The bill amends Section 45-24-31 of the General Laws in Chapter 45-24, which pertains to "Zoning Ordinances," and is set to take effect on January 1, 2024. It introduces new definitions and refines existing ones to ensure consistency in local zoning ordinances. Notable insertions include the definitions of "Accessory dwelling unit (ADU)," "Aggrieved party," "Building height," and "Community residence," among others. The bill also defines new terms such as "Cluster," "Common ownership," "Daycare center," "Family daycare home," "Development," "Extractive industry," "Family member," and "Floating zone," providing clarity for zoning ordinances. Additionally, it refines the definitions of "Buffer," "Building envelope," "Development plan review," "Drainage system," "Dwelling unit," and "Density, residential."

The bill proposes a significant change to the definition of "household," replacing the previous minimum of "three (3) persons" with a new provision that sets the minimum at "one person per bedroom," capping the number of unrelated persons per dwelling at five, with an exception for NARR-certified recovery residences. It also includes definitions for a wide range of terms such as "floodplains," "freeboard," "groundwater," and many others related to zoning and land use. Furthermore, the bill distinguishes between two types of variances: use variance and dimensional variance, each with specific standards and requirements. The bill is designed to standardize the definition of a household and other terms within zoning laws, potentially affecting local housing policies, and will become effective immediately upon passage. There are no marked insertions or deletions, suggesting the introduction of new language or clarification of existing statutes without altering the current legal text.

Statutes affected:
7382  SUB A: 45-24-31
7382: 45-24-31