Petition Closed
Petitioning North Carolina State Senate

Vote down House Bill 201

"House Bill 201 is a terrible piece of legislation that would repeal a neighbor’s right to file a protest petition in a zoning case.  Help us fight the bill and preserve the protest petition right.  Please sign this petition now.

 The right to file a protest petition against a rezoning is a time honored right.  Under NC law, if the owners of 5% of the property within 100 feet of the land to be rezoned file a formal protest petition, it would take a super majority of 3/4s of the members of the city council to pass the rezoning. The protest petition right in North Carolina is as old as zoning itself.  The right was part of the legislation passed by the General Assembly in 1923 giving cities the right to regulate land use by zoning.  A protest petition right protects a neighbor’s investment in his own property and his reasonable expectations in the stability of the regulatory environment.  It protects neighbors and property owners from sudden, capricious, and wrongfully-motivated  zone changes.  When neighbors file a protest petition it is a signal that the proposed rezoning deserves special attention by elected officials.  Relatively few protest petitions are filed and they rarely cause rezonings to be denied.  But protest petitions do often lead to more thoughtful results in zoning cases and better buffering and protections between incompatible uses.  The protest petition right levels the playing field between ordinary citizens trying to protect their homes and powerful developers who can afford attorney, engineers, lobbyists, and land planners to advance their interests.  The right to a protest petition was part of model zoning laws promulgated by the US Department of Commerce in the 1920s.  It is part of zoning law all across the country.  Citizens in states bordering North Carolina have the right to file a protest petition.  Why shouldn’t we?"

Tom Miller, Durham Planning Commission

Durham, NC

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