§ 101  PURPOSES OF CHAPTER.
   (A)   The districts and regulations set forth in this chapter are established in accordance with the Middletown Comprehensive Community Plan for the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, and general welfare of the town. The regulations are designed to:
      (1)   Lessen congestion in the streets;
      (2)   Provide adequate light and air;
      (3)   Secure safety from fire, panic, flooding and other dangers;
      (4)   Prevent the overcrowding of land;
      (5)   Avoid undue concentration of population;
      (6)   Facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements;
      (7)   Avoid pollution of public water supplies; and
      (8)   Provide for the preservation of open space and agricultural land.
   (B)   They are designed with reasonable consideration, among other things, of the character of each district and its suitability for particular uses, and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the most appropriate use of land through the town.
   (C)   These zoning regulations are in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-30 and are adopted to promote the purposes and goals of the Comprehensive Community Plan, as well as the following:
      (1)   Promote the public health, safety, and general welfare;
      (2)   Provide for a range of uses and intensities of use appropriate to the character of the town and reflecting current and expected future needs;
      (3)   Provide for orderly growth and development which recognizes:
         (a)   The goals and patterns of land use contained in the town's Comprehensive Plan adopted pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2;
         (b)   The natural characteristics of the land, including its suitability for use based on soil characteristics, topography, and susceptibility to surface or groundwater pollution;
         (c)   The values and dynamic nature of coastal and freshwater ponds, the shoreline and freshwater and coastal wetlands;
         (d)   The values of unique or valuable natural resources and features;
         (e)   The availability and capacity of existing and planned public and/or private services and facilities;
         (f)   The need to shape and balance urban and rural development; and
         (g)   The use of innovative development regulations and techniques;
      (4)   Provide for the control, protection, and/or abatement of air, water, groundwater, noise pollution and soil erosion and sedimentation;
      (5)   Provide for the protection of the natural, historic, cultural, and scenic character of the town or areas therein;
      (6)   Provide for the preservation and promotion of agricultural production, forest, silviculture, aquaculture, timber resources and open space;
      (7)   Provide for the protection of public investment in transportation, water, stormwater management systems, sewage treatment and disposal, solid waste treatment and disposal, schools, recreation, public facilities, open space and other public requirements;
      (8)   Promote a balance of housing choices, for all income levels and groups, to assure the health, safety and welfare of all citizens and their rights to affordable, accessible, safe, and sanitary housing;
      (9)   Provide opportunities for the establishment of low and moderate income housing;
      (10)   Promote safety from fire, flood, and other natural or man-made disasters;
      (11)   Promote a high level of quality in design in the development of private and public facilities;
      (12)   Promote implementation of the town's Comprehensive Plan pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-22.2;
      (13)   Provide for coordination of land uses with contiguous municipalities, other municipalities, the state, and other agencies, as appropriate, especially with regard to resources and facilities that extend beyond municipal boundaries or have a direct impact on that municipality;
      (14)   Provide for efficient review of development proposals, to clarify and expedite the zoning approval process;
      (15)   Provide for procedures for the administration of this chapter, including, but not limited to, variances, special use permits, appeals, and, where adopted, procedures for modifications;
      (16)   Provide opportunities for reasonable accommodations in order to comply with the Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Title 34, Chapter 37, the United States Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA), the Rhode Island Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Title 42, Chapter 87 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
(Ord. passed 10-30-06)