The North Carolina House today passed a bill that would repeal the Protest Petition statute, eliminating a tool frequently used by neighborhood groups to force concessions from property owners and developers.
HB 201, ‘Zoning Changes/Citizen Input’, eliminates a longstanding state law allowing neighbors in the immediate vicinity of a proposed development to force the applicant to secure a supermajority of affirmative votes from the city or town council for rezoning approval. If as few as 5 percent of the neighbors within 100′ of the property line sign and submit a valid Protest Petition to the local planning department, they can obtain enough leverage to force financial or design concessions from the property owner or developer that would otherwise be difficult if just a simple majority vote were required for the rezoning.
No other action taken by local government action requires a supermajority vote.
An amendment approved by the House during floor debate requires the city council to give written notice to all adjacent property owners at least 30 days before the rezoning public hearing, an action many local governments (including Charlotte) already take.
Approved by an 81 – 31 margin, the bill now heads to the Senate, where another bill repealing the Protest Petition has already been filed. REBIC, NAIOP North Carolina, the North Carolina Home Builders Association, and the Apartment Association of North Carolina all strongly support the bill and will continue advocating for its passage.
The North Carolina House this week approved legislation that would enact cost-saving reforms to the homeowners insurance rate-making process.
HB 151, ‘Property Insurance Ratemaking Reform,’ sponsored by representatives Paul Tine (Kitty Hawk), Mitchell Setzer (Catawba), Darren Jackson (Raleigh) and John Bell (Goldsboro), is supported by the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR).
HB 117, the ‘NC Competes Act,’ enhances the state’s job recruitment toolbox by doubling the cap on the existing Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program to $45 million for a two-year period, establishing a new, $20 million infrastructure grant program, expanding existing electricity tax credits for data centers, and modifying the state’s tax code to allow corporations investing $1 billion or more in high-poverty counties to use a ‘single-sales factor’ in their tax liability calculations.
The legislation also extends for 4 years the sales tax cap on jet fuel purchases in the state,a priority for American Airlines and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. That cap is set to expire at the end of 2015.
The North Carolina House last week approved legislation that would reduce the state gas tax to 36 cents from the current 37.5 cents, beginning April 1 and continuing through the end of 2015. The bill also removed a provision opposed by the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR), which would have made mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale subject to state income tax.
To help Realtors® prepare for upcoming changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) will host a webinar on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM EDT.
The changes, which take effect August 1st, will replace the HUD-1 settlement statement, Good Faith Estimate forms, and Truth in Lending Act disclosure with a new Closing Disclosure and a new, single Loan Estimate. There will be changes to the closing process as well, including a new rule requiring everything to be in place three days prior to closing. Continue reading
A report released today by the NAIOP Research Foundation says that net demand for industrial space could reach 242 million square feet in 2015, thanks to the U.S. economy’s accelerated growth through the end of 2014 and its robust indications of strength for 2015.
Report Highlights Include:
- 2015 quarterly net absorption will average 60.5 million square feet.
- 2014 industrial net absorption reached a near-record 224 million square feet – an 8 percent increase over 2014.
- Asking rental rates steadily elevated in each quarter of 2014.