Delegation and Exercise of the General Police Power.
§ 160A-174. General ordinance-making power.
(a) A city may by ordinance define, prohibit, regulate, or abate acts, omissions, or conditions, detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of its citizens and the peace and dignity of the city, and may define and abate nuisances.
(b) A city ordinance shall be consistent with the Constitution and laws of North Carolina and of the United States. An ordinance is not consistent with State or federal law when:
(1) The ordinance infringes a liberty guaranteed to the people by the State or federal Constitution;
(2) The ordinance makes unlawful an act, omission or condition which is expressly made lawful by State or federal law;
(3) The ordinance makes lawful an act, omission, or condition which is expressly made unlawful by State or federal law;
(4) The ordinance purports to regulate a subject that cities are expressly forbidden to regulate by State or federal law;
(5) The ordinance purports to regulate a field for which a State or federal statute clearly shows a legislative intent to provide a complete and integrated regulatory scheme to the exclusion of local regulation;
(6) The elements of an offense defined by a city ordinance are identical to the elements of an offense defined by State or federal law.
The fact that a State or federal law, standing alone, makes a given act, omission, or condition unlawful shall not preclude city ordinances requiring a higher standard of conduct or condition. (1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-175. Enforcement of ordinances.
(a) A city shall have power to impose fines and penalties for violation of its ordinances, and may secure injunctions and abatement orders to further insure compliance with its ordinances as provided by this section.
(b) Unless the Council shall otherwise provide, violation of a city ordinance is a misdemeanor or infraction as provided by G.S. 14-4. An ordinance may provide by express statement that the maximum fine, term of imprisonment, or infraction penalty to be imposed for a violation is some amount of money or number of days less than the maximum imposed by G.S. 14-4.
(c) An ordinance may provide that violation shall subject the offender to a civil penalty to be recovered by the city in a civil action in the nature of debt if the offender does not pay the penalty within a prescribed period of time after he has been cited for violation of the ordinance.
(c1) An ordinance may provide for the recovery of a civil penalty by the city for violation of the fire prevention code of the State Building Code as authorized under G.S. 143-139.
(d) An ordinance may provide that it may be enforced by an appropriate equitable remedy issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction. In such case, the General Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders as may be appropriate, and it shall not be a defense to the application of the city for equitable relief that there is an adequate remedy at law.
(e) An ordinance that makes unlawful a condition existing upon or use made of real property may be enforced by injunction and order of abatement, and the General Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders. When a violation of such an ordinance occurs the city may apply to the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction and order of abatement commanding the defendant to correct the unlawful condition upon or cease the unlawful use of the property. The action shall be governed in all respects by the laws and rules governing civil proceedings, including the Rules of Civil Procedure in general and Rule 65 in particular.
In addition to an injunction, the court may enter an order of abatement as a part of the judgment in the cause. An order of abatement may direct that buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished, or removed; that fixtures, furniture, or other movable property be removed from buildings on the property; that grass and weeds be cut; that improvements or repairs be made; or that any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with the ordinance. If the defendant fails or refuses to comply with an injunction or with an order of abatement within the time allowed by the court, he may be cited for contempt, and the city may execute the order of abatement. The city shall have a lien on the property for the cost of executing an order of abatement in the nature of a mechanic's and materialman's lien. The defendant may secure cancellation of an order of abatement by paying all costs of the proceedings and posting a bond for compliance with the order. The bond shall be given with sureties approved by the clerk of superior court in an amount approved by the judge before whom the matter is heard and shall be conditioned on the defendant's full compliance with the terms of the order of abatement within a time fixed by the judge. Cancellation of an order of abatement shall not suspend or cancel an injunction issued in conjunction therewith.
(f) Subject to the express terms of the ordinance, a city ordinance may be enforced by any one, all, or a combination of the remedies authorized and prescribed by this section.
(g) A city ordinance may provide, when appropriate, that each day's continuing violation shall be a separate and distinct offense.
(h) Notwithstanding any authority under this Article or any local act of the General Assembly, no ordinance regulating trees may be enforced on land owned or operated by a public airport authority. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1985, c. 764, s. 35; 1993, c. 329, s. 4; 2013-331, s. 2.)
§ 160A-176. Ordinances effective on city property outside limits.
Any city ordinance may be made effective on and to property and rights-of-way belonging to the city and located outside the corporate limits. (1917, c. 136, subch. 5, s. 2; C.S., s. 2790; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 24.)
§ 160A-176.1. Ordinances effective in Atlantic Ocean.
(a) A city may adopt ordinances to regulate and control swimming, surfing and littering in the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to that portion of the city within its boundaries or within its extraterritorial jurisdiction; provided, however, nothing contained herein shall be construed to permit any city to prohibit altogether swimming and surfing or to make these activities unlawful.
(b) This section shall apply only to cities in the counties of Brunswick, Carteret, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender. (1973, c. 539, ss. 1, 2.)
§ 160A-176.2. Ordinances effective in Atlantic Ocean.
(a) A city may adopt ordinances to regulate and control swimming, personal watercraft operation, surfing and littering in the Atlantic Ocean and other waterways adjacent to that portion of the city within its boundaries or within its extraterritorial jurisdiction; provided, however, nothing contained herein shall be construed to permit any city to prohibit altogether swimming or surfing or to make these activities unlawful.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section applies to the Towns of Atlantic Beach, Calabash, Cape Carteret, Carolina Beach, Caswell Beach, Duck, Emerald Isle, Holden Beach, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Manteo, Nags Head, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Southern Shores, Sunset Beach, Topsail Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, and the City of Southport only. (1991, c. 494, ss. 1, 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 801; 1993, c. 67, s. 5; c. 125, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 625, s. 1; 1997-48, s. 1; 2002-141, s. 1; 2004-203, s. 55.)
§ 160A-177. Enumeration not exclusive.
The enumeration in this Article or other portions of this Chapter of specific powers to regulate, restrict or prohibit acts, omissions, and conditions shall not be deemed to be exclusive or a limiting factor upon the general authority to adopt ordinances conferred on cities by G.S. 160A-174. (1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-178. Regulation of solicitation campaigns, flea markets and itinerant merchants.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict or prohibit the solicitation of contributions from the public for any charitable or eleemosynary purpose, and also the business activities of itinerant merchants, salesmen, promoters, drummers, peddlers, flea market operators and flea market vendors or hawkers. These ordinances may include, but shall not be limited to, requirements that an application be made and a permit issued, that an investigation be made, that activities be reasonably limited as to time and place, that proper credentials and proof of financial stability be submitted, that not more than a stated percentage of contributions to solicitation campaigns be retained for administrative expenses, and that an adequate bond be posted to protect the public from fraud. (1963, c. 789; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1987, c. 708, s. 8.)
§ 160A-179. Regulation of begging.
A city may by ordinance prohibit or regulate begging or otherwise canvassing the public for contributions for the private benefit of the solicitor or any other person. (1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-180. Regulation of aircraft overflights.
A city may by ordinance regulate the operation of aircraft over the city. (1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-181. Regulation of places of amusement.
A city may by ordinance regulate places of amusement and entertainment, and may regulate, restrict or prohibit the operation of pool and billiard halls, dance halls, carnivals, circuses, or any itinerant show or exhibition of any kind. Places of amusement and entertainment shall include coffee houses, cocktail lounges, night clubs, beer halls, and similar establishments, but any regulations thereof shall be consistent with any permits or licenses issued by the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. (1917, c. 136, subch. 5, s. 1; 1919, cc. 136, 237; C.S., s. 2787; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1981, c. 412, ss. 4, 5.)
§ 160A-181.1. Regulation of sexually oriented businesses.
(a) The General Assembly finds and determines that sexually oriented businesses can and do cause adverse secondary impacts on neighboring properties. Numerous studies that are relevant to North Carolina have found increases in crime rates and decreases in neighboring property values as a result of the location of sexually oriented businesses in inappropriate locations or from the operation of such businesses in an inappropriate manner. Reasonable local government regulation of sexually oriented businesses in order to prevent or ameliorate adverse secondary impacts is consistent with the federal constitutional protection afforded to nonobscene but sexually explicit speech.
(b) In addition to State laws on obscenity, indecent exposure, and adult establishments, local government regulation of the location and operation of sexually oriented businesses is necessary to prevent undue adverse secondary impacts that would otherwise result from these businesses.
(c) A city or county may regulate sexually oriented businesses through zoning regulations, licensing requirements, or other appropriate local ordinances. The city or county may require a fee for the initial license and any annual renewal. Such local regulations may include, but are not limited to:
(1) Restrictions on location of sexually oriented businesses, such as limitation to specified zoning districts and minimum separation from sensitive land uses and other sexually oriented businesses;
(2) Regulations on operation of sexually oriented businesses, such as limits on hours of operation, open booth requirements, limitations on exterior advertising and noise, age of patrons and employees, required separation of patrons and performers, clothing restrictions for masseuses, and clothing restrictions for servers of alcoholic beverages;
(3) Clothing restrictions for entertainers; and
(4) Registration and disclosure requirements for owners and employees with a criminal record other than minor traffic offenses, and restrictions on ownership by or employment of a person with a criminal record that includes offenses reasonably related to the legal operation of sexually oriented businesses.
(d) In order to preserve the status quo while appropriate studies are conducted and the scope of potential regulations is deliberated, cities and counties may enact moratoria of reasonable duration on either the opening of any new businesses authorized to be regulated under this section or the expansion of any such existing business. Businesses existing at the time of the effective date of regulations adopted under this section may be required to come into compliance with newly adopted regulations within an appropriate and reasonable period of time.
(e) Cities and counties may enter into cooperative agreements regarding coordinated regulation of sexually oriented businesses, including provision of adequate alternative sites for the location of constitutionally protected speech within an interrelated geographic area.
(f) For the purpose of this section, "sexually oriented businesses" means any businesses or enterprises that have as one of their principal business purposes or as a significant portion of their business an emphasis on matter and conduct depicting, describing, or related to anatomical areas and sexual activities specified in G.S. 14-202.10. Local governments may adopt detailed definitions of these and similar businesses in order to precisely define the scope of any local regulations. (1998-46, s. 1.)
§ 160A-182. Abuse of animals.
A city may by ordinance define and prohibit the abuse of animals. (1917, c. 136, subch. 5, s. 1; 1919, cc. 136, 237; C.S., s. 2787; 1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-183. Regulation of explosive, corrosive, inflammable, or radioactive substances.
A city may by ordinance restrict, regulate or prohibit the sale, possession, storage, use, or conveyance of any explosive, corrosive, inflammable, or radioactive substances, or any weapons or instrumentalities of mass death and destruction within the city. (1917, c. 136, subch. 5, s. 1; 1919, cc. 136, 237; C.S., s. 2787; 1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-184. Noise regulation.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the production or emission of noises or amplified speech, music, or other sounds that tend to annoy, disturb, or frighten its citizens. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 25.)
§ 160A-185. Emission of pollutants or contaminants.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the emission or disposal of substances or effluents that tend to pollute or contaminate land, water, or air, rendering or tending to render it injurious to human health or welfare, to animal or plant life or to property, or interfering or tending to interfere with the enjoyment of life or property. A city may by ordinance regulate the illegal disposal of solid waste, including littering on public and private property, provide for enforcement by civil penalties as well as other remedies, and provide that such regulations may be enforced by city employees specially appointed as environmental enforcement officers. Any such ordinance shall be consistent with and supplementary to State and federal laws and regulations. (1917, c. 136, subch. 5, s. 1; 1919, cc. 136, 237; C.S., s. 2787; 1949, c. 594, s. 2; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 26; 2001-512, s. 6.)
§ 160A-186. Regulation of domestic animals.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the keeping, running, or going at large of any domestic animals, including dogs and cats. The ordinance may provide that animals allowed to run at large in violation of the ordinance may be seized and sold or destroyed after reasonable efforts to notify their owner. (1917, c. 136, subch. 5, s. 1; 1919, cc. 136, 237; C.S., s. 2787; 1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-187. Possession or harboring of dangerous animals.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the possession or harboring within the city of animals which are dangerous to persons or property. No such ordinance shall have the effect of permitting any activity or condition with respect to a wild animal which is prohibited or more severely restricted by regulations of the Wildlife Resources Commission. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1977, c. 407, s. 2.)
§ 160A-188. Bird sanctuaries.
A city may by ordinance create and establish a bird sanctuary within the city limits. The ordinance may not protect any birds classed as a pest under Article 22A of Chapter 113 of the General Statutes and the Structural Pest Control Act of North Carolina of 1955 or the North Carolina Pesticide Law of 1971. When a bird sanctuary has been established, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, kill, trap, or otherwise take any protected birds within the city limits except pursuant to a permit issued by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission under G.S. 113-274(c) (1a) or under any other license or permit of the Wildlife Resources Commission specifically made valid for use in taking birds within city limits. (1951, c. 411, ss. 1, 2; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1979, c. 830, s. 3.)
§ 160A-189. Firearms.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the discharge of firearms at any time or place within the city except when used in defense of person or property or pursuant to lawful directions of law-enforcement officers, and may regulate the display of firearms on the streets, sidewalks, alleys, or other public property. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit a city's authority to take action under Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 2012-12, s. 2(zz).)
§ 160A-190. Pellet guns.
A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the sale, possession or use within the city of pellet guns or any other mechanism or device designed or used to project a missile by compressed air or mechanical action with less than deadly force. (1971, c. 698, s. 1.)
§ 160A-191. Limitations on enactment of Sunday-closing ordinances.
No ordinance regulating or prohibiting business activity on Sundays shall be enacted unless the council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance. Notice of the hearing shall be published once each week for four successive weeks before the date of the hearing. The notice shall fix the date, hour and place of the public hearing, and shall contain a statement of the council's intent to consider a Sunday-closing ordinance, the purpose for such an ordinance, and one or more reasons for its enactment. No ordinance shall be held invalid for failure to observe the procedural requirements for enactment imposed by this section unless the issue is joined in an appropriate proceeding initiated within 90 days after the date of final enactment. This section shall not apply to ordinances enacted pursuant to G.S. 18B-1004(d). (1967, c. 1156, s. 1; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 27; 1983, c. 768, s. 22.)
§ 160A-192: Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 698, s. 1.
§ 160A-193. Abatement of public health nuisances.
(a) A city shall have authority to summarily remove, abate, or remedy everything in the city limits, or within one mile thereof, that is dangerous or prejudicial to the public health or public safety. Pursuant to this section, the governing board of a city may order the removal of a swimming pool and its appurtenances upon a finding that the swimming pool or its appurtenances is dangerous or prejudicial to public health or safety. The expense of the action shall be paid by the person in default. If the expense is not paid, it is a lien on the land or premises where the nuisance occurred. A lien established pursuant to this subsection shall have the same priority and be collected as unpaid ad valorem taxes.
(b) The expense of the action is also a lien on any other real property owned by the person in default within the city limits or within one mile of the city limits, except for the person's primary residence. A lien established pursuant to this subsection is inferior to all prior liens and shall be collected as a money judgment. This subsection shall not apply if the person in default can show that the nuisance was created solely by the actions of another.
(c) The authority granted by this section does not authorize the application of a city ordinance banning or otherwise limiting outdoor burning to persons living within one mile of the city, unless the city provides those persons with either (i) trash and yard waste collection services or (ii) access to solid waste dropoff sites on the same basis as city residents. (1917, c. 136, subch. 7, s. 4; C.S., s. 2800; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1247, s. 20; 2001-448, s. 1; 2002-116, s. 3; 2014-120, s. 24(h).)
§ 160A-193.1. Stream-clearing programs.
(a) A city shall have the authority to remove natural and man-made obstructions in stream channels and in the floodway of streams that may impede the passage of water during rain events.
(b) The actions of a city to clear obstructions from a stream shall not create or increase the responsibility of the city for the clearing or maintenance of the stream, or for flooding of the stream. In addition, actions by a city to clear obstructions from a stream shall not create in the city any ownership in the stream, obligation to control the stream, or affect any otherwise existing private property right, responsibility, or entitlement regarding the stream. These provisions shall not relieve a city for negligence that might be found under otherwise applicable law.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect otherwise existing rights of the State to control or regulate streams or activities within streams. In implementing a stream-clearing program, the city shall comply with all requirements in State or federal statutes and rules. (2005-441, s. 2.)
§ 160A-194. Regulating and licensing businesses, trades, etc.
(a) A city may by ordinance, subject to the general law of the State, regulate and license occupations, businesses, trades, professions, and forms of amusement or entertainment and prohibit those that may be inimical to the public health, welfare, safety, order, or convenience. In licensing trades, occupations, and professions, the city may, consistent with the general law of the State, require applicants for licenses to be examined and charge a reasonable fee therefor.
(b) Nothing in this section shall authorize a city to examine or license a person holding a license issued by an occupational licensing board of this State as to the profession or trade that he has been licensed to practice or pursue by the State.
(c) Nothing in this section shall authorize a city to regulate and license a TNC service regulated under Article 10A of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 2013-413, s. 12.1(a); 2014-3, s. 12.3(c); 2014-115, s. 17; 2015-237, s. 5.)
§ 160A-195: Repealed by Session Laws 1998-128, s. 11.
§ 160A-196. Sewage tie-ons.
Cities that (in whole or in part) are adjacent to, adjoining, intersected by or bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Roanoke, Albemarle, Currituck, or Pamlico Sound may by ordinance regulate the tie-ons to sewage systems within their corporate limits. (1985, c. 525, s. 1; 1987, c. 303.)
§ 160A-197: Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 501, s. 4.
§ 160A-198. Curfews.
A city may by an appropriate ordinance impose a curfew on persons of any age less than 18. (1997-189, s. 1.)
§ 160A-199. Regulation of outdoor advertising.
(a) As used in this section, the term "off-premises outdoor advertising" includes off-premises outdoor advertising visible from the main-traveled way of any road.
(b) A city may require the removal of an off-premises outdoor advertising sign that is nonconforming under a local ordinance and may regulate the use of off-premises outdoor advertising within the jurisdiction of the city in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Chapter.
(c) A city shall give written notice of its intent to require removal of off-premises outdoor advertising by sending a letter by certified mail to the last known address of the owner of the outdoor advertising and the owner of the property on which the outdoor advertising is located.
(d) No city may enact or amend an ordinance of general applicability to require the removal of any nonconforming, lawfully erected off-premises outdoor advertising sign without the payment of monetary compensation to the owners of the off-premises outdoor advertising, except as provided below. The payment of monetary compensation is not required if:
(1) The city and the owner of the nonconforming off-premises outdoor advertising enter into a relocation agreement pursuant to subsection (g) of this section.
(2) The city and the owner of the nonconforming off-premises outdoor advertising enter into an agreement pursuant to subsection (k) of this section.
(3) The off-premises outdoor advertising is determined to be a public nuisance or detrimental to the health or safety of the populace.
(4) The removal is required for opening, widening, extending or improving streets or sidewalks, or for establishing, extending, enlarging, or improving any of the public enterprises listed in G.S. 160A-311, and the city allows the off-premises outdoor advertising to be relocated to a comparable location.
(5) The off-premises outdoor advertising is subject to removal pursuant to statutes, ordinances, or regulations generally applicable to the demolition or removal of damaged structures.
(e) Monetary compensation is the fair market value of the off-premises outdoor advertising in place immediately prior to its removal and without consideration of the effect of the ordinance or any diminution in value caused by the ordinance requiring its removal. Monetary compensation shall be determined based on:
(1) The factors listed in G.S. 105-317.1(a); and
(2) The listed property tax value of the property and any documents regarding value submitted to the taxing authority.
(f) If the parties are unable to reach an agreement under subsection (e) of this section on monetary compensation to be paid by the city to the owner of the nonconforming off-premises outdoor advertising sign for its removal, and the city elects to proceed with the removal of the sign, the city may bring an action in superior court for a determination of the monetary compensation to be paid. In determining monetary compensation, the court shall consider the factors set forth in subsection (e) of this section. Upon payment of monetary compensation for the sign, the city shall own the sign.
(g) In lieu of paying monetary compensation, a city may enter into an agreement with the owner of a nonconforming off-premises outdoor advertising sign to relocate and reconstruct the sign. The agreement shall include the following:
(1) Provision for relocation of the sign to a site reasonably comparable to or better than the existing location. In determining whether a location is comparable or better, the following factors shall be taken into consideration:
a. The size and format of the sign.
b. The characteristics of the proposed relocation site, including visibility, traffic count, area demographics, zoning, and any uncompensated differential in the sign owner's cost to lease the replacement site.
c. The timing of the relocation.
(2) Provision for payment by the city of the reasonable costs of relocating and reconstructing the sign including:
a. The actual cost of removing the sign.
b. The actual cost of any necessary repairs to the real property for damages caused in the removal of the sign.
c. The actual cost of installing the sign at the new location.
d. An amount of money equivalent to the income received from the lease of the sign for a period of up to 30 days if income is lost during the relocation of the sign.
(h) For the purposes of relocating and reconstructing a nonconforming off-premises outdoor advertising sign pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, a city, consistent with the welfare and safety of the community as a whole, may adopt a resolution or adopt or modify its ordinances to provide for the issuance of a permit or other approval, including conditions as appropriate, or to provide for dimensional, spacing, setback, or use variances as it deems appropriate.
(i) If a city has offered to enter into an agreement to relocate a nonconforming off-premises outdoor advertising sign pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, and within 120 days after the initial notice by the city the parties have not been able to agree that the site or sites offered by the city for relocation of the sign are reasonably comparable to or better than the existing site, the parties shall enter into binding arbitration to resolve their disagreements. Unless a different method of arbitration is agreed upon by the parties, the arbitration shall be conducted by a panel of three arbitrators. Each party shall select one arbitrator and the two arbitrators chosen by the parties shall select the third member of the panel. The American Arbitration Association rules shall apply to the arbitration unless the parties agree otherwise.
(j) If the arbitration results in a determination that the site or sites offered by the city for relocation of the nonconforming sign are not comparable to or better than the existing site, and the city elects to proceed with the removal of the sign, the parties shall determine the monetary compensation under subsection (e) of this section to be paid to the owner of the sign. If the the parties are unable to reach an agreement regarding monetary compensation within 30 days of the receipt of the arbitrators' determination, and the city elects to proceed with the removal of the sign, then the city may bring an action in superior court for a determination of the monetary compensation to be paid by the city to the owner for the removal of the sign. In determining monetary compensation, the court shall consider the factors set forth in subsection (e) of this section. Upon payment of monetary compensation for the sign, the city shall own the sign.
(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a city and an off-premises outdoor advertising sign owner may enter into a voluntary agreement allowing for the removal of the sign after a set period of time in lieu of monetary compensation. A city may adopt an ordinance or resolution providing for a relocation, reconstruction, or removal agreement.
(l) A city has up to three years from the effective date of an ordinance enacted under this section to pay monetary compensation to the owner of the off-premises outdoor advertising provided the affected property remains in place until the compensation is paid.
(m) This section does not apply to any ordinance in effect on the effective date of this section. A city may amend an ordinance in effect on the effective date of this section to extend application of the ordinance to off-premises outdoor advertising located in territory acquired by annexation or located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city. A city may repeal or amend an ordinance in effect on the effective date of this section so long as the amendment to the existing ordinance does not reduce the period of amortization in effect on the effective date of this section.
(n) The provisions of this section shall not be used to interpret, construe, alter or otherwise modify the exercise of the power of eminent domain by an entity pursuant to Chapter 40A or Chapter 136 of the General Statutes.
(o) Nothing in this section shall limit a city's authority to use amortization as a means of phasing out nonconforming uses other than off-premises outdoor advertising. (2004-152, s. 2.)
§ 160A-200.1. Annual notice to chronic violators of public nuisance or overgrown vegetation ordinance.
(a) A city may notify a chronic violator of the city's public nuisance ordinance that, if the violator's property is found to be in violation of the ordinance, the city shall, without further notice in the calendar year in which notice is given, take action to remedy the violation, and the expense of the action shall become a lien upon the property and shall be collected as unpaid taxes.
(b) The notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail. When service is attempted by registered or certified mail, a copy of the notice may also be sent by regular mail. Service shall be deemed sufficient if the registered or certified mail is unclaimed or refused, but the regular mail is not returned by the post office within 10 days after the mailing. If service by regular mail is used, a copy of the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected.
(c) A city may also give notice to a chronic violator of the city's overgrown vegetation ordinance in accordance with this section.
(d) For purposes of this section, a chronic violator is a person who owns property whereupon, in the previous calendar year, the city gave notice of violation at least three times under any provision of the public nuisance ordinance. (2009-287, s. 1; 2013-151, s. 1; 2015-246, s. 1(b).)
§ 160A-201. Limitations on regulating solar collectors.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no city ordinance shall prohibit, or have the effect of prohibiting, the installation of a solar collector that gathers solar radiation as a substitute for traditional energy for water heating, active space heating and cooling, passive heating, or generating electricity for a residential property, and no person shall be denied permission by a city to install a solar collector that gathers solar radiation as a substitute for traditional energy for water heating, active space heating and cooling, passive heating, or generating electricity for a residential property. As used in this section, the term "residential property" means property where the predominant use is for residential purposes.
(b) This section does not prohibit an ordinance regulating the location or screening of solar collectors as described in subsection (a) of this section, provided the ordinance does not have the effect of preventing the reasonable use of a solar collector for a residential property.
(c) This section does not prohibit an ordinance that would prohibit the location of solar collectors as described in subsection (a) of this section that are visible by a person on the ground:
(1) On the facade of a structure that faces areas open to common or public access;
(2) On a roof surface that slopes downward toward the same areas open to common or public access that the facade of the structure faces; or
(3) Within the area set off by a line running across the facade of the structure extending to the property boundaries on either side of the facade, and those areas of common or public access faced by the structure.
(d) In any civil action arising under this section, the court may award costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the prevailing party. (2007-279, s. 1; 2009-553, s. 1.)
§ 160A-202. Limitations on regulating cisterns and rain barrels.
No city ordinance may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the installation and maintenance of cisterns and rain barrel collection systems used to collect water for irrigation purposes. A city may regulate the installation and maintenance of those cisterns and rain barrel collection systems for the purpose of protecting the public health and safety and for the purpose of preventing them from becoming a public nuisance. (2011-394, s. 12(e).)
§ 160A-203. Limitations on regulating soft drink sizes.
No city ordinance may prohibit the sale of soft drinks above a particular size. This section does not prohibit any ordinance regulating the sanitation or other operational aspect of a device for the dispensing of soft drinks. For purposes of this section, "soft drink" shall have the meaning set forth in G.S. 105-164.3. (2013-309, s. 2.)
§ 160A-203.1. Limitations on standards of care for farm animals.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no city ordinance may regulate standards of care for farm animals. For purposes of this section, "standards of care for farm animals" includes the following: the construction, repair, or improvement of farm animal shelter or housing; restrictions on the types of feed or medicines that may be administered to farm animals; and exercise and social interaction requirements. For purposes of this section, the term "farm animals" includes the following domesticated animals: cattle, oxen, bison, sheep, swine, goats, horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, hinnies, llamas, alpacas, lagomorphs, ratites, and poultry flocks of greater than 20 birds. (2015-192, s. 2.)
§ 160A-204. Transportation impact mitigation ordinances prohibited.
No city may enact or enforce an ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires an employer to assume financial, legal, or other responsibility for the mitigation of the impact of his or her employees' commute or transportation to or from the employer's workplace, which may result in the employer being subject to a fine, fee, or other monetary, legal, or negative consequences. (2013-413, s. 10.1(a).)
§ 160A-205. Cities enforce ordinances within public trust areas.
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 113-131 or any other provision of law, a city may, by ordinance, define, prohibit, regulate, or abate acts, omissions, or conditions upon the State's ocean beaches and prevent or abate any unreasonable restriction of the public's rights to use the State's ocean beaches. In addition, a city may, in the interest of promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, regulate, restrict, or prohibit the placement, maintenance, location, or use of structures that are uninhabitable and without water and sewer services for more than 120 days, as determined by the city with notice provided to the owner of record of the determination by certified mail at the time of the determination, equipment, personal property, or debris upon the State's ocean beaches. A city may enforce any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section or any other provision of law upon the State's ocean beaches located within or adjacent to the city's jurisdictional boundaries to the same extent that a city may enforce ordinances within the city's jurisdictional boundaries. A city may enforce an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section by any remedy provided for in G.S. 160A-175. For purposes of this section, the term "ocean beaches" has the same meaning as in G.S. 77-20(e).
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to (i) limit the authority of the State or any State agency to regulate the State's ocean beaches as authorized by G.S. 113-131, or common law as interpreted and applied by the courts of this State; (ii) limit any other authority granted to cities by the State to regulate the State's ocean beaches; (iii) deny the existence of the authority recognized in this section prior to the date this section becomes effective; (iv) impair the right of the people of this State to the customary free use and enjoyment of the State's ocean beaches, which rights remain reserved to the people of this State as provided in G.S. 77-20(d); (v) change or modify the riparian, littoral, or other ownership rights of owners of property bounded by the Atlantic Ocean; or (vi) apply to the removal of permanent residential or commercial structures and appurtenances thereto from the State's ocean beaches, except as provided in subsection (a) of this section. (2013-384, s. 4(a); 2015-246, s. 1.5.)
§ 160A-205.1. Requiring compliance with voluntary State regulations and rules prohibited.
(a) If a State department or agency declares a regulation or rule to be voluntary or the General Assembly delays the effective date of a regulation or rule proposed or adopted by the Environmental Management Commission, or any other board or commission, a city shall not require or enforce compliance with the applicable regulation or rule, including any regulation or rule previously or hereafter incorporated as a condition or contractual obligation imposed by, agreed upon, or accepted by the city in any zoning, land use, subdivision, or other developmental approval, including, without limitation, a development permit issuance, development agreement, site-specific development plan, or phased development plan.
(b) This section shall apply to the following regulations and rules:
(1) Those currently in effect.
(2) Those repealed or otherwise expired.
(3) Those temporarily or permanently held in abeyance.
(4) Those adopted but not yet effective.
(c) This section shall not apply to any water usage restrictions during either extreme or exceptional drought conditions as determined by the Drought Management Advisory Council pursuant to G.S. 143-355.1. (2015-246, s. 2(b).)
§ 160A-205.2. Adoption of sanctuary ordinances prohibited.
(a) No city may have in effect any policy, ordinance, or procedure that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.
(b) No city shall do any of the following related to information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual:
(1) Prohibit law enforcement officials or agencies from gathering such information.
(2) Direct law enforcement officials or agencies not to gather such information.
(3) Prohibit the communication of such information to federal law enforcement agencies. (2015-294, s. 15(b).)
§ 160A-205.3. Hours of certain alcohol sales.
In accordance with G.S. 18B-1004(c), a city may adopt an ordinance allowing for the sale of malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, and mixed beverages beginning at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday pursuant to the licensed premises' permit issued under G.S. 18B-1001. (2017-87, s. 4(c).)