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(A) This chapter, including the official zoning map, may be amended from time to time, but no amendment shall become effective unless it shall have been referred first to the Planning Board. After thorough review, including public forums if deemed necessary, the Planning Board shall submit to the Board of Commissioners a written statement as to whether the proposed amendment is consistent with the town’s comprehensive long range planning document.
(B) Hearing and notice requirements. A public hearing shall be held by the Board of Commissioners before adoption of any proposed amendment to this chapter. A notice of such public hearing shall be given once a week for two successive calendar weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the town, the notice to be published the first time not less than ten days nor more than 25 days prior to the date established for such public hearing. Whenever there is a zoning map amendment, the owner of that parcel of land shown on the county tax listing, and the owners of all parcels of land abutting that parcel of land as shown on the county tax listing and parcels within 100 feet of the subject property, shall be mailed notice of a public hearing on the proposed amendment by first class mail at the last address listed for such owners on the county tax abstracts. The notice must be deposited in the mail at least ten but not more than 25 days prior to the date of the public hearing. The person mailing such notices shall certify to the Board of Commissioners that fact and such certificate shall be deemed conclusive in the absence of fraud. At the same time the first notice is sent out, a sign shall be posted on the affected property stating:
(1) The date of the hearing;
(2) The purpose of the hearing; and
(3) Where to get more information regarding the action.
(C) When a zoning map amendment is proposed, the town shall prominently post a notice of the public hearing on the site proposed for rezoning or on an adjacent public street or highway right-of-way. When multiple parcels are included within a proposed zoning map amendment, a posting on each individual parcel is not required, but the town shall post sufficient notices to provide reasonable notice to interested persons.
(D) (1) If the adoption or modification of the ordinance would result in changes to the zoning map or would change or affect the permitted uses of land located five miles or less from the perimeter boundary of a military base, the Board of Commissioners shall provide written notice of the proposed changes by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Commander of the military base not less than ten days nor more than 25 days before the date fixed for the public hearing. If the military provides comments or analysis regarding the compatibility of the proposed ordinance or amendment with military operations at the base, the Board of Commissioners shall take the comments and analysis into consideration before making a final determination on the ordinance.
(2) If the adoption or modification of the ordinance would result in changes to the zoning map or would change or affect the permitted uses of land within the jurisdiction of Caswell Beach, the Board of Commissioners shall provide written notice of the proposed changes by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the manager of the Cape Fear Regional Jetport not less than ten days nor more than 25 days before the date fixed for the public hearing. If the manager of the Jetport provides comments or analysis regarding the compatibility of the proposed ordinance or amendment with operations at the airport, the Board of Commissioners shall take the comments and analysis into consideration before making a final determination on the ordinance.
(E) Protest petition procedure.
(1) Protest petitions shall be applicable only to zoning map amendments and shall not be applicable to any other zoning amendment, supplement, change, modification or repeal. No protest against any change or amendment in the zoning chapter or zoning map shall be valid or effective unless it be in the form of a written petition actually bearing the signature of the requisite members of property owners and stating that the signers do protest the proposed change or amendment and unless the petition shall have been received by the Town Clerk in sufficient time to allow the municipality at least two normal working days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, prior to the date established for the public hearing on the proposed change or amendment to determine the sufficiency and accuracy of the petition. A petition protesting a zoning proposal may be on a petition form. Any map amendment petition must be signed by:
(a) The owners of 20% or more either of the area of the lots included in such proposed change; or
(b) The owners of 5% of those included in a 100-foot perimeter buffer adjacent to the subject property; or
(c) When only part of a parcel is affected, 5% of those properties immediately adjacent thereto either in the rear thereof or on either side thereof.
(2) Any petitioner may withdraw their request any time up to a vote on rezoning.
(F) A fee will be charged for each application for business use or application for rezoning of any property within the zoning jurisdiction of the town. A schedule of fees shall be maintained in the office of the Town Clerk.
(G) Proposed changes or amendments to this chapter may be initiated by the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Board, the Board of Adjustment or by one or more interested persons.
(H) An application for any change or amendment shall contain a statement of the present regulation, the proposed amendment to it and the name and address of the party requesting the change. An application for any change or amendment of a district boundary shall contain a legal description of the property to be affected by the change in the name and address of the party requesting the change.
(I) No amendment shall become effective except by favorable vote of three-fourths of all members of the Board of Commissioners.
(J) Protest petitions shall be handled in compliance with G.S. Ch. 160A.
(K) Following any vote, whether adoption or rejection, the Town Commissioners shall be required to prepare for the public record the following:
(1) A statement regarding amendment’s consistency with the town’s comprehensive land use planning document;
(2) The reasonableness of the request; and
(3) If their action furthered the public interest.
(Ord. passed 6-8-78; Am. Res. passed 11-11-04; Am. Ord. passed 1-13-05; Am. Res. passed 4-8-10; Am. Res. passed 12-13-12; Am. Ord. 2014-001-O, passed 4-10-14)