Governor McCrory Signs Residential Aesthetics Bill Into Law!

Governor Pat McCrory this morning signed SB 25 (“Zoning/Design & Aesthetic Controls”) into law, restricting the ability of local governments to place costly architectural and aesthetic design requirements on residential construction. With the Governor’s signature, the act became effective immediately, and applies “to ordinances adopted before, on, and after the effective date,” which is today.

Session Law 2015-86, as the bill is now known, clarifies that zoning ordinance regulations on “building design elements” may not be applied to residential structures governed by the NC Residential Code (one and two family dwellings and townhomes).

The law does not prohibit design requirements pertaining to local historic districts or areas listed on the National Register.  It does not interfere with neighborhood covenants or private contracts. And it DOES NOT prevent property owners from freely offering architectural conditions as part of a rezoning or development approval. It will, however, ensure that housing in North Carolina remains affordable, and preserve the rights of builders and consumers to decide what their home should look like.

“We greatly appreciate the Governor’s action in signing the bill into law.” said North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) Executive Vice President Mike Carpenter. “The Governor has demonstrated his strong commitment to preserving housing affordability, consumer choice, and the individual property rights of landowners.”

The Governor’s action followed strong bipartisan approval of the legislation by the Senate (43-7 on April 27) and by the House (98-17 on June 9).

“We wish to thank our Senate and House lead sponsors, Senator Rick Gunn (R-Alamance) and Representative Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), for their steadfast leadership in achieving this result.” Carpenter said. “We also want to thank our other principal sponsors, Senators Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) and Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg), along with Representatives Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe) and Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland) who were likewise instrumental getting this legislation enacted.

“We also want to thank our other numerous legislative co-sponsors in both bodies as well as those members who voted for the bill.” Carpenter noted. “Finally, I want to recognize former Senator Dan Clodfelter, now the Mayor of Charlotte, for his initial sponsorship of the predecessor of this legislation first introduced in 2011. It has been a long journey but one well worth making for the benefit of homebuyers across the state.”

Source: NCHBA

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