Monday, February 11, 2013

Legislature 2013: Most 'pro-business session in N.C. history'?

'Snout houses' in Indiana. Photo: John Delano,
Ran across an interesting post from the blog of the local Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, reporting the doings at a Friday forum the lobbying group held for legislators from Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell counties. Sponsors were REBIC and the N.C. Home Builders Association.

The session "gave home builders many reasons to be optimistic that 2013 would be one of the most pro-business sessions in North Carolina history," reports the blog.  Read it in full here.

All the legislators on the panel agreed they'd support legislation similar to Senate Bill 731, which passed the Senate in 2011 but didn't make it through the House before the session died. That bill, sponsored by Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, and Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, would have limited munipalities' ability to regulate architectural details such as windows, doors and garage doors for single-family residential developments with five or fewer units an acre.

Planners informally called it the "snout-house bill," because one of the most contentious items in some zoning ordinances, including Davidson's, is a provision forbidding garages to project far in front of the rest of the house, dwarfing the front door and windows. Planners call those "snout houses," and say they create a street view that emphasizes cars over people.  Home builders counter that on small lots it's more economical to build garages that way, and that cities shouldn't get so deep into architectural details.

Download the text here.
Read its history in the 2011-12 General Assembly here.

Back to the Friday forum:
A bill requiring a sunset provision for "all state administrative rules" won plaudits as well. Primary sponsors include Rep. Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg, and Rob Bryan, R-Mecklenburg.