NC House Passes Building Permit Reform Legislation

Construction 2Over objections raised by building inspectors and state fire officials, the North Carolina House yesterday passed by wide margins a bill to improve the permitting and inspection process for home builders, and improve consistency in how the building code is interpreted across the state.

HB 255, ‘Building Code Regulatory Reform’, was approved yesterday in a 105 – 5 vote, and now heads to the Senate.

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Charlotte Considering Development, Rezoning Fee Hikes to Help Bridge Budget Gap

Gvmt Center 2At a budget work session this afternoon, Charlotte City Council reviewed a number of staff proposals to address a budget deficit for FY 2016 that has ballooned to $21.7 million due to an larger-than-expected $2 billion drop in property valuations and the loss of the Business Privilege License Fee, which the General Assembly eliminated last year.

While no fee increases were presented at today’s budget workshop, city staff told members of a Development Services Advisory Committee in a separate meeting that residential land development permit fees could increase by as much as 19 percent, commercial permitting fees by 24 percent, commercial plan review fees by 27 percent and rezoning petition fees by a whopping 300 percent. These fee hikes would help the city achieve 100% cost recovery for the provision of these services to developers.

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City and County Leaders Receive Update on Permit Process Study

iStock_000005457175XSmallMembers of the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Commission received updates last week on the progress of the ongoing permitting and inspection review conducted by Gartner Consulting, set in motion last year by a series of letters from REBIC, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association.
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NAIOP Members Advocate in Raleigh for Economic Incentives & Protest Petition Repeal

NAIOP

NAIOP Charlotte board members Tim Robertson (Beacon Partners), Clifton Coble (Bissell Companies), Joe Padilla (REBIC) and Chris Thomas (Childress Klein Properties) meet in Raleigh with State Representative Tricia Cotham on March 24th

Members of the Charlotte chapter of NAIOP joined commercial developers from the Triad and Triangle chapters last week in Raleigh to promote legislation that would help North Carolina become more economically competitive.

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House Committee Passes Building Code Reform Bill

Construction 2The House Regulatory Reform Committee today gave a favorable report to HB 255, ‘Building Code Regulatory Reform’, and is expected to go to the House floor this week.

Sponsored by Representatives Mark Brody (Monroe) and Tricia Cotham (Matthews), among others, the bill would eliminates plan review for single-family residential construction; clarifiy the definition of official misconduct for code officials; and require that the NC Department of Insurance to post any formal interpretations within 3 business days. It would also help clarify past legislation, HB 120, ‘Building Codes/Local Consistency’, from the 2013 session, which defined required residential inspections.

Additionally, the bill specifies that inspections be performed in a full and timely manner and inspection reports must include all items failing to meet the code requirements.

The bill is supported by the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA). A companion bill, SB 324, awaits action in the Senate.

You can listen in on the committee hearing on the NCGA website, by clicking on the audio link for Room 544.

Source: NCHBA

Section of I-485 Named for H. Allen Tate, Jr.

Tate Dedication

H. Allen Tate, Jr. and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory at Friday’s dedication ceremony. Source: The Allen Tate Company

Since 1957, signs bearing the name “Allen Tate” have been widely recognized in front yards throughout the Carolinas. Now the Allen Tate name will be seen along another frequently traveled path – the final section of I-485 in northeast Mecklenburg County.

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NC House Passes Legislation to End Use of Protest Petitions

nc-state-legislature-building-legislative-branchThe 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.

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