Legislature Takes Easter Break, But Bill Filings Continue
Legislators took a week-long Easter break last week in preparation for a busy month ahead of the legislative crossover deadline upcoming on May 13. No bills were taken up in either the House or Senate and neither body held committee meetings. Committees are expected to restart this Tuesday. However, bills continued to be filed in both bodies and the Senate’s public bill filing deadline occurred last Wednesday. Some of those bills introduced impact the home building industry.
On Monday, Representative’s Jamie Boles (R-Moore), Howard Hunter (D-Hereford), Mark Brody (R-Union), and Tim Moffitt (R-Henderson) filed legislation, HB 496 (Property Owners Rights/Tree Ordinances), which would clarify that municipalities and counties must receive specific authorization via a local act from the General Assembly in order to enact a valid tree ordinance which several local jurisdictions have done. Generally speaking, because of past NCHBA opposition, these prior local acts exclude tree removal for land being developed for residential purposes. However, over the years, several other local jurisdictions have adopted restrictive tree ordinances without obtaining this authorization and those ordinances would be voided if this bill is enacted. This bill is similar to the NCHBA-backed legislation, SB 367 (Clarify Property Rights), introduced in 2019. That bill met stanch opposition from local government and environmental advocates and similar opposition is expected to this bill.
Senator Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell) introduced legislation that would establish a timeline for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to accept subdivision roads into their system. Several weeks ago, NCHBA set up a virtual meeting with Senator Sawyer to demonstrate the long period of time it takes for NCDOT to accept subdivision roads once they are completed. SB 519 (Yellow Brick Road) would require NCDOT to accept the roads no later than 90 days after the receipt of the certificate of completion from the engineer on record. This bill would be extremely helpful for developers and property owners to make sure roads are maintained after completion.
Meanwhile, Senator Julie Mayfield (D-Buncombe) introduced legislation that requires a new set of standards for radon mitigation systems. SB 696 (Protect NC Citizens from Radon) would also require mitigation system installers to provide the Department of Health and Human Services a detailed report of the location of the installed system and the type of structure that the unit was installed in. This statewide legislation could have costly ramifications for a problem that is largely confined to a small number of geographic areas where radon occurs naturally.
This week, the pace of legislative activity will begin to increase as the crossover deadline appears on the horizon. We expect our NCHBA pro-active bills to move over the next couple of weeks and your NCHBA staff will be there for every step of the process.
If you need help with any 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.