Posts Tagged ‘public hearings’

Clarification of Rules for Remote Meetings Under State Level State of Emergency: No More Waiting 24 Hours After Public Hearings!

Friday, June 18th, 2021

At the beginning of the pandemic, a new statute regarding remote meetings– GS 166A-19.24— provided a roadmap for managing government business. Public officials have learned so much about how to do things differently. Shout out to all of you who have pivoted in so many new directions, to keep people safe and healthy, and keep […]

Electronic Meetings During the COVID-19 Emergency: Recommended Practices

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

[UPDATE: Section 4.31 of Session Law 2020-3 enacted new G.S. 166A-19.24, which imposes a variety of procedural requirements on remote meetings held by public bodies during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or General Assembly. As defined by G.S. 166A-19.24, a “remote meeting” is one at which at least one board member participates […]

What are “Full and Accurate” Minutes?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The open meetings law mandates that public bodies keep “full and accurate” minutes of their official meetings. G.S. 143-318.10(e). Separate statutes expressly require “full and accurate” minutes for meetings of city councils and boards of county commissioners. G.S. 153A-42 (boards of county commissioners); 160A-72 (city councils). The School of Government recently published a Local Government Law […]

Open Meetings Book: New Edition Now Available

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Can the board of county commissioners meet in closed session to discuss the performance of the elected sheriff or register of deeds? The open meetings law allows a public body to meet in closed session to talk about employees. But are these elected officials considered to be employees? The county commissioners have no authority to […]

Repealing Ordinances

Friday, November 13th, 2015

The Upsette City Council adopted a controversial ordinance limiting the number of dogs and cats per residence.  Three of the council’s five members lost their seats at the next election to opponents who campaigned on pledges to repeal the pet ordinance.  Almost immediately upon taking office, one of the new members introduced a resolution declaring […]

Is a Quorum Necessary for a Public Hearing?

Friday, April 25th, 2014

In accordance with G.S. 160A-364, a city has scheduled a public hearing on a proposed amendment to its zoning ordinance. Notice of the hearing has been provided in accordance with the statute, but it now appears that there will not be a quorum present on the day of the hearing. The council does not expect […]

Mandated Notices in Land Development Regulations

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Note:  Post updated 11/19/21 to incorporate statutory updates and make modest clarifications.  Local governments make hundreds of decisions every day under local development regulations.  Permits are issued or denied.  Enforcement actions are initiated.  Ordinance provisions are interpreted.  Property is rezoned.  Ordinances are amended.  Do local governments have to provide notice that one of these decisions […]

Can Time Limits be Imposed on Speakers at a Zoning Hearing?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The county board of commissioners is holding a public hearing on a controversial rezoning. A sizable contingent of neighbors who oppose the project are present. Many have signed up to tell the commissioners just how terrible it would be if the rezoning were to be approved. Anticipating that opposition, the developer has brought nearly as […]

Open Meetings and the Public’s Right to Speak

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

North Carolina’s open meetings law creates a broad public right of access to meetings of public bodies by requiring notice of most kinds of meetings, and allowing anyone to attend them. Do those who attend have a guaranteed right to speak at these meetings?  The answer is “no.”  The open meetings law itself does not […]

Zoning and Satellite Annexations

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

One of these days the developer of a proposed new energy-efficient open-space development (Greenfields) will come calling on the city. It will propose that the city satellite annex the Greenfields property, located almost a mile outside of town. Greenfields will need city water and sewer and will be prepared to pay for its extension. City […]

Zoning and North Carolina’s Fair Housing Act

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Suppose that a town council holds a public hearing on a proposal to rezone one of the last vacant tracts of land in the northwest area of town from a single-family residential district to a multi-family residential district. Suppose also that this area of town is comprised predominately of single-family houses on larger lots. The […]

Fixing an Error on a Zoning Map

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

 The mayor is finishing lunch with a couple of friends at the diner downtown. Just as she is about to dig into the best banana pudding in the state, an irate constituent barges in. Reaching the mayor’s booth, the red-faced constituent blurts, “I’ve really had it. Your gross incompetence is costing me thousands. Somebody needs […]

Do We Have to Hold Another Hearing on this Zoning Case?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

The city council is holding a public hearing on a petition to rezone a parcel of land that fronts a highway leading into town. The owner has asked that the zoning be changed from a low-density residential district to a highway commercial district. The planning board recommended approval as the town’s plan calls for this […]

Can the Opinions of Neighbors be Considered in a Zoning Hearing?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

A national retailer plans to locate a new big box store on a large vacant lot adjacent to an existing single-family neighborhood. The town council is holding a hearing on a special use permit application for project. The zoning ordinance requires that the project not have a significant adverse impact on public safety and not have […]

What needs to be in the notice of a zoning hearing?

Friday, September 25th, 2009

State law requires a public hearing before a zoning ordinance can be amended. Notice of the hearing must be published twice in a local paper. If the amendment proposes to change the zoning of property, notice of the hearing must also be mailed to the property owner and owners of adjacent property (and for good […]

Public Hearings for Economic Development Incentives: An Unwritten Rule?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

North Carolina local governments frequently use cash grants as an economic development incentive to lure businesses into their respective jurisdictions. The grants are authorized under the Local Development Act, G.S. 158-7.1 et seq., but a quick read of the statutes might obscure the need for a public hearing prior to approving such incentives. To understand […]

When Are Public Hearings Required

Friday, August 21st, 2009

A recurrent point of confusion is when must a city council or board of county commissioners hold a public hearing.  Many governing boards spend a lot of time on zoning map amendments, and those actions require a public hearing, so a notion arises that other sorts of ordinances surely require a public hearing as well.  […]