Bill To Codify NCHBA’s Historic Land Use Changes Takes Another Step Forward; Reopening Remains A Contested Issue

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.

The standoff over opening up the economy continued this week between the Governor and legislative leaders. On Thursday, Senate Republicans stripped an unrelated house bill and inserted language that would allow gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers to open under phase two of the COVID-19 response. HB 594 Temp. Open Gyms/Health Clubs/Fitness Centers would allow these businesses to open their doors again at 50% capacity. In addition, employees would be required to wear a face mask, answer a health questionnaire prior to their return, and have their temperature checked daily.

Similar efforts passed the General Assembly to provide relief to restaurants in recent weeks. However, those efforts were vetoed by the Governor over ongoing concerns with COVID-19.

This week we would like to introduce Senator Brent Jackson (R-Sampson) as our NCHBA Legislator of the Week!

Legislator of the Week

Senator Brent Jackson (R-Sampson)

For nearly a decade, Senator Jackson has been a stanch supporter of home building industry and business interest as a member of the General Assembly. Senator Jackson serves as one of three principal chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee and plays a large role in setting state budget priorities. Senator Jackson owns a large-scale agriculture operation Sampson County and fully understands the hardships business owners face every day. Thank you, Senator Jackson, for helping to ensure that housing remains plentiful and affordable in North Carolina.