Printer-friendly: Click to view
  • Summary date: Apr 4 2023 - View Summary

    Amends GS 160D-102 (the definitions provision pertaining to the local planning and development regulation) to enact definitions for workforce housing development and workforce housing improved lot. Enacts new GS 160D-802.1 allowing for a development that meets certain criteria for a workforce housing development to be permitted in any zoning district and in any territorial area of a local government and made subject only to the land development regulations set forth in this statute. Sets forth four criteria for workforce housing development: (1) the development is at least 10 acres; (2) no fewer than 20% of the lots in the development will be improved with dwelling units as defined by the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings and conveyed as workforce housing improved lots (Lots) (specifies restrictions for buildings constructed on the remaining lots in the development); (3) at least 50% of the Lots in the development will be conveyed to owner-occupants that qualify for lender  financing based upon an income amount that does not exceed 80% of the most recently published area median income (AMI), as provided by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development [the remaining Lots may be conveyed to owner-occupants that qualify for lender financing based upon an income amount that does not exceed 100% of the most recently published AMI (the area where the majority of the development is situated shall be used]; (4) workforce housing improved lots will be conveyed to owner-occupants who move into the lot no more than 60 days after the conveyance and maintain the dwelling as the principal residence for at least a majority of a calendar year after moving into the dwelling. Specifies that the owner-occupant has to have either of the following: (i) a greater than 50% ownership interest in the lot, or (ii) beneficiary of a trust where the primary purpose of the trust is for estate planning and where the settlors of the trust have placed the lot into the trust. Requires that the lot will be used solely for single family residential purposes. Defines family to mean the person who owns the lot and (1) any persons living together with the owner that are related by blood, adoption, or marriage or (2) no more than three other persons who are not related to the owner. Clarifies that single family residential use does not include fractional ownership or timeshares.

    Prevents local governments from imposing any type of vegetation requirements, including the removal, preservation, or use of trees and shrubs, in any area of the workforce housing development beyond the vegetative buffer described in this subsection. Permits the local government to require that workforce housing developments contain a vegetative buffer zone not exceeding 20 feet in width, including existing trees and shrubs, along the perimeter of the development and any adjoining properties. Allows a local government to require a workforce housing development to be identified on a preliminary site plan or plat and for permit applications to be administratively approved by the local government by its planning staff or planning board and allows them to impose a permit fee of up to $100. Restricts local governments from requiring connections to a public utility unless certain exceptions are established. Prevents local governments from (1) implementing or enforcing an ordinance or regulation that is more restrictive than, or that exceeds requirements necessary to comply with, federal or State law; and (2) imposing impact fees or water or wastewater system development fees on workforce housing improved lots.

    Permits local governments to restrict certificates of occupancy and certifications from the builder to ensure compliance with the act.

    In addition to any other judicial remedy, allows for persons aggrieved by a failure of a local government to comply with the act to apply for an order in superior court compelling compliance with the local government, with priority given on the court calendar for the petition and any appeal. Allows for the imposition of attorneys’ fees.  

    Clarifies that the act does not prevent a local government from enforcing (1) Article 11 or Article 12 of GS Chapter 160D; 2 (2) with the exception of GS 160D-921, any local development regulation described in Part 2 of Article 9 of GS 160D, so long as the local government does not exceed the requirements of State or federal law; (3) with the exception of dedications under GS 136-66.10 (pertaining to rights of way under local ordinances) or GS 136-66.11 (pertaining to transfer of severable development rights) any regulations providing for the dedication of rights-of-way or easements for street or utility purposes or road or utility construction performance standards; or (4) GS 160D-804.1 (pertaining to performance guarantees for subdivisions).

    Specifies that the act should not be deemed to establish, alter, or expand a local government's authority to enact or enforce owner-occupancy development standards, rent control, or other standards related to affordable housing.

    Amends GS 160D-702 to prevent a local government from implementing or enforce a zoning regulation for a development that qualifies as a workforce housing development, including without limitation, development standards regulating lot widths, setbacks, density, or building design elements, except as authorized by GS 160D-802.1. 

    Effective October 1, 2023.