160A-377. Appeals of decisions on subdivision plats.

(a) When a subdivision ordinance adopted under this Part provides that the decision whether to approve or deny a preliminary or final subdivision plat is to be made by a city council or a planning board, other than a planning board comprised solely of members of a city planning staff, and the ordinance authorizes the council or planning board to make a quasi-judicial decision in deciding whether to approve the subdivision plat, then that quasi-judicial decision of the council or planning board shall be subject to review by the superior court by proceedings in the nature of certiorari. The provisions of G.S. 160A-381(c), 160A-388(e2)(2), and 160A-393 shall apply to those appeals.

(b) When a subdivision ordinance adopted under this Part provides that a city council, planning board, or staff member is authorized to make only an administrative or ministerial decision in deciding whether to approve a preliminary or final subdivision plat, then any party aggrieved by that administrative or ministerial decision may seek to have the decision reviewed by filing an action in superior court seeking appropriate declaratory or equitable relief. Such an action must be filed within the time frame specified in G.S. 160A-381(c) for petitions in the nature of certiorari.

(c) For purposes of this section, an ordinance shall be deemed to authorize a quasi-judicial decision if the city council or planning board is authorized to decide whether to approve or deny the plat based not only upon whether the application complies with the specific requirements set forth in the ordinance, but also on whether the application complies with one or more generally stated standards requiring a discretionary decision to be made by the city council or planning board. (2009-421, s. 2(a); 2013-126, s. 12.)