Planning Issues

The Planning Department deals with the broader issues of community development, not just reviewing subdivisions and site plans. Two of the hottest topics in planning lately have been Affordable Housing and Stormwater Management. See those respective pages for more information.

Another recent hot topic has been about Conservation Development, which is a zoning tool to preserve meaningful open space. West Greenwich recently passed a zoning amendment to provide for these types of residential cluster subdivisions in Town, at the sole discretion of the Planning Board. See below for detailed information and the unique West Greenwich requirements.

Conservation Development

The following two documents go together. Please refer to both of these if you are looking for information on the Town's Conservation Design Development subdivision requirements and review process:

Here is General Information about Residential Conservation Design Development:

  • Informational Brochure: 'Not ready to lose your town's special places? Conservation Development: A Creative Way to Grow while Preserving Community Character.' (2 pages)
  • Informational RIDEM webpages about Conservation Development: click on the pictures to see the differences between a parcel developed with a conventional subdivision versus a Conservation subdivision. (2 pages)
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Conservation Development info from RIDEM and Narragansett Bay Research Reserve
  • RI Conservation Development Manual: this is a very clear, thorough, and well written manual that explains what Conservation Development is, how it benefits the community, how the review process differs from a regular subdivision, and also contains a question and answer section for the frequently expressed concerns that residents and public officials often have. (96 pages)
  • Rhode Island Conservation Easement Guidance Manual: very important information about the protective restrictions that must be placed on the open space in order to properly manage the land and to keep it preserved in perpetuity.