Town of Huntersville Amends Ordinance to Remove Protest Petition

On Monday evening the Huntersville Board of Commissioners adopted a text amendment removing protest petitions from its zoning ordinance. Nearly a year ago, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law HB 201, ‘Zoning Changes/Citizen Input’, which repealed the North Carolina Protest Petition statute and eliminated a tool frequently used by neighborhood groups to force concessions from property owners and developers.

HB 201 eliminated a longstanding state law that allowed as few as 5 percent of the neighbors within 100′ of a proposed development to file a petition that would force the applicant to secure a supermajority of affirmative votes from the city or town council for rezoning approval. In the Town of Huntersville, this meant a petitioner had to secure 5 of 7 Commission votes for a rezoning to be approved.

 

POSSE To Be Offline This Weekend

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Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement permitting and inspections software, also known as POSSE, will be offline for maintenance and upgrades from 5 p.m. Friday, July 22nd to 5 a.m. Monday, July 25th. The automated inspections hotline will also be offline during this time. Functionality for the electronic plan review software (EPM) will be limited. Customers may still request same-day inspections from 5-6:59 a.m. July 25th. 

(Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement)

Charlotte City Council Holds Public Hearing on Proposed Revisions to Tree Ordinance

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On Monday evening, the Charlotte City Council held a hearing on proposed changes to the Tree Ordinance, that if enacted, would disincentivize future single-family in-fill development. As drafted, the text amendment would eliminate the density bonus altogether for developments “not subject to” the subdivision ordinance and greatly limit the incentive for minor subdivisions.

NIMBYs turned out in droves, as representatives of three neighborhood groups were on hand to voice their concerns over the current Tree Ordinance and its so-called impact on their neighborhoods. As far as we could tell, the only impacts its usage was having on existing neighborhoods was that it was increasing property values at a staggering rate. Continue reading

Mecklenburg County Hires Code Enforcement Director

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Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) Director Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi today announced that Patrick Granson has accepted the position as the new Director of the County’s LUESA Code Enforcement Division effective Sept. 1, 2016.

Granson was selected after a nationwide search to replace Jim Bartl, the current director of Code Enforcement who announced his retirement earlier this year. He is currently the director of plan review within the department. In his current role, Granson manages a staff of 70 that conduct plan reviews and regularly issue over 90,000 permits annually. Additionally, Granson has been instrumental in assisting with customer service enhancements that have been underway for the last two years.

For more information, please contact LUESA Director Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi at 980-314-3628 or Ebenezer.Gujjarlapudi@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.

(Source:  Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement)

Federal Condo Financing Bill Passes Senate; Now Heading to President’s Desk

IMG_0072H.R. 3700, sponsored by Reps. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Cleaver (R-MO) and through companion legislation, Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Scott (R-SC), passed the Senate under unanimous consent last week, and is on the way to the President for his signature. This legislation previously passed the House by a vote of 427-0.

 

 

Also known as the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, HR 3700 does the following:

  • Solves a number of concerns regarding FHA’s condo rules:
    • Reduces the FHA condo owner occupancy ratio to 35%, unless FHA takes alternative action  within 90 days.
    • Directs FHA to streamline the condo re-certification process.
    • Provides more flexibility for mixed use buildings.
    • Mirrors the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) rules regarding private transfer fees for FHA condo lending.
  • Provides permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans.
  • Makes reforms to federally assisted housing programs to streamline the programs.

REALTORS® worked hard on this legislation, bringing it to Capitol Hill as part of the REALTOR® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, and with a Call for Action.  Nearly 140,000 REALTORS® participated in the Call for Action with a response rate over 15%. This clearly made a difference on Capitol Hill. The President is expected to sign the legislation shortly.

York County Considering Changes to Traffic Impact Analysis

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York County is considering a series of changes to its rezoning and land development regulations that would require a more stringent Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) for all development projects.

The proposed text amendments, which will be considered by Planning Commission tonight, could potentially require a TIA by any developer or landowner seeking a rezoning, preliminary plat or site plan approval, based on the determination of planning staff. A preliminary site evaluation, required as part of the application process, would be reviewed by staff and determine whether a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Traffic Impact Analysis would be required.

The TIA report would provide county staff with guidance on how a proposed development would impact existing Levels of Service for surrounding roadways, as well as the necessary improvements needed to mitigate those impacts.

REBIC supports the use of TIAs in rezonings and for the review of major development projects. But we have a number of concerns with some of the language in the proposed ordinance, and are working with members of the Planning Commission on potential improvements ahead of a public hearing on Monday, July 18th. 

You can download the complete set of proposed ordinance amendments here.

Charlotte City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Revisions to Tree Ordinance

The Charlotte City Council will hold a public hearing on a proposal from staff that would change how the City’s Tree Ordinance is implemented.  Current law provides density bonuses to developers who exceed minimum tree save requirements when developing major subdivisions, minor subdivisions, and those types of infill projects that are “not subject to” the subdivision ordinance.  The most recent draft of the text amendment would eliminate these incentives for “not subject to” developments.  Further, it would mandate additional land or tree buffers when the incentive is utilized in minor subdivisions, effectively eliminating its use in all but major subdivisions.

The hearing will be held as part of the Council’s regularly scheduled Rezoning Meeting which begins at 5:30 pm on Monday, July 18th, at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center (600 East Fourth Street).  Anyone currently developing and building residential communities, or planning to do so, is strongly encouraged to attend.  You can sign up here online ahead of time to reserve your time to speak.  We will post the meeting agenda as soon as it becomes available.

REBIC maintains that infill development is a good thing and that developers and builders are simply serving a well established and growing market.  These new homes being built in existing neighborhoods are actually raising overall property values and thereby increasing dollars to the tax rolls.  The City’s current ordinance encourages the preservation of existing trees and results in the creation of more infill development.

Proposed Text Amendment Matrix provided by Planning Staff:  Tree Ordinance Matrix

Presentation and background provided by Planning Staff:  (2016-06-16) Community Meeting – SF Tree Ordinance Changes_Final

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