The House and the Senate adjourned early last Friday morning at 3:40 a.m. with Tim Minton among the few lobbyists there to witness it. While the session has not officially adjourned for the year (a procedural move to shorten the time for the Governor to decide whether to veto or sign legislation), the primary business of the short session is done.
The General Assembly will reconvene on September 2 for the limited purposes of final disposition of federal funds received for COVID-19 relief and potential action on legislative confirmations. Last week capped another in a long line of successful sessions for NCHBA.
However, before discussing legislative issues, it is important to remind all of an executive action important to our industry. Last Wednesday, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 147 which mandates face coverings at various businesses where workers are within six feet of another. This order became effective on Friday, June 26 at 5:00 pm and construction sites are specifically included. For a comprehensive summary of the Order, click here.
We are pleased to report that Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 720 (GSC Confirming Amends/Land-Use Regulatory Changes) into law on Friday, June 19. The enactment of this bill is one of NCHBA’s top session priorities. It was designed to preserve NCHBA’s victory last year in enacting significant and beneficial changes to local planning and land use laws and was the result of a five-year journey.
With legislative leaders moving to conclude the current short session late next week, your NCHBA legislative team has been working long hours to protect NCHBA interests. Late evening committee meetings and even a rare Friday Senate session accelerated the pace toward adjournment.
One of our top legislative priorities, HB 873 (System Development Fee/ADU Sewer Permit), sponsored by Representatives Dean Arp (R-Union), Jamie Boles (R-Moore) and Alan McNeill (R-Randolph), was approved by three Senate committees last week and will likely be calendared for floor action today.
In a lawsuit participated in by NCHBA, the Supreme Court of North Carolina in 2016 struck down water and wastewater system development fees imposed pursuant to local governments’ public enterprise statutes. In response, the General Assembly passed legislation developed by NCHBA and other interested groups which created a new statewide system which placed appropriate limits on the imposition of these fees which are used to provide future capacity for water and wastewater. The process requires a uniform method in determining the amount of the fees and how the fees are to be paid. The current law requires that the system development fee for new subdivisions must be paid either at plat recordation or when water or sewer is allocated, whichever is later.
Last Thursday the House unanimously passed SB 720 (GSC Conforming Amends./2019 Land Use Changes) sponsored by Senators Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson), Andy Wells (R-Catawba) and Don Davis (D-Pitt). The bill was ordered enrolled and was sent to the Governor on Friday. The passage of this bill is one of NCHBA’s top session priorities designed to preserve NCHBA’s victory last year in enacting significant and beneficial changes to local planning and land use laws which was the result of a five-year journey. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
SB 355 (Land Use Regulatory Changes) was enacted last year with strong bipartisan support and became effective upon the Governor’s signature on July 11, 2019 (Session Law 2010-111). That bill was comprised of two parts. Part 1 contained our series of major land use changes which became effective last July and are in effect today.
Like many of you, I now spend more time at home during the work day with family than ever before. We certainly all have concerns about our family’s health in the midst of a pandemic. With so much discussion about health and safety, it’s an easy jump to wonder about a home’s indoor environment. Is it comfortable? Is it healthy?
SB 720 (GSC Conforming Amends/2019 Land Use Changes) introduced by Senators Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson), Andy Wells (R-Catawba) and Don Davis (D-Pitt), was formally introduced in the House after passage by the Senate recently. The bill was subsequently referred to the House Judiciary Committee with a final referral to House Rules Committee. The bill has been calendared this Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee.
As stated in previous NCHBA Legislative Reports, the bill integrates our land-use regulatory changes which were enacted last year and are currently in effect into a new Chapter 160D which is a consolidation of the current planning and zoning provisions in city and county statutes. For the last four months, NCHBA has spent many hours working closely with the General Statutes Commission and other stakeholders to accomplish this task. The principal sponsors of last year’s bill, Senators Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) and Sam Searcy (D-Wake) are co-sponsors of SB 720. This bill represents the final step in NCHBA’s five-year effort to improve land-use laws in North Carolina.