Legislative Briefing May 15

Legislative Briefing May 15

Charter Communications

Charter Communications, parent of Spectrum-branded products and services, announced its decision to discontinue a long-standing policy permitting transferal of accounts from home sellers to buyers. The change would pose an interruption of service for renters occupying the property at the time of sale unless sellers return their cable boxes and buyers establish new accounts on closing day. The Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® is discussing how best to communicate to Charter the consequences of its decision and restore account transferability.

Washington, D.C.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced on May 14 a litany of Chinese imports to which a new 15% tariff increase would be assessed effective in June 2019, imposing a $1.5 billion cost increase on the $10 billion worth of effected supplies and equipment used in home construction. The National Association of Home Builders projects a resultant 7-8% cost increase for consumers, exacerbating current declines in home price appreciation and home sales volume.

Town/County Updates

Town of Southern Shores

The Town of Southern Shores Council issued a long-anticipated vote Tuesday, May 7 approving ZTA-19-01PB, an ordinance limiting the overnight occupancy and septic sufficiency of “vacation cottages” to fourteen persons. The ordinance operates in legal room that Southern Shores interprets North Carolina law, specifically NCGS §160A-381(a), to leave open for municipal density restriction via means other than establishing a maximum number of bedrooms. Limits to the enforceability of the new overnight occupancy limit make septic capacity the practically operative element of the ordinance. A 2015 state law, NCGS §160A-381(h), prohibits municipal regulation of “the number and types of rooms” either “directly or indirectly, in any zoning district” without property owners’ consent. Writ large in Southern Shores’ new ordinance is thus the question, as yet unresolved in any law or court case, whether regulating septic capacity constitutes just the sort of indirect room regulation that NCGS §160A-381(h) proscribes. The functional equivalency of septic capacity and bedroom number is obvious to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, which regularly assesses penalties against brokers who advertise bedroom numbers disproportionate to septic ratings, and to civil court judges who regularly award damages compensating for such misrepresentation.

Town of Kill Devil Hills

The Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners has invited public attendance at a work session on the Town Manager’s Recommended Budget for FY19-20 to be held Monday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m. at 102 Town Hall Drive.

Town of Kitty Hawk

Tina Tice announced on Monday, May 6 her decision against seeking reelection to the Town Council, citing the competing demands of business and family. She will serve out the remainder of her present term.

Dare County

Dare County will hold a community meeting on Wednesday, May 15 to discuss Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to defray the cost of elevating flood-prone homes. Grant eligibility is conditional on year-round residency in a repeatedly flood-affected house in unincorporated Dare County built around or prior to 1978, and is not limited by applicant income. Applications are due to Dare County by May 24 for review and submission to the State of North Carolina and FEMA.

The Dare County Board of Elections announced on Tuesday, May 14 nonpartisan municipal candidacy filing periods opening and closing at noon on July 5 and 19, 2019. Duck will elect all five council members; Kill Devil Hills will elect one Mayor and 2 Commissioners; Kitty Hawk will elect two council members; Manteo will elect two commissioners; Southern Shores will elect three council members.

Wednesday May 15
National Association of REALTORS Party Convention in Washington, D.C.
1:00 p.m. – Town of Manteo Board of Commissioners workshop
6:00 p.m. – Town of Nags Head Board of Commissioners

Thursday May 16
National Association of REALTORS Party Convention in Washington, D.C.
6:00 p.m. – Town of Kitty Hawk Planning Board

Monday May 20
5:00 p.m. — Dare County Board of Commissioners
5:30 p.m. – Town of Southern Shores Planning Board
6:00 p.m. – Currituck County Board of Commissioners

Tuesday May 21
9:00 a.m. – Town of Nags Head Planning Board
5:30 p.m. – Town of Kill Devil Hills Planning Board

Wednesday May 22
1:00 p.m. — Duck Town Council (rescheduled from May 15)
5:30 p.m. – Town of Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners

Thursday May 23
11:30 a.m. – General Membership Meeting

Wednesday May 29
3:00 p.m. – Legislative Meeting

Friday May 31
11:30 a.m. – OBAR 30th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Monday June 3
9:00 a.m. – Dare County Board of Commissioners
6:00 p.m.– Currituck County Board of Commissioners
6:00 p.m –. Kitty Hawk Town Council

Tuesday June 4
5:30 p.m. – Southern Shores Town Council

Wednesday June 5
9:00 a.m. – Town of Nags Head Board of Commissioners
6:30 p.m. – Town of Manteo Board of Commissioners
7:00 p.m. – Duck Town Council

Thursday June 6
9:00 a.m. – OBAR Board of Directors


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Send comments to pgraham@ncrealtors.org

Advocacy, Legislative Briefing