AN ACT TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE LAND USE REGULATORY LAWS OF THE STATE.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends GS 160A-385(b), pertaining to cities, to clarify that the zoning permit required to fulfill the land development regulations in this subsection includes, but is not limited to a site plan approval, a special exception permit or any other permit or approval given under the authority of Chapter 160A, Article 19, that authorizes the use of land.
Makes the same clarifying change to GS 153A-344(b), pertaining to counties.
Amends new GS 160A-393.1 to clarify that the provisions of this section regarding civil actions for relief or other remedies are available to any landowner, permit applicant or tenant aggrieved by a final and binding decision involving the enforcement or application of a city or county zoning ordinance or any other ordinance that regulates land. Makes additional clarifying changes to this section.
Amends GS 160A-364.1(c) to provide that nothing in this section or in GS 1-54(10) or GS 1-54.1 bars a party in an action involving the enforcement of a zoning or unified development ordinance from raising the invalidity of the ordinance as a defense to the enforcement action.
Amends GS 6-21.7 to provide that in any action in which a city or county is a party, if the court finds that the city or county violated a statute setting forth clear limits on its authority (was, or otherwise abused its discretion), then the court must award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to the party who successfully challenged the city's or county's action. In all other matters, the court may award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing party (was, private litigant).
Deletes changes to GS 1A-1, Rule 65, which deleted the provision exempting the State of North Carolina or any county or municipality, or any officer or agency acting in official capacity from paying a security prior to the issuing of a restraining or preliminary injunction.
Clarifies that the act applies to permit applications filed, actions filed in court, and claims and defenses asserted on or after the effective date of this act, October 1, 2015.
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