Governor McCrory Signs Legislation Ending Use of Protest Petitions in North Carolina

On July 23, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law HB 201, ‘Zoning Changes/Citizen Input’, which repeals the North Carolina Protest Petition statute and eliminates a tool frequently used by neighborhood groups to force concessions from property owners and developers. The law will be effective for any rezoning petitions filed August 1st or later.

HB 201 eliminates a longstanding state law that allowed as few as 5 percent of the neighbors within 100′ of a proposed development to file a petition that would force the applicant to secure a supermajority of affirmative votes from the city or town council for rezoning approval. In the City of Charlotte, this meant a petitioner had to secure 9 of 11 Council votes for a rezoning to be approved.

The law still allows residents to protest rezoning actions through a variety of methods, including delivering letters to the City or Town Clerk two days in advance of a rezoning vote. Neighbors can also make their voice heard at rezoning public hearings, or by directly contacting their elected officials.

REBIC worked closely with the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), the three NAIOP Chapters in North Carolina, the Apartment Association of North Carolina, and the Charlotte Commercial Board of Realtors® (CRCBR) to ensure the passage of this legislation, by delivering letters and visiting with state legislators.

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