General Assembly Winds Down, with Both Wins & Some Unfinished Business for Real Estate Industry

legislative_building_5As the North Carolina General Assembly winds down an unusually short Short Session in Raleigh, Realtors®, home builders, property managers and developers are looking at some legislative victories — along with some unfinished business. Continue reading

Matthews Considering Small Area Plan Zoning Overlay Districts

The Matthews Town Board this week held a public hearing on a proposal to create a new Zoning Overlay District that would make the land use and development policies in three Small Area Plans enforceable on all new development, regardless of whether or not a rezoning is involved.

REBIC spoke against the proposal, as did a small group of property owners who shared our concerns about the restrictions the Overlay would place on their property. The Overlay would impact all parcels in three Small Area Plans adopted by the Town between 2014 and 2017:

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General Assembly Approves Building Code Reform Legislation

The North Carolina General Assembly this week approved legislation that would make substantive reforms to local building permitting and inspection processes both Mecklenburg County and statewide.

HB 948 – ‘Building Code Regulatory Reform‘ was sponsored by Rep. Mark Brody (Union), and makes some very beneficial changes to the permitting and inspection process that would benefit both home builders and commercial developers. They include:

• Clarifies existing language allowing a licensed architect/engineer to certify a component or element of a building, without the need for a city or county to inspect and approve that component.

• Gives the State Department of Insurance the statutory authority to assign Marketplace Pool inspectors to conduct an inspection in the event the local officials cannot provide one within 2 business days of a request.

• Provide greater flexibility for the State Q-Board to grant provisional licenses to Code Enforcement officials who are certified and in good standing in other states, which will help address the growing issue of inspector vacancies across North Carolina.

HB 948 is now awaiting Governor Cooper’s signature. Thanks to the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) for their leadership on this critical piece of legislation.

City Council Approves Budget with $50M in Affordable Housing Bonds

Crown-Logo-GreenThe Charlotte City Council this week approved a budget for FY 2018/2019 that includes an historic investment in Affordable Housing bonds — assuming voters approve them in a November referendum.

The $50 million in Affordable Housing Bonds are part of a $223 million bond package that also includes $118 million for streets and sidewalks, and $55 million for neighborhood improvements. Voters will be asked to approve the bonds on November 6th, and REBIC will partner with the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association and the Charlotte Chamber to advocate for their passage through a wide-ranging community campaign.

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Realtors® Advocate for Housing Industry Priorities at General Assembly

On Wednesday, June 6th, more than 50 Charlotte-area Realtors® traveled to Raleigh to participate in the NC Realtors® (NCR) Legislative Day.

Realtors® attended a forum with legislators from Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, including Rep. Jay Adams (R-Catawba), Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Rep. Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg), Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg), Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg), Rep. John Bradford (R- Mecklenburg), Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg), Sen. Dan Bishop (R- Mecklenburg), Sen. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg), and Sen. Joyce Waddell (D-Mecklenburg).

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REBIC Welcomes Madeline Keeter!

MadelineREBIC is excited to welcome Madeline Keeter to the team as our new Government Affairs Manager!

An experienced government affairs professional, Madeline has a strong track record in local and state advocacy, having  worked for organizations like Charter Schools USA, Alzheimer’s Association and CaroMont Health.

She also served as a campaign manager for Congressman Patrick McHenry and as a Policy Assistant during Pat McCrory’s 2008 gubernatorial campaign.

In addition to her government affairs and political experience, Madeline serves her alma mater, UNC Charlotte, as the President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is also a national volunteer for her sorority, Sigma Kappa, as a Risk Management Coordinator. In her spare time, you can find Madeline out on the golf course, at a football game or traveling. She and her husband live in Gastonia.

Madeline will be joining REBIC on June 1st.

Home Builders Advocate for Reforms at General Assembly

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Charlotte-area home builders met in Raleigh with Rep. Andy Dulin and Senator Dan Bishop, along with other members of the Mecklenburg and Cabarrus delegations.

Home builders from Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties joined their colleagues from across the state this week to advocate for permitting and code enforcement reforms at the General Assembly, during the North Carolina Home Builders Association’s (NCHBA) annual Legislative Day.

In addition to talking with legislators about the state of the local housing market, HBA members advocated for passage of a number of critical bills, including:

  • HB 948 – Building Code Regulatory ReformSponsored by Representative Mark Brody (Union), this bill makes some very beneficial changes to the permitting and inspection process, including:
    • Clarifies existing language allowing a licensed architect/engineer to certify a component or element of a building, without the need for a city or county to inspect and approve that component.
    • Gives the NC Department of Insurance the statutory authority to create an Inspector Marketplace Pool, composed of retired Code Enforcement officials, from which builders could request an inspection in the event the local officials cannot provide one within 2 business days.
    • Provides greater flexibility for the State of North Carolina to grant provisional licenses to Code Enforcement officials who are certified and in good standing in other states, which will help address the challenge of Code Official vacancies in fast-growing counties like Mecklenburg.
  • HB 507 – Land Use Regulatory Changes: This bill passed the Senate last year, but needs to be taken up this session by the House. It includes several important reforms including statutory clarifications to Permit Choice – a developer can choose which version of a rule to apply in the event an ordinance changes after they submit an application. Among other things, the bill also expands the 7-year vesting protection for multi-phase development projects.
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Meeting with Senator Jeff Jackson during the NCHBA Legislative Reception in Raleigh

Builders also continued to lobby for the passage of HB 457 — Performance Guarantees/ Subdivision Streets, a bill that would create a specific timeframe for NCDOT to approve and accept county subdivision roads once they are completed. This bill passed the House last year, and is awaiting action by the Senate. Finally, HBA members advocated for additional changes in the state’s RMI Sales Tax law, to allow sales tax credits to be claimed through deductions on applicable sales tax receipts remitted to the State of North Carolina.