77-57. Regulatory authority.

(a) Except as limited in subsection (b) below, by restrictions in any joint ordinance, and by other supervening provisions of law, the Commission may make regulations applicable to High Rock Lake and its shoreline area concerning all matters relating to or affecting the use of High Rock Lake. These regulations may not conflict with or supersede provisions of general or special acts or of regulations of State agencies promulgated under the authority of general law. No regulations adopted under the provisions of this section may be adopted by the Commission except after public hearing, with publication of notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the two counties at least 10 days before the hearing. In lieu of or in addition to passing regulations supplementary to State law and regulations concerning the operation of vessels on High Rock Lake, the Commission may, after public notice, request that the Wildlife Resources Commission pass local regulations on this subject in accordance with the procedure established by appropriate State law.

(b) Violation of any regulation of the Commission commanding or prohibiting an act shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor.

(c) The regulations promulgated under this section take effect upon passage or upon such dates as may be stipulated in the regulations except that no regulation may be enforced unless adequate notice of the regulation has been posted in or on High Rock Lake or its shoreline area. Ordinances providing regulations for specific areas shall clearly establish the boundaries of the affected area by including a map of the regulated area, with the boundaries clearly drawn, or by setting out the boundaries in a written description, or by a combination of these techniques. Adequate notice as to a regulation affecting only a particular location shall be given in the following manner. When an ordinance providing regulations for a specific area is proposed, owners of the parcel of land involved as shown on the county tax listing, and the owners of land within 500 feet of the proposed area to be regulated, as shown on the county tax listing, shall be mailed a notice of the proposed classification by first-class mail at the last addresses listed for such owners on the county tax abstracts. This mailing requirement does not apply in regulations affecting the entire lake. Notice shall also be given by a sign, uniform waterway marker, posted notice, or other effective method of communicating the essential provisions of the regulation in the immediate vicinity of the location in question. Where a regulation applies generally as to High Rock Lake or its shoreline area, or both, there must be a posting of notices, signs, or markers communicating the essential provisions in at least three different places throughout the area, and it shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the two counties.

(d) A copy of each regulation promulgated under this section must be filed by the Commission with the following persons:

(1) The Secretary of State;

(2) The clerks of superior court of Davidson and Rowan Counties;

(3) The Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission; and

(4) The federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensee for High Rock Lake.

(e) Any official designated in subsection (d) above may issue certified copies of regulations filed with the official under the seal of the official's office. Such certified copies may be received in evidence in any proceeding.

(f) Publication and filing of regulations promulgated under this section as required above are for informational purposes and is not a prerequisite to their validity if they in fact have been duly promulgated, the public has been notified as to the substance of the regulations, a copy of the text of all regulations is in fact available to any person who may be affected, and no party to any proceeding has been prejudiced by any defect that may exist with respect to publication and filing. Rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission under the provisions of other sections of this Article relating to internal governance of the Commission need not be filed or published. Where posting of any sign, notice, or marker, or the making of other communication is essential to the validity of a regulation duly promulgated, it is presumed in any proceeding that prior notice was given and maintained and the burden lies upon the party asserting to the contrary to prove lack of adequate notice of any regulation. (1993, c. 355, s. 8; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 767, s. 27.)