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Subdivision Performance Guarantees: A Little More Clarity

May 19, 2015

In North Carolina, a developer can get final plat approval before he completes the required infrastructure—but only if the developer provides financial assurance to guarantee the infrastructure completion. North Carolina’s General Statutes allow cities and counties to permit these performance … Read more

Building the Record for a Quasi-Judicial Decision

April 3, 2015

“Every quasi-judicial decision shall be based upon competent, material, and substantial evidence in the record” (NCGS 160A-388(e2)). Without such evidence, the decision is arbitrary and an abuse of the discretion vested in the board (Godfrey v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, … Read more

Can We Close That Old Street Right-of-Way?

December 8, 2014

Decades ago, a landowner recorded a plat to divide his tract of land into lots and streets. The lots were sold and developed with houses. Most of the streets were constructed and opened as public streets. But there is an … Read more

Subdivision Plat Approval: What type of decision is it?

July 16, 2014

A decision about a rezoning request is legislative. A review of an application for a special use permit or variance is quasi-judicial. But what about the preliminary plat review? What type of decision is it: administrative, quasi-judicial, or legislative? What … Read more

Variance Standards: What is hardship? And when is it unnecessary?

May 27, 2014

Generally, development regulations like zoning and subdivision standards apply equally to all properties. But sometimes a particular property is unfairly burdened by the general rules, creating an unnecessary hardship for the owner. The general statutes authorize the local board of … Read more

Solar Farms and Solar Rooftops

March 24, 2014

Across North Carolina solar energy systems are filling pastures and cladding rooftops.  According to solar industry reports, North Carolina ranked second in the country, behind only California, for solar photovoltaic capacity added in 2013.  The rapid rise of the solar … Read more

Subdivision Performance Guarantees

February 7, 2014

So the county granted initial approval for a large residential subdivision.  Now, after completing some (but not all) of the roads and infrastructure, the developer wants final plat approval so she can close on the first round of lot sales.  … Read more

Relinquishing Extraterritorial Planning Jurisdiction

November 26, 2013

So you’ve got this extraterritorial planning jurisdiction, but how do you get rid of it? Fair question.  The statutes give clear procedures for establishing extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, but there is less clarity for relinquishment.  A good rule of thumb … Read more