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ARTICLE 2: Applicability of Ordinance

2.1 Applicability

.1 Applicability.

No building, structure, or land shall be used or occupied, nor any building, structure, or part thereof be erected, constructed, reconstructed, moved, enlarged, or structurally altered, nor any changed use be established for any building, structure, or land, nor substantial clearing, grading, filling or excavation be commenced unless in conformity with the general provisions of this ordinance and the specific provisions for the district in which it is located, except as otherwise provided by these regulations.

.2 Exceptions to Applicability.

a) These regulations shall not apply to bona fide farms, as defined in Article 12, except that non-farm uses on farms shall be regulated herein, and land within the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District shall comply with the regulations of Section 3.3.2 and 3.3.3.

b) These regulations shall not apply to horse farms on three or more acres, as defined in Article 12, except that uses on the premises not accessory to horse farms shall be regulated herein, and land within the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District shall comply with the regulations of Section 3.3.2 and 3.3.3.

2.2 Vested Development Rights

.1 Any amendments, modifications, supplements, repeal or other changes in these regulations or the Zoning Maps shall not be applicable or enforceable without the consent of the owner with regard to buildings and uses:

a.  for which a building permit has been issued prior to the effective date of the ordinance making the change so long as the permit remains valid and unexpired pursuant to G.S. 160A-418 and the building permit has not been revoked pursuant to G.S. 160A-422; or

b.  for which a vested right has been established pursuant to
Section 2.2.2 and such vested right remains valid and unexpired pursuant to Section 2.2.2.

.2 Procedures for Establishing Vested Rights Pursuant to G.S. 160A-385.1. On or after October 1, 1991, a vested right to commence the development and use of property according to a site specific development plan is established upon approval of any one of the plans listed in a) through e) below. The vested right thus established is subject to the terms and conditions of the site plan; it shall remain in force for three years from date of approval (unless otherwise specified).
a. a special use permit;

b. any overlay district for which a site specific development plan is required under the provisions of this ordinance;

c. a conditional zoning district; or

d. a subdivision sketch plan or a preliminary plan when required by the subdivision ordinance

e. a final plat when no sketch plan or preliminary plan is required.

The plans and conditions set out in a) through e) above, as approved by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville, constitute site specific development plans for purposes of G.S. 160A.385.1. Plans legally vested by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, according to county ordinance standards, shall be honored for the vesting period specified by the County Board.

A right which has been vested by the Town of Huntersville shall remain vested for a period of three years from date of approval. Modifications or amendments to an approved plan do not extend the period of vesting unless specifically so provided by the Town Board when it approves the modification or amendment. A vested right obtained under this sub-section is not a personal right, but shall attach to and run with the subject property. A right which has been vested under the provisions of this sub-section shall terminate at the end of the applicable vesting period with respect to buildings and uses for which no valid building permit has been issued. When a vested development plan has been partially, but not wholly built to completion by the end of the vesting period, the project as a whole may be completed in conformance with the development standards in effect at the time of approval, however individual sites within the development shall individually conform to the sign regulations in effect at the time of sign permitting.

.3 Voluntary Annexation. A petition for annexation filed with the town under G.S. 160A-31 or G.S. 160A-58.1 shall contain a signed statement declaring whether or not any zoning vested right with respect to the properties subject to the petition has been established. A statement that declares that no zoning vested right has been established under G.S. 160A-385.1 or G.S. 153A-344.1, or the failure to sign a statement declaring whether or not a zoning vested right has been established, shall be binding on the landowner and any such zoning vested right shall be terminated.

.4 Right to complete subdivisions: Subject to the provisions of
Section 2.2.5, subdivisions not subject to a site specific development plan as defined in Section 2.2.2 above, shall be built to completion according to the zoning and subdivision regulations in force at the time and in the jurisdiction of approval unless a revised subdivision plan is subsequently submitted and approved according to the standards of these regulations.

.5 Any subdivision having been given sketch plan approval which has not obtained preliminary plat approval for one or more sections and made improvements costing more than 5% of the total project costs shall be deemed void except as provided by law (vested rights) after three years from date of approval.

2.3 Expansion/Redevelopment of Existing Structures and Projects

.1 Individual structures which become non-conforming as of the effective date of these regulations may be expanded upon a finding by the Planning Director that:

a. the proposed expansion meets the requirements of these regulations to the extent practicable, given the shape and topography of the tract and the location of existing buildings and site improvements; and

b. the proposed expansion does not cause the structure to exceed maximum building size for the district; and

c. the development site taken as a whole, including parking, sidewalks, screening, landscaping and signage, will be brought into conformance with these regulations to the extent practicable.

.2 Existing multi-building development projects, such as shopping centers, apartment complexes, and business parks, which become non-conforming as to building and site layout as of the effective date of these regulations, are eligible for partial redevelopment, which may include expansion, upon a finding by the Planning Director that:

a. the redevelopment or expansion meets the requirements of these regulations to the extent possible, given the shape and topography of the tract and the location of existing buildings; and

b. the development site taken as a whole, including parking, sidewalks, screening, landscaping and signage, will be brought into conformance with these regulations to the extent practicable.

.3 Appeal of the Planning Director’s decision regarding expansion or redevelopment according to Section 2.3.1 or Section 2.3.2, above shall be to the Huntersville Board of Adjustment following the procedures of Section 11.3.2.

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