State House Passes Road Maintenance Bond Legislation

The North Carolina House last week passed legislation to establish a new performance guarantee process for subdivision roads, while also requiring the state Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to develop a comprehensive roads database and improve the process by which roads are accepted into the state system for maintenance.

HB 457, ‘Performance Guarantees/Subdivision Streets’  would authorize counties to be able to require “residual performance guarantees” from developers, but, in return, requires NCDOT to expedite the acceptance of county subdivision roads.  Despite the fact that these roads are constructed to DOT standards and are given to the state at no cost, the NCDOT has historically been slow to accept them into its system.

The legislation also requires the state to accept subdivision roads approved on or after October 1, 2010, which meet DOT standards and which have been open to public travel for the last 6 years.

Finally, the legislation would direct NCDOT to work with counties to create a database that would convey the status of roads within each county (i.e., “public” or “private”).  This database would provide Realtors® and property owners much-needed information about the maintenance responsibilities associated with many of the state’s orphan roads, as well as establish a greater understanding for road ownership for properties across the state.

HB 457 passed the House by a unanimous vote of 112-0, and now moves on to the Senate. It is supported by both the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR) and the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA)

Source: NCAR & NCHBA

Click here to view the original post on REBIC’s In the Loop blog.

County Manager Discusses Code Enforcement Improvements with REBIC

During a recent visit with REBIC, County Manager Dena Diorio discussed LUESA’s ongoing implementation of a new Electronic Plans Management system, as well as other technology improvements currently under development. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

Q: What can Code Enforcement customers expect in terms of improvements form the replacement of the electronic plans management system? 

A: The following are some of the major improvements that are being designed for the upgrade:

  • User-friendly dashboards with the ability to alert customers when the status of their plan review has been updated, or additional information is required.
  • System improvements, including:
    • Ability to accept any file format;
    • Scheduling Capability;
    • Management and creation of email templates
    • Replacement of Sheet Index (manual maintaining of drawings/revisions);
    • Incorporate integrated Auto-stamping process for approved drawings/files;
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD) software used for reviews;
    • More robust software that allows for annotations, exporting of annotations and comments; and,
    • Eliminate current File/Sever storage limitations.

Q: Customers frequently experience some misalignment between the County’s plan review system and the systems used by Charlotte and the Towns. Will this be addressed?

A: In short, yes. Currently Code Enforcement and the local governments use the same systems (Winchester and EPM), but they use them for different functions.  The Town land development agencies do not perform the same functions as Code Enforcement. Therefore, a customer could have differing experiences when working with the County vs. the Towns.  A goal of this project is to align those processes to the extent possible in the new system.  The following stakeholders are working with County Code Enforcement and IT to define future state to streamline customer experience with EPM.

Q: Are there any plans to embark on process improvements with the respective towns?

A: Yes, the towns are included in process improvements and the County Land Development team is working collaboratively to identify potential process improvements.  Additionally, town staff have provided their input into the development of the requirements for the new/upgraded EPM system.

Click here to view the original post in REBIC’s In the Loop blog.

Governor Signs Regulatory Reform Bill into Law

Governor Roy Cooper has signed into law a 44-page Regulatory Reform bill that contains several critical provisions for residential and commercial developers.

SB 131, ‘Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017’, contains two reforms that are of particular interest to developers:

Energy Efficiency Code Exemptions – Section 1.4 of the bill excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, an amendment suggested by REBIC and introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

This provision must be codified by the North Carolina Building Code Council, which next meets on June 13th in Raleigh. An effective date will likely be set for sometime this fall.

Stream Mitigation Requirements – Section 3.13 of the bill amends stream mitigation requirements to allow developers to disturb up to 300′ of stream bed before mitigation is required, unless otherwise prohibited by federal law. Current law requires mitigation whenever 150′ or more is disturbed. This provision would bring North Carolina in line with stream mitigation requirements in neighboring states.

This provision must be approved by the U.S. Corps of Engineers before it can take effect. A timeline for that adoption has not yet been determined, but REBIC will keep you posted as we learn more details.

Other key provisions in the law include:

  • An update of the general contractors licensing law which contains language clarifying that the determination of project cost for intermediate or limited license excludes the cost of land and any ancillary costs to improve the land.
  • A 5-year statute of limitations and a 7-year statute of repose on local governments to pursue an alleged violation of a land-use statute, ordinance or permit against a landowner. Current law does not contain any statute of limitations.

Click here to view the original post on REBIC’s In the Loop blog.

2017 Six on Six Volleyball Classic is on May 11

admin-ajaxChildress Klein and Beacon Partners will host the 10th Annual Six on Six Volleyball Classic on May 11th, 2017. The event will pit teams from the Charlotte commercial real estate industry in a head to head competition that promotes camaraderie and networking while raising awareness and support for local charities.

May 11, 2017 11:am-5:00pm
VBGB 920 Hamilton Street, Charlotte NC
100% of the proceeds will benefit Charlotte Housing Authority

Click here to register and for more information.

General Assembly Begins to Address Local Impact Fee Authority

The North Carolina General Assembly is starting to take a close — and skeptical — look at the development Impact Fees charged by local governments across the state, and some big changes could be on the way in the months ahead.

Last week, the House State and Local Government I Committee heard two bills dealing with impact fees.  Representative Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) introduced two bills in March regarding impact fees which were authorized by the General Assembly more than 30 years ago.  The first, HB 406 Repeal Orange County Impact Fee, would strip Orange County of its ability to impose impact fees. Stevens noted that Orange County recently modified its impact fee structure causing the fee for a multi-family project to increase from $302,000 to $1,593,000. Impact fees for single family residences built in Orange County have been in excess of $10,000 per house.

The second bill, HB 436 Local Government/Regulatory Fees, would prohibit the future imposition of impact fees by cities and counties, and would repeal all existing authority for the twenty municipalities and three counties who were granted this authority pursuant to local acts passed primarily between 1985 and 1989.

Despite opposition from local governments and their advocates, both bills were approved in committee, mainly along party lines. Representative Stevens explained that impact fees were unfair since they singled out our industry to pay for infrastructure that benefits the community as a whole.  The bills will now move to the House Finance Committee for further consideration.

The impact fee issue is receiving legislative attention largely as a result of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of North Carolina finding that water and sewer impact fees imposed for “future capacity” are not authorized and must be refunded. That case, Quality Built Homes v. Town of Carthage, was brought by a builder member with the support of the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), which filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court.

Similar fees have been collected by many other jurisdictions across the state and, as a result of this decision, are now subject to being refunded with interest. Local governments have turned to the General Assembly for relief. NCHBA has been in discussions with interested parties and this issue will remain a top priority for NCHBA’s team in the weeks ahead.

Source: NCHBA
Click here to view original post by REBIC.

State House Passes Regulatory Reform Bill

The NC House of Representatives today gave final approval to a 44-page Regulatory Reform bill that contains several critical provisions for residential and commercial developers.

SB 131, ‘Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017’, was approved by the House on Thursday by a vote of 84-27, and now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Among the dozens of reforms it contains, two are of particular interest to developers:

Energy Efficiency Code Exemptions – Section 1.4 of the bill excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, an amendment suggested by REBIC and introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

Stream Mitigation Requirements – Section 3.13 of the bill amends stream mitigation requirements to allow developers to disturb up to 300′ of stream bed before mitigation is required, unless otherwise prohibited by federal law. Current law requires mitigation whenever 150′ or more is disturbed. This provision would bring North Carolina in line with stream mitigation requirements in neighboring states.

REBIC is continuing to review additional provisions in the Regulatory Reform bill, and will provide additional updates in the coming weeks on how this important piece of legislation affects your business.

General Assembly Begins to Address Local Impact Fee Authority

The North Carolina General Assembly is starting to take a close — and skeptical — look at the development Impact Fees charged by local governments across the state, and some big changes could be on the way in the months ahead.

Last week, the House State and Local Government I Committee heard two bills dealing with impact fees.  Representative Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) introduced two bills in March regarding impact fees which were authorized by the General Assembly more than 30 years ago.  The first, HB 406 Repeal Orange County Impact Fee, would strip Orange County of its ability to impose impact fees. Stevens noted that Orange County recently modified its impact fee structure causing the fee for a multi-family project to increase from $302,000 to $1,593,000. Impact fees for single family residences built in Orange County have been in excess of $10,000 per house.

The second bill, HB 436 Local Government/Regulatory Fees, would prohibit the future imposition of impact fees by cities and counties, and would repeal all existing authority for the twenty municipalities and three counties who were granted this authority pursuant to local acts passed primarily between 1985 and 1989.

Despite opposition from local governments and their advocates, both bills were approved in committee, mainly along party lines. Representative Stevens explained that impact fees were unfair since they singled out our industry to pay for infrastructure that benefits the community as a whole.  The bills will now move to the House Finance Committee for further consideration.

The impact fee issue is receiving legislative attention largely as a result of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of North Carolina finding that water and sewer impact fees imposed for “future capacity” are not authorized and must be refunded. That case, Quality Built Homes v. Town of Carthage, was brought by a builder member with the support of the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), which filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court.

Similar fees have been collected by many other jurisdictions across the state and, as a result of this decision, are now subject to being refunded with interest. Local governments have turned to the General Assembly for relief. NCHBA has been in discussions with interested parties and this issue will remain a top priority for NCHBA’s team in the weeks ahead.

Source: NCHBA