State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_153A > GS_153A-340

§ 153A‑340.  Grant ofpower.

(a)        For the purpose ofpromoting health, safety, morals, or the general welfare, a county may adoptzoning and development regulation ordinances. These ordinances may be adoptedas part of a unified development ordinance or as a separate ordinance. A zoningordinance may regulate and restrict the height, number of stories and size ofbuildings and other structures, the percentage of lots that may be occupied,the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, andthe location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry,residence, or other purposes. The ordinance may provide density credits orseverable development rights for dedicated rights‑of‑way pursuantto G.S. 136‑66.10 or G.S. 136‑66.11.

(b)       (1)        Theseregulations may affect property used for bona fide farm purposes only asprovided in subdivision (3) of this subsection. This subsection does not limitregulation under this Part with respect to the use of farm property for nonfarmpurposes.

(2)        Except as providedin G.S. 106‑743.4 for farms that are subject to a conservation agreementunder G.S. 106‑743.2, bona fide farm purposes include the production andactivities relating or incidental to the production of crops, fruits, vegetables,ornamental and flowering plants, dairy, livestock, poultry, and all other formsof agricultural products as defined in G.S. 106‑581.1 having a domesticor foreign market. For purposes of this subdivision, the production of anonfarm product that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Servicesrecognizes as a "Goodness Grows in North Carolina" product that isproduced on a farm subject to a conservation agreement under G.S. 106‑743.2is a bona fide farm purpose.

(3)        The definitions setout in G.S. 106‑802 apply to this subdivision. A county may adopt zoningregulations governing swine farms served by animal waste management systemshaving a design capacity of 600,000 pounds steady state live weight (SSLW) orgreater provided that the zoning regulations may not have the effect ofexcluding swine farms served by an animal waste management system having adesign capacity of 600,000 pounds SSLW or greater from the entire zoningjurisdiction.

(c)        The regulations mayprovide that a board of adjustment may determine and vary their application inharmony with their general purpose and intent and in accordance with general orspecific rules therein contained, provided no change in permitted uses may beauthorized by variance.

(c1)      The regulations mayalso provide that the board of adjustment, the planning board, or the board ofcommissioners may issue special use permits or conditional use permits in theclasses of cases or situations and in accordance with the principles,conditions, safeguards, and procedures specified therein and may imposereasonable and appropriate conditions and safeguards upon these permits. Whereappropriate, the conditions may include requirements that street and utilityrights‑of‑way be dedicated to the public and that recreationalspace be provided. When deciding special use permits or conditional usepermits, the board of county commissioners or planning board shall follow quasi‑judicialprocedures. No vote greater than a majority vote shall be required for theboard of county commissioners or planning board to issue such permits. For thepurposes of this section, vacant positions on the board and members who aredisqualified from voting on a quasi‑judicial matter shall not beconsidered "members of the board" for calculation of the requisitemajority. Every such decision of the board of county commissioners or planningboard shall be subject to review of the superior court in the nature ofcertiorari consistent with G.S. 153A‑345.

(d)        A county mayregulate the development over estuarine waters and over lands covered bynavigable waters owned by the State pursuant to G.S. 146‑12, within thebounds of that county.

(e)        For the purpose ofthis section, the term "structures" shall include floating homes.

(f)         Repealed bySession Laws 2005‑426, s. 5(b), effective January 1, 2006.

(g)        A member of theboard of county commissioners shall not vote on any zoning map or textamendment where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likelyto have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on themember. Members of appointed boards providing advice to the board of countycommissioners shall not vote on recommendations regarding any zoning map ortext amendment where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonablylikely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impacton the member.

(h)        As provided in thissubsection, counties may adopt temporary moratoria on any county developmentapproval required by law. The duration of any moratorium shall be reasonable inlight of the specific conditions that warrant imposition of the moratorium andmay not exceed the period of time necessary to correct, modify, or resolve suchconditions. Except in cases of imminent and substantial threat to public healthor safety, before adopting an ordinance imposing a development moratorium witha duration of 60 days or any shorter period, the board of commissioners shallhold a public hearing and shall publish a notice of the hearing in a newspaperhaving general circulation in the area not less than seven days before the dateset for the hearing. A development moratorium with a duration of 61 days orlonger, and any extension of a moratorium so that the total duration is 61 daysor longer, is subject to the notice and hearing requirements of G.S. 153A‑323.Absent an imminent threat to public health or safety, a development moratoriumadopted pursuant to this section shall not apply to any project for which avalid building permit issued pursuant to G.S. 153A‑357 is outstanding, toany project for which a conditional use permit application or special usepermit application has been accepted, to development set forth in a site‑specificor phased development plan approved pursuant to G.S. 153A‑344.1, todevelopment for which substantial expenditures have already been made in goodfaith reliance on a prior valid administrative or quasi‑judicial permitor approval, or to preliminary or final subdivision plats that have beenaccepted for review by the county prior to the call for public hearing to adoptthe moratorium. Any preliminary subdivision plat accepted for review by thecounty prior to the call for public hearing, if subsequently approved, shall beallowed to proceed to final plat approval without being subject to themoratorium.

Any ordinance establishing adevelopment moratorium must expressly include at the time of adoption each ofthe following:

(1)        A clear statement ofthe problems or conditions necessitating the moratorium and what courses ofaction, alternative to a moratorium, were considered by the county and whythose alternative courses of action were not deemed adequate.

(2)        A clear statement ofthe development approvals subject to the moratorium and how a moratorium onthose approvals will address the problems or conditions leading to impositionof the moratorium.

(3)        An express date fortermination of the moratorium and a statement setting forth why that durationis reasonably necessary to address the problems or conditions leading toimposition of the moratorium.

(4)        A clear statement ofthe actions, and the schedule for those actions, proposed to be taken by thecounty during the duration of the moratorium to address the problems orconditions leading to imposition of the moratorium.

No moratorium may besubsequently renewed or extended for any additional period unless the cityshall have taken all reasonable and feasible steps proposed to be taken by thecounty in its ordinance establishing the moratorium to address the problems orconditions leading to imposition of the moratorium and unless new facts andconditions warrant an extension. Any ordinance renewing or extending adevelopment moratorium must expressly include, at the time of adoption, thefindings set forth in subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection,including what new facts or conditions warrant the extension.

Any person aggrieved by theimposition of a moratorium on development approvals required by law may applyto the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice for an orderenjoining the enforcement of the moratorium, and the court shall havejurisdiction to issue that order. Actions brought pursuant to this sectionshall be set down for immediate hearing, and subsequent proceedings in thoseactions shall be accorded priority by the trial and appellate courts. In anysuch action, the county shall have the burden of showing compliance with theprocedural requirements of this subsection.

(i)         In order toencourage construction that uses sustainable design principles and to improveenergy efficiency in buildings, a county may charge reduced building permitfees or provide partial rebates of building permit fees for buildings that areconstructed or renovated using design principles that conform to or exceed oneor more of the following certifications or ratings:

(1)        Leadership in Energyand Environmental Design (LEED) certification or higher rating undercertification standards adopted by the U.S. Green Building Council.

(2)        A One Globe orhigher rating under the Green Globes program standards adopted by the GreenBuilding Initiative.

(3)        A certification orrating by another nationally recognized certification or rating system that isequivalent or greater than those listed in subdivisions (1) and (2) of thissubsection. (1959,c. 1006, s. 1; 1967, c. 1208, s. 4; 1973, c. 822, s. 1; 1981, c. 891, s. 6;1983, c. 441; 1985, c. 442, s. 2; 1987, c. 747, s. 12; 1991, c. 69, s. 1; 1997‑458,s. 2.1; 2005‑390, s. 6; 2005‑426, s. 5(b); 2006‑259, s.26(a); 2007‑381, s. 1.)