Building Code Regulatory Reform, Capacity Fee Legislation and Housing Affordability Among NCHBA Legislative Priorities This Session
Legislators wrapped up their business early this week as an anticipated ice storm was expected to sweep across the state. Some legislators drive up to 6 hours weekly from districts in the mountains and they did not want to miss an opportunity to return to their districts. They are not expected to return for a voting session until Tuesday.
As previously discussed in last week’s legislative report, both chambers agreed on a package that would require all school districts to put into place a plan that would allow students to return to the classroom. The bill received bipartisan support in both chambers before being sent to the Governor. The Governor will now have the option to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law after sitting for 10 days. While he has not indicated what he intends to do with the legislation, he did release a statement hinting that he is not in favor of the bill as written.
NCHBA’s legislative team continued to work with bill sponsors on their legislative priorities that will bring regulatory relief to the industry and tighten up previous legislation. Representative Mark Brody (R-Union) and NCHBA staff worked with bill drafters this week on his annual building code regulatory relief package. One important provision would give builders relief on subdivisions that are being required to install sprinklers in homes, when more than 30 homes are being constructed and there is only one access point into the community.
Capacity fee legislation is also moving through the bill drafting section this week. The refinement will place a tighter parameter around the numbers used to calculate a water systems development fee. Evidence has shown that many water systems have used elements that are not germane to the actual calculation and artificially inflate the cost of the fee.
Legislators continue to talk about the housing affordability crisis in North Carolina. Numerous members have expressed their interest in running legislation that would alleviate the pain of housing cost. However, some of the proposals could have a detrimental impact on the state’s ability to tackle the problem. NCHBA’s legislative team has carefully vetted those proposals and spoke with legislators about the negative impact those proposals could have on the price of housing.
House Bill 85 Protect Private Property Rights was introduced this week by Representative Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston). This bill would clarify that the inclusion of real property on future transportation plans is not a required disclosure or material fact during a real estate transaction. This legislation is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday in the House Judiciary 1 Committee.
Finally, Representative Bobby Hanig (R-Currituck) introduced legislation that would raise the building permit exemption from $15,000 to $20,000 over the course of 5 years. House Bill 107 Increase Building Permit Building Threshold would raise the exemption annually by $1,000 starting in October of 2021 and would stop in October of 2025 after reaching $20,000. The exemption was last raised in 2015 when the number was $5,000 and jumped to $15,000.
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