General Assembly Tackles Regulatory Reform

nc-state-legislature-building-legislative-branchLegislation introduced last week in the General Assembly would make big changes to environmental permitting, and could roll back portions of local regulations that exceed state mandates, including Charlotte’s Post- Construction Controls Stormwater Ordinance.

SB 612, the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, was introduced by Sens. Harry Brown (R-Onslow); Brent Jackson (R-Duplin) and Andrew Brock (R-Davie). This legislation would provide regulatory relief to the citizens of North Carolina by:

  • Prohibiting cities and counties from enacting ordinances that are more stringent that existing state or federal regulations;
  • Creating a fast-track permitting process for stormwater and erosion control plans when certain minimum standards have been met and certified by the applicant’s engineer;
  • Allowing third-parties to a request a review of existing state rules through the NC Rules Review Commission;
  • Allowing brick and wood debris to be used as fill on development sites;
  • Clarifying the laws relating to groundwater compliance boundaries;
  • Amending the prohibition on master metering to permit an all inclusive lease in a multi-family property; and,
  • Eliminating riparian buffer requirements on property in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins.

One such local ordinance that would be impacted by the passage of SB 612 would be the Charlotte PCCO, which was adopted with stricter redevelopment standards than are called for in state law. This one amendment, which REBIC has long advocated for, could save developers millions in infrastructure costs and substantially open the market for redevelopment of long-neglected intown sites.

Regulatory Reform has been tackled in each of the past two legislative sessions, and the 2013 General Assembly seems committed to taking additional steps to improve North Carolina’s standing as a business-friendly state that can attract economic development and new jobs.

We’ll continue to track the progress of SB 612 and other regulatory reform legislation, and advocate for their passage in partnership with the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), the Charlotte Chapter of NAIOP, and the North Carolina Association of REALTORS.

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