SB 313 (Performance Guarantees To Streamline Affordable Housing) Introduced In Senate

A top NCHBA legislative session priority was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday. SB 313 (Performance Guarantees to Streamline Affordable Housing) makes refinements to our 2015 performance guarantee reform legislation. The first issue addressed in this legislation is the practice of some jurisdictions to require a longer term for a performance guarantee (PG) than is required to complete the project. This bill provides a one-year length on a required PG with the duration of any extension required only that period necessary to complete the required improvements. The bill sets an objective test to determine when the improvements have to be accepted. It provides that administrative fees are included in the 125% cap on PGs set by the 2015 reform law and allows developers to post one PG instead of multiple ones if desired.

We are pleased to report that this bill is consensus legislation which was worked out with the League of Municipalities over the past several months.

Senator Andy Wells (R-Catawba), who handled the 2015 bill for us in the Senate, is the primary sponsor of this legislation. The other two primary sponsors are Senator Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) and Senator Mike Woodard (D-Durham). We appreciate their leadership.

Representative Mark Brody (R-Union) is finalizing legislation that will become the 5th Building Code Regulatory Reform measure. These measures began in 2013 with HB 120 (Building Codes: Local Consistency) and have subsequently followed in 20152017, and 2018. This series of legislation has brought greater clarity and reform to the inspection process and many related issues. This year’s version includes provisions which are designed to expedite local plan review, improve consistency with the engineered-option and decrease delays with certificates of occupancy. The legislation would also clarify that developers are not required to bury power lines outside of subdivisions. The bill is expected to be introduced next week and your NCHBA legislative team is already working to line up legislators to join Representative Brody as primary sponsors.

NCHBA Executive Vice President & General Counsel Mike Carpenter continues to craft legislation which would bring about significant regulatory land use improvements. This year’s bill would be on the heels of two earlier bills in both the 2015 and 2017 Sessions. Both of these earlier efforts passed the House but failed to get to the Senate floor after having been approved by various Senate committees. Among the issues addressed are provisions which integrate permit choice with vesting protections for landowners; allow landowners to bypass the Board of Adjustment for certain claims; and clarifies the award of attorneys’ fees to landowners in actions against local governments who exceed their authority.

In the two past sessions, this bill has been met with opposition from local governments who have enjoyed an uneven playing field against property owners and we expect the same again.

NCHBA also expects to file legislation next week which would clarify that only cities and counties who have sought and successfully obtained specific authority from the General Assembly may enact a local tree ordinance. Several jurisdictions across North Carolina have adopted tree protection ordinances that have not received specific legislative authorization to do so.

The legislation is also expected to provide landowners with greater latitude regarding the removal and replacement of trees on private property. While this legislation is expected to meet great resistance, it is a fight worth waging.

Finally, SB 316 (Affordable Housing) was introduced on Wednesday by Senators Wells, Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) and Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson). While not an NCHBA bill, we consulted with Senator Wells about it. The bill would direct municipalities with more than 90,000 citizens to report to the General Assembly about the current state of affordable housing units within their city. Cities would be required to submit the number of affordable housing units currently in use which are subsidized by local tax revenue or credits. The legislation would also require cities to detail their strategies that are in place that are meant to limit cost on private development. Finally, cities are directed to specially report on 12 specific activities that would reduce the cost of housing including density and the use of mixed-use developments.

Mark your calendars as NCHBA’s Legislative Reception and Legislative Day are just around the corner. May 21st will mark our 2nd Quarter Meeting followed by an always-popular reception honoring members of the General Assembly and Council of the State at the North Carolina Museum of History. NCHBA Legislative Day will be held on May 22nd at the General Assembly. Let your voice to be heard by lawmakers!

NCHBA Legislative Team Works On Finalizing Bills On Pro-Active Agenda

Your NCHBA legislative team worked with legislative sponsors to finalize additional bills on its pro-active agenda for introduction. Expect legislation to be introduced on several topics in the next couple of weeks including land use regulatory changes, performance guarantee refinements and our annual building code regulatory reform bill, among others.

Representative Ken Goodman is one step closer to confirmation to the North Carolina Industrial Commission after unanimously clearing a House floor vote on Wednesday. His nomination now joins that of Jim Gillen for consideration by the Senate. Goodman, a fifth-term House member, was appointed by Governor Cooper to fill an employer slot on the Commission last month upon the recommendation of NCHBA and other business groups. NCHBA Executive Vice President Mike Carpenter spoke in favor of Goodman’s confirmation during Tuesday’s House Rules Committee meeting.

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Building Code Regulatory Reform Legislation Taking Shape

Working this week with Representative Mark Brody (R-Union) and the General Assembly’s bill drafting division, your NCHBA legislative team is pleased to report that the 5th annual version of the “building code regulatory reform” legislation is taking shape. These efforts began in 2013 with HB 120 (Building Codes/Local Consistency) and continued thorough last year’s HB 948 (Building Code Regulatory Reform). 

Among many other significant improvements, these bills have ended unauthorized inspections, significantly decreased inspection times and provided desirable options and alternatives for builders. For example, as a direct result of last year’s bill, the Department of Insurance reports that local jurisdictions across the state are providing inspections within two business days of request and many are providing “next day” service. 

This session’s version will continue to address the concerns builders are facing across the state. Some provisions that are likely to be included are:

  • Expediting plan review in those jurisdictions which require it
  • Improve engineered option consistency
  • Decrease delays with certificates of occupancy
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Builders Classic Golf Tournament To Be Held On Thursday, April 11 In Raleigh

Connect with home building professionals from across North Carolina as we raise money to benefit scholarships for the future of our industry.

The 17th Annual Builders Classic Golf Tournament is coming Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh. Cost is $125 per player, including green fees, cart fees, beverage cart and lunch. All proceeds from the tournament benefit scholarships for two- and four-year college students who are immediately related to an NCHBA member and who have declared their major in a construction-related field. Since 2002, more than $150,000 has been awarded to 63 deserving college students.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR TEAM

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Continuing Education For General Contractors Legislation Introduced In The House

One of NCHBA’s top legislative priorities took a huge step forward this week as Representatives Larry Potts (R-Davidson), Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie) and Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford) introduced HB 162 Continuing Education for General Contractors, (i.e., “CE for GCs”). Larry and Mark are general contractors, Julia is a real estate broker, and Ashton is married to a GC who is a member of the Greensboro BA.

Under the House rules, your legislative team had until 5:00 pm Wednesday to obtain co-sponsors for the bill. We worked feverishly to accomplish that mission and we are delighted to report that we got 83 to join our 4 primary sponsors for a total of 87 of the 120 members of the House. Like the Senate companion bill, SB 55 Continuing Education for General Contractors, which garnered 36 co-sponsors in the 50 member Senate, we were again able to demonstrate strong bi-partisan support for HB 162 including a majority of members in both House caucuses.

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