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H 0507 - Land-Use Regulatory Changes

Tracking Level: High
Sponsor: Jonathan Jordan (R)
Last Action: 6/15/2018 - Re-ref Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate
House Committee: RR
Senate Committee: RulesOS
Assigned To:
LiabilityNext Bill
Planning & Land UseNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

Makes a host of changes to various land use statutes. Allows applicants for development permits to choose to have proposed—but not yet adopted—rules apply to the development permit. For disputes involving a permit applicant’s choice, creates a right to bring suit in court, accords those disputes priority by all courts, and awards damages to a prevailing permit applicant, but not a prevailing local government. Creates a new statutory vested right to develop under the permit applicant’s choice of rules, for one year, unless the work authorized by the permit has “substantially commenced.” Clarifies that this new vested right does not preclude other applicable vested rights to develop from applying to that project, and clarifies that for multi-phase developments, an applicant’s choice of rules vests at the time of the permit application, not the time of site plan approval. Changes current law regarding citizen-requested zoning map amendments to require written consent of all affected property owners, rather than certification that those property owners received notification of the request; changes the notice requirements for citizen-requested zoning map amendments. Allows aggrieved parties in land-use disputes to bypass a local board of adjustment and instead bring suit in superior court, and offers claimants a number of new grounds for suit. Gives aggrieved parties a new cause of action to challenge the validity of any local government’s land use ordinance. Changes current rules regarding land-use litigation to allow petitioners to present additional types of evidence, and offers additional grounds for suit. Disallows a local government from defending itself in land-use claims on the basis of estoppel, thereby allowing developers to continue development during any legal action regarding that development. Expands the causes of action for which a court must award attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff, but not a prevailing local government. Makes significant changes to current law regarding performance guarantees paid by developers for completion of infrastructure, such as allowing the developer to determine the initial amount of the performance guarantee and to reduce the amount of the guarantee without consent of the local government. In cases where a developer must make transportation improvements, limits a local government’s driveway regulations to those promulgated by NCDOT, and prevents a local government from requiring the developer to require additional property for those improvements, if the developer does not already own that property. (version 1)

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