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Land Use

Public Utility Law Project

Public Utility Law Project

Renewable energy resources and projects are a very hot topic in Rhode Island. Between solar farms and offshore wind farms, stakeholders face a daunting review process. A public utility law project is one that requires approvals and regulatory compliance at both the state and municipal level, and sometimes federal too. When an activity is designated by the state legislature for…

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Invenergy Denied Permit to Pave Over Forest in Burrillville

Invenergy Denied Permit to Pave Over Forest in Burrillville

The Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) recently issued its Final Order denying Invenergy a permit to pave over a forest in Burrillville to build an unnecessary fossil fuel power plant. If you are not familiar with this case, Invenergy is a privately held, global developer for sustainable energy projects; and the EFSB is an independent state board that reviews proposed…

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Building Approval

Building Approval

Processes like development plan approval, subdivision approval, and building approval refer to the approval required for construction or expansion (including some types of renovation) at the municipal level. A building approval is generally a written document that results from zoning board and/or planning board review. Permits must be obtained before constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, moving, demolishing, or changing the occupancy of…

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Land Use Regulations

Land Use Regulations

Property owners in Rhode Island must adhere to state and local land use regulations. This applies to all types of property – residential, commercial, industrial, and all others. The policies behind regulating land use are to ensure appropriate and positive social and environmental considerations. Some other goals are to manage resources, to properly plan for development, to promote environmental conservation,…

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State Freshwater Wetlands Rules: Seeks Public Input

State Freshwater Wetlands Rules: Seeks Public Input

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) have developed revised freshwater wetlands rules needed to implement the findings and recommendations of a legislative task force that examined the adequacy of freshwater wetlands protection in R.I. The state Freshwater Wetlands law was previously amended to achieve two important goals: strengthen wetlands protection…

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What Can a Land Attorney help with?

What Can a Land Attorney help with?

Owners of real property, or folks looking to purchase real property, often have a need for legal representation. This representation can take many forms – a qualified land attorney assists with due diligence processes, determining how property can be used, assisting with property disputes, to name a few. A land attorney deals with land law, a form of law related…

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The Rhode Island CRMC – Why and When Do I Need It?

The Rhode Island CRMC – Why and When Do I Need It?

In Rhode Island, activities along the coast are regulated by a state agency called the Coastal Resources Management Council. That’s “CRMC” for short. The CRMC is tasked with preserving and protecting coastal areas through management plans and by the issuance of approvals for work in the council’s jurisdictional area. That area of jurisdiction is as follows: “[T]he area extending from…

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Environmental Laws for Businesses

Environmental Laws for Businesses

Importantly, environmental policies are reviewed and changed often. This means that your business may be impacted often, without you even knowing it! Having knowledge of what types of permits or approvals you need is critical. As a business owner, you first need to know if your practices trigger the requirements of any environmental laws for businesses. If you are not…

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Different Environmental Laws

Different Environmental Laws

There are many federal and state statutes that exist to protect this country’s natural resources, from air to water and resources in between. The different environmental laws were enacted at various times in United States history, but a majority were enacted in the 1970s. This article provides an overview of some of the most well-known federal laws. THE CLEAN AIR…

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Commercial Land Use and Redevelopment

Commercial Land Use and Redevelopment

Within every municipality exists a zoning regime that governs residential, industrial, and commercial land use and redevelopment. Climate change is playing a major role with respect to land use. Over the past few decades, storms and rising ocean levels have impacted our state’s shorelines, sometimes unearthing contamination. Liability may arise in any of these contexts, and commercial land use is…

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