For several years, the state’s powerful homebuilders’ lobby has consistently tried to convince lawmakers to strip citizens of their right—a right enshrined since 1923—to formally protest a rezoning. And on Tuesday, Republican legislators introduced a bill to do just that.
House Bill 201 would repeal the statutory right
of a neighbor to file a protest petition against a proposed rezoning. The bill is co-sponsored by six Republican House members, including Paul Stam of Wake County.
Currently, NC law allows property owners within 100 feet deep of the land to be rezoned to file a protest petition. If 5 percent of the owners file one, then it requires a supermajority—three-fourths—of a city council to pass the rezoning.
Protest petitions have been part of North Carolina law since 1923.
In Raleigh, property owners near a proposed Publix site
filed three formal protest petitions
and succeeded in defeating the zoning change after the developer dropped its original plans for a 49,000-square-foot store.
In Durham, neighbors used a protest petition to oppose the 751 South project. That opposition however, ultimately failed.
Last year similar language was included in a senate bil
l, but did not make the final version that was signed by Gov. McCrory.