§ 155.705 CONDITIONAL ZONING DISTRICT.
   (A)   Applicability.
      (1)   Conditional zoning district review (also known as conditional rezoning) shall occur in accordance with the provisions of this section.
      (2)   The Town Council shall consider conditional districts, as may be required from time to time.
      (3)   All requirements shall be met within the boundaries of the area being rezoned. If all of the requirements cannot be met on the site being rezoned, prior to advertisement of the public hearing, the rezoning shall be expanded to include all property necessary to meet zoning requirements.
      (4)   A conditional district is not appropriate for developments that could be substantially achieved through traditional subdivision and conventional district rezoning.
      (5)   At a minimum, and to avoid the potential for spot zoning, a conditional zoning application shall include a minimum amount of land of either:
         (a)   Five acres; or
         (b)   One full city block (either existing or proposed) of at least one acre whose abutting street network connects to or extends in alignment with the existing public street network.
   (B)   Initiation of amendment. An owner of land within the jurisdiction of the town (or a duly authorized agent or representative) may petition the Town Council to establish a conditional zoning district.
   (C)   Pre-application conference. All applicants petitioning for a conditional district shall schedule a pre-application conference with the planning director in accordance with § 155.702(A).
   (D)   Neighborhood meeting. All applicants petitioning for a conditional district shall hold a neighborhood meeting in accordance with § 155.702(B).
   (E)   Application requirements.
      (1)   Concurrent with a request for establishment of a conditional district, an applicant shall submit a master plan, as detailed in this section, to govern the development and maintenance of the land within the conditional district. The master plan shall be prepared by a professional landscape architect, engineer, or architect properly licensed and in good standing in North Carolina.
      (2)   All applications for establishment of a conditional district shall be submitted in accordance with § 155.702(C).
      (3)   A traffic impact analysis shall be required if the proposed master plan meets the thresholds established in § 155.708.
   (F)   Notice and public hearings. The town shall hold all required public hearings and give notice in accordance with § 155.702(D).
   (G)   Action by Planning Director.
      (1)   Upon submission of a completed application, the Planning Director shall schedule the master plan for review by the Technical Review Committee. The Technical Review Committee shall review the master plan for consistency with the requirements of this chapter.
      (2)   Upon completion of the technical review, the Planning Director may meet with the applicant to discuss any changes in development design.
      (3)   The Planning Director shall prepare a staff report that reviews the application in light of comments provided by the Technical Review Committee, in light of the adopted plans and policies of the town, and the general requirements of this chapter. The report, master plan and any related application materials shall be forwarded to the Planning Board Town Council.
   (H)   Action by the Planning Board.
      (1)   The Planning Board shall make a recommendation on the application to the Town Council. The Planning Board's recommendation shall include a written statement to the Town Council describing whether its recommendation is consistent with the adopted plans and policies of the town. If the Planning Board fails to make a recommendation, the Town Council may process the request without a recommendation.
      (2)   Following Planning Board review, the Planning Director shall forward the completed conditional district request and any related materials, including the Planning Board recommendation (if applicable), to the Town Council for final action.
   (I)   Action by Town Council.
      (1)   Before taking action on a conditional district proposal, the Town Council shall consider the recommendation of the Planning Board (if applicable) and the Planning Director.
      (2)   The Town Council shall approve, approve with conditions or disapprove the conditional district.Any conditions of approval must be signed (or declined) by the applicant prior to the Council rendering a decision.
      (3)   Concurrently with adopting, denying, or remanding any conditional district, the Town Council shall adopt a statement describing whether its action is consistent with the adopted plans and polices of the town and explaining why the Town Council considers the action taken to be reasonable and in the public interest. If the Council adopts a conditional district that is inconsistent with any adopted future land use map a note must be placed on the map or maps that an amendment inconsistent with the map has been adopted and that the map is deemed amended.
   (J)   Conditional zoning district approval criteria. In connection with its legislative decision on a conditional zoning district request, the Town Council may consider factors including, but not limited to, the following:
      (1)   Consistency with the adopted plans and policies of the town;
      (2)   Suitability of the subject property for uses permitted by the current versus the proposed conditional district;
      (3)   Whether the proposed change tends to improve the balance of uses, or meets a specific demand in the town;
      (4)   The capacity of adequate public facilities and services including schools, roads, recreation facilities wastewater treatment and water supply facilities and stormwater drainage facilities for the proposed conditional district;
      (5)   It has been determined that the legal purposes for which zoning exists are not contravened;
      (6)   It has been determined that there will be no adverse effect upon adjoining property owners unless such effect can be justified by the overwhelming public good or welfare; and
      (7)   It has been determined that no one property owner or small group of property owners will benefit materially from the change to the detriment of the general public.
   (K)   Master plan contents and approval criteria. The master plan review shall include and the applicant shall be responsible for successfully addressing the following:
      (1)   At a minimum, the master plan shall designate:
         (a)   Where and which uses or groups of uses will occur.
         (b)   The proposed intensity/density of those uses.
         (c)   The general location of the internal and external network of public rights-of-way and public infrastructure.
         (d)   All required elements for establishment of a zoning district including but not limited to dimensional standards, open space network, natural resource preservation, and landscaping or buffering.
         (e)   Documentation that the proposed infrastructure improvements accommodate the additional impacts caused by the development, or documentation to assure that the development, as proposed, will not overtax the existing public infrastructure systems.
      (2)   The master plan shall include and the applicant shall be responsible for successfully addressing the following:
         (a)   Compliance with § 155.203(L) and all other applicable requirements of this chapter, or analysis and justification if it deviates from the requirement of this chapter;
         (b)   Consistency with the Clayton General Design Guidelines;
         (c)   Conformance of the proposal with the stated purpose of the requested conditional zoning district;
         (d)   Compatibility of the proposed development with the adjacent community;
         (e)   The quality of design intended for each component of the project and the ability of the overall development plan to ensure a unified, cohesive environment at full build-out;
         (f)   Compatible relationships between each component of the overall project;
         (g)   Self-sufficiency of each phase of the overall project;
         (h)   The fiscal impact of the proposal and the proposed financing of required improvements;
         (i)   The success of the proposal in providing adequate pedestrian and bicycle links within the development and with the adjacent community; and
         (j)   The effectiveness with which the proposal protects and preserves the ecologically sensitive areas within the development.
   (L)   Action after approval.
      (1)   Upon approval of a conditional zoning district by the Town Council, and on recordation of the approved master plan, the district is deemed established. Properly executed documents shall be returned to the office of the Town Clerk for recording no later than 90 days from the date of approval or the approval shall be null and void. All documents (including the approved master plan) shall be an integral part of the approved proposal.
      (2)   The approved conditional district and associated master plan shall run with the land and shall be binding on the original applicant as well as any successors, assigns and heirs. The approved master plan shall be recorded in the Johnston County Register of Deeds office and the Zoning Map amended.
      (3)   Approval of a conditional district rezoning and associated master plan does not constitute site plan approval or subdivision approval (if the property is to be further subdivided), except where the master plan meets the requirements for and is approved as a preliminary plat.
      (4)   Property to be further subdivided shall obtain approval in accordance with § 155.706. Where a preliminary plat has been approved, the applicant may move forward to provide construction plans and a final plat.
      (5)   Property not to be further subdivided shall obtain site plan approval as set forth in § 155.707.
      (6)   Special uses identified as such in the approved master plan require approval in accordance with § 155.711.
      (7)   The master plan shall run with the land perpetually, or until a subsequent rezoning is approved.
   (M)   Time lapse between similar application.
      (1)   In the event of a withdrawal of an application prior to action by the Town Council, no application may be filed requesting the same or substantively similar conditional district contained in the withdrawn application prior to the expiration of a minimum period of six months from the withdrawal of the application.
      (2)   When the Town Council has voted on a conditional district and the proposed rezoning has failed to be adopted, then the application shall be deemed to have expired.
      (3)   No subsequent application requesting a conditional district for any parcel contained in an application which has expired may be made prior to the expiration of a minimum period of six months from the date of expiration.
      (4)   No subsequent application requesting the same zoning category for any parcel contained in an application which has expired may be filed prior to the expiration of a minimum period of one year from the expiration.
      (5)   The Town Council, by a three-fourths majority vote, may waive the time-lapse requirements of this section if the Town Council deems it to be in the public interest to do so.
   (N)   Approved master plan modifications.
      (1)   Amendments or modifications to an approved master plan, if minor in scope, shall be approved administratively by the Planning Director. Minor modifications shall include up to 10% modifications (by area, intensity, or dwelling units) from the original approval to the approved mixture of uses (so long as the maximums stated are not exceeded), adjustments to phasing, and the realignment of internal stransportation infrastructure provided connectivity is not reduced. Changes in boundaries between land uses are permitted so long as the boundary abutting outside zoning districts does not change and the boundary between areas within the conditional district does not shift more than 100' for master plans covering 20 acres or less, 200' for master plans of 20 to 100 acres, or 300' for master plans of greater than 100 acres. Minor modifications to the typical project details, which include but are not limited to signage, lighting, parking, amenities, and landscape requirements shall also be approved administratively by the Planning Director provided they conform to all other aspects of the approved master plan, this chapter, and other town policies and specifications, as appropriate. Master plan modifications that require the judgement of a licensed landscape architect, engineer. or architect are not minor modifications.
      (2)   Major modifications include anything not identified as minor. Major modifications shall require resubmittal and reconsideration by per this section. Major modifications shall also include any proposed revisions that are deemed by the Planning Director to be inconsistent with the adopted plans and policies of the town, or the conditions of the district, or that would otherwise negatively impact surrounding properties in any manner exceeding the originally approved master plan.
(Ord. 2005-11-02, passed 11-21-05; Am. Ord. 2007-04-05, passed 4-2-07; Am. Ord. 2008-06-01, passed 6-2-08; Am. Ord. 2009-03-04, passed 3-2-09; Am. Ord. 2015-02-01, passed 2-2-15; Am. Ord. 2016-04-04, passed 4-4-16; Am. Ord. 2018-07-02, passed 7-16-18; Am. Ord. 2021-02-02, passed 2-15-21)