143B-437.09. Urban progress zone designation.

(a) Urban Progress Zone Defined. - An urban progress zone is an area that meets all of the following conditions:

(1) It is comprised of part or all of one or more contiguous census tracts, census block groups, or both, in the most recent federal decennial census.

(2) All of the area is located in whole within the primary corporate limits of a municipality with a population in excess of 10,000 according to the most recent annual population estimates certified by the State Budget Officer.

(3) Every census tract and census block group that comprises the area meets at least one of the following conditions:

a. It has a population that meets the poverty level threshold. The population of a census tract or census block group meets the poverty level threshold if more than twenty percent (20%) of its population is below the poverty level according to the most recent federal decennial census.

b. It is located adjacent to a census tract or census block group whose population meets the poverty level threshold and at least fifty percent (50%) of the part of it that is included in the area is zoned as nonresidential. No more than thirty-five percent (35%) of the area of a zone may consist of census tracts or census block groups that satisfy this condition only.

c. It has a population that has a poverty level that is greater than the poverty level of the population of the State and a per capita income that is at least ten percent (10%) below the per capita income of the State according to the most recent federal decennial census, and it has experienced a major plant closing and layoff within the past 10 years. A census tract or census block group has experienced a major plant closing and layoff if one of its industries has closed one or more facilities in the census tract or census block group resulting in a layoff of at least 3,000 employees working in the census tract or census block group and if the number of employees laid off is greater than seven percent (7%) of the population of the municipality according to the most recent federal decennial census.

(b) Limitations. - No census tract or block group may be located in more than one urban progress zone. The total area of all zones within a municipality may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the total area of the municipality unless the smallest possible area in the municipality satisfying all of the conditions of subsection (a) of this section exceeds fifteen percent (15%) of the total area of the municipality. In the case of a municipality where the smallest possible area in the municipality satisfying all of the conditions of subsection (a) of this section exceeds fifteen percent (15%) of the total area of the municipality, the smallest possible area in the municipality satisfying all of the conditions of subsection (a) of this section may be designated as an urban poverty zone.

(c) Designation. - Upon application of a local government, the Secretary of Commerce shall make a written determination whether an area is an urban progress zone that satisfies the conditions and limitations of subsections (a) and (b) of this section. The application shall include all of the information listed in this subsection. A determination under this section is effective until December 31 of the year following the year in which the determination is made. The Department of Commerce shall publish annually a list of all urban progress zones with a description of their boundaries.

(1) A map showing the census tracts and block groups that would comprise the zone.

(2) A detailed description of the boundaries of the area that would comprise the zone.

(3) A zoning map for the municipality with the proposed zone clearly delineated upon it.

(4) A certification regarding the size of the proposed zone and the areas within the proposed zone zoned as nonresidential.

(5) Detailed census information on the municipality and the proposed zone.

(6) A resolution of the governing body of the municipality requesting the designation of the area as an urban progress zone.

(7) Any other material required by the Secretary of Commerce.

(d) Parcel of Property Partially in Urban Progress Zone. - For the purposes of this section, a parcel of property that is located partially within an urban progress zone is considered entirely within the zone if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) At least fifty percent (50%) of the parcel is located within the zone.

(2) The parcel was in existence and under common ownership prior to the most recent federal decennial census.

(3) The parcel is a portion of land made up of one or more tracts or tax parcels of land that is surrounded by a continuous perimeter boundary. (2006-252, s. 1.2; 2007-515, s. 2.)