Bill Summary for H 44 (2015-2016)

Printer-friendly: Click to view

Summary date: 

Jun 10 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 44 (Public) Filed Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Intro. by Conrad, Lambeth, Hanes, Terry.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

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

Deletes all provisions of the previous edition and replaces it with the following.

Section 1

Repeals GS 160A-200, Annual notice to chronic violators of overgrown vegetation ordinances. Amends GS 160A-200.01, concerning annual notice to chronic violators of public nuisance ordinances,  to add that a city may also give notice to a chronic violator of the city's overgrown vegetation ordinance in accordance with the statute. Makes organizational changes.

Section 1.5

Amends GS 160A-205 by adding that a city may prohibit the placement, maintenance, location, or use of structures that are uninhabitable and without water and sewer for more than 120 days with notice given to the owner of record of the determination, upon the State's ocean beaches.

Section 2

Enacts new GS 153A-145.3 and GS 160A-205.1 to prohibit a county or city from requiring compliance with a state department or agency's voluntary regulation or rule. Specifies that the statutes apply to regulations and rules (1) currently in effect, (2) repealed or expired, (3) temporarily or permanently held in abeyance, or (4) enacted but not yet effective.

Section 2.5

Repeals GS 130A-34.4(a)(2) which required the county comprising the local health department to maintain operating appropriations to local health departments from local ad valorem tax receipts at levels equal to amounts appropriated in state fiscal year 2010-11 by July 1, 2014, in order for the local health department to be eligible to receive state and federal public health funding from the Division of Public Health. Effective July 1, 2016. 

Section 3

Amends GS 160A-360.1 to add three options for applying ordinances that the owner of a development tract may choose from when an ordinance under GS Chapter 160A, Article 19, Planning and Regulation of Development, applies to a development tract lying partly within municipal corporate limits and partly within the county and more than 50% of the tract is outside of the municipal corporate limits.

Section 3.5

Amends GS 87-97, concerning the permitting, inspection, and testing of private drinking water wells, as follows. Deletes the provision that allowed local well programs to use their own forms after submitting a petition for rule making to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) and a finding by the EMC that conditions unique to the area constituted a threat to public health mitigated by the use of a different local form. Adds that when a permit is issued under the statute, the permit is also deemed to include authorization for the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment by a certified well contractor when running electrical wires from the well pump to the pressure switch. Makes the local health department responsible for notifying the building inspector of the well permit issuance. Adds that if a local government mandates that improved property be connected to a public water system, the local government must determine at the time of the application for and before issuing a permit to construct or repair a well whether the improved property will be served by the public system or the well. Effective October 1, 2015, and applies to permits issued on or after that date.

Section 4

Amends GS 153A-340 and GS 160A-381 to exempt fence wraps that display signs and are affixed to perimeter fencing at a construction site before the certificate of occupancy has been issued from zoning regulations that apply to signage.

Section 5

Amends GS 143-755, Permit choice, to make the statute applicable to zoning permits. Makes a clarifying change. Applies to permits for which a permit decision has not been made by the date the act becomes law.

Section 6

Amends GS 159-28, Budgetary accounting for appropriations for local governments, adding language that clarifies that nothing in this statute requires a contract to be reduced to writing. Makes organizational changes and provides that a written obligation or an obligation evidenced by a written purchase order for materials and supplies must include on its face a certificate stating that the instrument has been preaudited to assure compliance with the section. Deletes language which provided an exception for obligations or documents that had been approved by the Local Government Commission. Adds subdivision (4) to subsection (d) providing that a local government and public authority can make certain payments in cash if an ordinance authorizing such form of payment and specifying the limits of the use of the cash has been adopted. Amends (d2) to provide that a finance officer is presumed to be in compliance with the statute if the officer complies with the rules adopted by the Local Government Commission. Deletes provision that did not require a certificate on payroll checks or drafts on an imprest account in an official deposition if the check depositing the funds in the account had a signed certificate. Adds to the definition of electronic payment. Adds language to subsection (e) concerning penalties, providing that the governing board must determine, by resolution, if payment from the official bond will be sought as well as a judgment from the finance officer or appointed deputy finance officer for deficiencies in the amount. Sets out exemptions for the certification requirements of subsections (a1) and (d). Makes technical, conforming, and clarifying changes. Deletes outdated language and references. Effective July 1, 2015, applying to expenditures incurred on or after that date. 

Section 7

Amends GS 136-66.1 to require the reduction of travel lanes to accommodate bike lanes of any state highway system street or highway location within a city be approved by a majority vote all members of the Board of Transportation.

Section 8

Enacts new GS 106-645 to prohibit a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state from prohibiting owning or possessing five or fewer bee hives.

Section 9

Amends GS 160A-272 to allow the city council to approve a lease of city-owned property without treating it as a sale of property for the siting and operation of a tower for communication purposes for up to 25 years. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.

Section 10

Amends GS 130A-248 to add that if the Department of Health and Human Services has reviewed and approved the plan for a prototype franchised or chain facility for food establishment, the plan may be used in any county in the state without local health department approval if no material changes are made to the plan. Allows the local health department to review and suggest revisions for a particular use of the approved plan, at the request of the owner of operator. Provides that acceptance of a suggested revision is not a prerequisite or condition of the issuance of any permits by the local health department, county, or city in which the facility is to be located.

Section 12

Enacts new GS 153A-457 and GS 160A-499.4 requiring counties and cities to notify property owners and adjacent property owners before beginning any construction project by that county or city. Specifies notice requirements and sets out requirements in emergencies.

Section 13

Enacts new GS 143-214.18 providing that, absent a requirement of federal law or an imminent threat to public health or safety, two specified rules concerning the nutrient sensitive wasters management strategy and protection and maintenance of existing riparian buffers in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins do not apply to land meeting the following: (1) the property is private property; (2) before August 1, 2000, the property was private and platted and recorded in the register of deeds; and (3) the use of the property complies with the rules and other laws regulating and applicable to that property. Exempts from the statute the area denoted by the US Geological Survey as 03020201 (Upper Neuse Sub-basin). Effective August 1, 2015.

Section 14

Enacts new GS 143-214.19 requiring that the coastal wetlands and marshlands be included in the measurement of the protective riparian buffer when state law requires a protective riparian buffer for coastal wetland and marshland in the Neuse River Basin or the Tar-Pamlico River Basin. Defines coastal wetlands and marshlands. Sets out requirements for delineating the riparian buffer for those coastal wetlands or marshlands. Effective October 1, 2015.

Section 15

Requires the Environmental Review Commission, with assistance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, to study the use of riparian buffers by the state and local governments, including how the regulatory burden imposed by the buffers can be decreased while maintaining the protection of water quality. Requires a report on the study to the 2016 Regular Session of the 2015 General Assembly.

Section 16

Amends GS 160A-381 to require (was, allow) a zoning ordinance to provide density credits or severable development rights for dedicated rights-of-way.

Section 17

Amends GS 153A-352 and GS 160A-412 as follows. Requires counties and cities to accept and approve a design or other proposal for a component or element in the construction of a building from a licensed architect or engineer if (1) the submission is completed under valid seal of the architect or engineer, (2) field inspection of the installation or completion of construction is performed by the architect or engineer, and (3) that architect or engineer provides a signed document stating the component or element of the building inspected is in compliance with the North Carolina State Building Code. Discharges the county, city, their inspection departments, and inspectors from any duties and responsibilities with respect to the component or element in the building construction when the signed document is accepted and approved. Makes clarifying changes. Makes conforming changes to GS 153A-356 and GS 160A-416. 

Section 18

Amends GS 153A-346 and GS 160A-390 prohibiting counties and cities from defining dwelling units, bedrooms, or sleeping units in a way that exceeds any definition of the same in another statute or rule adopted by a state agency.

Section 19

Amends GS 153A-349.4 and GS 160A-400.23 to allow counties and cities to enter into a development agreement with a developer for the development of property as provided in the Part for developable property of any size, including property subject to an executed brownfields agreement. Requires the agreements to be of a reasonable term specified in the agreement (was, required the property to contain 25 acres or more of developable property with an exception for property subject to a brownfields agreement, and limited the agreements to no more than 20 years). Amends GS 153A-349.3 and GS 160A-400.22 to allow a development agreement to be incorporated into any planning, zoning, or subdivision ordinance. Effective October 1, 2015, and applies to development agreements entered into on or after that date.

Section 20

Includes a severability clause.

Section 21

Unless otherwise provided, effective when the act becomes law.

Changes the act's short and long titles.