Rhode Island Zoning Enabling Act
General Laws §45-24-27 et seq., 2017
Rhode Island state law requires all localities to permit one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) by-right for each owner-occupied single-family dwelling, provided the ADU is occupied by a family member with a disability or who is over the age of 62 (§45-27-37(e)). Its definition of ADU requires a familial relationship between principal residence and ADU occupants and owner-occupancy of the principal residence. The ADU must either be an attached or internal ADU or internal to an existing accessory structure on the property, such as a barn or garage (§45-24-31(2)).
Rhode Island’s zoning enabling statute recognizes natural, historic, cultural and scenic character protection as a purpose for zoning regulation (§45-24-30). Additionally, the state’s Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Act requires comprehensive plans to identify scenic views (§45-22.2-6).
Rhode Island’s zoning enabling statute authorizes cities and towns to establish a transfer of development rights program within or between designated zoning districts (§45-24-33(b)(2)).