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Historic Preservation Commission Basics

September 27, 2013

“The historical heritage of our State is one of our most valued and important assets,” and our cities and counties are authorized to safeguard that heritage and promote the use and conservation of North Carolina’s historic landmarks and districts (G.S. … Read more

Planning Board Basics (Old)

July 24, 2013

UPDATE: This blog is out-of-date. A new version of “Planning Board Basics” has been posted here. The local planning board may take many forms and perform many roles.  The core responsibilities are clearly set forth by statute.  The General Statutes … Read more

Determining and Distinguishing Land Uses

May 31, 2013

Through the years of local zoning and planning, we have managed to create increasingly complex use lists.  Each local ordinance has its own long list of defined uses, drawing fine lines between similar uses like “parks” and “public recreation facilities,” … Read more

Is it a land use yet?

March 20, 2013

In some scenarios, determining land use is fairly simple.  The ordinance permits a donut shop, the owner establishes and operates a donut shop, and the land use is clear.  But land development over time is not always straightforward, and clear … Read more

Exactions and Subdivision Approval

February 1, 2013

Can a city require sidewalks for a development? Can a county charge fees from a developer for parks?  In North Carolina, what exactions are allowed? The short answer: It depends upon the type of development approval and the underlying statutory … Read more

Who says I can’t rezone my rezoning?

November 14, 2012

Several years ago the Town Council approved The Green as a 400 acre development with phases to include apartments, townhouses, and large single-family homes, as well as modest retail and office fronting the major thoroughfare. After a couple of good … Read more