Land Use at the State Level

The Clock On Certain North Carolina Development Approvals, Previously "Paused", Has Now Been "Un-Paused"

In November 2010, we blogged here about the North Carolina General Assembly’s action to extend the “tolling” or “suspension” of the expiration of certain development approvals in light of the poor economic climate. The logic, as far as we can tell, made sense: certain development approvals are for a time certain, the economic climate is such that much development is on “hold”, we’d like these entities, individuals and local governments to have the opportunity–subject to local government agreement (local governments could opt out of the legislation, which some did)–to develop as they had planned once the economy improves.

Well, the extension of this “tolling” period has, itself, expired as of January 1, 2012 and the North Carolina General Assembly has not “re-loaded” the tolling weapon as it did in 2010. Professor David Owens of the North Carolina School of Government summarizes the effect of this pocket veto in his recent blog post.

What this means is, essentially, the tolling by the earlier laws of any development approvals has now ended and the clock has, again, begun to tick on those projects having previously enjoyed a little “free” hiatus. Local governments and developers/the developing, alike, should take note of any projects affected by this non-move and determine next steps.

Mike Thelen is a lawyer in Womble, Carlyle’s Real Estate Litigation practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients, from local governments to businesses, in land use and land development issues in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.

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