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Can Offensive Content on Signs Be Prohibited?

September 6, 2022

Malcolm Tucker runs a small nightclub. He recently put up a billboard advertising his business on the main road leading into town. The billboard is garish to say the least. It is bright orange and uses vulgar language and suggestive … Read more

Calculating the Majority Vote Required for Variances and Development Regulation Amendments

December 7, 2021

North Carolina statutes have specific rules that address calculation of the majority required to approve a variance or to amend a development regulation. The statutes specify how an absent member or a member with a conflict of interest affect the majority required. The statutes also have a special rule that applies to city council members who are present but do not vote on a development regulation amendment.

What Conditions Can Be Included in Conditional Zoning?

November 11, 2021

Conditional zoning is a popular development regulation tool used in North Carolina. Legislative conditional zoning was first used in the state in the 1990s, was approved by the courts in 2001, and was expressly authorized by the zoning statutes in … Read more

2018 Survey Results Are In

December 21, 2020

Are North Carolina cities and counties making more use of conditional zoning? Are the approval rates for variances and special use permits going up or down in North Carolina? Are form-based codes and standards only something we read about, or … Read more

Chapter 160D Effective Date

June 19, 2020

  Chapter 160D became fully effective statewide on July 1, 2021. Chapter 160D was enacted in July 2019 with a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021. The date was delayed in order to give cities and counties time to … Read more

Plan Consistency Statements

December 3, 2018

Ernie Bass owns a sizable parcel of vacant land on the edge of Mayberry that fronts a major road.  He hunted and fished there for decades.  The Mayberry bypass was recently completed on the edge of the property and an … Read more

Statutory Requirements for Plan Consistency Statements

June 20, 2017

Cities and counties routinely consider proposals to amend their zoning ordinances. Amendments vary from the rezoning of a single parcel of land to major rewrites of the whole ordinance. The decision of whether or not to make a particular amendment … Read more

What Does the Farm Exemption from Zoning Regulation Include?

February 17, 2016

When the legislature in 1959 extended zoning powers to counties, it was determined that farming should not be subject to county zoning regulation. Cities had been using zoning since 1923 to address “urban” issues such as the compatibility of adjacent … Read more

Advisory Board Review of Quasi-judicial Decisions

January 12, 2016

Acme Development Co. is proposing to build a 200-unit apartment project on a vacant lot. Under the city’s zoning ordinance, this use of the site is allowed only if a special use permit is secured.  The ordinance standards for the … Read more