It has just come to our attention that Wake Forest has mailed violation letters to many members citing prohibited signs per the Town's Ordinance. We are in the process of investigating this issue, but cursory information leads us to believe that the Town had been lenient in their allowances of signs and now are suddenly taking a "letter of the law" approach to enforcement of the rules on the books.
Our greatest frustration is the method by which this has taken place. We try very hard to build relationships with municipalities and encourage them to reach out to us when problems arise. It could have been better handled had we been informed that the ordinance enforcement was going to change and given a 30 day grace period to communicate such information to our membership and comply. This would have prevented the adversarial approach of sending out violation letters with date certain compliance or else fines of $500/day.
Please be aware that the Town is now strictly enforcing their sign ordinance which can be found here. See below for an example of the violation letters being sent.
All General Contractors are now required to include their NC General Contractor License Number on everything. The new regulation, 21 NCAC 12.0501, states: “license numbers shall be included on all contracts, advertisements and licensee websites.”
Our state association (NCHBA) is currently working to get clarification on the term "advertisements", but in the meantime, all general contractors are advised to put their GC License Number on:
The new regulation is part of a larger re-write of the NC GC Licensing Board Regulations in Title 21, Chapter 12 of the NC Administrative Code.
The massive down zoning (to 1 unit/2 acres) being considered by Knightdale for nearly 44% of the land it has planning jurisdiction over is well on its way to approval. After holding the public hearing open for 3 weeks, Council sent the item to the Land Use Review Board (LURB). The LURB met on 11/13 and with hardly more than a blink unanimously approved the proposed zoning map amendments that would effectuate the massive down zoning.
Even after many meetings with elected official, staff and stakeholders, speaking at all three public hearings and communicating with the LURB, the opinion on this item among the elected officials is seemingly not to be swayed. The item is scheduled to come back to the Council at their 11/19/18 meeting at 7pm where it is expected to pass.
At their 11/6/18 evening meeting, Raleigh City Council voted to approve a notification requirement for residential infill development (TC-3-18). Keep in mind that "infill development" in Raleigh is currently defined by the UDO as any building in an R-4, R-6 or R-10 district where all of the following are present:
The debate continues as to whether accessory dwelling units (ADU's) will ever be allowed in the City of Raleigh. On 10/30/18, the proposed text change for ADU's (TC-3-17) was discussed in the Text Change Committee (a subcommittee of the Planning Commission). It was sent there from the Growth & Natural Resources Committee (a council committee) where it had spent months upon months getting twisted and turned into a proposal that if passed, would make ADU's exclusive at best and more than likely unbuildable. After much discussion, the TC Committee did not agree with the idea of an overlay district and voted to recommend denial of the text change. The items was then sent back to the Planning Commission and discussed at their 11/13/18 meeting. They agreed that they couldn't agree on the proposed text for an ADU overlay district so they are planning to reconvene in a Committee of the Whole meeting at a date TBD to try and formulate some language to which they can mostly agree.
Due to an issue with the software upgrade that was done Wednesday, October 31st, the inspections center was not working properly and they were unable to access the inspections center to do inspections as they normally do.
Apex IT department worked on the situation and they proceeded with doing the scheduled inspections as soon as possible.
In an attempt to catch up from the computer software problem, the Town is requesting that builders schedule the PME trade inspections all at the same time. If you can schedule these inspection at the same time it will help them streamline their inspections and save travel time in the process, with the hope of getting more in within the day. Thank you.
The Town of Knightdale closed its public hearing after holding it open for 3 meetings to receive public input. At the meeting on Monday, 11/5/18 at 7pm, there were only 5 who spoke against the proposed map amendments and 1 who spoke in favor. These numbers are significantly lower than the past two meetings, but to be expected with the fatigue that comes with tracking issues like these.
The Town made some changes to the zoning map, removing 95 parcels from the new Rural Transition (RT) zoning classification. However, this removal only brought the amount of land being rezoned from 47.5% of land controlled by Knightdale to 43.6%. This RT zoning is set at 1 unit/2 acres and is clearly being set to create large areas of Knightdale that will require a rezoning request through a legislative process instead of going through the current set up of a Special Use Permit via a quasi-judicial process.
While the Town contends that the motivation is for increased transparency and greater flexibility, those who own large parcels of land or plan to develop in Knightdale believe it to be a downzoning of their property, creating greater ambiguity and lowering confidence in the process.
As the HBA, we spoke at all three public hearings, held meetings with staff and elected officials and have tried to convince the Town and Council that the proposed massive rezoning is not the right path to take to gain greater transparency and flexibility. Unfortunately, there seems to be much buy-in for this change among both staff and Council.
At the final public hearing, the Town Council voted unanimously to close the public hearing and move the item to the Land Use Review Board which will begin discussion on the item at the 11/14 meeting, 6pm, Knightdale Town Hall. If they act quickly, it could be back to the Council as early as 11/20/18. Please click here for more information on the proposed changes. Contact Suzanne Harris with questions or concerns.
The Town of Knightdale is currently proposing major changes to its zoning map. Most significantly, 47.5% of the land in Knightdale's jurisdiction is proposed to change from its current zoning (which varies) to a new zoning classification called Rural Transition (RT). This RT zoning is a downzoning to 1 unit/2 acres. The town initiated rezoning is stated to be based upon the KnightdaleNext 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
At the first public hearing on 10/1/18 so many speakers spoke against the changes that the public hearing was carried forward to the 10/17/18 meeting. Again, at that meeting, many showed up to speak against the proposed rezoning and consequently the public hearing was extended a second time until the 11/5/18 meeting at 7:00 p.m.
The Town sees the proposed change as providing greater flexibility to the land owners and developers instead of locking them into a stated zoning, it's a "transition" district. Also, the Town believes the change from a special use permit/quasi-judicial hearing to a rezoning request through a legislative process will allow for more transparency among the developer, Town and citizens.
Many land owners and developers are concerned about the cost of land, the predictability of the process, financing capabilities and slowing down of the process. There is also much debate over the methodology used for determining what land should be rezoned - what constitutes "rural transition". Very many see this as a downzoning and a taking of development rights.
Many meetings have taken place between the HBA and the Town staff, elected officials and with interested members. There still is a divide in the belief as to what the unintended consequences of this rezoning will be. To read more on this topic, please click here. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at email@example.com.
The Town of Apex was chosen as one of 12 communities in 6 states to develop a pilot project to demonstrate how best to utilize trees for stormwater management. The project's goal was to help Apex map, evaluate, protect and restore its urban forests for improved stormwater management and clean water. Recommendations from the study include:
Click here for more information Apex Urban Tree Canopy Study
Raleigh's Growth & Natural Resource Committee met Monday, 6/25 at 4pm to discuss TC-3-17 – Accessory Dwelling Unit Overlay District. At the rate the committee is going, this text change, if passed, will "allow" ADU's, but none will likely be built. The restrictions that are being put in place are many and will likely dissuade or prohibit the construction of ADU's. At the end of the day, it seems rather clear that the majority of Councilors are more concerned with a few disgruntled citizens than with the possibility of really taking a legitimate stab at the crisis we have of a lack of affordable housing options throughout the City. We have advocated (along with over a dozen other organizations) and publicly spoken about the need for a by right allowance to build ADU's, but it has fallen on deaf ears. Please follow the links below for more on this issue: