As Bill Filing Increases, NCHBA Works on its Session Priorities and is on the Lookout for Harmful Housing Legislation
Legislators continue to file bills as committee meetings increase in frequency. At this point in the session, there have been well over 300 bills introduced. That number will only increase until the bill filing deadlines in each chamber. In the House, all bills must be introduced by April 20th. The Senate requires all bills to be submitted to the clerk by April 11th.
From now until the end of the bill filing deadline, the legislative team will not only focus on our own proactive legislation, but look out for harmful housing legislation like local tree ordinances and expensive changes to the building code. While our focus will always be passing legislation that helps housing affordability, it is equally important to prevent these harmful bills from becoming law.
Appropriation subcommittees began this week crafting their budgets for the 2021-2022 fiscal year by hearing from state agencies. This is the first step in creating next year’s budget. Legislative leaders indicated that they would like to have a budget in place by the end of June. The budget demands a lot of attention from both legislators and central staff and will set the tone for the entire session.
NCHBA’s legislative team continued crafting their legislative priorities in anticipation of introducing them in the next few weeks. An additional item has been added to Representative Mark Brody’s (R-Union) building code regulatory reform legislation. The new provision will seek to create a consistent sedimentation control program for each jurisdiction. Currently, the state permits local jurisdictions to implement a locally delegated program if the state approves their plan. Some local jurisdictions have driven fees to exorbitant rates and increased the paperwork well beyond what is required from the state. This change should provide builders consistency, no matter where they are building new homes.
Representative Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston) introduced House Bill 184 Support Private Property Rights this week. The act would clarify that the inclusion of real property is not a required disclosure during a real estate transaction. This issue is based on the historic Map Act, which tied the hands of property owners from selling property based on the potential that roads may be constructed on that property in the future.
Executive Vice President Tim Minton spoke with Representative Bobby Hanig (R-Currituck) this week about his House Bill 107 Increase Building Permit Building Threshold. That bill would increase the building permit exemption from $15,000 to $20,000. The bill as written would increase the cap by $1,000 annually for the next five years. NCHBA has requested that the any cap increases be done in one year to eliminate confusion.
House Bill 139 Soil Scientist/On-Site Wastewater Cert. Bd was introduced this week by Representative Mark Brody. The bill would add a licensed soil scientist to the On-site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board. NCHBA has followed this board closely to ensure builders constructing on well and septic have a voice on this critical regulatory body.
Senator Kevin Corbin (R-Cherokee) introduced legislation that would extend the validity of improvement permits for authorized wastewater system construction through January 2024. SB 148 Wastewater System Permit Extension would allow landowners additional time to act on a permit that has not been acted on due to a property owners inaction based on the market. Conditions on the construction site must be the same as when the permit was originally granted. The bill also allows a licensed soil scientist to make that determination. This bill would provide builders additional time to act on permits in slower growth areas across North Carolina.
Finally, a bill that has been introduced in past sessions was introduced this week. House Bill 141 Promote North Carolina Sawmills would allow ungraded lumber to be used in limited construction situations. The legislation includes an NCHBA provision that the lumber has to meet the building code standards. This bill is very limited in scope in that the lumber can only be used in the construction of a personal home of the person purchasing the materials.
If you need any help with issues you are facing, please reach out to our staff. We stand ready to help. If you have any questions about this report, please email Steven Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org.