Legal Notice






October 20, 2011 MAYOR








Be it ordained by the City of Warwick:

SECTION I. Appendix A of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Warwick is hereby amended by amending the following sections:

§§ 300, 500, 600, 700, 800 & 900

See Exhibit A attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference as if set forth fully herein.

SECTION II. This Ordinance shall take effect upon passage and publication as prescribed by law.


An Amendment to the

City of Warwick Zoning Ordinance


The Village District Zone


301. Districts

For the purpose of this ordinance, the City of Warwick is hereby divided into ten thirteen classes of districts, listed and designated on the “zoning plat” as follows:

Open Space District (OS)

Warwick Station Gateway District (Gateway)

Village District (V)

301.13 Village District (V). Properties mapped in accordance with subsection 303 of this ordinance and used for a mixed-use district that provides services useful to citizens within the District and surrounding residential areas, reduces the need for residents to travel outside of the district for basic products and services, increases pedestrian activity within the village center, revitalizes the economic life and improves the appearance of properties within the central village.

Specific components of this purpose include:

A. To provide residential units in the village center to meet a variety of housing needs, and provide a customer base to support local businesses.

B. To create live/work opportunities for professionals, artists, crafts persons and business owners.

C. To develop dimensional and building design regulations that create a sense of community center and are in scale with the adjacent neighborhoods.

D. To encourage commercial uses on the first floor of buildings.


Buildings within the district may be constructed, altered, enlarged, or reconstructed for one or more of the uses as listed in the Table of Use Regulations and uses customarily considered accessory to such uses with certain additional location and size requirements:

(Amend the Use Table by adding the Village District provisions, as follows:)

Land Use Village District

100. Residential uses

101. Detached single-family dwelling unit Yes

102. Two-family, three family or four family dwelling in a Yes

development containing four or less dwelling units.

102.1 A multifamily dwelling in a development containing S

between five and ten dwelling units.

103. Two-family and multiple-family dwelling in a development No

containing more than ten dwelling units

104. Congregate elderly housing containing between two and Yes

ten units

105. Congregate elderly housing containing more than ten units No

106. Rooming house No

107. Rooming house for less than three boarders No

107.1 Bed and breakfast for up to four guests Yes

108. Mobile home, mobile home park or trailer park No

109. Community residence No

200. Agricultural uses

201. Raising of crops – commercial and non-commercial No

202. Commercial greenhouse No

203. Sales place for flowers, garden supplies, agricultural No

produce conducted partly or wholly outdoors

204. Raising and keeping of animals and livestock No

300. Office Use

301. Medical offices, excluding clinic S

302. Clinic No

303. Law office, accountant, architect, or other non-medical Yes

professional person

304. Real estate, insurance, travel agency, advertising, or Yes

similar agency office

305. General office use, 3,000 square feet or less Yes (17)

306. Bank, trust company or similar financial institution with Yes(18)

drive-up window

307. Bank, trust company or similar financial institution without Yes

drive-up window

308. Research and development laboratory, testing facility for No

environmental or medical purposes, or facility excluding

radioactive and chemical or biological processes

309. Biological technologies, including rDNA, cell fusion, and No

novel bioprocessing techniques; including related research

into processes that promote health diagnostics and therapeutics,

agricultural biology including plant genetics for food purposes,

environmental remediation techniques and manufacture of

instruments that assist in biological research

400. Service uses:

401. Barbershop, beauty salon Yes

402. Laundry, dry cleaner, pickup, self-service cleaners, S

and Laundromat.

403. Shoe repair, tailoring shop. Or other similar establishment Yes

404. Television, radio, or other household appliance repair (no sales) Yes

405. Instant copy and printing shops, photographer’s studio, and Yes

photo processor shops

406. Arts or craft studio, with or without classes Yes

407. Veterinary establishment, kennel and dog groomer. Yes

408. Mortuary, undertaking or funeral home establishment S

409. Locksmith Yes

410. Caterer S

411. Hotel or motel S

412. Public gathering hall, theater or auditorium with

less than 350 seats Yes (19)

413. Indoor commercial recreation facility including health club S

and private club

414. Outdoor commercial recreation facility including amusement No

park and sports center not elsewhere classified , driving range,

pitch & putt, miniature golf or similar establishment

414.1. Outdoor recreation limited to driving range, miniature golf, No

pitch and putt, batting cages and/or little league baseball facilities

415. Golf course excluding driving range, pitch & putt, miniature No

golf or similar establishment

416. Coin-operated amusement establishment S

417. Licensed therapeutic massage establishment S

418. Marina, yacht club S

419. Vehicle rental agency No

420. Carwash No

421. Gasoline station (no repairs) may include convenience No

and grocery retail

422. Service station with repairs No

422.1 Auto body repair shop No

423. Boat repairs, painting or storage No

424. Building trades contractor, oil and fuel service or similar No


424.1. Landscaping and tree service No

425. Cesspool company No

425.1 Other service establishment S

500. Retail uses:

501. Restaurant, with liquor license Yes(21) (20)

501.1. Nightclub S

502. Restaurant, without liquor license Yes(21)(20)

503. Fast food restaurant Yes (22) (21)

503.1 Retail trade-community wide establishment of Yes

2,000 square feet GFA or less

503.2 Retail trade-community wide establishment of more than S(23) (22)

2,000 square feet GFA, with or without outdoor display or sales

505. New or used vehicle sales with service or outdoor display No

(excluding boats)

507. New or used boat sales with service or outdoor display No

508. Marine equipment, fishing and tackle store, bait shop Yes

509. Open air market or outdoor sales and display, mobile or otherwise S

50X. Adult entertainment No

510. Other retail uses S

600. Transportation, Communication and Utility Uses

601. Airport or heliport No

602. Bus or railroad passenger station S

603. Automobile parking lot or parking garage for private Yes

passenger cars (as a principal use)

604. Truck, bus, taxi or other commercial vehicle terminal No

yard or building for storage and servicing of such

605. Radio and television transmission station including towers No

606. Radio or television studio No

607. Electrical transformer station and substation, gas regulator S

station, water and sewer pumping station, telephone exchange

station as principal use and not elsewhere classified in this table

608. Electric power plant No

609. Nuclear power plant No

610. Other utility, utility station, receiving or transmitting device No

or tower satellite dish antenna as a principal use and not

elsewhere classified in this table

611. Telecommunication facility, including tower (15) No

700. Institutional uses:

701. Religious place of worship, including rectory, parsonage, Yes

convent and monastery

702. Social, community or recreation center Yes

703. Other use with religious purposes S

704. Hospital, including hospital for mental, drug or alcohol No

treatment, but excluding animal hospital

704.1 Family day care home, as defined Yes

704.2 Day care facility, as defined Yes

705. Extended care, convalescent, rest or nursing home S

706. Preschool and kindergarten S

707. Primary or grammar, junior high school or middle school, S

public, parochial or private school providing compulsory education,

including uses listed in 706 when located in the same facility

708. High school including preparatory school or academy, public, No

parochial or private school providing compulsory education

709. Junior college, college or university, including public or private No

institutions of higher education

710. Vocational, business or other schools No

711. Resident dormitory, fraternity or sorority No

712. Government administrative offices Yes

713. Police, fire or other public safety facility or other government Yes

facility not elsewhere classified in this table

714. Library or museum Yes

715. Public park, playground or public recreation building Yes

716. Community water supply, wells or conservation area Yes

717. Cemetery No

718. Crematory No

719. Prison No

800. Light industry:

801. Assembling and packaging of articles No

802. Manufacturing, welding, fabricating, processing, assembling No

or packaging of:

1. Food and beverage products No

2. Clothing, but not textile manufacture No

3. Paper and paper board products No

4. Drugs No

5. Leather goods, excluding footwear No

6. Electric and electronic equipment incl. audio, video, No

computer and office machines

7. Engineering and scientific instruments and supplies No

8. Medical and dental instruments and supplies incl. optical

instruments and lenses but excl. laboratory testing No

9. Photographic equipment and supplies No

10. Watches, clocks and clockwork mechanisms No

11. Jewelry, insignia, emblems, badges, notions, and

costume jewelry, but excl. electroplating No

12. Musical instruments No

13. Sporting goods and toys No

14. Art supplies, incl. pens, pencils and similar products No

15. Signs and advertising devices No

16. Miscellaneous products incl. umbrellas, parasols, No

canes, brooms and brushes

803. Bottling beverages No

804. Distribution center, parcel delivery center, delivery warehouse No

805. Laundry, dry cleaning plant No

806. Printing, binding, publishing and related arts and trades No

807. Mini-storage and mini-warehouse facility No

808. Processing and packaging of fish or fish products No

809. Wholesale business and storage in roofed structure or No

outdoors, but not incl. wholesale storage of flammable liquids,

gas or explosives

810. Storage warehouse, cold storage plant, storage building, but No

not incl. storage of junk scrap metal, rags, waste paper and

similar materials

811. Open-lot storage of new building materials, machinery, No

but not junk, scrap and wastes

812. Open-lot storage of coal, sand or similar material No

900. General industry:

901. Dismantling or wrecking of used motor vehicles and No

storage or sale of dismantled, inoperative or wrecked

vehicles or their parts

902. Stone cutting, shaping, and finishing, in completely No

enclosed buildings

903. Textile mill No

904. Plaster of Paris or ceramic products manufacture No

905. Asphalt or concrete plant No

906. Sand or gravel operation No

907. Manufacturing, welding, fabricating, processing, assembling No

or packaging or other industrial operation, but the following

are expressly prohibited:

1. Acid manufacture

2. Cement, lime or gypsum manufacture

3. Explosive or fireworks manufacture

4. Glue manufacture

5. Incineration of solid waste or dead animals

6. Petroleum refining

7. Stockyard

8. Landfill or underground injection well for hazardous materials

908. Open-lot storage of second-hand lumber or other used building No


909. Open-lot storage of junk, scrap, paper, rags or other salvage No


910. Hazardous waste management facility (14) No

(17) Special Use Permit required for general office use greater than 3,000 square feet GFA.

(18) No more than one drive thru lane permitted, with a width of 11 feet and a canopy height no less than 10’ 6” and no greater than 12 feet. Additional bank machines may be provided for pedestrian walkup access, provided such access is safe for pedestrian circulation.

(19) Special Use Permit required for public gathering hall, theater or auditorium with more than 350 seats.

(20) Vehicle rental agency with on-site storage is prohibited.

(20) Special Use Permit required for restaurants exceeding 3,000 square feet GFA and restaurants, cafes or other places serving prepared foods that may be served or sold from windows serving the sidewalk, or at tables and chairs outside the establishment. All outdoor seating and serving areas are allowable only by special permit and are subject to approval for use of the public sidewalk and/or right of way, if applicable.

(21)Fast food establishments shall be 2,000square feet GFA or less, drive thru windows are prohibited. All requirements for serving prepared food from windows serving the sidewalk or tables and chairs outside the establishment shall be as in Footnote(21)(20)

(22)”Big Box” and Retail establishments 10,000 square feet GFA or larger are prohibited.


Zoning District Village District

Minimum lot area 6,000 sf

Maximum density, dwelling units per acre 12

Minimum frontage 40’

Minimum lot width 40’

Minimum front and corner side yard (feet) 0’

Maximum front yard 10’

Minimum side yard 0’

Minimum rear yard 20’

Maximum structure height 35’

304 General provisions

304.5 More than one nonresidential use or building on a lot. More than one…that are permitted in the district in question.

More than one nonresidential use or more than one residential use and non residential use is allowed on a single lot or building within a Village District without zoning board of review approval being necessary provided that such uses may be only those that are permitted in the district and provided that each establishment shall not exceed 3,000 square feet. The floor area of buildings within the district may be used for more than one permitted use, whether such uses are allowed by right, or by special permit authorized by the Zoning Board of Review; provided, however, that the building and lot meet the most restrictive dimensional requirements applicable to the individual uses.

The ground floor of a multiuse building shall be used for allowed commercial uses and as a lobby or access for upper storey uses. Upper stories shall house residential uses, if applicable.


508. Additional Regulations for the Village District

It is intended that the Village District regulations should encourage a high quality of architectural and site design to create a unique identity that distinguishes it from other districts in the City. In addition to other requirements of the District, the following regulations shall apply throughout the whole of any Village District.

All new developments in the District or exterior changes to existing structures which require the issuance of a building permit as per Rhode Island State Building code shall be subject to the filing of a development plan for site design and architectural review and approval by the Administrative Officer to the Planning Board or may be referred to the Planning Board at the discretion of either the Petitioner or the Administrative Officer.

The Petitioner shall submit a development plan that shall provide all necessary information to demonstrate compliance with the architectural and site design requirement included in this section. In considering compliance with, the Administrative Officer to the Planning Board and/or the Planning Board, shall address each of the following and shall make positive findings regarding each of the following provisions as they apply to the application under review:

1. The project is consistent with section 508.1 Site and Building Performance Standards.

2. The proposed development complies with all the requirement contained within Section 807.4, Signage, and Section 701.6B, Parking.

3. The proposed development will be compatible with and enhance the use or value of the existing properties within the Village District.

4. The proposed development will not be injurious to neighboring properties or the general welfare of the surrounding community.

5. The proposed development will not result in unnecessary adverse impacts on access driveways, on-street parking, sidewalks, and promotes safe automotive and pedestrian access that is in harmony with the surrounding area.

The findings and decision of the Administrative Officer or the Planning Board, shall be retained as part of the permanent record of decision and a building permit shall not be issued until an approval letter is provided to the Building Official by the Administrative Officer.

508.1 Site and Building Performance Standards for the Village District zone

A. New buildings shall reflect the scale, massing, rhythm, materials and siting of adjacent structures, if the area has a distinct character. A new building shall be sited to reinforce the existing building setbacks, which help to define the streetscape edge. If new construction must be placed farther back than existing structures, then vegetation shall be planted to continue and reinforce the established street edge.

B. One-story buildings shall not be permitted to have flat roofs. Buildings with two or more stories may have flat roofs, provided that all visibly exposed walls have an articulated cornice that projects horizontally from the vertical building plane. Non-flat roof lines are encouraged to be varied, depending on the length of the building. For purposes of this section only, the height of a building shall be measured from the average grade of the lot to the mid point of a peaked roof or the largest portion of a flat roof.

C. The principle structure on a lot shall be oriented such that the front façade and main entrance of the structure face the street.

D. Main entrances shall be clearly visible from the street, and be accompanied with signage as permitted in this ordinance, and windows that provide adequate and appropriate visual access to the interior commercial and activity areas.

E. Along with the main building entrance, one additional entrance will be required for building facades that are longer than seventy feet (75') and facing a street. An additional entrance shall be required for each additional fifty feet (50') thereafter. Additionally, single colors or materials covering street front façade walls that are higher than four feet (4') above the street elevation shall not exceed fifty feet (50’) in width. Where street front building facade exceeds fifty feet (50’) in width, the facades shall vary either in color or material.

F. New buildings shall be sided with wood shingles, clapboard, brick, stone, stucco, cementious siding or premium vinyl siding with a nominal thickness of .125 or greater. Vinyl siding shall be applied to minimize visible seams, with trim details as appropriate. The use of concrete block as an exterior finish is prohibited.

G. Public areas, such as yards, play areas and other private and public opens spaces shall be defined with walks, plantings, walls, fences and other elements that are compatible with existing materials and spatial qualities.

H. Building equipment (HVAC equipment) and service areas shall be located away from the street. Building equipment must be screened from public view and the view of adjacent residential areas. Similarly, all outdoor storage areas shall be completely screened from public view and the view of adjacent residential areas, and shall conform to the architectural elements of these guidelines.


606. Environmental Performance Standards within the Village District

A. No activities shall be carried on in the District that are injurious, noxious or offensive to the neighborhood by reason of noise, vibration, smoke, cinders, odor, gas, fumes, dust, chemical, radio frequencies, explosive, and hazardous materials or other objectionable features.

B. All uses shall be subject to the provisions of Section 604 of the zoning ordinance.


701.6 B Construction Requirements for the Village District, Access and Parking.

A. Properties in the District shall have their driveway and/or parking access situated as to minimize impact on abutting residential uses.

B. Off-street parking may be located in either the side or rear yards of a lot; but in no case shall any new development contain a parking area located within the front yard setback. If a building has a parking lot on its side, the main building entrance shall be located on the street.

C. Where off street parking areas of five (5) or more spaces abut a residential zoning district, the parking lot shall be screened from the residential area by use of one of the following methods:

1) a fence that blocks views but allows light and air through it, such as a “shadow-box” fence, and is six feet (6’) in height. No chain link fencing is allowed.

2) a solid wall of evergreen plantings at least four feet (4’) high at the time of planting; or,

3) any combination of (1) or (2) above.

D. Parking areas and surface pavement wider than fifty feet (50’) shall require perimeter landscaped areas at least five feet (5’) in depth and five feet (5’) high at the time of planting and extend across at least fifty percent (50%) of the street frontage of the paved area, if applicable.

E. Non-residential uses shall provide one (1) parking space per 800 square feet of gross floor area. Up to 25 % of the off-street parking space requirement may be satisfied by on-street parking within the frontage width of the building lot. New parking areas shall have a minimum driveway/travel width of 22 feet for two way travel and 11 feet for one way travel. Parking spaces shall be a minimum of 9’x18’, compact spaces may be approved, if determined to be appropriate.

F. Off-street parking for residential uses in the district shall be provided onsite at the rate of one (1) parking space per bedroom in each residential unit, up to a maximum of two (2) off-street spaces per unit.

G. Wherever possible, parking lots on adjacent commercial lots shall be connected internally to allow through-traffic and to reduce the need for multiple curb cuts.

H. No dumpsters or outdoor trash receptacles shall be located in any front yard setback. Any outdoor trash receptacles, dumpsters and utility boxes shall be screened on all sides by a fence and/or a tight evergreen hedge whose height shall be greater than or equal to the height of said structure and as specified in subsection 506.4, Plant Requirement and sizes.

I. All lighting shall be directed away from abutting residential uses or districts.


807.4 Signs in the Village District.

A. The number of outdoor signs shall be limited to one sign for each business. This sign shall face a public way, if possible, and shall be limited in size to sixteen square feet (16 sq. ft.).

B. Projecting signs may project up to four feet over the public sidewalk but not over the street or public parking areas.

C. Window signs may be used to identify promotional items or services but shall not cover more than twenty-five percent (25%) of a window area which faces a public way.

D. Signs shall be illuminated externally with either incandescent or fluorescent lamps that direct light toward the sign, provided that the illumination does not distract pedestrians, vehicles or residential units. All lighted signs shall be lighted by continuous or non-flashing light. All types of electronic LED signs, message boards, continuous scrolling messages and digital display signs are prohibited.

E. Roof-top displays are not permitted.

F. Retractable storefront awnings are allowed within the elements framing storefront windows or doorways. Rigid, ‘bull nose’ shaped or internally illuminated awnings are not allowed. Any signage imprinted on the awnings will be calculated as part of the total signage allowance.


906.3 Standards for Relief.

E Waiver of Architectural and Site Design Requirements in the Village District.

In order to avoid undue hardship, waivers of architectural and site design requirements included in Section 508.1 may be granted by the Zoning Board of Review after the Proposal is reviewed by the Administrative Officer to the Planning Board and/or the Planning Board as Development Plan Review (DPR) and a recommendation is forwarded to the Zoning Board.

In considering the proposed deviation to the architectural design and development standards as contained in Section 508.1 the Zoning Board shall comply with the Standards of Relief contained in Section 906, and shall also address the following findings.

1. Strict compliance will result in undue hardship and practical difficulties in developing or redeveloping the property.

2. The proposed structure, improvement or development is consistent with the intent of the Village District Zoning and the deviation will not result in unnecessary adverse impacts and is in harmony with the general area.

3. The proposed use will be consistent with the character of the neighboring land uses within the Village District Zone.

4. The Petitioner explored all reasonable alternatives and the deviation requested represents the least deviation required to remove the hardship.

5. The requested deviation will not be injurious to neighboring properties or to the general welfare of the surrounding community.

6. There is a peculiar characteristic of the property which makes conforming to certain development standards impracticable.

7. The deviation will not result in access driveways or sidewalks that do not provide for safe vehicle or pedestrian circulation.

8. The deviation will not adversely impact off street parking or loading areas.






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