Planning and Zoning Law Bulletin #31

2021 North Carolina Legislation Related to Planning and Development Regulation

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The 2021 “long session” of the North Carolina General Assembly convened on January 13, 2021, addressing a wide range of topics, and November saw successful passage of an appropriations bill. The legislature marched on through late November, returned at the end of December, and has continued its work into 2022.

A variety of bills affecting planning and development regulation were enacted in 2021. These included several clarifications, corrections, and updates to recent planning and development measures. Others focused on everything from signs, fees, open burning, water supply watersheds, and building and code enforcement, among other issues. One bill in particular, S.L. 2021-121 (H.B. 489), “An Act to Provide Various Building Code and Development Regulatory Reforms,” covered many of these topics in an omnibus fashion. To paint a clearer picture of the range of legislative changes this session, this bulletin addresses portions of S.L. 2021-121 related to stormwater, erosion and sedimentation control, building codes, and other development regulations in separate sections. In addition, several notable pieces of legislation received a significant amount of attention and progressed through at least a portion of the legislative process but ultimately were not adopted. These issues could appear again in future sessions and, as such, are described in their own section at the end of the bulletin.


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