Legislative Committee Update – May 2020

By Chad Meadows, Legislative Chair  After a somewhat slow start to this year’s short session, the General Assembly has recently stepped up bill filling – as of this writing, there are over 60 pieces of legislation under consideration in each chamber. In addition to proposed legislation, the General Assembly has already passed four laws this session, with one (SL 2020-3) of particular importance to North Carolina planners as it provides guidance for remote hearings and extends the deadline for compliance with the zoning-related portions of “160D”.    Session Law 2020-3 Session Law 2020-3 is titled an Act to Provide Aid to North Carolinians in Response to the Corona Virus Disease 2019 Crisis, and can be found at https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/SessionLaws/PDF/2019-2020/SL2020-3.pdf  Page 61 of the Session Law includes a number of statutory updates regarding conduct of remote public hearings during declared emergencies. The rules establish minimum requirements for remote meetings and hearings (including quasi-judicial hearings) that address aspects such as simultaneous communication, quorum, voting, and the ability for participants to be heard by all attending the remote meeting. The language provides the legal pretext for conducting such meetings, but does not contain copious details on allowable techniques, standing, or evidentiary procedures.  Section 4.33 on Page 65 of the Session Law extends the effective date of the pending 160D changes from January 1, 2021 to August 1, 2021 – in other words, local governments now have until August 1, 2021 to ensure their local development regulations are in alignment with the 160D provisions. The timing associated with mandatory adoption of a comprehensive plan by July 1, 2022 in order to retain zoning authority...

Great Places 2018 Winners

Professional’s Category: Great Main Street Main Street, Sylva Main Street in Sylva blends the town’s rich cultural history with a vibrant downtown atmosphere and the surrounding beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Main Street is anchored by the Jackson County historic courthouse, the most photographed courthouse in North Carolina. From its perch 107 steps above Main Street, this Nationally Registered Historic site houses the County library, the Genealogical Society, the Historical Society, and provides community meeting space. Sweeping down the hill from the Courthouse, locals and visitors alike are treated to an eclectic blend of retail shops, restaurants, breweries, cocktail bars, book stores, and residential apartments all located within buildings that are a part of Sylva’s Nationally Registered Historic District. Main Street also serves as the epicenter for Sylva’s annual festivals, parades, and community events. The one of a kind appeal of Main Street Sylva is undeniable, even in Hollywood. Main Street was cast as Ebbing, Missouri in the 2017 Golden Globe and Oscar winning movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. Although Ebbing is a fictional town, Main Street is very real and continues to be the cultural center of Sylva’s vibrant downtown. Main Street, Waxhaw Downtown Waxhaw has thrived throughout the years by its ability to evolve. Waxhaw started as a mill town, then reinvented itself as a destination for antiques, and is now becoming Union County’s hub for diverse retail shops, award-winning eating and drinking establishments, local artisans, and cultural events. The downtown is split by the railroad track with Main Street on each side. An overhead pedestrian bridge joins the two, and when trains roll through...

Sign up for the Mentor-Match Program

Author: Nate Baker, Co-chair, Young Planners Group The Young Planners Group is hosting the Mentor-Match program again this year and we need your help in making this important opportunity possible. The program allows young planners or planning students (mentees) to match up with experienced planners or planners who have been in the profession for over two years (mentors). YPG will then continue to facilitate communication through social events and web-based communication. Guidance may include: Professional development, job hunting, learning about career paths, involvement in APA Conference session recommendations, professional networking Learning more about the planning the profession You will have a chance to meet your mentor/mentee face-to-face on Wednesday, September 27th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm during the APA-NC Welcome Reception and on Thursday September 28th at the Membership and Diversity Mixer starting at 6:30pm. We will provide some basic guidance to kick things off and you can also connect at other times for lunch, other sessions, or events. In addition to other social events, YPG will host a March Mentor Meetup in the spring. Please see below for instructions and more details. Mentors Are you a seasoned professional who can provide career advice to the next generation of planners? Do you have advice to share about planning in North Carolina? Are you a veteran of the APA NC Conference and willing to share your expertise and tips? As a mentor you will be matched up with an emerging professional who is attending the conference and has signed up for the program. If you would like to be a mentor apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TQYYTGV Mentees Are you new to planning in North...
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