Town of Davidson Hosting May 8th Affordable Housing Forum

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Davidson citizens are invited to the Davidson Town Hall board room on Monday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m. for an affordable housing forum hosted by the Town of Davidson and the UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute.

The UNCC Urban Institute will present information and recommendations from the recently conducted Affordable Housing Needs Assessment. Following the presentation, attendees will break into smaller groups for round table discussions facilitated by the Urban Institute.

“The Davidson Board of Commissioners and town staff  hope citizens will attend to share their ideas about affordable housing,” said Affordable Housing Manager Cindy Reid.

For more information on the affordable housing program and to review the assessment, please visit www.townofdavidson.org/affordablehousing.

(Source:  Town of Davidson)

General Assembly Begins to Address Local Impact Fee Authority

The North Carolina General Assembly is starting to take a close — and skeptical — look at the development Impact Fees charged by local governments across the state, and some big changes could be on the way in the months ahead.

Last week, the House State and Local Government I Committee heard two bills dealing with impact fees.  Representative Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) introduced two bills in March regarding impact fees which were authorized by the General Assembly more than 30 years ago.  The first, HB 406 Repeal Orange County Impact Fee, would strip Orange County of its ability to impose impact fees. Stevens noted that Orange County recently modified its impact fee structure causing the fee for a multi-family project to increase from $302,000 to $1,593,000. Impact fees for single family residences built in Orange County have been in excess of $10,000 per house.

The second bill, HB 436 Local Government/Regulatory Fees, would prohibit the future imposition of impact fees by cities and counties, and would repeal all existing authority for the twenty municipalities and three counties who were granted this authority pursuant to local acts passed primarily between 1985 and 1989. Continue reading

State House Passes Regulatory Reform Bill

The NC House of Representatives today gave final approval to a 44-page Regulatory Reform bill that contains several critical provisions for residential and commercial developers.

SB 131, ‘Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017’, was approved by the House on Thursday by a vote of 84-27, and now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Among the dozens of reforms it contains, two are of particular interest to developers:

Energy Efficiency Code Exemptions – Section 1.4 of the bill excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, an amendment suggested by REBIC and introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

Stream Mitigation Requirements – Section 3.13 of the bill amends stream mitigation requirements to allow developers to disturb up to 300′ of stream bed before mitigation is required, unless otherwise prohibited by federal law. Current law requires mitigation whenever 150′ or more is disturbed. This provision would bring North Carolina in line with stream mitigation requirements in neighboring states.

REBIC is continuing to review additional provisions in the Regulatory Reform bill, and will provide additional updates in the coming weeks on how this important piece of legislation affects your business.

Building Permit Reform Legislation Introduced in General Assembly

Legislation introduced last week in the North Carolina General Assembly would build on initiatives from recent years to improve and reform the state’s building code process.

HB 252, ‘Building Code Regulatory Reform’, was introduced by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance), Larry Potts (R-Davidson), and Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg). It contains the following provisions:

  1. Clarifies that counties and municipalities may not continue to enforce any ordinance or policy requiring the inspections of homes more than those specifically set forth in the North Carolina Building Code. Jurisdictions were prohibited from adopting such ordinances or policies by a law enacted in 2013 at the behest of NCHBA.
  2. Authorizes an employee under direct supervision of a licensed architect or licensed engineer to perform field inspections of the completed installation of an engineered component of a project.
  3. Clarifies that no architect or engineer certification is required for components that are engineered by the manufacturer when those components comply with the North Carolina State Building Code.
  4. Requires all local inspection departments to create and implement an informal review process of inspectors. Disagreements on interpretations or inspection issues will be subject to this process. Furthermore, the bill directs inspection departments to report annually to the Joint Committee on Local Government on the implementation of this provision.
  5. Subjects any future or existing codes to the process established in HB 255 for review and approval by the Residential Code Committee or the Building Code Committee of the Building Code Council before consideration by the Council.
  6. Clarifies that inspection agencies shall not apply any local or state interpretation of the building code to projects that are begun under a valid building permit.
  7. Finally, excludes lots with septic tanks or other on-site wastewater systems from dual meter requirements, if the cutoff valve and backflow prevention device are placed within 12 inches of the water meter.

REBIC supports the bill, although we will work with the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) to ensure that favorable code interpretations MAY still be applied to projects with a valid permit at the applicant’s discretion.

The legislation has been assigned to the House Regulatory Reform Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

 

 

NAHB Examines Future of EPA’s WOTUS Rule

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Courtesy NAHB

Now that President Trump has ordered an extensive review of the “waters of the United States (WOTUS)” definitions in the Clean Water Act, many home builders and developers have questions about how this executive order changes the stormwater and wetlands permitting processes they have been following all along – and what the next steps are. Continue reading

Town of Cornelius to Consider New Buffering Requirements

A public hearing will be held on December 5th during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Cornelius Board of Commissioners.  Cornelius Planning Director, Wayne Herron, will offer a proposal endorsed by the Town’s Land Development Code Advisory Board requiring more stringent buffering standards for new residential developments that abut existing residential uses.

The ordinance change would require a 50 foot buffer when a berm and vegetation is used as a screen and a 30 foot buffer when a wall is utilized.  Town staff is currently in the process of drafting language to be incorporated in the proposal that would provide additional flexibility.  We will provide updates in future blog posts as more information becomes available.

 

Charlotte to Hold Community Workshops on UDO Update

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The City of Charlotte is updating its land use policies and development ordinances.  This comprehensive effort — Charlotte Place Types & Unified Development Ordinance — will shape the future growth of our city.

Come lend your voice and learn more about these efforts by joining one of the upcoming workshop discussions.  Each workshop is the same; simply choose the one that is most convenient for you.

  • South Workshop — Tuesday, November 29, 6-8 p.m. Queens University Sports Complex, 2229 Tyvola Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
  • Central Workshop — Friday, December 2, noon-1 p.m. Main Library, 310 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
  • East Workshop — Thursday, December 8, 6-8 p.m. Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215
  • West Workshop — Tuesday, December 13, 6-8 p.m. Goodwill Opportunity Campus, 5301 Wilkinson Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28208
  • North Workshop — Thursday, December 15, 6-8 p.m. The Oasis Shrine Auditorium, 604 Doug Mayes Place, Charlotte, NC 28262

Online meeting registration is encouraged.  To do so, please click this link.

For more information, please visit CharlotteUDO.org or contact Scott Adams, AICP, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department, at scott.adams@charlottenc.gov.

(Source:  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department)