Legislative Update – Comprehensive Zoning Reform is Coming . . . I think!

Tonight the State Senate voted 45-0 to approve Senate Bill 419, and I’m doing a rather undignified happy dance.  Approval does not mean passage.  The bill still must pass the House, but approval by the Senate means it is alive for the short session in 2018. SB 419 is North Carolina’s first comprehensive zoning and […]

The Politics of Trash

Last Friday, August 23rd, N.C. Governor Pat McCrory signed three bills into law whose passage demonstrates how solid waste has transformed from a regulated industry into a political football.  Some new measures, like changes in application fees, are mundane.  Other measures, however, such as the allowable leak factor in hauling trucks, are highly charged, with […]

Protest Petitions Revisited

It appears that my previous post (Protest Petitions Killed . . . Finally) was premature. The NC House did vote overwhelmingly to repeal G.S. 160A-385 which grants unelected citizens a unique power to control the decision-making authority of a city council engaged in routine rezonings. However, the Senate refused to accept this amendment (called a […]

Legislative Update – Protest Petitions Killed . . . Finally

In an unexpected move the NC House voted last Thursday to repeal the statute that allows citizens to file protest petitions which frustrate a city’s ability to rezone land except upon a favorable 75 percent majority vote. The decision saw little debate, and the N.C. League of Municipalities, whose members were evenly split on the […]

Case Law Update – Spot Zoning and Consistency Statements

            Boring title, I know, but in land use this is big stuff, especially considering that both topics came out of a recent N.C. Supreme Court case. Let’s look at both topics, discuss their relevancy and review how the opinion was written.  The Facts              Two weeks ago the N.C. Supreme Court published one of […]

Annexation – Some New and Different Perspectives

             If you follow North Carolina local government and land use issues you no doubt have been following the topic du jour, annexation reform.  But the depth of media coverage has been frustratingly shallow, and 95% of what you’ve read has been bill updates and pro/con sound bites.              Join me as I present some […]

Maybe the Legislature was Listening to Me

            After my unkind post of this past Saturday (Property Good – Government Bad), I’d like to commend the legislature for proposing a bill to enact a change I’ve been suggesting for years.  House Bill 806, if enacted, would distinguish between zoning text amendments and zoning map amendments, two completely different concepts that are treated […]

A Primer on Power

            In my last post I commented that House Bills 652 and 687 assume all powers exercised by local governments are clear and precise, noting the mischief created because “implied powers” are neither clear nor precise. One reader has asked me to define “implied powers.”  Let’s return to Civics 101.             Power flows in two […]

Proposed Legislation: Property Good – Government Bad

            Everyone who pays a mortgage or property taxes supports some level of private property protection, but two bills filed this week create more mischief than their sponsors realize.  Or . . . maybe they don’t.               House Bill 652 (Property Owners Protection Act) and House Bill 687 (Local Abuse of Authority Attorney Fees) have no […]

The Permit Extension Act of 2009 – Extending the Extension

In 2008 our economic ship’s engines faltered before the ship itself started to list and then to sink. Local and state government agencies joined hands with the development community to devise an interesting floatation device, eventually termed, in governmental prose, “The Permit Extension Act of 2009.” The Extension Act, essentially, stopped the earth from spinning […]

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