application by the Administrative Officer is not appealable and requires the plan to be submitted as a minor subdivision application.
   5.   Any approval of an administrative subdivision shall be evidenced by a written decision which shall be filed and posted in the office of the town clerk.
   6.   Approval of an administrative subdivision expires ninety (90) days from the date of approval unless within that period a plat in conformity with that approval is submitted for signature and recorded as specified in Section 905.
Section 406 - Procedures for Minor Land Development and Minor Subdivision Approval
   A.   Review Stages
Minor plan reviews consists of two stages, preliminary and final, provided that if a street creation or extension is involved, a public hearing is required. The Planning Board may combine the approval stages, provided requirements for both stages have been met by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Administrative Officer. Applications for CSD also require a pre-application meeting.
   B.   Submission requirements
Any applicant requesting approval of a proposed minor subdivision or minor land development, as defined in these Rules and Regulations, shall submit to the Administrative Officer the items required by the Minor Subdivision Checklist (Appendix A) at least three weeks prior to the Planning Board meeting at which the applicant desires to be heard.
If a pre-application meeting is required or requested, the items required by the Pre-application Checklist (Appendix A) shall be submitted prior to the pre-application meeting.
   C.   Certification
The application shall be certified complete or incomplete by the Administrative Officer within twenty-five (25) days, or within fifteen (15) days if no street creation or extension is required, according to the provisions of Section 402.  The running of the time period set forth in this section will be deemed stopped upon the issuance of a certificate of incompleteness of the application by the administrative officer and will recommence upon the resubmission of a corrected application by the applicant.  However, in no event will the administrative officer be required to certify a corrected submission as complete or incomplete less than fourteen (14) days after its resubmission.
   D.   Administrative Review
The Administrative Officer shall review the application and shall comment and make recommendations to the Planning Board. The application shall be referred to the Planning Board for review and approval.
   E.   Re-assignment to Major Review
The Planning Board shall re-assign a proposed minor project to major review only when the Planning Board is unable to make the positive findings required in Section 404.
   F.   Decision
   1.   If no street creation or extension is required, the Planning Board will approve, deny or approve with conditions the preliminary plan within sixty-five (65) days of certification of completeness, or within any further time that is agreed to by the applicant and the board, according to the requirements of Section 903.
   2.   If a street extension or creation is required, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing prior to approval according to the requirements of Section 408 and will approve, deny or approve with conditions, the preliminary plan within ninety-five (95) days of certification of completeness, or within any specified time that is agreed to by the applicant and the Board, according to the requirements of Section 903.
   G.   Failure to Act
Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the preliminary plan and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act within the required time and the resulting approval shall be issued on request of the applicant.
   H.   Final Plan
The Planning Board may delegate final plan review and approval to either the Administrative Officer or the Technical Review Committee. The officer or committee will report its actions to the Planning Board at its next regular meeting, to be made part of the record.
   I.   Expiration of approval
Approval of a minor land development or subdivision plan shall expire ninety (90) days from the date of approval unless within such period a plat or plan, in conformity with such approval, and as defined in these rules, is submitted for signature and recording as specified in Section 905.  Validity may be extended for a longer period, for cause shown, if requested by the applicant in writing, and approved by the Planning Board.
Section 407 - Procedure for Major Land Development and Major Subdivision Approval
Prior to the Master Plan Review, one or more pre-application meetings shall be held in accordance with Section 402.
   A.   Review Stages
   1.   Major Plan Review is required for all applications for land development and subdivision approval subject to these Rules and Regulations, unless classified as an administrative subdivision or a as minor land development or a minor subdivision.
   2.   Major plan review consists of three stages of review, master plan, preliminary plan and final plan, following the pre-application meeting(s) specified in Section 402(C). Also required is a public informational meeting and a public hearing.
   3.   The Planning Board may vote to combine review stages and to modify and/or waive requirements as specified in Section 908.  Review stages may be combined only after the Planning Board determines that all necessary requirements have been met by the applicant.
   4.   Unless waived by the Planning Board consistent with the provisions of Article 3 of these regulations, all major subdivisions must be submitted as Conservation Subdivision Developments.
   B.   Master Plan Review
   1.   Submission requirements
      (a)   At least three weeks prior to the scheduled Planning Board meeting, at which the applicant wishes to be heard, the applicant shall first submit to the Administrative Officer the items required by the Major Subdivision Master Plan Checklist (Appendix A).
      (b)   Requirements for the master plan and supporting material for this phase of review shall include, but not be limited to:  information on the natural and built features of the surrounding neighborhood, existing natural and man-made conditions of the development site, including topographic features, the freshwater wetland and coastal zone boundaries and floodplains, as well as the proposed design concept, proposed public improvements and dedications, tentative construction phasing, and potential neighborhood impacts.
      (c)   The Administrative Officer shall solicit initial comments from (a) local agencies including, but not limited to, the Planning Department, the department of public works, fire and police departments, the conservation, tree, and recreation commissions; (b) adjacent communities; (c) state agencies, as appropriate, including the Departments of Environmental Management and Transportation, and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC); and (d) federal agencies, as appropriate. The Administrative Officer shall coordinate review and comments by local officials, adjacent communities, and state and federal agencies.
   2.   Certification
The application must be certified complete or incomplete by the Administrative Officer within sixty (60) days, according to the provisions of Section 403. The running of the time period set forth herein will be deemed stopped upon the issuance of a certificate of incompleteness of the application by the Administrative Officer and will recommence upon the resubmission of a corrected application by the applicant. However in no event will the administrative officer be required to certify a corrected submission as complete or incomplete less than fourteen (14) days after its resubmission.
   3.   Informational meeting
      (a)   A public informational meeting shall be held prior to the Planning Board decision on the master plan, unless the master plan and preliminary plan approvals are being combined, in which case the public informational meeting shall be optional, based upon Planning Board determination.
      (b)   Public notice for the informational meeting shall be given at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting in the Newport Daily News.  Written notice shall be mailed to the applicant and to all abutting property owners.
      (c)   At the public informational meeting the applicant shall present the proposed development project.  The Planning Board shall allow oral and written comments from the general public. All public comments shall be made part of the public record of the project application.
   4.   Decision
The Planning Board shall, within one hundred and twenty (120) days of certification of completeness, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant, approve of the master plan as submitted, approve with changes and/or conditions, or deny the application, according to the requirements of Section 903.
   5.   Failure to act
Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the master plan and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act within the required time and the resulting approval shall be issued on request of the applicant.
   6.   Vesting
      (a)   The approved master plan shall be vested for a period of one (1) year with a one (1) year extension upon written request by the applicant, who must appear before the Planning Board for the annual review. Vesting may be extended for a longer period, for good cause shown, if requested by the applicant in writing, and approved by the Planning Board. Master plan vesting shall include the zoning requirements, conceptual layout and all conditions shown on the approved master plan drawings and supporting materials.
      (b)   The initial two year vesting for the approved master plan shall constitute the vested rights for the development as required in R.I.G.L. 45-24-44.
   C.   Preliminary Review
   1.   Submission Requirements
      (a)   The applicant shall submit to the Administrative Officer the items required by the Major Subdivision Preliminary Review Checklist (Appendix A) at least three (3) weeks prior to the scheduled Planning Board meeting at which the applicant wishes to be heard.
      (b)   Requirements for the preliminary plan and supporting materials for this phase of the review shall include, but not be limited to:  engineering plans depicting the existing site conditions, engineering plans depicting the proposed development project, a perimeter survey, all permits required by state or federal agencies prior to commencement of construction, including permits related to freshwater wetlands, the coastal zone, floodplains, preliminary suitability for individual septic disposal systems, public water systems, and connections to state roads.
      (c)   Final written comments and/or approvals shall be provided from the Public Works Department, Town Engineer, Town Solicitor, and other local government departments, commissions, or authorities as appropriate.
      (d)   Prior to approval of the preliminary plan, copies of all legal documents describing the property, proposed easements and rights-of-way shall be submitted.
      (e)   In conservation subdivisions/land development projects, proposed arrangements for ownership, use, and maintenance of the required open space shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Board.
   2.   Certification
The applications shall be certified as complete or incomplete by the Administrative Officer within sixty (60) days, according to the provisions of Section 403. The running of the time period set forth herein will be deemed stopped upon the issuance of a certificate of incompleteness of the application by the Administrative Officer and will recommence upon the resubmission of a corrected application by the applicant. However, in no event shall the administrative officer be required to certify a corrected submission as complete or incomplete less than fourteen (14) days after its resubmission.
   3.   Technical Review Committee
The Planning Board may request Technical Review Committee review of all Major Subdivision/Land Development Project preliminary plan materials.
   4.   Development Impact Review
Unless waived by the Planning Board, all Major Subdivision/Development applications shall undergo Development Impact Review, consistent with the provisions of Section 310 of the Zoning Ordinance.
   5.   Public hearing
Prior to a Planning Board decision on the preliminary plan, a public hearing, which adheres to the requirements for notice described in Section 408, must be held.
   6.   Public Improvement Guarantees
Proposed arrangements for completion of the required public improvements, including construction schedule and/or financial guarantees, shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Board, after receiving concurrence from the Town Administrator at preliminary plan approval.
   7.   Decision
A complete application for major subdivision or development plan shall be approved, approved with changes and/or conditions or denied, within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the date when it is certified complete, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant.
   8.   Failure to act
Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the preliminary plan and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act within the required time and the resulting approval shall be issued on request of the applicant.
   9.   Vesting
The approved preliminary plan shall be vested for a period of one (1) year and vesting may be extended for a longer period, for good cause shown, if requested in writing by the applicant, and approved by the Planning Board. The vesting for the preliminary plan approval shall include all general and specific conditions as shown on the approved preliminary plan drawings and supporting material.
   D.   Public Hearing and Notice
A public hearing in accordance with Section 408 of these regulations is required.
   E.   Final Plan Review
   1.   Submission requirements
      (a)   The applicant shall first submit to the Administrative Officer, at least three (3) weeks prior to the scheduled Planning Board meeting at which the applicant wishes to be heard, the items required by the Major Subdivision-Final Plan Checklist, as well as all material required by the Planning Board when the application was given preliminary approval.
      (b)   Arrangements for completion of the required public improvements including the construction schedule and/or financial guarantees.
      (c)   Certification by the tax collector that all property taxes are current.
      (d)   For phased projects, the final plan for phases following the first phase shall be accompanied by copies of as-built drawings, not previously submitted, of all existing public improvements for prior phases.
      (e)   For CSDs, an Open Space Management Plan and any other necessary legal documentation relating to ownership and management of open space. 
   2.   Certification
The application for final plan approval shall be certified complete or incomplete by the Administrative Officer within twenty-five (25) days, according to the provisions of Section 402. The time period may be extended to forty-five (45) days by written notice from the Administrative Officer to the applicant where the final plans contain changes to or elements not included in the preliminary plan approval. The running of the time period set forth herein shall be deemed stopped upon the issuance of a certification of incompleteness of the application by the Administrative Officer and shall recommence upon the resubmission of a corrected application by the applicant. However, in no event shall the Administrative Officer be required to certify a corrected submission as complete or incomplete less than fourteen (14) days after its resubmission. If the Administrative Officer certifies the application as complete and does not require submission to the Planning Board as per Subsection (3) below, the final plan shall be considered approved.
   3.   Referral to the Planning Board
After certifying the final plan, the Administrative Officer shall refer the final plans to the Planning Board for review.  The Planning Board shall, within forty-five (45) days after the certification of completeness, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant, approve, approve with modification and/or conditions or deny the final plan as submitted.
   4.   Failure to act
Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the final plan and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act within the required time and the resulting approval shall be issued on request of the applicant.
   5.   Recording
The final approval of a major subdivision or land development project shall expire one (1) year from the date of approval unless, within that period, the plat or plan shall have been submitted for signature and recorded as specified in Section 905 or, if the applicant has chosen to complete the required improvements in lieu of posting a Guarantee of Performance, within the time requirements outlined in Section 907. The Planning Board may, for good cause shown, extend the period for recording for an additional period.
   6.   Acceptance of public improvements
Signature and recording, as specified in Section 905, shall constitute the acceptance by the Town of any street or other public improvement or other land intended for dedication.  Final plan approval shall not impose any duty upon the Town to maintain or improve those dedicated areas until the Town Council accepts the completed public improvements as constructed in compliance with the final plans.
   7.   Validity of recorded plans
The approved final plan, once recorded, shall remain valid as the approved plan for the site unless and until an amendment to the plan is approved under the procedure set forth in Section 906, or a new plan is approved by the Planning Board.  If construction of the subdivision improvements does not begin within one (1) year of the date of final approval, the developer shall return to the Planning Board to bring the Required Minimum Standards of Design and the Specification for Required Improvements of the approved plans into conformance with any changes which may have been made to these rules and regulations.
Section 408 - Public Hearing and Notice Requirements
   A.   A public hearing shall be held for all major land development projects and major subdivisions and when a street extension or creation is proposed for a minor land development project or minor subdivision.
   B.   Public notice of the hearing shall be given at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town following the Town's usual and customary practices for such advertising. Notice shall be sent to the applicant and to each abutter, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the time and place of the hearing not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing. Said notice shall also include the street address of the subject property, or if no street address is available, the distance from the nearest existing intersection in tenths (1/10's) of a mile.
   C.   Notice of the public hearing shall be sent by first class mail to the city or Town Planning Board of any municipality where there is a public or quasi-public water source, or private water source that is used or is suitable for use as a public water source, located within two thousand (2,000') feet of Middletown's boundaries.
   D.   Notice of a public hearing shall be sent to the governing body of any state or municipal water department or agency, special water district, or private water company that has riparian rights to a surface water resource and/or surface watershed that is used, or is suitable for use, as a public water source located within either Middletown or two thousand (2,000') feet of the Middletown's boundaries, provided, that a map survey has been filed with the Building Inspector as specified in section R.I.G.L. 45-24-53 (E).
   E.   Notice of the public hearing shall be sent to an adjacent municipality if (1) the adjacent municipality is an abutter or (2) the development site extends into the adjacent municipality, or (3) there is a potential for significant negative impact on the adjacent municipality.
The cost of all notices for Public Hearings shall be borne by the applicant.
Article 5 - REQUIRED MINIMUM STANDARDS OF DESIGN
Any subdivision, Land Development Project (LDP) or development subject to Development Plan Review (DPR) approved shall adhere to the following minimum standards of planning and design.
Section 501 - Street Arrangement
   A.   Unless deemed inappropriate by the Planning Board, streets shall be arranged so as to provide for the continuation of existing or platted streets in abutting properties, whether such streets are public or private.  Especially in retail and commercial developments, streets and driveways shall be designed to minimize the number of curb cuts and to allow the free flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic within the development or developments, without having to enter and exit arterial connectors.
   B.   Where a plat submitted covers only a part of the applicant's land, the street arrangement shall be such that it can be coordinated with the remainder of said land. If abutting property is not subdivided or developed, streets within the plat being subdivided or developed shall project to the property line of abutting land.
   C.   If it is physically impossible to extend streets to adjacent property or existing streets, new proposed streets shall provide continuous flow of traffic being connected together to eliminate dead ends.
   D.   Whenever possible, all developments shall be provided with at least two (2) means of access.
Section 502 - Paper Streets
Where access to property being subdivided is proposed to be from streets which are platted, but not constructed (i.e., paper streets), the applicant shall be required to construct said access streets in full accordance with the construction standards of these Rules and Regulations from the public street(s) to his/her property and as specified by the Planning Board.
Section 503 - Access Provided to All Lots
There shall be no reserve strips controlling access to a street from lots abutting said street, nor shall land be reserved at the end of a dead-end street preventing access to abutting property, except as specifically allowed or required by the Planning Board.
Section 504 - Dead End Streets
   A.   All permanent dead-end streets shall terminate in a cul-de-sac constructed according to these Rules and Regulations. The Planning Board may prohibit the use or limit the length of dead-end street(s) where necessary in order to ensure adequate and safe circulation of vehicular traffic and to efficiently provide for public utilities and services. In considering a request to allow a dead-end street, the Planning Board shall evaluate the potential impact on the neighborhood, including public safety; the provision of Town services and utilities; and the potential for road connectivity to existing and potential future development.
   B.   Whenever possible, cul-de-sacs shall be temporary and provide for future access to adjacent property.  Where streets are terminated temporarily, and may be further extended at a future time, a temporary cul-de-sac shall be constructed as specified in these Rules and Regulations. A defeasible easement shall be granted to the Town for that portion of a cul-de-sac right-of-way which would be abandoned when temporary cul-de-sac is extended.  See Appendix B for a diagram of the cul-de-sac detail.
Section 505 - Collector Streets
Where collector streets are proposed, or where high traffic volumes are anticipated, the Planning Board may require the construction of a street to a right-of-way width up to sixty (60) feet, and a pavement width up to thirty (30) feet.  Collector streets are streets which function as main interior streets, and which collect traffic from local or minor streets to State or Federal highways, or function as streets serving industrial and commercial developments.
Section 506 - Restriction of Access
When a tract fronting a public street for a distance of 500 feet or more with the average depth of 350 feet is to be subdivided into more than ten (10) residential lots, the Planning Board may require that:
   A.   Residential lots adjoining the public street be provided with frontage on a marginal access street, and
   B.   Access to the public street be restricted.
Section 507 - Street Names
The extension of an existing street shall have the same name as the existing street. Names of other proposed streets shall be substantially different from any existing street name in the Town of Middletown, and shall be subject to the approval of the Planning Board and the Middletown Fire Department.
Section 508 - Street Frontage
All lots shall have a frontage on a public street equal to the minimum lot width specified in the Middletown Zoning Ordinance. With the permission of the Planning Board, a single-family residential lot may have a minimum of fifty (50) feet of frontage on a cul-de-sac provided that the distance from the side lot lines on opposite sides of the lot, as measured at the front yard depth, is no less than one hundred (100) feet.
Section 509 - Overall Plan of Development
   A.   Where a development is proposed to be developed in more than one phase, i.e., only a portion of the overall parcel to be developed is subdivided or developed and recorded at one time, the applicant shall be required to file an Overall Plan of Development. Such plan shall be filed at the Master Plan stage and shall indicate the future stages of development and their relationship to the stage being considered for approval by the Board.  The Board will consider, among other things, the overall pattern of circulation, provisions for adequate drainage, arrangement of lots and open spaces, the surrounding land uses, and relationship to the Comprehensive Community Plan.
   B.   No portion of any multi-phase development shall be approved by the Planning Board unless an Overall Plan of Development shall have been filed and approved, and no change in an approved Overall Plan of Development shall be made by the applicant without approval of the Planning Board.
Section 510 - Sidewalks
Sidewalks shall be installed where sidewalks already exist and where extension of new sidewalks would be desirable; or in areas where deemed necessary by the Planning Board to provide safe pedestrian access.
Section 511 - Pedestrian Walkways
The Planning Board may require a ten (10) foot wide public pedestrian walkway between blocks or lots when required in the design to provide for safe pedestrian access. Such walkways may be left in a natural condition or provided with paved sidewalks as specified in Article 6.
Section 512 - Side Lot Lines
Wherever possible, side lot lines shall be substantially at right angles or radial to street line.
Section 513 - Modification of Lots
   Extra Size Lot
The minimum lot area requirements may be increased by the Planning Board if percolation tests indicate the need for additional area for the safe and efficient installation of individual sewage disposal systems.
Section 514 - Open Space and Recreation Facilities
   Section 514.1 - Conservation Development
The Planning Board shall specifically authorize plans for the use, ownership, management and maintenance of all open space areas within any Conservation Development, pursuant to Section 1905 of the Zoning Ordinance. 
The required open space shall be established as a lot or lots separate and distinct from the lots intended for residential or commercial development, and land dedicated as street rights-of-way, and shall comply with the terms of this section.
   A.   Resources to be conserved
The design of open space lands in any Conservation Development shall reflect the standards set forth in this subsection and, to the fullest extent possible, incorporate any of the resources listed below if they occur on the parcel (not listed in order of significance).
   1.   Stream channels, floodplains, hydric soils, swales, springs, and other freshwater wetland areas, including adjacent buffer areas that may be required to ensure their protection;
   2.   Wellhead protection areas;
   3.   Special aquatic sites, vernal pools and significant natural areas of species listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern, such as those listed in the Statewide Natural Heritage Inventory;
   4.   Moderate to steep slopes, particularly those adjoining watercourses and ponds, where disturbance and resulting soil erosion and sedimentation could be detrimental to water quality;
   5.   Healthy woodlands, particularly those performing important ecological functions such as soil stabilization and protection of streams, wetlands, and wildlife habitats;
   6.   Areas where precipitation is most likely to recharge local groundwater resources because of topographic and soil conditions affording high rates of infiltration and percolation;
   7.   Hedgerows, groups of trees, location and species of large individual trees of botanic significance, specimen vegetation and other vegetation features representing the site's rural past;
   8.   Active agricultural uses, pastures, croplands;
   9.   Prime farmland soils and farmland soils of statewide importance;
   10.   Historic structures and archaeological sites;
   11.   Visually prominent topographic features such as knolls, hilltops and ridges;
   12.   Geologic features such as eskers or kettle holes;
   13.   Scenic viewsheds as seen from public roads (particularly those with historic features);
   14.   Existing or potential trails connecting the parcel to other locations in the Town;
   15.   Any other natural, cultural or recreational resources determined by the Planning Board.
   B.   Location
The location of the open space shall be determined during the initial design phase of the project and with the input of the Planning Board. The configuration of proposed open space lands set aside for common use in a Conservation Development shall comply with the following standards:
   1.   Open space shall be placed in undivided preserves which will be adjacent to the largest number of lots within the development as possible.
   2.   Open space shall be directly accessible to the largest practicable number of lots or dwellings within the development. Non-adjoining lots shall be provided with safe and convenient pedestrian access to open space land;
   3.   Required open space shall adjoin open space on adjacent parcels, forming an interconnected network.  Areas of open space open to the public in the form of trails and access to significant and natural and cultural features are encouraged. Open space shall be interconnected wherever possible to provide a continuous network of greenway lands within and adjoining the subdivision;
   4.   Whenever possible, open space shall be undivided by public or private streets, except where necessary for proper traffic circulation;
   C.   Use & Development
Open Space shall:
   1.   Be free of all structures except historic buildings or structures, stone walls, and structures related to open space uses. The Planning Board may grant approval of structures and improvements required for storm drainage and privately owned and maintained water supply within the open space provided that such facilities would not be detrimental to the purpose for which the open space is proposed. Placement of individual sewage disposal systems (ISDS) within the open space shall be permitted only by the granting of a waiver by the Board.
   2.   Be suitable for active or passive recreational uses to the extent deemed necessary by the Planning Board, without interfering with adjacent dwelling units, parking, driveways, and roads;
   3.   Be interconnected wherever possible to provide a continuous network of greenway lands within and adjoining the subdivision;
   4.   Provide buffers to adjoining parks, preserves or other protected lands;
   5.   Provide for pedestrian pathways for use by the residents of the development. 
   6.   Provisions made for access to the open space lands by municipal personnel, as required for land management and emergency purposes;
   7.   Be suitably landscaped either by retaining existing natural cover and wooded areas and/or according to a landscaping plan to protect open space resources;
   D.   Ownership
   1.   Ownership of open space lots shall be vested in a legally viable entity pursuant to Section 1905(A) of the Zoning Ordinance, which shall be responsible for the use and maintenance of the open space.  Documents specifying the form of ownership for the open space parcel(s) shall be submitted to the Planning Board for approval. The Planning Board shall have the right to approve, modify or reject the proposed form of ownership if the proposed form of ownership does not adequately provide for control and maintenance of the open space. 
   2.   If ownership of open space is conveyed to lot owners within the CSD, at a minimum the following standards of ownership and management of open space shall be met:
      a.   If the required open space is to be owned in common by all the lot owners within the CSD, the deed to each lot shall include a fractional interest in the common open space in an amount inversely proportional to the number of lots or dwelling units in the development. The deed shall also include all covenants, restrictions and easements which shall be imposed upon the use, management or maintenance of the open space in order to provide for the necessary control and requisite upkeep of the open space.
      b.   The applicant or developer shall provide for and establish a homeowners association or indicate an alternate method for the use, care and maintenance of all open space lands and improvements.  Unless otherwise allowed by the Planning Board, membership in the homeowners association shall be mandatory for all landowners within the CSD, and each lot shall be entitled to equal representation. The Planning Board shall review the by-laws of the homeowners association to ensure adequate provision for the maintenance of open space is provided.
      c.   If the condominium form of ownership is proposed, the open space shall be a common element or a portion of the common elements of the condominium, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 34 36-1 of the General Laws of Rhode Island.
   E.   Maintenance
The Planning Board may require specific provisions for maintenance of open space, private streets, drainage systems and utilities including requirements for security and including maintenance bond, as provided in the Rules and Regulation Regarding the Subdivision of Land. At a minimum, a Management Plan for the open space detailing ownership, use and maintenance responsibilities shall be developed for the Open Space and must be approved by the Planning Board; such plan may be modified with Planning Board approval. In the event of failure of a homeowners' 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.
   F.   Excavation, Grading, and Disturbance
   1.   Areas proposed to fulfill the minimum open space requirement within a Conservation Development shall not be excavated or regraded, except as permitted by the Planning Board. Clearing and excavation of open space areas may be permitted only for the installation of stormwater retention or detention facilities, other drainage facilities, or for permitted utilities, park, open space, recreational, agricultural or forest management uses in accordance with a plan approved by the Planning Board.
   2.   No commercial earth removal, even if permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, in the zoning district in which the development is proposed, shall be permitted within any open space areas. In approving an open space use plan, the Board may permit grading that includes removal of earth materials. The Board shall, however, clearly indicate, as a condition of preliminary approval, the approximate quantities of material and the general areas from which earth removal is authorized, and shall only authorize the minimal amount of earth removal required to grade the land for the intended purpose.
   3.   Disturbance to the natural contours of the land shall be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Existing natural vegetation and any significant natural or man made features shall be preserved except as permitted by the Planning Board to create or enhance areas of landscaping, parks, recreation, conservation, forestry or wildlife habitat. These disturbances shall be specifically shown on the open space use plan.
   Section 514.2 - Conventional Development
   A.   The Planning Board may require the applicant to dedicate a portion of the land being subdivided for the purpose of providing recreation areas, open space, conservation areas, or areas of historic significance or natural beauty for the benefit and enjoyment of the present and/or anticipated future residents of the plat.  Requirements for the dedication of recreation land are set forth in the Comprehensive Community Plan. The minimum amount of recreation land so dedicated must be at least eleven (11) acres per one thousand (1,000) of the estimated population of the plat.
   B.   Requirements for the dedication of conservation areas, natural or scenic areas of historic sites shall be based upon the specific features of the land and dedication of land reasonably necessary to accomplish the intended purpose.
   C.   Land dedicated in accordance with this section may be dedicated to the Town of Middletown, to the State of Rhode Island, to a recognized public, quasi-public, non-profit or private organization, or may be privately
owned. If retained in private ownership, said land shall be covered by an easement granted to the Town of Middletown sufficient to ensure its perpetual maintenance as conservation, open space or recreation land, and to render the land permanently available for the use and enjoyment of the residents of the subdivision. Where land is to be maintained in private ownership, a maintenance plan detailing the ongoing responsibilities for use and maintenance of the land shall be submitted for Planning Board approval, and shall be incorporated by reference in the maintenance easement.
   D.   Where, by virtue of the location, size or character of the proposed subdivision, such as a dedication of land would not serve the intended purposes, the Planning Board may waive such requirement.
Section 515 - Construction Site Runoff Control
Measures to minimize construction site runoff shall be employed, where applicable, and shall, at a minimum, meet the standards and specifications set forth in the Town's Construction Site Runoff Control Ordinance, 2005, as amended (Town Code Chapter 151). A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, prepared in accordance with the Ordinance, shall be submitted at the preliminary plat stage for review.  If no construction is proposed at time of subdivision, the plan shall include a note requiring implementation of construction site runoff controls at time of construction.
Section 516 - Stormwater Management
All development approved by the Planning Board shall comply with the requirements of the Middletown Stormwater Management Ordinance, 2005, as amended (Town Code Chapter 153). To the extent practical, low impact development (LID) storm water best management practices shall be employed in the storm water management plan. At the preliminary plan stage, a Stormwater Management Plan meeting the requirements of the Ordinance shall be submitted for review. If no construction is proposed at time of subdivision, the plan shall include a note requiring implementation of stormwater management measures at time of construction. Provision for maintenance of all components of the Stormwater Management system, in accordance with the Town's Stormwater Management Ordinance, shall be made prior to approval of the subdivision.
Section 517 - Flood prone areas
Subdivision and development proposals will be reviewed to determine whether such proposals will be reasonably safe from flooding. If a proposed subdivision or development project is in a flood-prone area, defined as the 100-year floodplain as established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
   A.   Such proposal will be reviewed to assure that:
   1.   It is consistent with the need to minimize flood damage within the flood prone area.
   2.   All public utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage, and
   3.   Adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards by insuring, at a minimum, that there shall be no increase in the rate of water runoff from the site. The Planning Board may, at its discretion, require that the rate of runoff be decreased from the condition existing prior to subdivision development.
   B.   The Board shall require that the following provisions apply to subdivisions within the 100-year floodplain:
   1.   Future-condition storm water runoff discharge does not exceed present condition discharges into a floodway as calculated up to a 25-year frequency storm.
   2.   Development be prohibited within the floodway which will result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of a 25-year frequency storm discharge.
   3.   That there is no reduction in the holding capacity of the 100-year flood plain.
   4.   All construction of drainage and flood protection systems and all development within areas subject to flooding are adequately designed so as to accommodate flows resulting from up to a 25-year frequency storm.
   5.   Every lot be located so as to provide an area for construction of a residential building which is not within a riverine floodway.
Section 518 - Retention of Environmental Features
Environmental features such as stone walls, specimen trees, water bodies or other outstanding natural or man-made features shall be retained insofar as possible, and incorporated into the design of the subdivision or land development project so as to preserve the character of the land. The Planning Board shall ensure that, to the extent practicable, plans accomplish the following:
   A.   Protect 100-year floodplains, wetlands, and steep slopes (greater than 25%) from clearing, grading, filling, or construction.
   B.   Preserve and maintain mature woodlands, existing fields, pastures, meadows, and orchards;
   C.   Create sufficient buffer areas to minimize conflicts between residential and agricultural uses.
   D.   In cases where development must take place on open fields or pastures because of greater constraints in other parts of the site, site dwellings at the far edge of a field as viewed from existing road(s).
   E.   Maintain naturally vegetated wetland buffers of sufficient width to protect the wetland from adjacent land use.  In general such buffer shall be no less then 100 feet, but may be more or less depending on topography, soils, and wetland characteristics.
   F.   Preserve existing stonewalls, hedgerows and treelines.
   G.   Leave scenic views and vistas unblocked or uninterrupted, particularly as viewed from public roads.
   H.   Avoid siting new construction on hilltops.
   I.   Protect wildlife habitat areas.
   J.   Preserve sites of historic, archaeological or cultural value.
   K.   Protect rural roadside character.
   L.   Provide landscaping for common use areas comprised of native or non-invasive plant species.
   M.   Provide active recreation areas in suitable locations.
   N.   Include a pedestrian circulation system which provides access to open space from lots not directly adjacent to the open space as well as to open space on adjacent properties where possible.
   O.   Provide open space that is reasonably contiguous, both within the development and with open space on adjacent land.
Section 519 - Multi-Stage Subdivisions
Where a proposed subdivision contains more than thirty (30) lots, the Planning Board may, at its discretion, limit the number of lots to a maximum of thirty (30) lots in any stage. The Board may require that no subsequent stages be submitted for subdivision approval until construction of all required improvements of each prior stage has been completed. Provided, however, the Board may allow more than thirty (30) lots per stage where development of more than thirty (30) lots would be consistent with the intent and purposes of these Rules and Regulations.
Section 520 - Fees for Reviews/Evaluations Conducted by Consultants/Other Agencies
Fees for reviews required by the Planning Board in connection with a specific development shall be paid by the applicant prior to final approval of the subdivision.
Section 521 - Commercial Development
This section describes the general objectives and intent of Commercial Development Design Standards. (CDDS).  The provisions in this section are provided for applicant, Technical Review Committee (TRC), and Planning Board guidance.  Specific regulations implementing these objectives and their intent are set forth in the following sections (521.1 - 521.4). The purpose of these standards is to establish and maintain a uniform set of standards that promote the use of high quality design, consistent with the traditional architectural styles of Aquidneck Island and New England.
   A.   Site Design
Buildings and their adjacent spaces, including parking, establish a design landscape rhythm. This rhythm of spaces and buildings should be considered when determining design compatibility, whether between a building or a building and street. Parking should be considered an integral part of site design and should be coordinated with overall site development. Site design shall encourage pedestrian activity through the placement of buildings close to the street, with off-street parking dispersed into small landscaped lots located to the rear or side of buildings and trees, foliage and grassy areas interspersed among buildings.
   B.   Building Design and Architecture
In general, buildings shall be designed to include traditional New England architectural elements. This includes, but is not limited to, peaked roof, wood-frame, and other styles consistent with colonial through early twentieth-century period architecture. Facades of a building, particularly the front facade, should consist of or resemble traditional building materials such as clapboard, shingles, brick, or stone.  Facades, windows, and doors should be visually proportionate.
   C.   Landscaping
Landscaping, including plantings, should be designed to define, soften or screen the appearance of the off-road parking areas and structures from the public right of way and abutting properties. The objective of landscaping should be to enhance the design and minimize the encroachment of the proposed use on neighboring land uses.  The species and planting techniques for street-side trees and other plantings should be selected to create a unified image for the street, provide an effective canopy, avoid sidewalk damage, and minimize water consumption.
   D.   Environmental Impacts
Commercial Development shall be designed to control erosion and sedimentation, stormwater runoff, and minimize impacts on surface water and air quality.  Erosion and stormwater runoff control shall comply with town regulations, including Town Code Chapters 151 and 153, as amended. If feasible, efforts should be made to decrease runoff rates and volumes from pre-development conditions.
   E.   Signage
Signage shall be visually compatible with the scale and character of the surrounding architecture, and should promote traditional architectural elements. The size, location, design, lighting and materials of all exterior signs and outdoor advertising structures shall be compatible with the design of proposed building(s) and structure(s).
   Section 521.1 - Site Design
   A.   General Location and Layout
Buildings should be located so as to create a safe, pleasant walking environment and efficient pedestrian circulation pattern. Building placement, orientation and massing should be planned to promote more active pedestrian-scaled commercial design, with ample opportunities for walking and bicycling, as well as private motor vehicles and to promote the use of public transportation.
   B.   Off-Street Parking and Circulation
   1.   Location
In all districts, except Light Industrial, parking lots should be located to the rear or side of buildings. If site configuration does not allow for the placement of all required parking spaces to the rear or side, a limited number of parking spaces may be located between the front of the building and the public street. Such lots shall be limited to one row of parking, except that for Large-scale Shopping Centers and other situations where site conditions warrant, the use of two rows of parking may be permitted. In either case, the number of parking spaces in such lots shall not exceed fifty (50) spaces, and additional landscaping and screening elements may be required.
In light industrial districts, parking is permitted between building and front lot line only where the front lot line does not abut a public arterial street.
   2.   Parking Lot Size
The standards of this section are in addition to the requirements of Article 13 of the Middletown Zoning Ordinance regarding off-street parking and loading. No individual parking lot, located between the building and street, may exceed fifty (50) total parking spaces. For a project requiring more than fifty (50) parking spaces, parking shall be broken up into smaller lots; each accommodating no more than fifty (50) vehicles and directly connected with the other lots. Adjacent parking lots must be buffered from each other with a minimum ten (10) foot landscaped strip, which may also be used as a walkway.
   3.   Access & Circulation
Circulation shall be designed to provide safe and efficient access for pedestrians, automobiles, and emergency vehicles into and throughout the site, including designated pedestrian walkways and crosswalks.  Pedestrian access to the site from the public way and neighboring properties shall be provided.
   4.   Ingress & Egress
      (a)   Adequate and safe ingress and egress shall be provided.  The number and width of curb cuts shall be minimized.
      (b)   Consolidation of existing curb cuts may be required.
      (c)   Provision for vehicular and pedestrian connections to adjacent developments shall be provided, whenever possible. 
      (d)   Site design which requires the use of a public street to maneuver in and out of a parking or loading space located on private property shall not be permitted.
   C.   Utilities
All utility lines serving the site shall be installed underground. To the maximum extent possible, power lines and utilities in frontage areas shall be installed underground.
   D.   Exterior Lighting
   1.   Exterior lighting shall be designed to minimize impact on neighboring properties and night light pollution.
   2.   Fixtures illuminating building facades shall be shielded and directed toward the building and all other lighting fixtures shall be shielded and directed to the ground. Building-mounted decorative light fixtures and pole-mounted decorative fixtures, provided that they are less than twelve (12) feet in height, should also be shielded to the extent possible.
   E.   Infrastructure
Dumpsters, storage areas, exposed machinery installation including but not limited to HVAC units, service areas, truck loading areas, utility buildings and similar structures shall be designed and screened or located to provide an audio-visual buffer sufficient to minimize their adverse impact on other land uses within the development area and surrounding properties. Air conditioning and ventilation units, security devices, and other service equipment shall be screened from public view, either by being set back from the roof edge for roof mounted units, or by being screened by landscaping for ground mounted units.
   Section 521.2 - Building Design and Architecture
   A.   Façade and Walls
The first impression of a building is that of its front façade, the side of the building facing the most frequently used public away. Accordingly, facades and walls shall incorporate the following features:
   1.   The primary ground floor public entrances must be oriented directly to streets, interior pedestrian plazas, or walkways.  If oriented toward parking lots, such lots must contain said pedestrian plazas and walkways.
   2.   The street side façade of a building shall not consist of an unarticulated blank wall or an unbroken series of garage doors. In no case shall the unbroken plane of a wall exceed forty (40) linear feet without a break of at least forty-eight (48) inches in plane
   3.   Except in the GB and LI Zones, commercial garage doors and loading docks shall not be visible from any public way.
   4.   Loading docks shall not be located on the building façade facing the public way. Commercial garage doors and loading docks shall be screened from public view.
   B.   Windows & Doors
Windows and doors are encouraged on all building elevations, and should be visually compatible with the architectural style of the building. 
   1.   Windows should occupy not less than twenty (20) percent or more than sixty (60) percent of any façade visible from the public way. In LI Zones, windows should occupy not less than twenty percent (20%) or more than sixty percent (60%) of any façade that faces a public arterial street.
   2.   Windows shall be of true divided-light or simulated divided-light design when consistent with the overall building design; except in LI Zones. Double-hung windows are preferred, where consistent with the overall design of the building.
   C.   Materials
Traditional architecture employs authentic materials on building facades and roofs. Traditional façade materials include wooden clapboards, shingles, patterned shingles, brick, and stone and cast stone, depending on the architectural style and location of the building. Traditional roof materials include cedar shingles and slate. The façade and roof of a building, particularly the front façade, shall be visually compatible with these traditional building materials.
   1.   Building exteriors and roofs shall be constructed of, or resemble, traditional materials such as wooden clapboards, shingles, patterned shingles, brick, or stone.
   2.   Synthetic materials or substitutes may only be used subject to Planning Board approval. Samples of all primary materials shall be submitted to the Planning Board for approval.
   D.   Roof Forms and Roof Design
A roof can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a building. The shape and proportion of the roof shall be visually compatible with the architectural style of the building and shall incorporate the following features:
   1.   Traditional roof forms such as hip, gambrel, or gable shall be required.
   2.   The gradient from level of any sloped roof shall be at least 4:12.
   3.   Flat roofs may be permitted if decorative details are incorporated into the roof design and/or the roof is designed to incorporate a sloped design for the portion of the roof visible from the public way, and provided that any mechanical equipment installed on the roof is not visible from the public way and abutting properties.
   E.   Architectural Elements
Architectural elements such as arcades, porches, bays, windows, balconies, dormers and cupolas shall be in reasonable proportion to the overall building.
   Section 521.3 - Landscaping
The landscape plan shall incorporate the following features:
   A.   Existing Vegetation
Whenever possible, existing trees and vegetation shall be used to satisfy landscaping requirements. Trees having greater than 18-inch caliper dbh shall be preserved, whenever possible. If such trees cannot be preserved, each must be replaced with two (2) trees of at least four (4) inch caliper dbh. The Planning Board may seek an advisory opinion from the Tree Commission, regarding the removal of trees.
   B.   Amount Required
Planted landscaping shall occupy a minimum of twenty-five percent (25%) of the project area.
   C.   Screening
Screening elements such as plantings, stone walls, berms and/or fences, or a combination of these is required along all property lines.
   D.   Buffers
Buffers shall be provided as follows:
   1.   A landscaped buffer of at least ten (10) feet is required along all property lines. This may be reduced if stone walls are used as the screening element.
   2.   When abutting a residential district or use, the buffer must be at least twenty (20) feet wide and include screening at least six (6) feet in height, measured from finished grade, at time of installation.  For large scale shopping centers, the required buffer shall be fifty (50) feet wide.
   3.   A landscaped buffer of at least ten (10) feet wide shall be provided between buildings and parking lots/driveways. The buffer shall be defined by curbing, and may include sidewalks, but must include a minimum five (5) foot planting strip.
   E.   Plantings
Plantings shall be noninvasive species, and native to Aquidneck Island, if possible. The Planning Bard may seek an advisory opinion from the Tree Commission, regarding the selection of tree species and locations for planting.
   F.   Trees
   1.   Street Trees - Deciduous “street trees” shall be planted along the street side property boundary and along any private streets or internal driveways in planter strips or tree wells located between the sidewalk and curb. Trees shall be spaced no further apart than thirty (30) feet on center, and shall be a minimum of four (4) inch caliper dbh at time of planting.
   2.   Parking Lots -  A minimum of one (1) tree shall be provided for every five (5) parking spaces. Trees shall be at least four (4) inches caliper dbh and seven (7) feet tall at time of planting. Each tree must be surrounded by at least 25 square feet of permeable unpaved area.
   G.   Scenic Views
Scenic views and historically significant landscape features (including, but not limited to, stone walls, picket fences, and large trees) shall be preserved to the maximum extent reasonably possible. This requirement is in addition to the requirements set forth in the Middletown Town Code Chapter 96: Tree Preservation and Protection, and Chapter 97: Stone Walls.
   H.   Maintenance
Ongoing maintenance of landscaping shall be a continuing requirement of compliance with the Regulations, and failure to maintain landscaping may be cited as a violation. For large projects, or significant landscape features, a maintenance agreement and/or bond may be required.
   Section 521.4 - Environmental Impacts
   A.   Construction Site Runoff/Erosion & Sedimentation Control
   1.   Erosion and sedimentation shall be controlled so that neighboring property and public facilities or services are not adversely affected during and/or after construction.
   2.   Erosion control shall meet the standards of the Town of Middletown, including Chapter 151 of the Town Code of Ordinances, and the RI Erosion and Sediment Control handbook, as amended.
   B.   Stormwater Management