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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.

Locally Adopted Voting Rules

July 9, 2014

The Robertsville town council recently adopted three new voting rules: Rule #1: A motion to add an item to the agenda during a council meeting must be approved by a vote of 4/5 of the members present. Rule #2: A … Continued

Do Mayors Have a Duty to Vote?

November 7, 2013

North Carolina holds its local government board members’ feet to the fire when it comes to voting. City council members and county commissioners have a legal duty to vote unless they are excused for any of several grounds allowed under … Continued

Remote Participation in Meetings

August 20, 2013

A local government board member will not be able to attend an upcoming meeting. Can she participate by calling in? Regular blog followers may recall that I have written  several posts on this topic. With the benefit of your comments … Continued

Protest Petitions: Going or Staying?

July 19, 2013

UPDATE:  In 2015 the General Assembly abolished the supermajority requirement for adopting zoning map amendments if a protest petition had been filed. S.L. 2015-160 created G.S. 160D-603 as an alternative to the protest petition. It allows written protests to be … Continued

The Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Decision

June 26, 2013

An obligation that many North Carolina counties, school boards and cities have worked under since the mid-1960s ended yesterday. You have probably already read about the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the challenge to … Continued

Voting and Taking Action in Closed Sessions

May 26, 2010

People sometimes assume that local government boards can never vote or take action in a closed session. That’s not quite true. Consider the following scenario: A city council has gone into a closed session under G.S. 143-318.11(5) and (6) to … Continued