City of Rock Hill Holds Work Session on Impact Fees

On Monday evening the City of Rock Hill held a work session on impact fees.  City staff briefed the City Council on a plan to phase in a two-year increase on fire, water, and wastewater impact fees beginning in July of 2017.  Under the proposal, the fire fee for single-family residential would be increased by 50% with multi-family seeing a 27% hike.  Combined water and wastewater fees would go up by at least 140%.  Developments with larger meter sizes could see as much as a four fold increase.  Additional details may be found in the presentation (City of Rock Hill Impact Fees Proposal).

The City originally passed its impact fee ordinance in 2003 and has not made any changes to the fee schedule since enactment.  Staff said the increases are necessary in order to meet the needs of a growing population.

The City Council has invited interested parties from the building and development industry to provide feedback at a meeting scheduled for 12:00 pm on Monday, August 29th, at Rock Hill Operations Center, 757 South Anderson Road in Rock Hill.  If you have or plan operations in the Rock Hill area you are strongly urged to attend.  A City Council Workshop has been scheduled for 12:00 pm on September 8th at Rock Hill City Hall, Room 373, 155 Johnston Street in Rock Hill.  At that meeting, Council plans to discuss the proposal further and may make adjustments based on the comments it receives.  REBIC will continue to monitor the situation as the process unfolds.

WFAE Hosts Panel on Charlotte’s Real Estate Market

Last Thursday WFAE 90.7 Charlotte Talks host, Mike Collins, hosted a fascinating discussion of our region’s real estate market.  The guests included Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo, Maren Brisson-Kuester, President of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association, and Ely Portillo, Economic Development Reporter for The Charlotte Observer.  They discussed how the market model and how the Charlotte buyer has changed.  If you missed it, you can listen online here.

(Source:  Home Builders Association of Greater Charlotte)

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 Nearly a year ago, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law HB 201, ‘Zoning Changes/Citizen Input’, which repealed the North Carolina Protest Petition statute and eliminated a tool frequently used by neighborhood groups to force concessions from property owners and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.

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