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Does the HB2 Repeal Limit Zoning Authority?

April 20, 2017

House Bill 142—the HB2 repeal—includes a provision that prevents local governments from adopting or amending ordinances “regulating public accommodations” until December 2020.  Does that mean a local government in North Carolina cannot amend a zoning ordinance relating to restaurants, hotels, … Read more

What is the “special character” of the historic district?

March 23, 2017

After a city or county establishes a historic district or historic landmark, the local historic preservation commission is authorized to prevent certain changes that “would be incongruous with the special character of the landmark or district.”  But, what is the … Read more

Reshaping Suburban Spaces

December 13, 2016

There is no constant in community. Population ebbs and flows; market preferences shift; the economy fluctuates. Each community evolves. In many suburban places across North Carolina—indeed, across the U.S.—that evolution includes a move toward more density, more mixed uses, and … Read more

Interpreting the Zoning Ordinance

July 26, 2016

Interpreting the zoning ordinance—like interpreting any legislation—can be tricky business. Ordinances may be imprecise, development continually evolves, and terms are not always clear.  Reasonable minds may disagree over the correct interpretation and application of a particular provision of the ordinance.  … Read more

Making Sense of Subdivision

April 27, 2016

What developments qualify as subdivisions and which ones are exempt?  Who can review a subdivision plat and what standards can apply?  Can the local government require streets and infrastructure?  And what can local governments do with performance guarantees?  A comprehensive … Read more

Reimbursement Agreements

January 19, 2016

A developer in town is seeking approval for a large new real estate project. The zoning and subdivision ordinances call for the developer to construct and dedicate public streets and parks and water infrastructure. But, the city has plans for … Read more

Subdivision Performance Guarantees: Legislative Changes

September 8, 2015

Piedmont County is in a bind. Several years back county officials approved a 250-home subdivision. The county approved the final plat before the developer completed all of the necessary improvements. After a few years and some lot sales, the economy … Read more