GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2015-160
HOUSE BILL 201
AN ACT to amend the process by which the city councils receive citizen input in zoning ordinance amendments.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 160A‑385(a) reads as rewritten:
"§ 160A‑385. Changes.
(1) Zoning ordinances may
from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed, modified or repealed.
case, however, of a qualified protest against a zoning map amendment, that
amendment shall not become effective except by favorable vote of three‑fourths
of all the members of the city council. For the purposes of this subsection,
vacant positions on the council and members who are excused from voting shall
not be considered "members of the council" for calculation of the
requisite supermajority.If any resident or property owner in the city
submits a written statement regarding a proposed amendment, modification, or
repeal to a zoning ordinance to the clerk to the board at least two business
days prior to the proposed vote on such change, the clerk to the board shall
deliver such written statement to the city council. If the proposed change is
the subject of a quasi‑judicial proceeding under G.S. 160A‑388,
the clerk shall provide only the names and addresses of the individuals
providing written comment, and the provision of such names and addresses to all
members of the board shall not disqualify any member of the board from voting. (2) To qualify as
a protest under this section, the petition must be signed by the owners of
either (i) twenty percent (20%) or more of the area included in the proposed
change or (ii) five percent (5%) of a 100‑foot‑wide buffer
extending along the entire boundary of each discrete or separate area proposed
to be rezoned. A street right‑of‑way shall not be considered in
computing the 100‑foot buffer area as long as that street right‑of‑way
is 100 feet wide or less. When less than an entire parcel of land is subject to
the proposed zoning map amendment, the 100‑foot buffer shall be measured
from the property line of that parcel. In the absence of evidence to the
contrary, the city may rely on the county tax listing to determine the "owners"
of potentially qualifying areas. (3) The foregoing
provisions concerning protests shall not be applicable to any amendment which
initially zones property added to the territorial coverage of the ordinance as
a result of annexation or otherwise, or to an amendment to an adopted (i)
special use district, (ii) conditional use district, or (iii) conditional
district if the amendment does not change the types of uses that are permitted
within the district or increase the approved density for residential
development, or increase the total approved size of nonresidential development,
or reduce the size of any buffers or screening approved for the special use
district, conditional use district, or conditional district."
SECTION 2. G.S. 160A‑386 is repealed.
SECTION 3. G.S. 122C‑403(3) reads as rewritten:
"(3) Regulate the
development of the reservation in accordance with the powers granted in Article
19, Parts 2, 3, 3C, 5, 6, and 7, of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes. The
Secretary may not, however, grant a special use permit, a conditional use
permit, or a special exception under Part 3 of that Article. In addition, the
Secretary is not required to notify landowners of zoning classification actions
under G.S. 160A‑384,
and the protest petition requirements in G.S. 160A‑385,
and 160A‑386 do not apply, but the Secretary shall give the mayor of
the Town of Butner at least 14 days' advance written notice of any proposed
zoning change. The Secretary may designate Advisory establish a board to act
like a Board of Adjustment to make recommendations to the Secretary concerning
implementation of plans for the development of the reservation. When acting as
a Board of Adjustment, Advisory that board shall be subject to subsections (b),
(c), (d), (f), and (g) of G.S. 160A‑388."
SECTION 4. This act also repeals any local act authority for submission, review, or action by any municipality upon any zoning protest petition, whether or not enacted as a provision in a municipal charter.
SECTION 5. G.S. 160A‑75 reads as rewritten:
"§ 160A‑75. Voting.
No member shall be excused from
voting except upon matters involving the consideration of the member's own financial
interest or official conduct or on matters on which the member is prohibited
from voting under G.S. 14‑234, 160A‑381(d), or 160A‑388(e)(2).
In all other
cases,cases except votes taken under G.S. 160A‑385,
a failure to vote by a member who is physically present in the council chamber,
or who has withdrawn without being excused by a majority vote of the remaining
members present, shall be recorded as an affirmative vote. The question of the
compensation and allowances of members of the council is not a matter involving
a member's own financial interest or official conduct.
An affirmative vote equal to a majority of all the members of the council not excused from voting on the question in issue, including the mayor's vote in case of an equal division, shall be required to adopt an ordinance, take any action having the effect of an ordinance, authorize or commit the expenditure of public funds, or make, ratify, or authorize any contract on behalf of the city. In addition, no ordinance nor any action having the effect of any ordinance may be finally adopted on the date on which it is introduced except by an affirmative vote equal to or greater than two thirds of all the actual membership of the council, excluding vacant seats and not including the mayor unless the mayor has the right to vote on all questions before the council. For purposes of this section, an ordinance shall be deemed to have been introduced on the date the subject matter is first voted on by the council."
SECTION 6. This act becomes effective August 1, 2015, and applies to zoning ordinance changes initiated on or after that date.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 16th day of July, 2015.
s/ Daniel J. Forest
President of the Senate
s/ Tim Moore
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Pat McCrory
Approved 10:30 a.m. this 17th day of July, 2015