House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Deletes the provisions of the 1st edition and replaces it with the following. Allows the Legislative Research Commission to study establishing a property owners protection act favoring the free use of land, including examining awarding attorneys' fees incurred by an owner in an action challenging land use regulations and prohibiting enforcing penalties against a property owner for acts not committed by the owner. Also requires reviewing issues raised by the 1st edition of the act. Allows for an interim report to the 2013 General Assembly when it reconvenes in 2014 and requires a final report before the convening of the 2015 General Assembly. Updates the act's titles.
Bill H 632 (2013-2014)Summary date: May 14 2013 - More information
Bill H 632 (2013-2014)Summary date: Apr 9 2013 - More information
Creates new GS Chapter 47I, Property Owners Protection Act. Establishes that it is the state's policy that all statutes, ordinances, rules, and regulations affecting the free use of land are to be strictly construed against the government and liberally construed in favor of the free use of land. Provides that in every case in which a property owner successfully challenges the construction, interpretation, or enforcement of a statute, ordinance, rule, or regulation that impairs the free use of land policy, the court must award the property owner the actual attorneys' fees incurred by the property owner. Provides that if a property owner or other person entitled to claim a common law vested right to complete a development project, notwithstanding a subsequent change of a statute, ordinance, rule, or regulation related to the development project, is required to file a cause of action to establish the vested right and the court finds that the state or an agency of the state, or the county or municipality involved failed to fairly investigate or provide an inexpensive means to establish the vested right, the court must award the property owner the actual attorneys' fees incurred in bringing the action. Prohibits the state, agency, or local government from enforcing a penalty, fine, or forfeiture against a property owner for an act not actually committed by the property owner, in any matter related to a land-use statute, ordinance, rule, or regulation.
Enacts new GS 153A-348.1 providing that the new Chapter applies to counties and new GS 160A-394 providing that the new Chapter applies to cities.
Effective October 1, 2013.
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