GSC CONFORMING AMENDS./2019 LAND-USE CHANGES.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 720 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 13, 2020
AN ACT TO COMPLETE THE CONSOLIDATION OF LAND-USE PROVISIONS INTO ONE CHAPTER OF THE GENERAL STATUTES AS DIRECTED BY S.L. 2019-111, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL STATUTES COMMISSION.
Intro. by Edwards, Wells, D. Davis.

Status: Ch. SL 2020-25 (Jun 19 2020)

Bill History:

S 720/S.L. 2020-25

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jun 19 2020 - More information

    AN ACT TO COMPLETE THE CONSOLIDATION OF LAND-USE PROVISIONS INTO ONE CHAPTER OF THE GENERAL STATUTES AS DIRECTED BY S.L. 2019-111, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL STATUTES COMMISSION. SL 2020-25. Enacted June 19, 2020. Effective June 19, 2020, except as otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: May 19 2020 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    No longer makes technical and clarifying changes to GS 160D-705.

    Modifies proposed GS 160D-1130, narrowing the authorization to now allow the governing board of a city, rather than a local government, or its delegated commission to petition the superior court for the appointment of a receiver to rehabilitate, demolish, or sell a vacant building, structure, or dwelling upon the occurrence of any of the five specified occurrences, each of which is deemed a nuisance per se. Makes conforming changes throughout to refer to a "city" rather than a "local government."

    Makes a technical correction to refer to the amendments to GS 160D-1405(c) in Section 48 (was, Section 46) in Section 50(b) of the act regarding their incorporation of sections of GS Chapter 160D enacted in SL 2019-111, their purpose, and their application.


  • Summary date: May 13 2020 - More information

    Updates the statutory cross references in GS 6-21.7.

    Amends GS 143-755 to update statutory cross references and make technical and clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-102, which sets out the definition of terms used in GS Chapter 160D, as follows. Amends the definition of comprehensive plan to now mean a comprehensive plan that has been officially adopted by the governing board under GS 160D-501. Corrects the statutory cross reference in the definition of local act. Deletes the term "vested right." Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-107 by referring to a "vesting plan" instead of a "phased vesting plan," update a statutory cross reference, and make additional clarifying and technical changes.

    Amends GS 160D-108 as follows. Amends the permit choice provision to now provide that if a land development regulation is amended between the time a development permit application was submitted and a development permit decision is made or if a land development regulation is amended after a development permit decision has been challenged and found to be wrongfully denied or illegal, then GS 143-755 (permit choice) applies. Removes provisions for site-specific vesting plans from the statute and places them in new GS 160D-108.1. Amends the provisions remaining in GS 160D-108 as follows. Specifies that amendments in land development regulations are not applicable or enforceable without the written consent of the owner with regard to: (1) buildings or uses of buildings or land for which a development permit application has been submitted and subsequently issued, (2) subdivisions of land for which a development permit application authorizing the subdivision has been submitted and issued, (3) a site-specific vesting plan, (4) a multi-phased development, and (5) a vested right established by the terms of a development agreement. Provides that the establishment of a vested right under the above does not preclude vesting under one or more other subdivisions of this subsection or vesting by application of common law principles. Provides that a vested right precludes any action by a local government that would change, alter, impair, prevent, diminish, or otherwise delay the development or use of the property allowed by the applicable land development regulation or regulations, except where a change in State or federal law mandating local government enforcement occurs after the development application is submitted that has a fundamental and retroactive effect on the development or use. Sets local development permits to expire one year after issuance unless work authorized by the permit has substantially commenced; allows local land development regulation to provide for a longer permit period. Sets the statutory vesting to expire for an uncompleted development project if development work is intentionally and voluntarily discontinued for a period of not less than 24 consecutive months, and the statutory vesting period granted by this statute for a nonconforming use of property expires if the use is intentionally and voluntarily discontinued for a period of not less than 24 consecutive months. Sets out instances in which the period is tolled. Removes the provision setting building permits to expire six months after issuance. Provides that where multiple local development permits are required to complete a development project, the applicant may choose the version of each of the local land development regulations applicable to the project; this applies only to subsequent development permit applications filed within 18 months of the date following the approval of an initial permit. Amends the definition of multi-phased development to be a development containing 25 acres (was, 100 acres) or more that is (1) submitted for development permit approval to occur in more than one phase and (2) subject to a master development plan with committed elements showing the type and intensity of use of each phase. Makes additional organizational and clarifying changes.

    New GS 106D-108.1, concerning site-specific vesting plans, includes language removed from GS 106D-108 and makes the following changes. Removes site plan from the list of examples of allowable plan forms. Amends two of the five conditions under which an established vested right may be changed to include conditions where upon findings, by ordinance (ordinance was not previously required) after notice and an evidentiary hearing: (1) that natural or man-made hazards on or in the immediate vicinity of the property, if uncorrected, would pose a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare if the project were to proceed as contemplated in the site-specific vesting plan or (2) that the landowner or his representative intentionally supplied inaccurate information or made material misrepresentations that made a difference in the approval by the local government of the site-specific vesting plan or the phased development plan. Provides that if a local government fails to adopt a development regulation setting forth what constitutes a site-specific vesting plan triggering a vested right, a landowner may establish a vested right with respect to property upon the approval of a zoning permit, or otherwise may seek appropriate relief from the Superior Court Division.

    Amends GS 160D-111 to provide that the enactment of GS Chapter 160D does not amend the geographic area within which local government development regulations adopted before January 1, 2021 (was, January 1, 2019), are effective. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-201 to specify that all of the powers granted by GS Chapter 106D may be exercised by any city within its corporate limits and within any extraterritorial area established under GS 160D-202 (was, under Article 2, Planning and Development Regulation Jurisdiction). Adds that if a city elects to adopt zoning or subdivision regulations, they must be applied to the city's entire planning and development regulation jurisdiction. If a county, however, chooses to do so, each may be applied to all or a part of the county's planning and development regulation jurisdiction. Specifies that a local government's planning and development regulation jurisdiction does not include an area in which it has ceded jurisdiction according to an agreement under GS 160D-203. 

    Amends GS 160D-307 to require a county to make appointments to a joint municipal-county planning agency or board of adjustment within 90 days of receiving a city's request to make the appointments (was, within 90 days following the hearing). Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-403 to provide that a development approval expires one year from the date of issuance if the work authorized by the approval has not been substantially commenced; removes references to different periods specified by a quasi-judicial development approval or a local ordinance. Removes language immediately expiring a development approval in instances when after commencement, the  work or activity is discontinued for 12 months. Allows local development regulations to provide for development approvals of longer duration for specified types of development approvals. Makes additional clarifying and conforming changes.

    Amends GS 160D-405 as follows. Removes the provision concerning a judicial challenge to the constitutionality of an ordinance or development regulation. Provides that an appeal of a notice of violation or other enforcement order stays enforcement of the action appealed from and accrual of fines assessed during the pendency of the appeal to the board of adjustment and any subsequent appeal in accordance with GS 160D-1402 or during the pendency of any civil proceedings authorized by law or appeals therefrom, unless specified conditions are met. Adds that GS 160D-1403.2, limiting a local government's use of the defense of estoppel, applies to proceedings under this statute. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-501 to require local governments, as a condition of adopting and applying zoning regulations under GS Chapter 160D, to adopt and reasonably maintain a comprehensive plan or land use plan. Provides that a land use plan use text and maps to designate the future use or reuse of land. Makes conforming changes. Makes additional clarifying and organizational changes.

    Amends GS 160D-601 by adding a provision that prohibits initiating or enforcing an amendment to zoning regulations or a zoning map that down-zones property without the written consent of all property owners whose property is subject to the amendment, unless the down-zoning amendment is initiated by the local government. Defines down-zoning.

    Amends GS 160D-602, concerning notice of hearing on proposed zoning map amendments, by deleting the provision on actual notice. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-603 by requiring the process for handling a written statement from a resident or property owner about a proposed amendment, modification, or repeal to a zoning regulation, be applicable to a map amendment that has been properly initiated as provided under GS 160D-601.

    Amends GS 160D-702 to make clarifying and conforming changes. Also prohibits a zoning regulation from setting a minimum square footage of any structures subject to regulation under the NC Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

    Amends GS 106D-703 by adding that unless consented to in writing by the petitioner, a local government may not require, enforce, or incorporate into the zoning regulations any condition or requirement not authorized by otherwise applicable law, including the specified examples. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-705 by giving examples of impermissible conditions and safeguards. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-706 to provide that when adopting regulations under Article 7 (Zoning Regulation), a local government may not use a definition of building, dwelling, dwelling unit, bedroom or sleeping unit that is inconsistent with (was, dwelling unit, bedroom, or sleeping unit that is more expansive than) any definition of those terms in another statute or rule adopted by a State agency; specifies that this includes the State Building Code Council.

    Amends GS 160D-705 by making technical and clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-804 by adding that a county regulation may provide that in lieu of required street construction, a developer may provide funds to a county to be used for the development of roads to serve the occupants, residents, or invitees of the subdivision or development. Requires that the funds be transferred to a city for the development of roads. Allows any city receiving such funds to expend the funds outside its corporate limits for the purposes specified in the agreement between the municipality and county. Makes conforming and clarifying changes. 

    Recodifies GS 160D-804(g) as GS 160D-804.1. Amends new GS 160D-804.1, concerning performance guarantees, as follows. Makes the type of performance guarantee at the election of the developer. Adds that the duration of the performance guarantee is initially one year, unless the scope of work necessitates a longer duration; sets the completion date in the case of a bonded obligation as one year from the date the bond is issued, unless the scope of the work necessitates a longer duration. Requires a local government to return letters of credit or escrowed funds upon completion of the required improvements to its specifications or upon acceptance of the required improvements, if they are subject to local government acceptance. Provides that when required improvements secured by a bond are completed to the local government's specifications, or are accepted by the local government, if subject to its acceptance, upon the developer's request, the local government must timely provide written acknowledgment of completion. Adds provisions for determining the amount of the performance guarantee. Adds that the local government may require the performance guarantee to be posted either at the time the plat is recorded or at a subsequent time. Allows a developer to post one type of a performance guarantee for all development matters related to the same project. Excludes from the statute performance guarantees associated with erosion control and stormwater control measures. Applies to performance guarantees issued on or after the effective date of this act.

    Amends GS 160D-804 by adding the following. Prohibits requiring a developer or builder to bury power lines in the specified circumstances. Prohibits setting a minimum square footage of any structures subject to regulation under the NC Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

    Amends GS 160D-807 to make clarifying changes and to make language gender-neutral.

    Amends GS 160D-903 to provide that property that is exempt from municipal zoning under (c) of the statute is subject to the county's floodplain regulation or all floodplain regulation provisions of the county's unified development ordinance. Makes additional clarifying changes. 

    Repeals GS 160D-916(b), which allowed local governments to establish official transportation corridor maps and enact and enforce ordinances pursuant to Article 2E of GS Chapter 136.

    Amends GS 160D-947 by updating statutory cross-references and making technical changes.

    Amends GS 160D-1005 by referring to hearing generally, instead of a public hearing.

    Amends GS 160D-1006 by updating statutory cross references and makes clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-1007 by updating conforming changes.

    Amends GS 160D-1104 by making clarifying changes and updating statutory cross-references. Provides that GS 153A-352(g) and GS 160A-412(g) (requiring that if a specific building framing inspection as required by the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings results in 15 or more separate violations of that Code, the inspector must forward a copy of the inspection report to the Department of Insurance) expire on the effective date of this act and not October 1, 2021. Specifies that GS 160D-1104(f), requiring the same, expires October 1, 2021.

    Amends GS 160D-1106 as follows. Changes reference to "city" to "local government." Amends the requirements to be met before a local government can accept and approve (without further responsibility to inspect), a design or proposal for a component or element in the construction of a building from a licensed architect or professional engineer, to require that the necessary certification be made on a form created by the NC Building Code Council that contains the specified information. Adds that in accepting certifications of inspection, a local government must not require information other than that specified in the statute. Adds to the definition of component that examples include a foundation and a prepared underslab with slab-related materials without concrete.

    Amends GS 160D-1110 by adding that if a local government reviews residential building plans for structures regulated under the NC Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, all initial reviews for the building permit must be performed within 15 business days of plan submission. Prohibits requiring residential building plans for one- and two-family dwelling from being sealed by a licensed engineer or architect unless required by the Building Code. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-1113 by making clarifying and conforming changes.

    Amends GS 160D-1116 as follows. Adds that a permit holder may request and be issued a temporary certificate of occupancy if the conditions of the NC State Building Code are met. Removes the provision allowing a local government to require an applicant for a temporary certificate of occupancy to post suitable security. Clarifies that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person who owns, leases, or controls a building to occupy or allows the occupancy of a building (or part of a building) before a certificate of compliance or temporary certificate of occupancy has been issued under the statute. Makes organizational changes to the statute.

    Amends GS 160D-1121, GS 160D-1123, GS 160D-1124, and GS 160D-1125 to update statutory cross references and makes clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160D-1129, concerning regulations authorized as to the repair, closing, and demolition of nonresidential buildings or structures, to provide that regulations adopted under the statute are also applicable within defined geographical areas designated for improvement and investment in an adopted comprehensive plan. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Enacts new GS 160D-1130, which provides as follows. Allows the governing board of a local government or its delegated commission to petition the superior court for the appointment of a receiver to rehabilitate, demolish, or sell a vacant building, structure, or dwelling upon the occurrence of any of the five specified occurrences, each of which is deemed a nuisance per se. Sets out the required content of the petition. Sets out requirements for providing notice to all owners of the property, mortgagees, and other parties in interest. Sets out requirements to be met when appointing a receiver and for replacing a receiver. Allows the court, instead of appointing a qualified receiver to rehabilitate or sell a vacant building, structure, or dwelling, to appoint an owner or other party in interest in the property to rehabilitate or demolish the property if that person meets the specified requirements. Gives a receiver appointed to rehabilitate or demolish a vacant building, structure, or dwelling the right of possession with authority to take the specified actions, including contracting for labor and supplies, borrowing money for rehabilitation or demolition using the receiver's lien against the property as security, and foreclosing on the receiver's lien or accepting a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Sets out actions that may be taken by a receiver appointed to sell. Sets out actions that must be taken when a receiver forecloses on the lien. Requires a receiver, following the court's ratification of the sale of the property, to sign a deed conveying title to the property to the buyer, free and clear of all encumbrances, other than restrictions that run with the land. Requires the receiver to file a final accounting and a motion to dismiss the action. Sets the tenure of a receiver appointed to rehabilitate, demolish, or sell a vacant building, structure, or dwelling at no longer than two years after the rehabilitation, demolition, or sale of the property. Allows the local government to charge the owner of the building, structure, or dwelling subject to the receivership an administrative fee equal to 5 percent of the profits from the sale, or $100, whichever is less. This applies to any nuisance per se described in GS 160A-439.1 or GS 160D-1130, as enacted by this section, that occurs on or after October 1, 2018, or any action listed in GS 160D-1130(a)(1) through (4) that was not complied with as of that date. 

    Amends GS 160D-1201 by amending the statute's heading.

    Amends GS 160D-1203 to provide that the reference hearings are administrative hearings.

    Amends GS 160D-1207 to require that when conducting inspections as part of a targeted effort to respond to blighted or potentially blighted conditions, the local government must provide notice to all owners and residents of properties in the affected area about the periodic inspections plan and information regarding a legislative (was, public) hearing regarding the plan, and hold a legislative (was, public) hearing regarding the plan.

    Amends GS 160D-1208 by updating statutory cross references and making clarifying changes. 

    Amends GS 160D-1312, concerning acquisition and disposition of property for redevelopment, to make the required hearing a legislative hearing instead of a public hearing. 

    Amends GS 160D-1401 to update statutory cross-references.

    Amends GS 160D-1402, concerning appeals of quasi-judicial decisions of decision-making boards when that appeal is in the nature of certiorari. Now requires the court to allow the record to be supplemented with affidavits, testimony of witnesses, or documentary or other evidence if, and to the extent that, the petition raises any of the three specified issues, in which case the rules of discovery set forth in the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure apply to the supplementation of the record. Specifies that whether the record contains competent, material, and substantial evidence is a conclusion of law, reviewable de novo. Adds that an action filed under this statute is not rendered moot, if during the pendency of the action, the aggrieved person loses the applicable property interest as a result of the local government action being challenged and exhaustion of an appeal described herein is required for purposes of preserving a claim for damages. Provides that if the court concludes that a permit was wrongfully denied because the denial was not based on competent, material, and substantial evidence or was otherwise based on an error of law, the court must remand with instructions that the permit be issued, subject to any conditions expressly consented to by the permit applicant as part of the application or during the board of adjustment appeal or writ of certiorari appeal. Adds that if the court concludes that a zoning board decision upholding a zoning enforcement action was not supported by substantial competent evidence or was otherwise based on an error of law, the court must reverse the decision. Adds that an appeal under this statute is stayed as provided in GS 160D-405. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Enacts new GS 160D-1403.1 providing as follows. Allows a person with standing, as defined, to bring an original civil action seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief, damages, or any other remedies provided by law or equity, in superior court or federal court to challenge the enforceability, validity, or effect of a local land development regulation for any of the following claims: (1) the ordinance, either on its face or as applied, is unconstitutional; (2) the ordinance, either on its face or as applied, is ultra vires, preempted, or otherwise in excess of statutory authority; (3) the ordinance, either on its face or as applied, constitutes a taking of property. Sets out the procedure when the decision being challenged is from an administrative official charged with enforcement of a local land development regulation. Requires the action to be commenced within one year after the date on which written notice of the final decision is delivered to the aggrieved party. Sets out provisions governing joinder. Provides that an action filed under this statute is not rendered moot, if during the pendency of the action, the aggrieved person loses the applicable property interest as a result of the local government action being challenged and exhaustion of an appeal described herein is required for purposes of preserving a claim for damages under this statute. Stays an appeal under this statute as provided in GS 160D-405. 

    Enacts new GS 160D-1403.2 prohibiting a local government from asserting before a board of adjustment or in any civil action the defense of estoppel as a result of actions by the landowner or permit applicant to proceed with development authorized by a development permit if the landowner or permit applicant is challenging conditions that were imposed and not consented to in writing by a landowner or permit applicant.

    Amends GS 160D-1405 by adding that when a use constituting a violation of a zoning or unified development ordinance is in existence prior to adoption of the zoning or unified development ordinance creating the violation, and that use is grandfathered and subsequently terminated for any reason, a local government must bring an enforcement action within 10 years of the date of the termination of the grandfathered status, unless the violation poses an imminent hazard to health or public safety. Provides that nothing bars a party in an action involving the enforcement of a development regulation or in an action under GS 160D-1403.1 from raising as a claim or defense in such proceedings the enforceability or the invalidity of the ordinance. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Repeals Section 2.6(j) of SL 2019-111, which repealed Article 3 of GS Chapter 168 (Family Care Homes). Instead, repeals GS 168-20, GS 168-21, and GS 168-22, leaving only GS 168-23 in Article 3 (Certain private agreements void). Amends that statute to provide that any restriction, reservation, condition, exception, or covenant in any subdivision plan, deed, or other instrument of or pertaining to the transfer, sale, lease, or use of property which would permit residential use of property but prohibit the use of the property as a family care home as defined in GS 160D-907 is void as against public policy to the extent of the prohibition and shall be given no legal or equitable force or effect.

    Provides that Sections 12 and 13 incorporate in GS Chapter 160D the provisions of Sections 1.4 and 1.5 of SL 2019-111 and apply to applications for down-zoning amendments and for driveway improvements submitted on or after July 11, 2019, and to appeals from decisions related to such applications filed on or after that date. Specifies that sections 5, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 45, 46, 47, 48, and the amendments to GS 160D-1405(c) in Section 46 incorporate in Chapter 160D of the General Statutes the provisions of Sections 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, and 1.17 of SL 2019-111, clarify and restate the intent of existing law, and apply to ordinances adopted before, on, and after the effective date of this act.

    Repeals Section 3.2 of SL 2019-111, which made Part II of that act effective January 1, 2021, and applicable to local government development regulation decisions made on or after that date. Now makes Part II of SL 2019-111 effective when this act becomes law. 

    Provides that valid local government development regulations that are in effect at the time of the effective date of Part II of SL 2019-111 remain in effect but local governments must amend those regulations to conform to the provisions of Part II of SL 2019-111 on or before July 1, 2021. Part II of SL 2019-111 applies to local government development regulation decisions made on or after the earlier of: (1) the effective date of the amendments to local development regulations made to conform to the provisions of Part II of SL 2019-111 or (2) July 1, 2021.

    Authorizes the Revisor of Statutes to substitute the effective date of this act for January 1, 2021, throughout GS Chapter 160D.

    Repeals Section 4.33 of SL 2020-3, which extended the effective date of Part II of SL 2019-111 to August 1, 2021.


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