Article 2.2 - Vested Development Rights

.1 Any amendments to these land development regulations or the Zoning Maps shall not be applicable or enforceable without the written consent of the owner with regard to:

a)    Buildings or uses of buildings or land for which:

i.    A development permit application was submitted, review of which was not discontinued pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 143-755(b1), and a development permit decision was not made prior to the effective date of the amendment making the change; or

ii.    A development permit was issued prior to the effective date of the amendment making the change so long as the permit remains valid and unrevoked pursuant to subsection 2.2.2; 

b)    Subdivision of land for a which a development permit authorizing the subdivision was issued prior to the effective date of the amendment making the change; 

c)    A valid and unexpired site-specific vesting plan established pursuant to subsection 2.2.3 prior to the effective date the amendment making the change; 

d)    An approved multi-phased development established pursuant to subsection 2.2.4 prior to the effective date of the amendment making the change; or

e)    A vested right established pursuant to a development agreement satisfying the requirements of Article 10, Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes executed prior to the effective date of the amendment making the change.

.2 Buildings or uses of buildings or land for which a development permit application was issued. 

Building permits expire six months after issuance unless work under the permit has commenced. Upon commencement of work under the building permit, the permit will expire if there is a discontinuation of work for a period of 12 months from the date of commencement of work. Building permits may be revoked pursuant to N.C.G.S. 160D-1115. 

Unless otherwise specified by this Section 2.2, other local development permits expire one year after issuance unless work authorized by the permit has substantially commenced. After work has substantially commenced, a development approval shall expire if development work is intentionally and voluntarily discontinued for a period of 24 consecutive months, unless the discontinuance is tolled pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 160D-108. As used in the subsection, substantially commenced shall include any of the following:

(a) The development has received and maintained a valid erosion and sedimentation control permit and conducted grading activity on a continuous basis and not discontinued it for more than thirty (30) days; 

(b) The development has installed substantial on-site infrastructure; or 

(c) The development has received and maintained a valid building permit for the construction and approval of a building foundation.

.3  Valid and unexpired site-specific vesting plan.      

A vested right to commence development and use of property according to a site-specific vesting plan as subject to the provisions of N.C.G.S § 160D-108.1 may be established as a result of any one of the following development approvals listed in a) through e) below, provided that the approved plan include a description within reasonable certainty of the intended type and intensity of use for the specific parcel(s) subject to the plan: 

a)    A special use permit;

b)    any overlay district for which a site-specific vesting plan is required under the provisions of this ordinance;

c)    A conditional zoning district; 

d)    A subdivision sketch plan or a preliminary plan when required by the subdivision ordinance; or

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

The vested right thus established is subject to the terms and conditions of the site-specific vesting plan; it shall remain in force for two years from date of approval (unless otherwise specified at the time of approval). Failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the approval will result in a forfeiture of any vested rights.

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.

Modifications or amendments to an approved site-specific vesting plan do not extend the period of vesting unless specifically so provided by the Town Board or Town Staff when the modification or amendment is approved.   A right which has been vested under the provisions of this subsection 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.  

.4 An approved multi-phased development. 

For purposes of this subsection, a multi-phased development is a development containing 25 acres or more, which is submitted for development approval to occur in more than one phase and which is subject to a master development plan with committed elements showing the type and intensity of use of each phase.

All phases of development subject to a multi-phased development approval are vested under the land regulations in place at the time the site plan approval is granted for the initial phase of the development.  A vested right provided for in this subsection remains vested for a period of seven years from the time a site plan approval is granted for the initial phase of the multi-phased development.

 .5 Miscellaneous provisions. 

A vested right obtained under this Section 2.2 is not a personal right, but shall attach to and run with the subject property.      

A petition for annexation filed with the town under N.C.G.S § 160A-31 or N.C.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 N.C.G.S § 160D-108 shall be binding on the landowner and any such  vested right shall be terminated.