REWRITING THE LAWS REGULATING LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS AND AUTHORIZING THE NORTH CAROLINA LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS' LICENSING BOARD TO INCREASE CERTAIN FEES.
Repeals GS 89D-1 through 89D-10 (creating the NC Landscape Contractors’ Registration Board and requiring certification of landscape contractors), effective August 1, 2012.
Amends Chapter 89D by enacting new GS 89D-11 through GS 89D-24 to create the NC Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board and require licensure of landscape contractors. New GS 89D-12 prohibits anyone from engaging in the practice of landscape construction or contracting or holding himself or herself out as a landscape contractor unless licensed by the North Carolina Landscape Contractor Licensing Board. Defines landscape contractor as anyone (a) engaged in the business requiring the art, experience, ability, knowledge, science and skill to prepare contracts and bid for the performance of landscape services, including installing, planting, repairing and maintaining gardens, lawns, shrubs, vines, trees, or other decorative vegetation, including the grading and preparation of plots and areas of land for decorative utilitarian treatment and arrangement; (b) practicing the act of horticulture consultation or planting design for employment purposes; (c) who constructs, installs or maintains landscape drainage systems and cisterns; (d) designs, installs, or maintains low voltage landscape lighting; or (e) engages in the construction of garden pools, fountains, pavilions, arbors, retaining walls, fences, walks, patios, driveways, or other decorative landscape features, excluding poured concrete or asphalt driveways.
New GS 89D-13 lists exemptions from the provisions of Chapter 89D. New GS 89D-14 creates a nine-member North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board (Board), with appointees as listed, and new GS 89D-15 sets forth Board powers and duties. New GS 89D-16(a) allows an applicant to sit for the examination if the applicant pays required fees and submits evidence demonstrating the applicant’s qualifications for licensure, as specified. Directs the Board to establish and administer examinations.
New GS 89D-17 authorizes the Board to issue a license in the name of a corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, or in an assumed or designated trade name, provided specified conditions are met. Details additional requirements for licenses and licensees. New GS 89D-18 authorizes the Board to issue a license to a nonresident individual or a foreign entity that meets applicable requirements. Sets forth provisions related to certificates of authority and information requested by the Secretary of Revenue. Defines terms applicable to GS 89D-18.
New GS 89D-19 allows the Board to issue a license without examination to any person licensed, certified, or registered as a landscape contractor in another state or country if that state or country’s requirements are substantially equivalent. New GS 89D-20 provides for annual renewal of landscape contractor licenses on or before August 1, in accordance with continuing education requirements and the fee schedule set out in new GS 89D-21. New GS 89D-22 authorizes the Board to deny, restrict, suspend or revoke a license for reasons including fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in the application for a license or its renewal, fraudulent misrepresentation in the practice of landscape contracting, gross malpractice or incompetence, violation of rules adopted by the Board, or failure to file or keep the required surety bond in force. New GS 89D-23 authorizes the Board to assess a civil penalty of $2,000 or less for each violation of Chapter 89D or any rules adopted by the Board, with proceeds remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund. New GS 89D-24 authorizes the Board to file a motion for an injunction against anyone engaging in landscape construction without a license. Also requires that the licensed landscape contractor notify the Board of any written complaints filed against the landscape contractor not resolved within 30 days.
Members currently serving on the NC Landscape Contractors’ Registration Board will continue to serve until new members are appointed to the Board created by this act. Details additional appointing criteria for new appointees, and transfers all items from the Registration Board to the Licensing Board. Provides that any person who, on or before December 31, 2011, meets one of four enumerated criteria will receive a landscape contractor’s license from the Board without the examination requirement, upon submission of a completed application and fee payment on or before August 1, 2012. Specifies that landscape contractors currently registered are not required to renew registration for the 2012 calendar year.
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