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Government Affairs Briefing – Week of April 12, 2001

Government Affairs Briefing March 22

Included in This Briefing

  • NCGA Considering Broad Middle Housing Fix
  • Risk Rating 2.0 Details Emerge
  • Dare County to Begin Routine LUP Update
  • Nags Head Commissioners Authorize Estuarine Plan
  • Freeboard Proposed in Southern Shores
  • In the News
  • Upcoming Meetings

NCGA Considering Broad Middle Housing Fix

H. 401 and S. 349, companion bills filed in the North Carolina General Assembly on March 24, would provide for significant pro-housing regulatory reform by amending the Chapter 160D, the enabling statutes for local zoning ordinances, to allow duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) per detached residential structure in residential zones with public water or wastewater service. The legislation would also preempt county or municipal ordinances establishing ADU parking requirements, special fees for ADUs, and special setbacks for ADUs. It would also preempt ordinances establishing minimum and maximum square footage restrictions, and ordinances establishing a maximum structure-per-area density. Additionally, the legislation would preempt downzoning undertaken for

purposes other than addressing a change in circumstances substantially affecting public health, safety or welfare, and preempt direct and indirect prohibitions on use types other than industrial uses, uses posing per se nuisances*, and uses posing a serious threat to public health, safety or welfare. Because the legislation explicitly establishes its applicability to rentals regulated by the vacation rental act, its enactment would likely resolve continuing differences of interpretation as to local governments’ legal authority to ban short-term rentals. The legislation only preempts county and municipal zoning ordinances, and would have no similar effect on private restrictive covenants. It also specifically exempts local historic districts and historic districts designated by the National Register of Historic Places.

*Per se nuisances are nuisances as a matter of law, not of fact. A per se nuisance is a use that by its very existence constitutes a nuisance at all times, regardless of specific conditions. 

Risk Rating 2.0 Details Emerge

On April 6, U.S. House staff provided OBAR preliminary information on the Risk Rating 2.0 ratemaking overhaul, including definitive confirmation that the new methodology will be applied to new policies issued on and after October 1, 2021 and existing policies issued on and after April 1, 2022. The information included statewide projections specific to North Carolina that 26% of premiums will immediately decrease, 65% of premiums will increase $120 or fewer annually, 6% of premiums will increase $120-$240 annually, and 3% of properties will increase more than $240 annually. The 18% statutory maximum annual premium increase will continue to operate. Risk Rating 2.0 will differ from the legacy methodology in that a “full-risk” rate will be developed for each property insured under the NFIP, and that “annual increases will eventually stop once the full-risk rate is realized.” The information did not include any indication how many years these increases will take place. The full-risk rates will be developed for and applied to currently grandfathered properties. While FEMA currently lacks both the statutory authority and sufficient premium income under the legacy ratemaking methodology to implement an NFIP affordability program, an affordability provision similar to the means-tested discounts proposed during the 116th Congress in §102 of H.R.3167 will likely be central to debate in Congress when the annual autumn NFIP reauthorization deadline approaches.

Dare County to Begin Routine LUP Update

On April 12 Dare County Planning Board members were provided a draft reflecting proposed revisions to the county Land Use Plan. The Land Use Plan is not a regulatory document and this year’s changes are largely technical, including updated demographic information and the removal of language involving completion of the Marc Basnight Bridge. Discussion of the Land Use Plan changes will take place during the planning board’s May 17 meeting.

Nags Head Commissioners Authorize Estuarine Plan

On April 8, Nags Head Planning Director Michael Zehner provided presented commissioners a draft scope of the estuarine master plan recently under development by staff and received authorization to initiate the procurement process for consulting services intended to identify suitable sites for living shorelines. The estuarine management plan will identify strategies to improve the resilience of uses abutting the estuarine shoreline and enhance sound-side public recreational access. The plan will make use of a $75,000 grant awarded to Nags Head by the National Fish and Wildlife Service to support green infrastructure solutions to erosion along the west side of Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

Freeboard Proposed in Southern Shores

On April 19 the Southern Shores Planning Board will review TCA-21-04, a proposed amendment adding a 1-foot freeboard requirement to the Regulatory Flood Protection Elevation for AO zones. Southern Shores was advised that adoption of the additional elevation for AO zones is necessary before an upcoming Community Rating System assessment.

In the News

Upcoming Meetings

Monday, April 19
Dare County Board of Commissioners – 5:00 p.m.
Currituck County Board of Commissioners – 4:00 p.m.
Town of Southern Shores Planning Board – 5:30 p.m.

Please Note: This weekly Legislative Briefing is distributed to OBAR members as a benefit of membership. OBAR provides no warranty as to its accuracy. The Legislative Briefing may be copied and redistributed, in whole or in part, by including the following citation ABOVE the text:

"The following is reprinted with permission from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®"

Members may not editorialize or comment within the copied text, and must clearly delineate and differentiate their own comments from the text copied from OBAR. If a member is found in violation of this policy, that member will receive one warning for the 1st offense, be automatically fined $250 for the 2nd offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses.

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