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 February 13 

Annexation bills begin

  • Bill to restore the pre-1959 annexation law introduced – SB 148 Annexation Referendum (see Action Items for more details)
  • Three local bills introduced to impose moratoria on annexations in Rowan and New Hanover counties – HB 158 Rowan Annexation Moratorium, HB 66/SB 10 New Hanover Annexation Moratorium
  • Please talk to your legislators about the need for fairness for in-town residents on the annexation issue. More bills to change annexation statutes are coming, and we need your active participation on this issue. Watch for materials from League staff on the issue of fairness in annexation.
  • House Speaker Joe Hackney announced House committee appointments this week. List of House and Senate committees.
  • Bills in both House and Senate introduced to allow additional counties and transportation authorities to levy sales tax for public transit system s and to allow more areas to levy a vehicle registration tax for transit (see Bill Summaries for more details). League supports concept of more local option revenues.
  • Eminent domain bill introduced to require replacement value paid rather than fair market value when nonprofit property is condemned (See Action items for more details).
  • Federal stimulus package in place – League staff members now analyzing what funds may be available to N.C. cities and towns. Watch for additional information next week.
  • NCLM Executive Director S. Ellis Hankins has announced the appointment of Paul A. Meyer as senior legislative counsel, more. Meyer fills the vacancy created when Anita Watkins left the League staff to become chief lobbyist for the University of North Carolina system.
  • Joining the staff this week is Jennifer Webb, who will serve as the grassroots coordinator/legislative assistant in the League's Governmental Affairs Department. Read More.

Action Items

Bill: SB 148 Annexation Referendum
What it would do : Restore pre-1959 rules on city-initiated annexations. Require a referendum on such annexations.
Status: Introduced by Sen. Andrew Brock
Action Needed: Tell your senator your city or town opposes SB 148.

 

Bill: SB 157 Eminent Domain
What it would do: Require payment of replacement value instead of fair market value for property owned by a nonprofit.
Status: Introduced by Sen. Phil Berger; assigned to Senate Judiciary I.
Action needed: Contact your senator to oppose creating a different and more costly standard for one class of properties.

 

Bill: SB 117 - Clarifying Development Moratoria Authority
What it would do: Prohibits a city or county from adopting a temporary moratorium on development for the purpose of developing and adopting new or amended ordinances.
Status: Introduced by Sen. David Hoyle; assigned to Senate Commerce.
Action needed: Contact your legislators to let them you oppose SB 117 and that the current statute already requires a stringent process to assure balance and fairness, while ensuring an open, public input process.

Bill Summaries

ELECTIONS

HB 80/SB 38 - Municipal District Elections 2011/Census
Sponsors: Goodwin/Clodfelter
Status: House Election Law/Senate Judiciary I
Requires cities that elect members of the governing body on a district basis to evaluate the district boundaries as soon as possible after receipt of census information in 2011.  If revision to correct any population imbalances is necessary, the city must consider whether it will be possible to allow public input, adopt changes, and obtain voting rights act preclearance (where necessary) before the third day prior to opening of the municipal election filing period.  If the city determines that it cannot make the changes within that time frame, and the imbalances are so significant that it would not be lawful to hold the next election using the existing districts, the city may delay the election as provided.  Specifies when any delayed municipal elections are to occur in 2012.

ENVIRONMENT

SB 166 - Disapprove Jordan Lake Rules
Sponsors: Foriest
Status: Filed in the Senate
Disapproves specified rules adopted by the Environmental Management Commission concerning nutrient management in Jordan Lake.

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

HB 81 - Notice of Special/Emergency Meetings
Sponsors: Cleveland
Status: House Judiciary I
Clarifies that notice of special meetings can be delivered to the sunshine list via email and that no fee may be charged for notice by email.  Specifies that notice is to be posted in an area accessible to the public on the building if the building containing the principal bulletin board or usual meeting room is closed to the public during the 48 hours before the special meeting.  Allows notice of emergency meetings by email.  If a public body has a website, requires schedule of regular meetings to be posted there.  If the website is maintained by a member of the public body or its employees, requires notice of special and recessed meetings to be posted there.

SB 157 – Eminent Domain
Sponsors: P. Berger
Status: Senate Judiciary I
Amends both Chapter 40A and Chapter 136 to require payment of functional replacement value rather than fair market value upon condemnation of property owned by a nonprofit organization, where the property is needed by the owner to continue its actual use to perform a public function or to render educational, religious or charitable services and the facilities or services are available to the general public.  Functional replacement includes the cost of a functionally equivalent site, the cost of relocating and rehabilitating improvements taken (or providing improvements of substantially comparable character and utility), and the cost of betterments and enlargements required by current standards for similar facilities.

Planning and Zoning

HB 116 - Railroad Corridor Management
Sponsors: Rapp, Dickson; Sutton
Status: House Transportation
Provides that when a railroad company has filed corridor maps with DOT, a local government may not issue building permits in corridor unless the applicant provides written consent of railroad (not applicable to repairs).  Local government may not allow dedication or reservation of recreation areas or open space within corridor, and may not approve any development plan where the sole means of ingress and egress is a roadway that encroaches on the corridor, unless the applicant provides written consent of railroad.  Includes similar provision prohibiting city from accepting for dedication a new street, sidewalk or bridge in corridor without consent.  Allows local government to rely upon copy of consent provided by the applicant or a certification that no consent is required because the area does not fall within the corridor.

PUBLIC SAFETY

SB 114 - Exempt Some Church Facility LU/LA Elevators
Sponsors: Hoyle
Status: Senate Commerce
Exempts from state building code standards the installation and maintenance of limited use or limited access hydraulic elevators in a place of worship having less than 1,000 members.  Prohibits local governments from dopting an ordinance in conflict with the exemption.

TRANSPORTATION

HB 148/SB 151 – Congestion Relief/Intermodal Transport Fund
Sponsors: Carney, Allen, Ross, McGee/Stevens
Status: House Transportation/Senate Finance
Establishes state congestion relief and intermodal fund to make grants to local governments, state agencies, railroads, and transportation authorities for transportation purposes.  Allows transportation authorities to levy a 1/2 percent sales tax for public transportation, subject to referendum.  Allows counties in which at least one local government operates a public transportation system or contracts with a transportation authority for such a systemto levy a 1/4 percent sales tax for public transportation purposes, subject to referendum.  County tax is distributed on per capita basis among the county and the local governments that operate the public transportation systems.  (Applies in counties other than Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange and Wake).  Increases maximum amount of the regional transit authority vehicle registration tax to $7 per vehicle.  Authorizes counties to charge a vehicle registration tax for public transportation systems as if they were transit authorities.  If county does not levy the full amount, any city located wholly in the county can levy the tax as long as the total combined tax does not exceed the maximum amount.

UTILITIES

SB 101 - Interconnection of Public Water Systems
Sponsors: Hartsell
Status: Senate Ag & Environment
Authorizes DENR to require interconnection of public water systems.  Authorizes the Environmental Management Commission to require interconnection of wastewater systems.  Requires alternatives analysis for both water and wastewater projects.  Prohibits construction or alteration of water system or issuance of permit for new or expanded wastewater system unless the system is capable of interconnection.

New Staff

Paul Meyer

NCLM Executive Director S. Ellis Hankins Thursday announced the appointment of Paul A. Meyer as chief legislative counsel for the N.C. League of Municipalities. Currently he is senior associate general counsel for the N.C. Association of County Commissioners. He will join the League staff March 9.

Meyer will serve as chief legal counsel for the League's Governmental Affairs Department and lobbyist for broad range of municipal interests in the General Assembly.  He will work as part of the governmental affairs team to set strategy and assist members in the development of legislative goals and positions on issues. He will oversee work with state agencies and regulatory bodies.

"We are very pleased to have Paul join the League staff. His expertise in local government issues and his experience as a highly respected lobbyist in the General Assembly will make him a valuable addition to the government affairs team," said Kelli H. Kukura, NCLM director of governmental affairs. "He will serve the membership well."

Meyer has been on the staff of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners since 1997 and has represented the state's counties on a variety of issues, including transportation, environmental policy, land use, tax and finance, public utilities and personnel. For the 2007-08 legislative session, a survey by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research Center ranked him among the 25 most effective lobbyists in the state. His other duties for the Association include operating as the organization's counsel, providing legal and technical assistance to counties, drafting friend of the court" legal briefs for the appellate courts, designing and administering service programs for counties, and conducting seminars and presentations.

N.C. Association of County Commissioners Executive Director David Thompson commented on the appointment, "In addition to this being a great opportunity for Paul, it will also serve to further solidify our working relationship at the General Assembly with the NCLM on issues that affect city and county governments."

Meyer graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University and holds a law degree from the Campbell University School of Law. He has private  law practice experience and also has served as a commercial lines claims representative for Great American Insurance Company, Raleigh.

He is a member of the Wake County Bar Association and the N.C. Bar Association and has served on the Environmental Law Section Council. Meyer has served on the Wake County Planning Board, as president of the Boylan Heights Association and as a member of the N.C. Beautiful Board of Directors. He and his family live in Raleigh.

Jennifer Webb

NCLM Executive Director S. Ellis Hankins announced that Jennifer Webb has joined the League staff as grassroots coordinator/legislative assistant in the NCLM Governmental Affairs Department.

She will oversee the grassroots engagement process for League members, including the establishment of quick action teams for significant issues. She also will coordinate legislative bill tracking for the League.

"With the addition of Jennifer to the staff, we will be able to expand our efforts to engage the membership on crucial public policy issues and in advocating for the needs of municipal residents," said Kelli H. Kukura, NCLM director of governmental affairs. "She will strengthen our ability to serve our members."

Webb has almost 20 years of experience in government affairs, communications and public affairs at DuPont.  Jennifer most recently worked with the American Lung Association of the Atlantic Coast in Raleigh where she was promotions manager and manager - human resources &golf privilege card.  She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication/public relations from N.C. State University.

She and her family live in Apex.