There shall be a planning board consisting of five regular and two alternate members each of whom shall be a resident of the town. Members of this board shall be appointed by the town council for terms of five years.
The planning board shall make studies and prepare plans for the utilization of the resources and satisfaction of the needs of the town with reference to its physical growth and development as affecting the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the people and the economy and efficiency of community life. The board shall prepare and adopt a comprehensive plan for the development and improvement of the town. The board shall prepare and recommend to the town council a capital budget for the following year and a comprehensive six-year capital improvement program on an annual basis. The board shall regulate the platting or any other subdivision of land in accordance with provisions in the general laws of Rhode Island. The board shall file an opinion with the town council on all proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance giving due consideration to the relationship of such amendment to the town’s comprehensive plan and shall recommend to the town council amendments to the zoning ordinance wherever there is a proposed major change in or extension of land use, transportation routes, public facilities or public utility systems. At least once every two years, the planning board shall review the zoning ordinance and make recommendations concerning its' revision. The board shall report annually to the town council at the end of the fiscal year summarizing the work of the preceding year and recommending plans for future development of the town. The board shall undertake such other work as may be assigned by the town council in connection with the physical growth and development of the town. The board shall have the authority to call upon other departments, boards, committees or commissions of the town and agencies of the state and federal governments for assistance in performance of its' designated functions and shall cooperate with such other departments and with state and federal agencies on community, regional and state planning and development. The board may employ such technical assistance as it may deem necessary within the funds appropriated to it and may enter into agreements with the state, federal or regional agencies; the board may incur any expense necessary therefore, but it shall not for any purpose contract for or incur any expense greater than the amount appropriated or available therefore.