Quick Hits: State Legislation - Increase Housing Opportunities


A new bill was introduced in the North Carolina state senate recently: SB 349 - Increase Housing Opportunities. I have no idea what its chances are of passing, but I have heard the goal is for it to go into effect this Fall. Here is the bill in its entirety, but I have outlined the major points below:

  • It's a preemptive bill, which means that it would limit what cities and towns can do with their zoning laws.
  • Quadplexes (up to four units) would be allowed anywhere that residential is allowed (in other words, no more single family zoning)
    • I feel compelled to note that this DOESN'T mean that there will be no single family neighborhoods anymore, just that duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes will be ALLOWED to be built)
  • Townhomes would be allowed anywhere that residential is allowed
  • All uses, including residential would be allowed everywhere (in all zones). Cities/towns may only ban uses in certain zones that are deemed "an industrial use, a nuisance per se, or that does not otherwise pose a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare"
    • History tells us that "welfare" can have a broad interpretation, though.
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) would be allowed anywhere that has a single family home.
    • There can't be rules that are more strict in terms of setbacks for ADUs than for the main house.
    • Cities/towns have to allow for utility hookup to these ADUs
    • Cities/towns can't require additional parking for these ADUs
    • Require owner-occupancy of these ADUs
  • These new rules do NOT apply to historic districts, which can continue to make their own rules with regard to single family zoning.
There is more, but those are the main takeaways.

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