2017 Legislation of Concern

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View the full text and status of these bills on the North Carolina General Assembly's website.  

H436 Local Government/Regulatory Fees

  • Prohibits cities and counties from imposing regulatory fees on new construction
  • Repeals S.L. 2005-117, Cary’s charter authority for development fees
  • Fiscal impact:  ~$11.6 Million annually, equivalent of nearly 5 cents on tax rate (actual effects would be primarily on utility rates)

S434 Amend Environmental Laws 2

  • Limits local government authority to require riparian buffers larger than those required by the state 
  • Could eliminate the Town’s authority to provide Urban Transition Buffers which protect the environment (water quality) and homeowners (flooding during extraordinary rain events)

H64/S206 Municipal Elections in Even-Numbered Years

  • Requires all municipal elections to be held in even-numbered years beginning in 2022, regardless of local preference

S94 Elections Transparency

  • Beginning in 2019, changes all local offices that are currently elected on a nonpartisan basis to partisan, including municipal, county board of education, and certain judicial seats
  • Standardizes the timing of municipal elections to occur on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, with corresponding changes to the primary dates
  • Abolishes all existing local acts that run counter to this proposal.

H624/S641 Uniform System Development Fees

  • Repeals Cary’s charter authority for development fees
  • Allows water and sewer development fees in a manner consistent statewide, not taking into account local differences
  • Disallows water and sewer development fees for intensification of use; only applies to property not previously served by utilities

H340 Special Separation Allowance for Firefighters

  • Creates a new benefit for firefighters, similar to the current special separation allowance for law enforcement officers, which requires employers to pay qualifying firefighters an extra amount for the time period between qualifying retirement and the retiree reaching age 62
  • Unfunded Mandate; financial impact begins July 1, 2022

H503 Local Budgets/Public Enterprise Funds

  • Prohibits appropriations from the Utility Fund to the General Fund except for debt service
  • Eliminates the authority for a local government to make payments for internal cost allocation between funds

H310/S377 Wireless Communications Infrastructure Siting

  • Eliminates most municipal zoning authority related to small cell wireless installations. 
  • Forces cities to undertake an expedited wireless application review process.
  • Limits the amounts a city may charge applicants for application reviews and use of the right of way. 
  • Reduces a city’s control of access to the public’s right of way, among numerous other restrictions.

S363 Machinery Act Update

  • Removes authority of local boards to make reasoned, informed decisions regarding assessed property value
  • Removes ability for local boards to ensure that similar properties are appraised in a similar manner, promoting inequality among property values 
  • Applies directly to counties, but effects (in property tax base)will be felt by municipalities as well

H507 Land-Use Regulatory Changes

  • Makes zoning enforcement more difficult, creates incentives for developers to sue municipalities, developers
  • Makes significant changes to current law regarding performance guarantees paid by developers for completion of infrastructure, such as allowing the developer to determine the initial amount of the performance guarantee and to reduce the amount of the guarantee without consent of the local government. 
  • In cases where a developer must make transportation improvements, limits a local government’s driveway regulations to those promulgated by NCDOT, and prevents a local government from requiring the developer to require additional property for those improvements, if the developer does not already own that property.

S296 Road Improvements Near Schools

  • Limits the types of improvements a municipality may require of a school to those physically connected to a driveway on the school site. 
  • Directs the N.C. Department of Transportation to pay for all transportation facility improvements required by the Department or a municipality during school construction, as well as right of way acquisition costs. 
  • Allows the NCDOT to approve any transportation facility designs for which it provides reimbursement. Applies to public and charter schools.