State House – Representative Mike Chippendale (District 40, Coventry, Foster, Glocester) stands firmly in defense of local cities’ and towns’ sovereignty, particularly when it comes to protecting the autonomy of local land use and zoning decisions.
‘I anticipated receiving an Economic Development Plan from our Statewide Planning Council because that is precisely what the enabling legislation that was passed called for. Instead we received RhodeMap RI, a plan that was funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through a “Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant” that made its focus "social equity" and land use plan/zoning,” said Chippendale.
Representative Chippendale points out that Rhode Island’s Statewide Planning Council unanimously approved RhodeMap RI on December 11 thereby making RhodeMap RI a component of the state’s official State Guide Plan.
“While there are some laudable components contained in RhodeMap RI, there remains serious concern with its mission, goals and intent which align with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s own intent and goals. Those goals do not necessarily align with our towns’ comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances.”
Chippendale explains: “Here’s the root of the issue, we have a law entitled ‘Towns and Cities RI Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act’ that requires municipalities to be sure that their own comprehensive plans are consistent with the goals, findings and intent of the State Guide Plan. Once that is done then they are expected to ensure that their local zoning ordinances are consistent with their comprehensive plan.”
“As a result of this statute, it's my position that localities are bound by law to ensure that are own comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances are consistent with the official State Guide Plan, in other words - RhodeMap RI.”
“I am submitting legislation that will amend this mandate so that cities and towns will be free to maintain local authority over its land use and zoning ordinances.”
For more information, contact:
Lisa Blais, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
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