This bill makes various amendments to the General Laws in Chapter 45-24, which is titled "Zoning Ordinances." The amendments include adding new purposes for zoning ordinances, such as respecting the right to housing for every Rhode Islander regardless of income and promoting smart growth and redevelopment. The bill also prohibits cities and towns from adopting new requirements related to buffers or setbacks in relation to wetlands or onsite wastewater treatment systems, but allows for the submission of existing zoning ordinances pertaining to wetland buffers and setbacks for approval. The bill also requires cities and towns to amend their ordinances and regulations to conform to state regulations within 12 months.

The bill also adds new definitions for various terms used in local ordinances, such as "abutter," "accessory dwelling unit," and "comprehensive plan." It amends current law to define terms related to zoning and land development, such as "facade redesign" and "infrastructure." The bill also adds provisions for nonconforming buildings, structures, or parcels of land, allowing for nonconformance by use or dimension to be established if it has been in existence for at least six years. The bill also includes provisions for zoning permits and variances, including the definition of "special permit" and the establishment of standard provisions that zoning ordinances must address. Additionally, the bill introduces provisions for inclusionary zoning, the transfer of development rights, and the regulation of development in flood plains or flood hazard areas. It also includes provisions for directing development away from sensitive resource areas and towards established or proposed mixed use, commercial, village, or residential centers. The bill also includes provisions for unified development review and land development projects. Finally, the bill makes amendments to the Rhode Island Zoning Enabling Act of 1991 to preserve neighborhood character and promote smart growth.