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ARTICLE 11: Administration

CONTENTS:

Article 11.1 - Zoning Administration
Article 11.2 - Enforcement
Article 11.3 - Appeals and Variances
Article 11.4 - Amendment Process
Article 11.5 - Noncomformities
Article 11.6 - Zoning Compliance

11.1 Zoning Administration

.1 Zoning Administrator
Primary responsibility for administering and enforcing this Ordinance may be assigned to one (1) or more individuals by the Town Manager. the person or persons to whom these functions are assigned shall be referred to in this Ordinance as the "Zoning Administrator". The term "staff" or "Planning staff" is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "Zoning Administrator." Any function or responsibility assigned by this Ordinance to the Administrator may be delegated by such person to another employee or agent acting under the Administrator's control or at his direction, unless such delegation is prohibited by the Town Manager.

.2 Intent and Applicability
The Zoning Administrator shall enforce, conduct reviews, ensure zoning compliance, and manage the development approval procedures set forth in this article for the Town of Huntersville.

a) A building permit and a certificate of occupancy are required for uses permitted by right, under prescribed conditions, or subject to an approved conditional district or special use permit, and all uses and structures accessory thereto.

b) A certificate of occupancy is required for changes in the use of property.

Zoning compliance, under these regulations, is required for the issuance of building permits, certificates of occupancy, sign permits, and zoning use permits.

.3 Building Permit

No development shall occur except pursuant to a building permit, when one is required. A building permit is generally required for the activities below. Other building activities may also require a permit.

a) The addition, repair, or replacement of load bearing structures.
b) An addition or change in the design of plumbing.
c) The addition, replacement, or change in the design of heating, air conditioning, or electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment.
d) The addition of roofing.
e) Commercial work of any value.
f) Work on single-family residential or farm buildings exceeding $5,000.
g) The following work, even if not in excess of $5,000: 

  • construction of deck, fireplace, pier, or storage building;
  • installation or replacement of insulation, wood stove, or hot water heater;
  • moving a building;
  • demolition of a building.

 

.4 Certificate of Occupancy
A certificate of occupancy must be issued prior to the occupation or use of any land, building, or structure, and prior to a change in the use of any land, building, or structure, except for land used for agricultural purposes.

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11.2 Enforcement

1. Administration and Enforcement Procedures
If an application for a Building Permit or Certificate of Occupancy is denied because of non-compliance with these regulations, the Zoning Administrator shall provide notification of the denial and of the reasons therefore.

2. Right of Appeal
If a request for a zoning compliance permit is disapproved or if a ruling of the Zoning Administrator is questioned, any aggrieved party may appeal such ruling to the Huntersville Board of Adjustment as provided in
Section 11.3. An appeal to the Board of Adjustment, lawfully and completely filed within 30 working days of the date of the decision, shall stay enforcement action and penalties until a hearing has been held and a decision rendered by the Board of Adjustment.

3. Penalties
In case any structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained in violation of this ordinance, an action for injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such violation may be instituted by the Zoning Administrator or other authority designated by the Board of Commissioners as enforcement agent(s) for this ordinance. Penalties and remedies are as follows:
  

(a) Criminal. Any person, firm or corporation convicted of violating the provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) and/or imprisoned for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. Each day of violation shall be considered a separate offense, provided that the violation of this ordinance is not corrected within thirty (30) days after notice of said violation is given.

(b) Equitable Remedy. The Zoning Administrator may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for any appropriate equitable remedy to enforce the provisions of this ordinance. It is not a defense to the Zoning Administrator’s application for equitable relief that there are other remedies provided under general law or this ordinance.

(c) Injunction. Enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance may also be achieved by injunction. When a violation occurs, the Zoning Administrator may, either before or after the institution of other authorized action, apply to the appropriate division of the General Court for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction commanding the defendant to correct the unlawful condition or cease the unlawful use of the property.

(d) Order of Abatement. In addition to an injunction, the Zoning Administrator may apply for and the court may enter into an order of abatement as part of the judgment in the case. An order of abatement may direct any of the following actions: 
 

Buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished, or removed;
Fixtures, furniture or other moveable property be moved or removed entirely;
Improvements, alterations, modifications or repairs be made; or
Any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this ordinance.

(e) Execution of Court Decisions. If the defendant fails or refuses to comply with an injunction or with an order of abatement within the time allowed by the court, he or she may be cited for contempt. The Zoning Administrator may execute the order of abatement and will have a lien on the property in the nature of a mechanic or materialman’s lien for the cost of executing the order. The defendant may secure cancellation of an order of abatement by paying all costs of the proceedings and by posting a bond for compliance with the order. The bond must be given with sureties approved by the Clerk of Superior Court in an amount approved by the judge before whom the matter was heard and shall be conditioned on the defendant’s full compliance with the terms of the order of abatement within the time fixed by the judge. Cancellation of an order of abatement does not suspend or cancel an injunction issued in conjunction with the order.

(f) Stop Work Order Issuance and Revocation of Permits. Whenever a building, structure or part thereof is being constructed, demolished, renovated, altered, or repaired in substantial violation of any applicable provision of this ordinance, the Zoning Administrator may order the specific part of the work that is in violation, or would be when the work is completed, to be immediately stopped. The stop work order shall be in writing, directed to the person doing the work, and shall state the specific work to be stopped, the specific reasons for cessation and the action(s) necessary to lawfully resume work.

The Zoning Administrator may revoke any permit (e.g., building, certificate of occupancy) by written notification to the permit holder when violations of this ordinance have occurred. Permits may be revoked when false statements or misrepresentations were made in securing the permit, work is being or has been done in substantial departure from the approved application or plan, there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of this ordinance, or a permit has been mistakenly issued in violation of this ordinance.

(g) Civil Penalty. In addition to the other remedies cited in this ordinance for the enforcement of its provisions, and pursuant to NC General Statute 160A-175, the regulations and standards of this ordinance may be enforced through the issuance of civil penalties by the Zoning Administrator.

Subsequent citations for the same violation may be issued by the Zoning Administrator if the offender does not pay the citation (except as otherwise provided in a warning situation) after it has been issued unless the offender has sought an appeal to the decision of the Zoning Administrator through the Board of Adjustment. Once the ten-day warning period has expired, each day which the violation continues shall subject the violator to additional citations to be issued by the Zoning Administrator.

The following penalties are hereby established:

 Warning Citation

 Correct Violation within 10 Days
First Citation
 $50.00
Second Citation for Same Offense
 $100.00
 Third and Subsequent Citations for Same Offense
 500.00


If the offender fails to pay the civil penalties within three (3) days after having been cited, the Town may recover the penalties in a civil action in the nature of debt.

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11.3 Appeals and Variances

.1 Board of Adjustment

a) Establishment.
The Board of Adjustment of the Town of Huntersville shall consist of seven regular members and three alternate members. The regular membership shall consist of six members who reside within the corporate limits, appointed by the Town Board, plus one extraterritorial member. The number of regular members appointed who reside in the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction shall at a minimum meet the requirements of N.C.G.S. 160A-362 for proportional representation, but shall in no instance be less than one. The alternate membership shall consist of at least two members who reside within the corporate limits, with the remaining alternate member residing in either the corporate limits or the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Huntersville.

b) Members From Within the Town Limits.
Each member and alternate shall be appointed by the Town Board for a term of three years. In appointing the original members or in the filling of vacancies caused by the expiration of the terms of existing members, the Town Board may appoint certain members for less than three years to the end that thereafter the terms of all members shall not expire at the same time. The expiration date for each term shall be the 30th day of June of the year in which said term is to expire and the term of office of the succeeding member shall begin on the 1st day of July. If the original members are appointed such that their terms of office begin prior to a July 1 date, such terms of original members shall be extended by the period of time between their appointment and June 30 of the year of their appointment, it being the intent of this proviso that original members shall serve terms of one, two, or three years plus a period of time between their initial appointments and June 30 of the year of their initial appointments. A retiring member shall be eligible for reappointment to succeed himself. For purposes of this section, original appointments refer to members and alternates appointed upon first establishment of the Board of Adjustment, and also to members and alternates appointed to newly created seats upon any expansion of the Board of Adjustment.

c) Extraterritorial Members.
In addition to the members and alternates herein above provided for, members of the Board of Adjustment shall be appointed from the area within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the Town of Huntersville, pursuant to the appointment process prescribed in N.C.G.S. 160A-362. Members so appointed shall have all of the obligations and duties of the other members of the Board of Adjustment, including rights to vote on all matters coming before the Board. Each extraterritorial member shall be appointed for a period of three years. Expiration dates for each term, initially and thereafter, shall be the 30th day of June of the year in which said term is to expire and the term of office of the succeeding member shall begin on the 1st day of July; provided further that if the original members are appointed such that their terms of office begin prior to a July 1 date, such terms of original members shall be extended by the period of time between their appointment and June 30 of the year of their appointment. Eligibility for reappointment shall be determined by the procedures and policies established by the appointing body.

d) Proceedings

1) Meetings. All meetings of the Board of Adjustment shall be held at a regular place and shall be open to the public. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or, if absent or failing to vote, an indication of such fact. Final disposition of appeals or variances shall be recorded in the minutes, indicating the reasons of the Board therefore, all of which shall become a part of the public record.

2) Quorum Required. No final action shall be taken on any matter unless a quorum is present. A quorum is the greater of the majority of the members of the Board or, for appeal and variance actions (which require the concurring vote of 4/5ths of the Board), 4/5ths of the membership.

e) Powers and Duties. The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers and duties:

1) Administrative Review. To hear and decide appeals according to the procedures of this section, where it is alleged there is an error in any order, decision, determination, or interpretation made by the Zoning Administrator or designated administrative officer in the enforcement of this ordinance.

2) Variances. To authorize upon appeal in specific cases variances from the terms of this ordinance according to the standards and procedures herein so that the spirit of the ordinance is observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. Appropriate conditions, which must be reasonably related to the condition of circumstance that gives rise to the need for a variance, may be imposed by the board.

3) Density Averaging Certificates. To hear and decide upon the approval of density averaging certificates for paired-parcel averaged-density development, acting as the Watershed Review Board, to ensure both parcels considered together meet the standards of the ordinance and that potential owners have notice of how the watershed regulations were applied to the parcel pair.

.2 Appeals and Variances

a) Petition to Board of Adjustment for Appeal or Variance.
1) An appeal may be initiated by any aggrieved party or by any officer or the Board of the Town of Huntersville.

2) A petition for variance may be initiated only by the owner of the affected property, an agent authorized in writing to act on the owner’s behalf, or a person having a written contractual interest in the affected property.
b) Appeals. The Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide appeals decisions of administrative officials charged with enforcement of the zoning or unified development ordinance and may hear appeals 3 arising out of any other ordinance that regulates land use or development, pursuant to all of the following:

1) Any person who has standing under G.S. 160A-393(d), or the Town may appeal a decision to the Board of Adjustment. An appeal is taken by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Town Clerk. The Notice of Appeal shall state the grounds for the appeal.

2) The official who made the decision shall give written notice to the owner of the property that is the subject of the decision and to the party who sought the decision, if different from the owner. The written notice shall be delivered by personal delivery, electronic mail, or by first-class mail.

3) The owner or other party shall have 30 days from receipt of the written notice within which to file an appeal. Any other person with standing to appeal shall have 30 days from receipt from any source of actual or constructive notice of the decision within which to file an appeal.

4) It shall be conclusively presumed that all persons with standing to appeal have constructive notice of the decision from the date a sign containing the words "Zoning Decision" or "Subdivision Decision" in letters at least six inches high and identifying the means to contact an official for information about the decision is prominently posted on the property that is the subject of the decision, provided the sign remains on the property for at least 10 days. Posting of signs is not the only form of constructive notice. Any such posting shall be the responsibility of the landowner or applicant. Verification of the posting shall be provided to the official who made the decision.

5) The official who made the decision shall transmit to the Board all documents and exhibits constituting the record upon which the action appealed from is taken. The official shall also provide a copy of the record to the appellant and to the owner of the property that is the subject of the appeal if the appellant is not the owner.

6) An appeal of a notice of violation or other enforcement order stays enforcement of the action appealed from unless the official who made the decision certifies to the Board of Adjustment after notice of appeal has been filed that because of the facts stated in an affidavit, a stay would cause imminent peril to life or property or because the violation is transitory in nature, a stay would seriously interfere with enforcement of the ordinance. In that case, enforcement proceedings shall not be stayed except by a restraining order, which may be granted by a court.  If enforcement proceedings are not stayed, the appellant may file with the official a request for an expedited hearing of the appeal, and the Board of Adjustment shall meet to hear the appeal within 15 days after such a request is filed. Notwithstanding the foregoing, appeals of decisions granting a permit or otherwise affirming that a proposed use of property is consistent with the ordinance shall not stay the further review of an application for permits or permissions to use such property; in these situations the appellant may request and the Board may grant a stay of a final decision of permit applications or building permits affected by the issue being appealed.

7) Subject to the provisions of subdivision (6) of this subsection, the Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide the appeal within a reasonable time.

8) The official who made the decision shall be present at the hearing as a witness. The appellant shall not be limited at the hearing to matters stated in the notice of appeal. If any party or the Town would be unduly prejudiced by the presentation of matters not presented in the notice of appeal, the Board shall continue the hearing. The Board of Adjustment may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the decision appealed from and shall make any order, requirement, decision, or determination that ought to be made. The Board shall have all the powers of the official who made the decision.

9) When hearing an appeal pursuant to G.S. 160A-400.9(e) or any other appeal in the nature of certiorari, the hearing shall be based on the record below and the scope of review shall be as provided in G.S. 160A-393(k). 

c) Standards for Granting an Appeal..

1)  The Board of Adjustment shall reverse or modify the order, decision, determination, or interpretation under appeal only upon finding an error in the application of these regulations on the part of the officer rendering the order, decision, determination, or interpretation.
2)  In modifying the order, decision, determination, or interpretation, the Board of Adjustment shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken.

 

d) Filing a Variance Petition.
A petition for variance, in the form prescribed by the Board of Adjustment, shall be filed with the Town Planning Director or designated administrator, accompanied by a non-refundable filing fee as established by the Town Board and a list of adjoining properties including tax parcel numbers and the name and address of each owner.

e) Standards for Granting a Variance.  When unnecessary hardships would result from carrying out the strict letter of a zoning ordinance, the Board of Adjustment shall vary any of the provisions of the ordinance upon a showing of all the following:
1) Unnecessary hardship would result from the strict application of the ordinance.  It shall not be necessary to demonstrate that, in the absence of the variance, no reasonable use can be made of the property.
2) The hardship results from conditions that are peculiar to the property, such as location, size, or topography.  Hardships resulting from personal circumstances, as well as hardships resulting from conditions that are common to the neighborhood or the general public, may not be the basis for granting a variance.
3) The hardship did not result from actions taken by the applicant or the property owner.  The act of purchasing property with knowledge that circumstances exist that may justify the granting of a variance shall not be regarded as a self-created hardship.
4) The requested variance is consistent with the spirit, purpose, and intent of the ordinance, such that public safety is secured, and substantial justice is achieved.
f) No change in permitted uses may be authorized by variance.  Appropriate conditions may be imposed on any variance, provided that the conditions are reasonably related to the variance.  Any other ordinance that regulates land use or development may provide for variances consistent with the provisions of this section.
g) Notice and Hearing.
1) The Board of Adjustment shall, in accordance with rules adopted by it for such purpose, hold public hearings on any appeal or variance petition which comes before it.

2) Notice of Hearing. - Notice of Hearings conducted pursuant to this section shall be mailed to the person or entity whose appeal, application, or request is the subject of the hearing; to the owner of the property that is the subject of the hearing is the owner did not initiate the hearing; to the owners of all parcels of land abutting the parcel of land that is the subject of the hearing; and to any other persons entitles to receive notice as provided by the zoning or unified development ordinance.  In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Town may rely on the County tax listing to determine owners of property entitled to mailed notice.  The notice must be deposited in the mail at least 10 days, but no more than 25 days, prior to the date of the hearing.  Within that same time period, the Town shall also prominently post a Notice of the hearing on the site that is the subject of the hearing or on an adjacent street or highway right-of-way.
h) Action by the Board of Adjustment.
1) The concurring vote of four fifths (4/5ths) of the board shall be necessary to grant a variance. A majority of the members shall be required to decide any other quasi-judicial matter or to determine an appeal made in the nature of certiorari.  For purposes of this subsection, vacant positions on the board and members who are disqualified from voting on a quasi-judicial matter shall not be considered member of the Board for calculation of the requisite majority if there are no qualified alternates available to take the place of such members.

2) A member of the Board shall not participate in or vote on any quasi-judicial matter in a manner that would violate affected persons' constitutional rights to an impartial decision maker. Impermissible violations of due process include, but are not limited to, a member having a fixed opinion prior to hearing the matter that is not susceptible to change, undisclosed ex parte communications, a close familial, business, or other associational relationship with an affected person or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter. If an objection is raised to a member's participation and that member does not recuse himself or herself, the remaining members shall by majority vote rule on the objection.
3) Quasi-Judicial Decisions.  The Board shall determine contested facts and make its decision within a reasonable time.  Every quasi-judicial decision shall be based upon competent, material, and substantial evidence in the record.  Each quasi-judicial decision shall be reduced to writing and reflect the Board's determination of contested facts and their application to the applicable standards.  The written decision shall be signed by the Chair, or other duly authorized member of the Board.  A quasi-judicial decision is effective upon filing the written decision with the Clerk to the Board, or such office or official as the ordinance specified.  The decision of the Board shall be delivered by personal delivery, electronic mail, or by first-class mail to the applicant, property owner, and to any person who has submitted a written request for a copy, prior to the date of decision becomes effective.  The person required to provide notice shall certify that proper notice has been made.  
4) Oaths.  The Chair of the Board or any member acting as Chair and the Clerk to the Board are authorized to administer oaths to witnesses in any matter coming before the Board.  Any person who, while under oath during a proceeding before the Board of Adjustment, willfully swears falsely is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
5) Subpoenas.  The Board of Adjustment through the Chair, or in the Chair's absence anyone acting as Chair, may subpoena witnesses and compel the production of evidence.  To request issuance of a subpoena, persons with standing under G.S. 160A-393(d) may make a written request to the chair explaining why it is necessary for certain witnesses or evidence to be compelled.  The chair shall issue requested subpoenas he or she determines to be relevant, reasonable in nature and scope, and not oppressive.  The chair shall rule on any motion to quash or modify a subpoena.  Decisions regarding subpoenas made by the chair may be appealed to the full Board of Adjustment or the party seeking the subpoena may apply to the General Court of Justice for an order requiring that its subpoena be obeyed, and the court shall have jurisdiction to issue these orders after notice to all proper parties.

i) Effect of Grant of Variance or Reversal or Modification of Administrative Decision.
After the Board of Adjustment approves a variance, or reverses or modifies an order, decision, determination, or interpretation of an administrative officer, the appellant or petitioner shall be responsible for a building permit and/or certificate of occupancy, as applicable, in order to proceed with the development of the subject property. All orders, decisions, determinations, and interpretations made by administrative officers under those procedures shall be consistent with the variance, reversal, or modification granted to the appellant or petitioner by the Board of Adjustment.

j) Rehearing.
The Board of Adjustment shall refuse to hear an appeal or variance petition which has been previously denied unless it finds that there have been substantial changes in the conditions or circumstances relating to the matter.

k) Appeal from Board of Adjustment.
Every quasi-judicial decision shall be subject to review by the superior court by proceedings in the nature of certiorari pursuant to G.S. 160A-393.  A petition for review shall be filed with the Clerk of Superior Court by the later of 30 days after the decision is effective or after a written copy thereof is given in accordance with subsection 11.3.2(h)(3).  When first-class mail is used to deliver notice, three days shall be added to the time to file the petition.

.3 Standards for Granting an Administrative Waiver

a) Purpose and Intent
The Zoning Administrator (which term shall include an administrative officer designated by the Town Manager to perform these functions) is authorized to grant an administrative waiver of minor deviations from measurable and quantifiable standards of this ordinance subject to the following limitations:
1) the standard for which the waiver can be granted must be a quantifiable and/or measurable standard set forth in the ordinance. Such standards may include, but are not necessarily limited to, height requirements and limitation, yard requirements, parking requirements, screening or buffer requirements, planting requirements, ratio requirements, density requirements, spacing requirements, signage requirements and other similar measurable and quantifiable standards.

2) The Zoning Administrator shall grant such waiver only after the requesting party has demonstrated that such minor deviation was a result of an unintended error or unique conditions of the property, does not and will not violated the spirit and harmony of the ordinance, and does not and will not adversely affect the rights of other property owners in any material manner.

3) The minor administrative waiver may not deviate by more than three percent (3%) any of the standards for which the waiver is given.
b) Construction. The authority given to the Zoning Administrator to grant such waivers shall be construed to be permissive and not mandatory and the Zoning Administrator may decline to make such waiver, and instead, require that the applicant seek a variance from the Board of Adjustment. The Zoning Administrator may not grant any waiver affecting the use or zoning classification; however, this shall not be construed as limiting the zoning Administrator’s duties and rights under the ordinance, and whose decisions are appealable to the Board of Adjustment.

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11.4 Amendment Process

.1 Purpose and Authority

a) The purpose of this article is to provide a means for amending the text of these regulations and the classification of any parcel of land identified on the Official Zoning Map. The purpose is not to relieve particular hardships, nor to confer special privileges or rights on any person, but only to make adjustments necessary in response to changed conditions or changes in public policy.

b) Upon compliance with the provisions of this article, the Town Board shall have the authority to amend or repeal the text of these regulations or the classification of any parcel of land indicated on the Official Zoning Map.

.2 Planning Board 

a) Establishment. 
The Planning Board of the Town of Huntersville shall consist of nine (9) members of whom at least seven (7) members shall reside within the corporate limits, appointed by the Town Board, and extraterritorial members determined as follows: the number of members appointed who reside in the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction shall at a minimum meet the requirements of N.C.G.S. 160A-362 for proportional representation, but shall in no instance be less than one (1).


b) Membership.

1) Members From Within the Town Limits.
Each member shall be appointed by the Town Board for a term of three years. In appointing the original members or in the filling of vacancies caused by the expiration of the terms of existing members, the Town Board may appoint certain members for less than three years to the end that thereafter the terms of all members shall not expire at the same time. The expiration date for each term shall be the 30th day of June of the year in which said term is to expire and the term of office of the succeeding member shall begin on the 1st day of July. If the original members are appointed such that their terms of office begin prior to a July 1 date, such terms of original members shall be extended by the period of time between their appointment and June 30 of the year of their appointment, it being the intent of this proviso that original members shall serve terms of one, two, or three years plus a period of time between their initial appointments and June 30 of the year of their initial appointments. A retiring member shall be eligible for reappointment to succeed himself. For purposes of this section, original appointments refer to members appointed upon first establishment of the Planning Board, and also to members appointed to newly created seats upon any expansion of the Planning Board.

2) Extraterritorial Members.
In addition to the members hereinabove provided for, members of the Planning Board shall be appointed from the area within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the Town of Huntersville, pursuant to the appointment process prescribed in N.C.G.S. 160A-362. Members so appointed shall have all of the obligations and duties of the other members of the Planning Board, including rights to vote on all matters coming before the Board. Each extraterritorial member shall be appointed for a period of three years. Expiration dates for each term, initially and thereafter, shall be the 30th day of June of the year in which said term is to expire and the term of office of the succeeding member shall begin on the 1st day of July; provided further that if the original members are appointed such that their terms of office begin prior to a July 1 date, such terms of original members shall be extended by the period of time between their appointment and June 30 of the year of their appointment. Eligibility for reappointment shall be determined by the procedures and policies established by the appointing body.

3) Meetings.
Meetings shall be held on a monthly basis unless otherwise determined by the Board. The Chairman of the Board, or in his absence the vice chairman, may call a special meeting of the Board at any time by giving each member 24 hours notice. Special meetings shall also be scheduled upon request by a simple majority of board members. A quorum of the Board shall consist of a simple majority of the appointed members, and a quorum shall be in attendance before any action of an official nature can be taken.

4) Powers and Duties.

(a) The Planning Board shall serve as the advisory board on all requests for changes in the zoning laws and ordinances of the Town of Huntersville. As such, and pursuant to any authorities set forth in the zoning ordinance, the Planning Board shall hear all requests for zoning changes or other zoning action and shall, upon such hearings, make a recommendation to the Town Board as to any requested changes or action regarding this ordinance. Hearings on zoning petitions may, by joint decision of the Town Board and the Planning Board, be held at joint meetings, or may be held separately. The Planning Board is hereby empowered to set procedures for the filing of zoning petitions so long as said procedures do not conflict with or are not in derogation of the then existing laws and ordinances of the Town of Huntersville.

(b) The Planning Board shall review and make recommendations on applications for approval of subdivisions pursuant to the Subdivision Ordinance of the Town of Huntersville, and shall make such recommendations as may be permitted by said subdivision ordinance and as the Planning Board deems to be in the best interest of the town.

(c) The Planning Board is empowered to make recommendations to the Town Board or other governmental agencies consistent with the Planning Board's charged obligation to provide for proper planning for the future growth of the Town of Huntersville and its environs.

.3 Initiation

a) Any amendment to the zoning text or map, except for the classification of property to a conditional zoning district or MH Overlay, may be initiated

1) by the Town Board or the Planning Board on its own resolution;

2) by the property owner(s), upon filing an official petition, submitting the fee established by the Town Board, and providing a list of adjoining properties including tax parcel numbers and the name and address of each owner, provided in digital form if possible;

3) by someone other than the property owner following:

(a) filing of an official petition and submission of the established fee by the initiating party; and in addition, for a map amendment, providing a list of adjoining properties including tax parcel numbers and the name and address of each owner, or, for a text amendment, submitting the prepared text and rationale for seeking the amendment;

(b) preliminary evaluation by the Planning Board to evaluate consistency of the proposal with the objectives and policies of plans adopted by the Town of Huntersville; and

(c) determination by the Town Board whether the petition should be granted a public hearing or rejected.
 

b) An amendment for the reclassification of property to a conditional zoning district or a MH Overlay district, may be initiated only by the owners of all of the property to be included in the district and shall be accompanied by an official petition, the established fee, and documentation as required by paragraph 1) below and as may be required by paragraph 2), below.

1) A petition requesting the reclassification of property to a conditional zoning district or overlay district must be accompanied by a site plan, drawn to scale, and any necessary supporting text, which shall include all data specified in paragraphs (a) through (n) below that are applicable to the project. Where the type of use or scale of proposal makes providing any of the following items unnecessary or impractical, the Planning Director may waive individual items.

(a) A boundary survey and vicinity map showing the property's total acreage, zoning classification(s), general location in relation to major streets, railroads, and/or waterways, date, and north arrow;

(b) Existing topography on the site and within 300 feet of the boundary of the site; and the general nature of the proposed topography at four foot contour intervals or less;

(c) All existing easements, reservations, rights-of-way, and any other restrictions on the use of the land;

(d) Number and general location of proposed structures;

(e) Proposed use of all land and structures, including the number of residential units or the total square footage of any nonresidential development;

(f) All yards, buffers, screening, and landscaping required by these regulations;

(g) Any screening, buffers, and landscaping proposed over and above that required by these regulations, as well as proposed treatment of any existing natural features;

(h) All existing and proposed points of access to public streets; the location of proposed new streets;

(i) Delineation of areas within the regulatory floodplain as shown on the Official Floodway Maps for Mecklenburg County;

(j) Proposed number and location of signs;

(k) Proposed phasing, if any, and approximate completion time for the project;

(l) The location of existing and proposed storm drainage patterns and facilities intended to serve the development;

(m) Traffic, parking, and circulation plans, showing the proposed location and arrangement of parking spaces and ingress and egress to adjacent streets, existing and proposed;

(n) A listing of adjoining properties including tax parcel numbers and the name and address of each owner, provided in digital form if possible.

2) In the course of evaluating the proposed use, the Planning Director, Planning Board or Town Board of Commissioners may request additional information from the petitioner. Information requested may include the following: 

(a) The location of significant trees on the petitioned property;

(b) Scale of buildings relative to adjoining properties, including sight lines;

(c) Height of structures;

(d) Exterior features of proposed development;

(e) Any other information needed to demonstrate compliance with these regulations.

3) The site plan, building elevations, perspectives, sections, and any supporting text shall constitute part of the petition for all purposes under these regulations.
c) The Planning Department shall determine the number of copies of each petition and other required documentation to be submitted by the petitioner so that copies may be circulated to all appropriate agencies for review and comment. A statement analyzing the reasonableness of the proposed rezoning shall be prepared for each petition for a rezoning to a special or conditional use district, or a conditional district, or other small-scale rezoning.

d) Before a public hearing may be held on a petition for a conditional zoning, the petitioner must file in the Office of the Town Clerk a written report of at least one community meeting held by the petitioner. Notice of such a meeting shall be given to all of the following, using the parcel ownership information listed in the current Mecklenburg County tax record

1) Owner of each property petitioned for rezoning

2) Owner of each abutting property

3) Owner of each property within 250 feet of the petitioned property

4) Owner of each property directly across a street, easement, or right-of-way, public or private, from the petitioned property

5) Owner of each property across a street, easement, or right-of-way, and within 250 feet of the right-of-way boundary opposite the petitioned property

6) Contact person for each neighborhood association, property owner association, and homeowner association registered with the Town Planning Department that has jurisdiction over property within 2000 feet of any portion of the rezoning site (distance scaled on a Town of Huntersville or Mecklenburg County official map). If fewer that two registered associations are identified within 2000 feet of the rezoning site, it is the responsibility of the petitioner to identify and include unregistered associations or associations beyond 2000 feet of the site, such that no fewer that two neighborhood, property owner, or homeowner associations are notified of the community meeting.

7) The report shall include, among other things, a listing of those persons and organizations contacted about the meeting and the manner and date of contact, the date, time, and location of the meeting, a roster of the persons in attendance at the meeting, a copy of any materials presented at the meeting, a summary of issues discussed at the meeting, including changes suggested by the participants and a description of any changes to the rezoning petition made by the petitioner as a result of the meeting. In the event the petitioner has not held at least one meeting pursuant to this paragraph, the petitioner shall file a report documenting efforts that were made to arrange such a meeting and stating the reasons such a meeting was not held. The adequacy of a meeting held or report filed pursuant to this paragraph shall be considered by the Town Board but shall not be subject to judicial review.

.4 Withdrawal or Amendment of Petition

a) A petition filed according to this section may be withdrawn by the petitioner at any time up to adoption of a resolution by the Town Board scheduling the date of the public hearing on the petition.

b) If the petitioner wishes to withdraw the petition after adoption of a resolution scheduling the public hearing, the petitioner may file a request to withdraw with the Town Clerk. On the date scheduled for the hearing, the Town Board may approve the request for withdrawal if it finds that there are substantial circumstances favoring the withdrawal and that the withdrawal will not be detrimental to the interests of citizens affected by the petition.

c) Once the petition has been filed, the petitioner shall not be allowed to amend it except by request to the Planning Director no later than three weeks prior to the scheduled public hearing date. No changes to the petition shall be accepted in the intervening weeks prior to the public hearing. No changes to the petition shall be made at the hearing, although potential changes proposed by the petitioner, Planning Board, Town Board, and other interested parties may be presented at the hearing and considered by the Planning Board and Town Board during their deliberations.

d) If the Town Board deems any amendment to be a substantial change to the petition, it shall defer action on the petition for 30 days to allow interested parties the opportunity to comment on the amendment to the petition.

e) If the Town Board deems any amendment to be an intensification of the petition, it shall call a new public hearing as required by North Carolina General Statutes.

.5 Citizen Comments

If any resident or property owner in the Town submits a written statement regarding a proposed amendment, modification, or repeal to a zoning ordinance to the Town Clerk at least two business days prior to the proposed vote on such change, the Town Clerk shall deliver such written statement to the Town Board of Commissioners. If the proposed change is the subject of a quasi-judicial proceeding under G.S. 160A-388, the Town Clerk shall provide only the names and addresses of the individuals providing written comment, and the provision of such names and addresses to all members of the board shall not disqualify any member of the board from voting.

.6 Hearing

a) Notice of public hearings required under these regulations shall be in accordance with the North Carolina General Statutes.

b) Conduct of Public Hearing.

1) No amendment shall be adopted until after the Town Board and Planning Board have held a public hearing on the proposed amendment.

2) The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with rules and procedures established by the Mayor and Town Board.

3) When presenting a petition for the reclassification of property to a general district, the petitioner shall refrain from using any graphic materials or descriptions of the proposed use or development site design, except for those which would apply to any use or development site design permitted in the requested district.

.7 Recommendation and Decision

a) The Town Board may not vote to rezone property to a conditional zoning district during the time period beginning on the date of a municipal general election and concluding on the date immediately following the date on which the Town Board holds its organizational meeting following a municipal general election unless no person spoke against the rezoning at the public hearing.

b) No proposed amendment shall be approved unless it is first submitted to the Planning Board for a recommendation. The Planning Board may defer action on a request two times for one of the following reasons: the public hearing remains open; ordinance required information is not completed; the petitioner agrees and/or requests a deferral. If the Planning Board does not make a written recommendation to approve, approve with conditions, deny, or recommend Town Board defer a decision on the proposed amendment at their initial meeting, or in the case of deferral, their next regularly scheduled meeting, then the Planning Board shall be considered to have recommended deferral for additional deliberation. The petition, along with the recommendation of the Planning Board, shall be placed on the agenda of the Town Board at its next regular zoning meeting.

In making its written recommendation, the Planning Board shall advise and comment on whether the proposed amendment is consistent with the adopted Huntersville Community Plan and other adopted long range plans that are applicable. The planning board shall provide a written recommendation to the Town Board that addresses plan consistency and other matters as deemed appropriate by the planning board, but a comment by the planning board that a proposed amendment is inconsistent with adopted plans shall not preclude consideration or approval of the proposed amendment by the Town Board.

c) The Town Board, after receiving the recommendation of the Planning Board, shall within a reasonable time either reject the proposed amendment or approve the proposed amendment, with or without modifications. Property petitioned to be rezoned to a conditional zoning district may only be rezoned in response to and consistent with the petition of the owners of all of the property to be included in the district; therefore modifications to such petitions must be found to be consistent with the petition of all owners of property within the petitioned area prior to the Board’s decision. When adopting or rejecting any zoning amendment, the Town Board shall adopt a statement describing whether its action is consistent with adopted Huntersville Community Plan and other adopted long range plans that are applicable and explaining why the board considers the action taken to be reasonable and in the public interest. That statement is not subject to judicial review.

d) In considering any petition to reclassify property , the Planning Board in its recommendation and the Town Board in its decision shall take into consideration any identified relevant adopted land-use plans for the area including, but not limited to, comprehensive plans, strategic plans, district plans, area plans, neighborhood plans, corridor plans, and other land-use policy documents.

e) In considering any petition to reclassify property the Planning Board in its recommendation and the Town Board in its decision should consider:

1) Whether the proposed reclassification is consistent with the overall character of existing development in the immediate vicinity of the subject property;

2) The adequacy of public facilities and services intended to serve the subject property, including but not limited to roadways, transit service, parks and recreational facilities, police and fire protection, hospitals and medical services, schools, storm water drainage systems, water supplies, and wastewater and refuse disposal; and

3) Whether the proposed reclassification will adversely affect a known archaeological, environmental, historical, or cultural resource.

f) When considering a petition to reclassify property to a general district, the Planning Board and the Town Board shall not evaluate the petition based on any specific proposal for the use of the property or design of the site.

g) In approving an amendment to reclassify property to a general district, or with the consent of the petitioner in the reclassification to a conditional zoning district, or MH Overlay district, the Town Board may change the existing classification of the property, or any part of the property covered by the petition, to the classification requested or to a classification or classifications between the existing and requested classifications, or to any higher classification in the hierarchy of zoning districts established in Section 3.1.1
of these regulations.

h) In approving a petition to reclassify property to a conditional zoning district, specific conditions applicable to the conditional district may be proposed by the petitioner or the town or its agencies, but only those conditions mutually approved by the town and the petitioner may be incorporated into the zoning regulations or permit requirements. Conditions and site-specific standards imposed in a conditional district shall be limited to those that address the conformance of the development and use of the site to town ordinances, the officially adopted Huntersville Community Plan, other applicable adopted long range plans and those that address the impacts reasonably expected to be generated by the development or use of the site.

i) The Town Board may modify any proposed text amendment upon adoption of an ordinance enacting the amendment, without the withdrawal or modification of the petition or further public hearings.

j) An approved conditional zoning district petition and all conditions which may be attached to the approval are binding on the property. All subsequent development and use of the property must be in conformance with the conditional zoning district petition and all plans, specifications, and conditions established.

k) In approving a conditional zoning district, the Town Board may modify standards established in the zoning or subdivision ordinance provided the spirit of the regulations are maintained.

l) A conditional zoning district petition may be considered simultaneously with a subdivision sketch plan provided all submission and procedural requirements have been met.

m) A Town Board member shall not vote on any zoning map or text amendment where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on the member. Members of appointed boards providing advice to the Town Board shall not vote on recommendations regarding any zoning map or text amendment where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on the member.

.8 Effect of Denial of Petition

a) A petition for the reclassification of property that has been denied in whole or in part, or approved to a classification other than the one originally requested, shall not be re-submitted within one year of the date of the Town Board's action on the original petition, unless a petitioner applies for a district which is "lower" in the Hierarchy of Zoning Districts in Section 3.1.1.

b) The Town Board may allow re-submission of a petition within the one-year restricted period if it determines that, since the date of action on the prior petition, one of the following criteria has been met:

1) There has been a similar change in the zoning district classification of an adjacent property; or

2) The Town Board has adopted a new or amended plan for the area that changes public policy regarding how the property affected by the amendment should be developed; or

3) Construction or expansion of a road, water line, sewer line, or other infrastructure has occurred or is to occur in such a time frame as to serve the property and comfortably accommodate the intensity of development allowed under the proposed classification; or

4) There has been a substantial change in conditions or circumstances, outside the control of the petitioner, which justifies waiver of the one-year restriction on a new petition; this shall not include a change in the ownership of the subject property nor, in the case of a petition for reclassification to a conditional or parallel conditional zoning district, or MH Overlay district, a change in the scale or features of the development proposed in the prior petition.

c) Any petition allowed by the Town Board under subsection (2) above must be reviewed and approved in accordance with the procedures and standards of Section 11.4, Amendment Process, of these regulations.

.9 When Development Not Begun Within 3 Years
It is intended that property shall be reclassified to a conditional zoning district or a MH Overlay district only in light of firm development plans for the property. Therefore, three years after the date of approval of any petition for a conditional zoning district, or MH Overlay district, the Planning Board shall examine the progress made toward developing the property in accordance with the approved petition and any conditions attached thereto. If the Planning Board determines that construction has not commenced in furtherance of the approved petition and conditions, the Planning Board may, at its discretion, initiate a rezoning to the general zoning district consistent with the most detailed plan adopted for the area which includes the property, according to the procedures of Section 11.4, Amendment Process.

.10 Special Use Permit

a) Purpose. This section provides the standards and procedures for locating uses that may be compatible with the purpose and intent of a given zoning district, but nonetheless have the potential for substantial impacts on the surrounding area, including uses permitted in the same zoning district. In order to ensure that these uses would be compatible with surrounding development, consistent with the most detailed plan for the area, and in keeping with the purposes of the district in which they are proposed to be placed, they are not allowed to be established as a matter of right. They may be established only after a review of the specific proposal and approval of a special use permit.

b) Application. A request for a special use permit will be considered only if requested by the owner of the property in question or an authorized agent of the property owner. Applications for all special use permits or amendments to any approved special use permit must be filed in the office of the Planning Department, accompanied by a fee established by the Town Board, and must include documentation as required by paragraph 1), below and as may be required by paragraph 2), below.
1) A petition requesting a special use permit must be accompanied by a site plan, drawn to scale, and any necessary supporting text, which shall include all data specified in paragraphs (a) through (m) below that are applicable to the project. Where the type of use or scale of proposal makes providing any of the following items unnecessary or impractical, the Planning Director may waive individual items.
(a) A boundary survey and vicinity map showing the property's total acreage, zoning classification(s), general location in relation to major streets, railroads, and/or waterways, date, and north arrow;

(b) Existing topography and the general nature of the proposed topography at four foot contour intervals or less;

(c) All existing easements, reservations, rights-of-way, and any other restrictions on the use of the land;

(d) Number and general location of proposed structures;

(e) Proposed use of all land and structures, including the number of residential units or the total square footage of any nonresidential development;

(f) All yards, buffers, screening, and landscaping required by these regulations;

(g) Any proposed screening, buffers, and landscaping over and above that required by these regulations, as well as proposed treatment of any existing natural features;

(h) All existing and proposed points of access to public streets; the location of proposed new streets;

(i) Delineation of areas within the regulatory flood plain as shown on the Official Floodway Maps for Mecklenburg County;

(j) Proposed number and location of signs;

(k) Proposed phasing, if any, and approximate completion time for the project;

(l) The location of existing and proposed storm drainage patterns and facilities intended to serve the proposed development, for evaluation by the Town Engineer or their designee;

(m) Traffic, parking, and circulation plans, showing the proposed location and arrangement of parking spaces and ingress and egress to adjacent streets, existing and proposed;

(n) A listing of adjoining properties including tax parcel numbers and the name and address of each owner, provided in digital form if possible.
2) In the course of evaluating the proposed use, the Planning Director, Planning Board or Town Board of Commissioners may request additional information from the petitioner. Such requests shall stay consideration of the special use permit by the Planning Board or Town Board. Information requested may include the following:
(a) The location of significant trees on the petitioned property;

(b) Scale of buildings relative to adjoining properties, including sight lines;

(c) Height of structures;

(d) Exterior features of proposed development;

(e) Any other information needed to demonstrate compliance with these regulations.
3) The site plan, building elevations, perspectives, sections, and any supporting text shall constitute part of the special use permit application for all purposes under these regulations.
c) The Planning Department shall determine the number of copies of each petition and accompanying documentation to be submitted by the petitioner so that copies may be circulated to all appropriate agencies for review and comment.
d) Withdrawal or Amendment of Special Use Permit Application. An application for a Special Use Permit may be withdrawn or amended in the same manner as a proposed amendment to the zoning map, following the procedures of Section 11.4.4.
e) Hearing.
1) A Special Use Permit hearing will be conducted as a quasi-judicial hearing before the Town Board.

2) The applicant has the burden of producing competent, material, and substantial evidence establishing that:
  • The proposed special use will comply with all of the lot, size, yard, and other standards which this ordinance applies to all uses permitted in the zoning district in which the property is located; and
  • The proposed special use will comply with all general and specific standards required by the appropriate section of this ordinance for the issuance of a special use permit for this use.
f) Recommendation and Decision.
1) In considering an application for a special use permit, the Planning Board in an advisory capacity and the Town Board, in a decision making capacity, shall consider, evaluate and may attach reasonable and appropriate conditions and safeguards to the location, nature, and extent of the proposed use and its relation to surrounding property, for the purpose of ensuring that the conditions of permit approval will be complied with and any potentially injurious effect of the special use on adjoining properties, the character of the neighborhood, or the health, safety, and general welfare of the community will be minimized.

2) Any such conditions may relate to parking areas and driveways, pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, screening and buffer areas, intensity of site development, the timing of development, and other matters the Town Board may find appropriate or the applicant may propose. The applicant will have a reasonable opportunity to consider and respond to any additional conditions or requirements prior to final action by the Town Board.
g) Effect of Approval. An approved application for a special use permit and all conditions which may be attached to the approval are binding on the property. All subsequent development and use of the property must be in conformance with the special use permit and all plans, specifications, and conditions unless terminated by procedures established below.

h) Effect of Denial.
1) If an application for a special use permit is denied by the Town Board, a reapplication for that special use on that property may not be instituted within one year of the date of denial.

2) The Town Board may allow re-submission of the application within the one-year restricted period if it determines that, since the date of action on the prior application, one of the following criteria has been met:
  • The Town Board has adopted a new or amended plan for the area that changes public policy regarding how the subject property and/or the general area affected by the special use permit should be developed; or
  • Construction or expansion of a road, water line, sewer line, or other infrastructure has occurred or is to occur in such a time frame as to serve the property and comfortably accommodate the type and intensity of development which would be allowed under the proposed special use permit; or
  • There has been a substantial change in conditions or circumstances, outside the control of the petitioner, which justifies waiver of the one-year restriction on resubmission of a special use permit application for the property; this shall not include a change in the ownership of the subject property nor a change in the scale or features of the development proposed in the prior application.
i) Amendment to an Approved Special Use Permit.
1) The owner of property which is subject to an approved special use permit may petition for an amendment of the special use permit and accompanying conditions by following the procedures applicable to initiation of new special use permits.

2) Evidence presented at the hearing on the proposed amendment will be limited to the effect of the proposal on the original special use permit, any plans or conditions which were a part of the original special use permit, and the present standards and requirements in this zoning ordinance.
j) Appeals. Any petition for review by the superior court shall be filed with the clerk of superior court within 30 days after a written copy of the decision of the Town Board is filed in the office of the Planning Department or is delivered to every aggrieved party who has filed a written request for such copy with the clerk at the time of the hearing of the case, whichever is later.

k) Recognition of Previously Approved Conditional Use Permits. Conditional Use Permits which have been previously granted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville and Special Use Permits previously granted by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners will be recognized for building permit and other administrative purposes for three years after the effective date of this ordinance. If after three years construction of the development has not begun or there is no valid building permit in effect for the property, the conditional or special use permit will be considered null and void. If a use approved as a conditional use or special use becomes non-conforming and discontinues operation for six consecutive months, or is displaced by structural damage as described in Section 11.5.2, the use may not be resumed nor a building permit issued without approval of the appropriate zoning classification and special use permit required under the provisions of this ordinance.

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11.5 Nonconformities

.1 Purpose and Applicability
The purpose of this article is to regulate and limit the continued existence of uses and structures that were established prior to the effective date of these regulations and that do not conform to these regulations. Any nonconformity created by a change in the text of these regulations or by the reclassification of property shall be regulated by the provisions of this chapter. The "effective date" referenced below shall be the date the text of these regulations or the Zoning Map is amended to render a particular use, structure, or lot nonconforming. Many nonconformities may continue, but the provisions of this chapter are designed to curtail substantial investment in nonconformities, and to bring about their eventual improvement or elimination.

.2 Nonconforming Uses

a) Nonconforming uses of land or structures, and nonconforming structures that contain nonconforming uses, may continue only in accordance with the provisions of this section.

b) Normal repair and maintenance may be performed to allow the continuation of a nonconforming use; this shall include the replacement of a manufactured home with another manufactured home of same or greater width.

c) A nonconforming use shall not be expanded, nor shall a nonconforming use be enlarged by additions to the structure in which the nonconforming use is located or through the occupation of additional lands.

d) Not withstanding c) above, any structure, other than a manufactured home, used for single-family residential purposes may be enlarged or replaced with a similar structure so long as the enlargement or replacement does not create new nonconformities or increase the extent of existing nonconformities with respect to such matters as setback and parking requirements. Construction of accessory structures shall also be permitted for nonconforming single-family uses.

e) A nonconforming use may be extended throughout any portion of a completed building that, when the use was made nonconforming by this Ordinance, was manifestly designed or arranged to accommodate such use. For example, a nonconforming use can utilize a storage area for office space. However, a nonconforming use may not be extended to additional buildings.

f) A structure in which a nonconforming use is located shall not be moved unless the use thereafter shall conform to the standards of the zoning district(s) to which it is moved.

g) A nonconforming use shall not be changed to any other use unless the new use conforms to the standards of the zoning district in which it is located. Once a nonconforming use is changed to a conforming use, the nonconforming use shall not be re-established.

h) Where a nonconforming use is discontinued or abandoned for six consecutive months, or displaced for any period of time due to structural damage exceeding the limits under subsection i) below, then the use shall not be re-established or resumed, and any subsequent use of the land or structure shall conform to the requirements of these regulations.

i) Where a structure in which a nonconforming use is located is destroyed or damaged so that more than 25 percent of the value of such structure remains, then the structure may be repaired or restored for the previously established nonconforming use if a building permit for the repair or restoration is issued within six months of the date of the damage. Where a structure in which a nonconforming use is located is destroyed or damaged so that no more than 25 percent of its value remains, then the structure may be repaired or restored only for uses which conform to the standards of these regulations for the zoning district in which it is located. The extent of damage or destruction shall be determined by comparing the estimated cost of repair or restoration with the value prior to any damage.

.3 Nonconforming Structures

a) A nonconforming structure, devoted to a use permitted in the zoning district in which it is located, may continue only in accordance with the provisions of this section.

b) Normal repair and maintenance may be performed to allow the continuation of a nonconforming structure; this shall include the replacement of a manufactured home with another manufactured home of same or greater width.

c) Any nonconforming structure may be enlarged if the expansion meets the criteria of Section 2.3 of this ordinance.

d) A nonconforming structure shall not be moved unless it thereafter conforms to the standards of the zoning district in which it is located.

e) A nonconforming structure, destroyed or damaged so that more than 25 percent of the value of such structure remains, may be repaired or restored if a building permit for the repair or restoration is issued within six months of the date of the damage. A nonconforming structure, destroyed or damaged so that no more than 25 percent of its value remains, may be repaired or restored only if the structure conforms to the standards of these regulations for the zoning district in which it is located. The extent of damage or destruction shall be determined by comparing the estimated cost of repair or restoration with the value.

.4 Nonconforming Accessory Uses/Structures

a) No nonconforming accessory use or accessory structure shall continue after the principal use or structure is terminated by abandonment, discontinuance, damage, or destruction unless such accessory use or accessory structure thereafter is made to conform to the standards for the zoning district in which it is located.

b) A nonconforming accessory use or accessory structure may be expanded only if the nonconforming features of that use or structure are not expanded so as to increase the degree of nonconformity.

c) Where an accessory structure containing a nonconforming use is destroyed or damaged so that more than 25 percent of its value remains, then the structure may be repaired or restored for the previously established nonconforming use within six months of the date of the damage. Where an accessory structure containing a nonconforming use is destroyed or damaged so that no more than 25 percent of its value remains, then the structure may be repaired or restored only for uses which conform to the standards of these regulations for the zoning district in which it is located.

d) Where a nonconforming accessory structure is destroyed or damaged so that more than 25 percent of its value remains, then the structure may be repaired or restored within six months of the date of the damage. Where a nonconforming accessory structure is destroyed or damaged so that no more than 25 percent of its value remains, then the structure may be repaired or restored only if the structure conforms to the standards of these regulations for the zoning district in which it is located.

.5 Nonconforming Vacant Lots

a) Except as provided below in paragraph b), a nonconforming vacant lot may be used for any of the uses permitted by these regulations in the zoning district in which it is located, provided that the use meets to the extent practicable all limitations and minimum requirements of this ordinance for the zoning district in which the lot is located.

b) A vacant lot, nonconforming as to size and/or width, shall not be used if it could be combined with an adjoining vacant lot owned by the same person on or after the effective date of these regulations in order to create a single lot. If the combination of any number of contiguous lots results in the creation of single lots that are more than one-and-one half (1-1/2) times the width or area required in the zoning district, then the single lots may be divided into lots of no less than 3/4 of the required width or area, as determined by the Planning Director, without being further classified as nonconforming.

c) Where an existing mobile home park or manufactured home park does not meet the standards of these regulations, a mobile or manufactured home unit may be placed or replaced on an existing lot according to the criteria of Article 4.

.6 Non-Conforming Landscaping and Screening

a) If there is a change of use or an expansion to the heated square footage of an existing structure that results in an expansion to the footprint of the building, the lot shall fully comply with all landscaping requirements of Article 7, Part A of this ordinance.
b) Expansions to the parking and loading areas shall comply with the following:
1) An increase of the total area equal to or less than 40% shall be required to comply with internal and perimeter landscaping requirements. Buffer yard widths shall be reserved, but plantings are not required.

2) An increase of the total area greater than 40% shall be required to comply with all applicable requirements of Article 7, Part A of this ordinance.

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11.6 Zoning Compliance

.1 Zoning Compliance

a) A completed application form for a Zoning Permit shall be submitted by filing a copy of the application in the office of the appropriate Zoning Administrator.

b) The Administrator shall approve the Zoning Permit unless he finds, after reviewing the application and consulting with the applicant that:

1) the requested Permit is not within his jurisdiction according to the Permitted Uses; or,
2) the application is incomplete; or,
3) if completed as proposed in the application, the development will not comply with one (1) or more requirements of this Ordinance (not including those requirements for which a variance has been granted); or
4) if required under
Article 13, no Determination of Adequacy has been issued by the Zoning Administrator; or
5) if required under
Article 14, no Traffic Impact Assessment has been approved by the Town

.2 Site Plans; Adequate Public Facilities; and Traffic Impact Assessment

a) Site plans shall be required from applicants prior to issuance of any Permit (building, zoning, special use permit, variance) if deemed necessary by the Zoning Administrator to determine zoning compliance. If required by Articles 13 or 14, an Adequate Public Facilities Determination of Adequacy and Traffic Impact Assessment shall be submitted with the residential or nonresidential site plan.

b) Residential Site Plan Requirements.

1. Sketch site plans shall be drawn with as true an approximate scale as possible, which reviewing agents can determine that all requirements of the Ordinance are met.

2. Applicant will be required to sign the zoning form as being a true reflection of what is existing and what is being proposed.

3. Unless otherwise determined by the Zoning Administrator, the following minimum information shall be included on the site:

(a) lot/parcel dimensions;
(b) zoning designation;
(c) all property line setback/build-to-line requirements;
(d) all existing physical features (structures, buildings, streets, roads, etc.);
(e) location and dimensions of proposed construction;
(f) location and dimensions of driveway and type of surface material;
(g) any additional information as required by the reviewing agents.

c) Non-Residential Site Plan Requirements.

1. A site plan for all non-residential development shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator for review prior to issuance of required building permits.

2. All nonresidential site plans shall be submitted at a scale determined by the Zoning Administrator in order to determine zoning compliance.

3. Site plan review fees will be charged as reflected in the adopted Fee Schedule.

4. Unless otherwise determined by the Zoning Administrator, site plans shall show the following minimum information:

(a) site data - including vicinity sketch, north arrow, engineering scale ratio, acreage, title of development, date of plan, gross floor area of all buildings, name and address of owner/developer and person or firm preparing the plan;
(b) zoning setback/build-to lines;
(c) location(s) and dimension(s) of all vehicular entrances, exits, drives, and fire lanes;
(d) location, arrangement and dimension of all automobile parking spaces, width of aisles, width of bays, angle of parking and number of spaces;
(e) location, arrangement and dimension of all truck unloading docks, ramps and spaces;
(f) refuse collection (dumpster) container space(s) location;
(g) location(s) of all building(s) with exterior dimensions;
(h) location and dimensions of all fences, walls, docks, ramps, pools, patios, and surfaces areas;
(i) location of water tap(s) denoting size(s) of line(s) or well area;
(j) location of sewer tap(s) denoting size(s) of line(s) and pole(s);
(k) location of electrical service connection(s), meter(s) and pole(s);
(l) existing and proposed fire hydrant location(s);
(m) location and dimension of all easements and right-of-ways as determined by NC Department of Transportation;
(n) location(s) and size(s) of all public utility lines (water, sewer and storm sewer) within all adjacent public right-of-ways and easements;
(o) curb and gutter alignment, including street widening and storm drainage, if necessary shall be required;
(p) screening/landscaping plan shall be required showing plants with common names, sizes and numbers of plants and trees;
(q) sight distance triangle (10' x 70') shall be indicated at the intersection of all public right-of-way lines and 10' x 35' at the intersection of a right-of-way and driveway;
(r) any additional information as may be required by the reviewing agents.

.3 Authorizing Use or Occupancy Before Completion of Development Under Zoning Permit.

a) In cases when, because of weather conditions or other factors beyond the control of the Zoning Permit recipient (exclusive of financial hardship), it would be unreasonable to require the Zoning Permit recipient to comply with all of the requirements of this Ordinance prior to commencing the intended use of the property or occupying any buildings, the Administrator may authorize the commencement of the intended use or the occupancy of buildings (insofar as the requirements of this Ordinance are concerned) if the permit recipient is issued a temporary certificate of occupancy.

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