Bill Summary for S 553 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Jun 25 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 553 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Intro. by Sanderson, Wells.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.

Part I. State and Local Government Regulation

Requires the Building Code Council (Council) and local governments enforcing the 2018 NC Fire Prevention Code (Code) to enforce the specified exit obstruction and waste accumulation provisions as follows. Requires code enforcement authorities with jurisdiction over apartment occupancies to permit doorstep refuse and recycling collection containers which stand upright on their own and do not leak liquids when standing upright in exit access corridors as described with respect to apartment occupancies with enclosed corridors, and in apartment occupancies with open-air corridors or balconies served by exterior exit stairs. Authorizes the code enforcement authority having jurisdiction to approve alternative containers and storage arrangements that are demonstrated to provide an equivalent level of safety as described. Provides apartment occupancies a phase-in period until December 31, 2020, to comply with the implementation provisions. Requires the Council to revise the exit obstruction and waste accumulation provisions of the Code and adopt substantively similar permanent rules. Effective July 1, 2019.

Enacts GS 113A-110(h) to prohibit county, city, or lead regional organization coastal management land-use plans from being more stringent than the State guidelines for coastal areas adopted under GS 113A-107 with respect to piers, docks, and bulkheads. Enacts GS 153A-324(c) (concerning counties) and GS 160A-365 (concerning cities), establishing that counties and cities do not have authority to enforce an ordinance that is in violation of new GS 113A-110(h). Effective October 1, 2019.

Amends GS 143-215.107A, to exempt Onslow County from vehicle emissions testing. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to prepare and submit to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval a proposed NC State Implementation Plan amendment based on the change to the motor vehicle emissions testing program provided by the act, no later than December 31, 2019. Provides that the changes to GS 143-215.107A are effective on the later of either (1) January 1, 2020, or (2) the first day of the month that is 60 days after the DEQ Secretary certifies that the US EPA has approved an amendment to the NC State Implementation Plan submitted pursuant to the act, whereby the DEQ Secretary must provide notice of the approval and the effective date of the act on its website and directly to certain affected parties, as specified. 

Amends GS 90-624 to exempt individuals practicing reflexology from massage therapy licensing requirements. Enacts GS 90-622(5a) to define reflexology.

Authorizes the Commission of Public Health to adopt rules to incorporate all or part of the 2017 edition of the US FDA Food Code.

Enacts GS 160A-386.6 (concerning cities) and GS 153A-341.4 (concerning counties) to authorize a city or county to establish a process to permit temporary event venues, defined as an existing publicly or privately owned building or structure suitable for use as a site for public or private events relating to entertainment, education, marketing, meetings, sales, trade shows, and any other activities or occasions authorized by city or county ordinance, and limited to 72 hours. Allows the temporary event venue to be considered as a permitted accessory use in any zoning district and not considered a zoning map amendment. Allows only one temporary event venue per lot or parcel of land, and limits permitted venues to 12 temporary events in a calendar year. Details requirements for ordinances authorizing temporary event venues, including prescribing the process for persons seeking a temporary event venue permit or a renewal. Specifies that issuance of a temporary event venue permit is not a quasi-judicial act. Allows cities and counties to charge up to $100 for an initial permit and up to $50 for a renewal. Before issuance or renewal, requires the city or county to hold a public hearing after giving 10 days' public notice and to inspect the venue for public health, safety, and welfare conditions. Allows the city or county to require any concerns from the inspection to be addressed with reasonable measures and to require the use of temporary toilet facilities. Exempts permitted temporary event venues from requirements of the Building Code or any local variants. Requires compliance with federal laws, rules, and regulations. Directs the Building Code Council to create an inspection checklist for cities and counties to use. Allows cities and counties to conduct inspections and issue permits prior to the Council's promulgation of the checklist. Provides parameters for instances in which permittees seeking rezoning of the parcel to a zoning district that would allow a permitted use of the venue for events of the type authorized by a temporary event permit. Makes conforming changes to GS 143-138 (concerning the State Building Code) and GS 160A-383.1 (concerning city zoning regulations for manufactured homes). Effective October 1, 2019.

Part II. Agriculture, Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Regulation

Eliminates the proposed changes to Section 13.2 of SL 2018-5, as amended, which required up to $2 million of the funds credited to the Inactive Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund to be used by the Division of Waste Management to provide a matching grant to Charlotte Motor Speedway LLC for remediation activities at the Speedway, on a 1:1 rather than 1:2 match basis of State dollars to non-State dollars by the grant.

Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 143-215.54, which added aquaculture to the permitted uses of flood hazard areas without a permit so long as the use complies with local land use ordinances and any other applicable laws or regulations.

Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 130A-335, which authorized local health departments to determine site suitability for a ground absorption sewage treatment and disposal system.

Establishes a schedule for Coastal Area Management Act Emergency General Permits authorized in response to Hurricanes Florence and Michael and activated by the DEQ Secretary in a September 20, 2018, statement, as amended. Requires that all emergency general permits must be issued by October 12, 2019, and that all work authorized by the emergency general permits must be completed by October 12, 2020.

Amends GS 159G-23 to modify and add to the considerations the Division of Water Infrastructure (Division) is required to examine when evaluating applications for loans and grants from the Wastewater Reserve or the Drinking Water Reserve. Concerning priority for a project that improves designated impaired waters of the state, adds that greater priority is to be given to projects which improve designated impaired waters of the state that serve a public water supply for a large public water system, defined as serving more than 175,000 service connections. Adds that consideration for priority is to be given to projects improving regional coordination (previously, priority for local water supply plans that are better coordinated with respect to the State water supply plan). Lastly, adds that consideration for priority is to be given for wastewater system improvements made by a local government unit in order to protect or preserve the water supply of a neighboring local unit that has a lower poverty rate, lower utility bills, higher population growth, higher medium household incomes, and lower unemployment. Applies to applications for loans or grants from the Wastewater Reserve or the Drinking Water Reserve received by the Division on or after July 1, 2019.

Adds new Part III. Miscellaneous Regulatory Reform Provisions.

Amends GS 83A-13 to exempt from architectural license for the preparation, sale, or furnishing of plans, specifications, and related data, or for the supervision of construction under such, of an institutional or commercial building that does not have a total value exceeding $175,000 (was, $90,000) or the total building area does not exceed 3,000 (was, 2,500) square feet in gross floor area. Makes changes to exempt from the requirement for a professional architectural seal a commercial building project with a total value less than $175,000 and a total project area less than 3,000 square feet.

Amends GS 20-183.4C to authorize a dealer to sell, without inspection, a used vehicle issued a salvage certificate of title in accordance with GS Chapter 20 if no repairs have been made to the vehicle after issuance of the salvage certificate of title, and the dealer discloses in writing that no inspection has been performed.

Directs the Revenue Laws Study Committee to study issues related to the property taxation of outdoor advertising signs, including the methods to determine their fair market value in North Carolina and whether the Billboard Structures Valuation Guide published by the Department of Revenue provides accurate base costs for outdoor advertising structures, as specified. Requires the Committee to report to the 2020 Regular Session of the 2019 General Assembly. 

Amends GS 117-28.1(a), authorizing easements owned or used by electric membership corporations to be used to supply high-speed broadband in addition to electricification. Specifies that the subsection does not have any affect on any obligation of the corporation or its wholly owned subsidiary to comply with any applicable requirements related to notice, safety, or permitting when constructing or maintaining lines or broadband fiber on, over, under, or across property owned or operated by a railroad company. 

Directs the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee (Committee) to add a PED study on the standards applicable to interior designers to its 2019-20 work plan. Details the study's requirements, including whether or not interior designers should be certified, licensed, or registered to practice in the state. Directs PED to report to the Committee by March 15, 2020.

Enacts GS 160A-383.1(g) to authorize cities to require by ordinance that manufactured homes be installed in compliance with the Set-Up and Installation Standards adopted by the Commissioner of Insurance, so long as the city does not require a masonry curtain wall or skirting for manufactured homes located on land leased to the homeowner. Effective October 1, 2019.

Adds electronic standup scooter to the defined terms in GS 20-4.01. Excludes electronic standup scooters from the defined terms motor vehicle and moped (passenger vehicle), but deems an electronic standup scooter a vehicle for purposes of GS Chapter 20 that are applicable to a driver of a vehicle. Makes organizational changes. Amends GS 20-51, exempting electronic standup scooters from the requirement of registration and certificate of title. Renders conflicting ordinances in effect on or adopted after the effective date of the act null and void. Directs municipalities having adopted an ordinance or regulation affecting standup electronic scooters to review their ordinances and regulations for compliance upon the effective date of the act. Applies to offenses committed on or after the date the act becomes law.

Directs the Department of Transportation (DOT) to consult with specified entities and study the needs of law enforcement, emergency medical and emergency management personnel, and firefighters to improve access to or within the interstate system in the state for the benefit of public safety. Details six required steps of the study, including determining potential sites of interest for construction or improvement and establishing criteria for prioritization. Requires DOT to report to the specified NCGA committees by March 1, 2022.

Moves the act's effective date provisions and severability clause to new Part IV.