Save North Carolina's Protest Petition

§ 6-7. "I do solemnly swear that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office, so help me God." Oath of Office, North Carolina State Constitution

H201 added to today’s calendar for the Senate Commerce Committee. Contact your Senators NOW!

Bill H201 – CURRENT STATUS:
“Re-ref Com On Commerce

House Bill 201 has been added to today’s calendar (June 30th) for the Senate Commerce Committee, the meeting will occur at 11:00 am.  There are only 29 members on this Committee versus the 50 members of the full Senate, so NOW is the time to make your voices heard!

Below are all the contact points for each Senator → phone, email, Facebook, and Twitter.  You can often interact directly with Senate members via their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Also, at the bottom of each profile is an email link which includes a pre-populated email message → just CLICK THE LINK and hit SEND!

Reach out now, BEFORE the Committee votes on H201, which proposes a wholesale repeal the North Carolina Protest Petition law.


NC Senate Commerce Committee analysis:

  • Comprised of 29 Senators in total
  • 21 Republicans or 72%
  • 8 Democrats or 28%
  • Members from both parties are co-sponsors of bills which repeal the Protest Petition
  • Leadership from both parties is represented on Committee
  • Counties represented by 4 Senators on Committee:  Rowan, Wake
  • Counties represented by 3 Senators on Committee:  Mecklenburg
  • Counties represented by 2 Senators on Committee:  Cumberland, Johnston, Nash, New Hanover, Randolph, Wilson
  • Remaining counties listed below are represented by 1 Senator

Senators Michael Lee (Republican – D9), Jane Smith (Democrat – D13), and Brent Jackson (Republican – D10), are both on the Commerce Committee AND co-sponsors of S300, the Senate version of the bill which also proposes a repeal of the NC Protest Petition law. Fair to assume they will be lead champions of H201 in Committee discussions.


NC Senate Commerce Committee contact information:
(click names for official pages)

Co-Chairman:
1) Sen. Rick Gunn
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D24: Alamance, Randolph
(919) 301-1446 / Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

Co-Chairman:
2) Sen. Wesley Meredith
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D19: Cumberland
(919) 733-5776 / Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

Vice Chairman:
3) Sen. Tamara Barringer
2nd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
Republican – D17: Wake
(919) 733-5653 / Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

Vice Chairman:
4) Sen. Harry Brown
* Majority Leader
6th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D6: Jones, Onslow
(919) 715-3034 / Harry.Brown@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

Members:
5) Sen. John M. Alexander, Jr.
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
Republican – D15: Wake
(919) 733-5850 / John.Alexander@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

6) Sen. Tom Apodaca
* Chairman of Rules and Operations Committee (he referred H201 to Commerce Committee)
7th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D48: Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania
(919) 733-5745 / Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

7) Sen. Dan Blue
* Democratic Leader
3rd term (13 in House) / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Democrat – D14: Wake
(919) 733-5752 / Dan.Blue@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

8) Sen. Andrew C. Brock
7th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D34: Davie, Iredell, Rowan
(919) 715-0690 / Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

9) Sen. Angela R. Bryant
2nd term (3 in House) / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Democrat – D4: Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson
(919) 733-5878 / Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

10) Sen. Ben Clark
* Democratic Caucus Secretary
2nd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Democrat – D21: Cumberland, Hoke
(919) 733-9349 / Ben.Clark@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

11) Sen. Bill Cook
2nd term (1 in House) / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D1: Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans
(919) 715-8293 / Bill.Cook@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

12) Sen. Warren Daniel
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D46: Burke, Cleveland
(919) 715-7823 / Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

13) Sen. Joel D. M. Ford
2nd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Democrat – D38: Mecklenburg
(919) 733-5955 / Joel.Ford@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

14) Sen. Valerie P. Foushee
1st term (partial in House) / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
Democrat – D23: Chatham, Orange
(919) 733-5804 / Valerie.Foushee@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

15) Sen. Kathy Harrington
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D43: Gaston
(919) 733-5734 / Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

16) Sen. Brent Jackson
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
* S300 Co-Sponsor (ADVOCATE of Protest Petition repeal)
Republican – D10: Duplin, Johnston, Sampson
(919) 733-5705 / Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

17) Sen. Joyce Krawiec
1st term (partial in House) / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D31: Forsyth, Yadkin
(919) 733-7850 / Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

18) Sen. Michael V. Lee
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
* S300 Primary Co-Sponsor (ADVOCATE of Protest Petition repeal)
Republican – D9: New Hanover
(919) 715-2525 / Michael.Lee@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

19) Sen. Tom McInnis
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D25: Anson, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly
(919) 733-5953 / Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

20) Sen. Floyd B. McKissick, Jr.
4th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Democrat – D20: Durham, Granville
(919) 733-4599 / Floyd.McKissick@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

21) Sen. E. S. (Buck) Newton
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D11: Johnston, Nash, Wilson
(919) 715-3030 / Buck.Newton@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

22) Sen. Bill Rabon
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D8: Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender
(919) 733-5963 / Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

23) Sen. Bob Rucho
8th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D39: Mecklenburg
(919) 733-5655 / Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

24) Sen. Norman W. Sanderson
2nd term (1 in House) / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
Republican – D2: Carteret, Craven, Pamlico
(919) 733-5706 / Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

25) Sen. Jane W. Smith
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
* S300 Primary Co-Sponsor (ADVOCATE of Protest Petition repeal)
Democrat – D13: Columbus, Robeson
(919) 733-5651 / Jane.Smith@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

26) Sen. Dan Soucek
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D45: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga
(919) 733-5742 / Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

27) Sen. Josh Stein
4th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D16: Wake
(919) 715-6400 / Josh.Stein@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

28) Sen. Jerry W. Tillman
* Majority Whip
7th term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D29: Moore, Randolph
(919) 733-5870 / Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator

29) Sen. Joyce Waddell
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
Democrat – D40: Mecklenburg
(919) 733-5650 / Joyce.Waddell@ncleg.net
* CLICK HERE to send an email to this Senator


Below are all email addresses in copy/paste format:

John.Alexander@ncleg.net; Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net; Dan.Blue@ncleg.net; Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net; Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net; Ben.Clark@ncleg.net; Bill.Cook@ncleg.net; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net; Joel.Ford@ncleg.net; Valerie.Foushee@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net; Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net; Floyd.McKissick@ncleg.net; Buck.Newton@ncleg.net; Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net; Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Jane.Smith@ncleg.net; Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net; Josh.Stein@ncleg.net; Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Joyce.Waddell@ncleg.net; Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net; Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net; Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net


Below is detail on the Senate bill which also proposes to repeal the Protest Petition:

Senate Bill 300 (S300)

Primary Sponsors: Andy Wells; Michael V. Lee; Jane W. Smith
Sponsor: Brent Jackson

Primary Sponsor Detail:
Senator Andy Wells
1st term / 1 House term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D42: Alexander, Catawba
(919) 733-5876 / Andy.Wells@ncleg.net

Senator Michael V. Lee
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / Facebook / Twitter
Republican – D9: New Hanover
(919) 715-2525 / Michael.Lee@ncleg.net

Sen. Jane W. Smith
1st term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
* On Senate State and Local Government Committee
Democrat – D13: Columbus, Robeson
(919) 733-5651 / Jane.Smith@ncleg.net

Sponsor Detail:
Sen. Brent Jackson
3rd term / Wikipedia / Ballotpedia / FacebookTwitter
* On Senate State and Local Government Committee
Republican – D10: Duplin, Johnston, Sampson
(919) 733-5705 / Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net

 

Perfect example of need for Protest Petition law – used by neighbors AND developers to oppose bad development

“Two high-profile Charlotte developers are taking the unusual step of opposing a neighboring project: Cameron and DeeDee Harris have signed a protest petition against a major proposed mixed-use development at the Colony Apartments in SouthPark.”

You can read the full article by Ely Portillo via the link below:

The Charlotte Observer (05/19/15):
Cameron and DeeDee Harris protest SouthPark development

Don’t scrap protest petitions, a vital tool against harmful rezonings

Most rezonings in Charlotte win City Council approval, like this one on Prosperity Church Road near I-485. Photo: Nancy Pierce

 

Jill Walker | Apr 28, 2015
Originally published on UNC Charlotte’s PlanCharlotte Blog

It is exasperating that, once again, North Carolina homeowners face the prospect of losing the ability to file a protest petition in rezonings.

The most recent effort – a bill that has passed the N.C. House – represents the third time in less than three years that our state has been threatened with the loss of this most fundamental property rights tool. Make no mistake, with the exception of those in the development community, just about everyone opposes this bill. Unfortunately, for most citizens this type of legislation flies under the radar, unnoticed, until they find themselves confronted by a development proposed for their neighborhood that conflicts with current zoning.

State law currently allows adjacent property owners to file a protest petition if a rezoning is filed. If enough property owners sign the petition (state law sets the rules for how to calculate a valid protest petition), the rezoning request needs a supermajority – three-quarters – of City Council members and mayor to be approved.

The only time citizens can file a protest petition is when a developer wants to change the zoning category of a property. In other words, it is when a developer would like to change the legally adopted ordinance that says how a piece of land can be used.

That is no small thing. Property owners buy into neighborhoods with an expectation that the way the land around them is used will remain constant. When a developer is trying to change the very nature and use of a piece of land, it is not unreasonable to expect such a request be subject to a high level of scrutiny and approval from the affected citizens and their elected representatives.

In the Charlotte Observer (April 14, 2015) Joe Padilla, of REBIC, stated that the protest petition “allows a small minority of property owners to usurp what would benefit the larger community … (It) gives a small minority of adjacent property owners … unfair leverage over a property owner or developer.” Having been on the other side of Mr. Padilla in proposed rezonings for many years, I can say that that is not at all the case.

Let’s be real: The average homeowner has a snowball’s chance in hell of influencing Charlotte City Council members when it comes to any potential new development. This is true for a variety of reasons:

As far as “benefiting the larger community” goes, many projects are proposed by outside developers who don’t know the neighborhood and sometimes don’t even live in the state, but are taking advantage of a development opportunity. If there is a benefit to the community, it’s secondary to the interests of the developer.

Property owners are usually the last to know when change is coming. With time on their side, developers can make the rounds of the appropriate city staffers, planning commissioners and council members to introduce and gain support for their project. Typically, they will hire a former city planning department employee who knows how to navigate this process (a distinct advantage).

The average Joe homeowner enters into the picture just before the credits roll, and for most the learning curve is steep, to say the least. Homeowners usually have full-time jobs with little time to cram in all the relevant information that is required to present a cogent argument against a rezoning project.

When neighbors have a reasoned argument against a rezoning, such as its failure to adhere to an area plan, its inconsistency with surrounding land uses or a height that casts a 24-hour shadow, they occasionally are able to cobble together a protest petition. While this does not happen often, when it does it gives the typically marginalized homeowners a voice with both the developer and with City Council. This can often result in a mutually beneficial outcome.

Protest petitions have been in place in the United States since 1916 and in North Carolina since 1923 to prevent impulsive or improper zoning changes. According to a UNC School of Government Study in 2006, in North Carolina (of those municipalities that responded) only 6 percent of rezoning petitions filed were sufficient to require a supermajority vote for the proposed rezoning. Of those, only 5 percent of the rezonings subject to a valid protest petition (a total of four rezonings statewide) received a majority favorable vote but less than a three-fourths majority, thus failing to be adopted as a direct result of the protest petition. This study makes clear that protest petitions rarely change the outcome of a rezoning petition.

Development in North Carolina is doing just fine. As I write this, 72 rezoning petitions are on the docket for Charlotte. If history is any guide, almost all will receive approval. Maintaining the protest petition helps ensure that the few projects that are grossly inconsistent with zoning regulations will be properly vetted.

Let’s not be one of the first states in the nation to take away a citizen’s right to a protest petition. I encourage all who care about this issue to visit www.SaveNCProtestPetition.com, which provides information on reaching out to pertinent N.C. legislators. Dilworth resident Marcel Dawson created the website.


Jill Walker, a long-time resident of the Dilworth neighborhood, is active in the Dilworth Community Association and serves on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, the Dowd YMCA board and the Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan.

Coverage of NCGA proposal to repeal the NC Protest Petition law

The News & Observer (03/29/15):
Tom Miller: Neighbor’s right under attack
* Best summary of historical facts associated with Protest Petitions in North Carolina, along with a few projections of what to expect if the law is successfully repealed.
Reposted by The Herald-Sun (04/04/15): Protest petition rights under assault again
Reposted by News & Record (04/12/15): Protest petitions a vital zoning tool

The Charlotte Observer (05/19/15):
Cameron and DeeDee Harris protest SouthPark development

The News & Observer (04/21/15):
Cary leaders want to keep protest petitions

The Charlotte Observer (04/14/15):
NC lawmakers may ban protest petitions in zoning fights

Womble Carlyle – @NCLandUseLaw (04/06/15):
N.C. General Assembly House Moves On Bill Eliminating Zoning Protest Petitions
Reposted by The National Law Review (04/07/15): link

The Daily Tarheel (03/31/15):
Opinion:  The loss of protest petitions is a blow to democracy

The News & Observer (03/27/15):
Majority doesn’t always rule

News & Record (03/27/15):
Inside Scoop: The local impact of protest petitions

Global Vue (03/26/15):
N.C. bill changing neighborhood protest petitions moves on to Senate Rules Committee

News & Record – Clark Off the Record (03/25/15):
House rejects reasonable compromise on protest petitions

The News & Observer (03/24/15):
NC House wants end to protest petitions

WRAL – @NCCapitol with video (03/24/15):
House votes to eliminate protest petitions

WUNC 91.5 with audio (03/23/15):
Bill Would Eliminate Homeowners’ Right To ‘Protest Petition’ Land Development Next Door

The News & Observer with audio (03/19/15):
Effort to keep ‘protest petitions’ fails in committee voice vote

WRAL – @NCCapitol with video (03/19/15):
Lawmakers push to eliminate tool used to fight new developments

The News & Observer (03/17/15):
NC legislators move to repeal landowner power in development fights

INDY Week (03/16/15):
N.C. homebuilders’ lobby to citizens: Stop your (legal) bitching

The Fayetteville Observer (03/04/15):
Lawmakers may repeal process used by property owners to fight development

WRAL – @NCCapitol (06/25/14):
House OKs protest petition repeal, other reforms
* Note, this article is from 2014 and does not reference either of the two bills currently in the NC Legislature.  It’s included as a “book-end” to bring you up to speed with previous attempts to repeal the Protest Petition law.  Although the House approved the 2014 bill, it did not succeed in the Senate.


REBIC In the Loop (03/30/15):
NAIOP Members Advocate in Raleigh for Economic Incentives & Protest Petition Repeal
… and one from the Real Estate & Building Industry Coalition (REBIC).  It should be noted that although Representative Tricia Cotham is pictured in their article, she actually voted AGAINST H201 on March 25th.  Thank you to Rep. Cotham for her efforts to defend the rights of homeowners throughout North Carolina.



Please send us any links to additional media coverage – we’ll add them to this post.

Today: NC House passed H201 in 3rd and final reading, continues to NC Senate

H201 (2nd Edition) passed 89-28 with 2 additional amendments:


Amendment 2 – Introduced by Rep. Meyer (Durham/Orange):

Adds the line, “In addition, the city council shall give written notice to all adjacent property owners at least 30 days prior to the date fixed for the public hearing.”

Previously, H201 stated that notice was only to be published in a local newspaper 10 days prior to the public hearing.  This adds a written notice by mail, 30 days before public hearing, sent only to adjacent neighbors (which often, even in dense neighborhoods, could represent only 1 or 2 written notices if a developer plans to rezone an entire block).

Rep. Meyer voted FOR H201 in today’s session.


Amendment 3 – Introduced by Rep. Avila (Wake):

On page 2, line 48, deletes “adopted” and substitutes with “initiated”.

Effectively allows existing Protest Petitions to continue through the pipeline.  On May 1, language in H201 goes into effect and no new Protest Petitions will be accepted in North Carolina.

Rep. Avila voted AGAINST H201 in today’s session.


Here’s audio from today’s House session with final discussion on H201:

Note, technical issues led to a few seconds of missing audio at the end. Speaker stated final vote was 89-28.

How did your District Representative vote?  Follow this link so see:
DID YOUR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE VOTE FOR OR AGAINST?

NC House gave preliminary approval to H201, proposing a repeal of the Protest Petition law. Vote 81-31 (2nd reading)

Here’s audio from today’s House session discussing the bill:



How did your District Representative vote?  
Follow this link so see:
DID YOUR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE VOTE FOR OR AGAINST?

H201 will go to vote TODAY at 2:00 PM – links below

Here’s a link with official updates:
NCGA: House Bill 201

Here’s a direct link to the current revision of the House Bill:
H201 Edition 2

Here’s a link to listen to a live audio stream of today’s House session:
House Chamber Audio Stream

Here’s a link to the daily House calendar with a schedule list of bills up for discussion:
Current House Calendar

Contested Local Government Committee vote on H201

Before heading to the NC House floor, an amendment was proposed by Rep. Paul Luebke in the Local Government Committee meeting that would’ve saved the Protest Petition law by adopting a compromise.

Below is the audio from the voice vote on this amendment from March 19, 2015, where you can hear Rep. Paul Luebke contest the decision of Rep. Carl Ford, Chairman of the Local Government Committee.

Related article from The News & Observer:
Effort to keep ‘protest petitions’ fails in committee voice vote (03/19/15)

 

 

 

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