House bill would strip citizens of right to formally protest rezoning | News

House bill would strip citizens of right to formally protest rezoning


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 bill, but did not make the final version that was signed by Gov. McCrory.

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