Zoning Board Rules of Procedure

Letterhead Town Seal and Building Department




Adopted: 09/26/2023


The purpose of these Rules of Procedure is to establish uniform procedures for the transaction of business coming before the Middletown Zoning board of Review (the “Board”). These Rules are adopted pursuant to R.I.G.L. § 45-24-56 and Section 200 (G) of the Middletown Zoning Code (the “Code”), authorizing the Board to adopt such rules. Unless otherwise provided herein, all terms used have the definitions assigned by the Code. To the extent a definition is inconsistent with the Code, the definition of the Code shall prevail. Nothing herein shall be construed to contradict or amend the Code, nor shall these procedures be construed to contradict the application or interpretation of any applicable law.


1. The Board will generally hold its regular meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month, or on such other day as the Board may determine. Special meetings shall be held at the call of the Chairman or on the written request of three members of the Board.

2. The Board will post an Agenda prior to any meeting at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting, in accordance with R.I.G.L. § 42-46-6.

3. Applications for special use permits, variances, appeals or other matters with the Board’s jurisdiction must be submitted to the Building & Zoning Department by the first business day of the month in order to be considered for inclusion on the agenda for the regular meeting that month. All such applications must contain all required supporting materials and be accompanied by payment of the applicable filing fee in order to be placed on the agenda. Current application forms and application requirements can be found on the Town’s website.

4. Applications will be placed on the agenda in the order in which complete applications are received.

5. Any application included on the agenda and continued at the applicant’s request for a cumulative period totaling at least six (6) months shall be removed from the agenda and considered tabled until such time as the Board is notified that the applicant is prepared to proceed. Any costs related to the need to readvertise and/or renotify abutters for a public hearing shall be borne by the applicant. Absent good cause shown, any application included on the agenda and continued at the applicant’s request or tabled for a cumulative period totaling at least twelve (12) months shall be removed from the agenda and shall be considered withdrawn without prejudice.

6. The Board consists of five (5) members, plus three (3) alternate members designated as the first (1st), second (2nd) and third (3rd) alternate members. For any meeting to be held, four members must be present to constitute a quorum. The alternate members shall sit and may actively participate in the hearing. The 1st alternate shall vote if a member of the Board is unable to serve at the hearing; the 2nd alternate shall vote if two (2) members of the Board are unable to serve at the hearing; and the 3rd alternate shall vote if three (3) members of the board are unable to serve at the hearing. In the absence of the 1st alternate, the 2nd alternate member shall serve in the position of the 1st alternate. No member or alternate may vote on any matter before the Board unless they have attended all hearings concerning that matter.

7. The concurring vote of a majority of members of the Board sitting at a hearing is necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or determination of any zoning administrative officer from whom an appeal was taken. The concurring vote of a majority of members of the Board sitting at a hearing is required to decide in favor of an applicant on any matter within the discretion of the Board upon which it is required to pass under the ordinance, including variances and special-use permits.

8. No member may vote on any matter in which said member has an interest or conflict; during the hearing on any item to which a member has an interest or conflict, said member shall recuse and step down from the dais until the hearing on said item is complete.

9. The Board may hear Agenda items in any order it so chooses.

10. On all applications, including those requiring a public hearing, the Board will hear from the applicant first, and then from any objectors represented by counsel. Applicants and objectors must either be self-represented or represented by an attorney.

11. Following presentations of the applicant and any objectors represented by counsel, the Board will open the hearing for public comment. Any member of the public with standing may be heard.

12. After closing the public hearing, the Board will hold discussion on the application. Following discussion, on motion of any member, duly seconded, a voice-vote for approval of the application with or without conditions, shall be held.

13. The Secretary of the Board will cause minutes of all meetings to be taken and maintained.

14. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Board in all instances in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these rules, the Code or applicable law.

15. During any meeting, any applications not reached before 9:00 pm will be continued to the next regular monthly Board meeting, or to a special meeting if so scheduled. Any non-application items not reached may be discussed and acted upon after 9:00 pm at the discretion of the Board.