Sec. 14-632. - Planning board.
   (a)   Establishment of the board; qualifications. A planning board is hereby established consisting of nine voting members and one representative from the board of county commissioners and one representative from the board of education who will serve as nonvoting, ex officio members. All members shall reside within the county and shall be appointed by the board of commissioners.
   (b)   Tenure. Members of the planning board shall be appointed to serve terms of three years, and until their respective successors have been appointed and qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only.
   (c)   Officers. The planning board shall elect one member to serve as chairman and preside over its meetings, and shall create and fill such offices and committees as it may deem necessary. The term of the chairman and other offices shall be one year, with eligibility to serve consecutive terms.
   (d)   Powers of the board. The planning board shall have the following powers and duties:
   (1)   To make studies of the general development characteristics and problems of the county, including surveys and inventories of an appropriate nature, and to recommend standards and policies of development for the county or any portion thereof, or any project to be undertaken in this chapter;
   (2)   To seek to coordinate the activities of individuals and public agencies and organizations whose plans, activities, and programs bear on the general development of the county;
   (3)   To undertake, on its own or in collaboration with any other board, commission, agency, society, or organization, any programs of information, research, or analysis relating to any matters under its purview;
   (4)   To cooperate with other boards, commissions, or agencies of the county or other governmental unit in offering or requesting assistance, guidance, or advice concerning matters under the board's purview or of mutual interest;
   (5)   To formulate and recommend to the board of commissioners the adoption or amendment of ordinances that, in the opinion of the board will serve to promote the orderly development of the county in accordance with the comprehensive plan;
   (6)   To promote public interest in an understanding of its recommendations, studies, and plans, and to prepare, publish, and distribute to the public such studies and reports that, in the opinion of the board, will promote the orderly development of the county in accordance with the comprehensive plan and other county development policies;
   (7)   To request the board of commissioners to hold public hearings on matters within the purview of the board;
   (8)   To enter, at reasonable times, upon private lands and make examinations or surveys as necessary for the performance of its official duties;
   (9)   To conduct public meetings and hearings, giving reasonable notice to the public thereof;
   (10)   To review and make recommendations to the board of commissioners on special use permit applications where appropriate, and on proposed amendments to development ordinances and the zoning atlas;
   (11)   To review and take action on proposed plats for subdivision for conformity with land development regulations, in accordance with article III of this chapter;
   (12)   To establish an advisory council or other committees within its membership as it may deem necessary;
   (13)   To recommend that one of its members serve as a liaison with the county board of adjustment; and
   (14)   To exercise such other powers and to perform such other duties as are authorized or required elsewhere in this chapter, the General Statutes, or by the board of county commissioners.
   (e)   Meetings. The planning board shall establish a regular meeting schedule, and shall meet at least monthly and more often as it shall determine and require. All meetings of the board shall be open to the public, and reasonable notice of the time and place thereof shall be given to the public, in accordance with G.S. 143-138.9 et seq. The board shall keep a record of its meetings, including attendance of its members, its resolutions, findings, recommendations and actions. In case of a divided vote on any question on which the board is required to act, the record shall include the vote of each member.
   (f)   Attendance at meetings. Any member of the planning board who misses more than two regular meetings in a six-month period shall constitute grounds for the loss of status as a member of the board, and may be replaced by the board of commissioners. Absence due to a sickness, death, or other emergency of like nature shall be recognized as an excused absence, and shall not affect the member's status on the board, except that in the event of a long illness or other such cause for prolonged absence, the member shall be replaced.
   (g)   Quorum and voting. A quorum of the planning board, necessary to take any official action, shall consist of six members. The concurring vote of a simple majority of those members present shall be necessary to take any official action.
   (h)   Avoiding conflicts of interest. Planning board members shall adhere to the following conflict of interest provisions required by G.S. 160D-109:
   (1)   Financial conflicts. Members of the planning board shall not vote on any advisory or legislative decision regarding a development regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on the member.
   (2)   Relationship conflicts. A planning board member shall not vote on any zoning amendment if the landowner of the property subject to a rezoning petition or the applicant for a text amendment is a person with whom the member has a close familial, business, or other associational relationship.
   (3)   Shall not participate in or vote on any quasijudicial matter in a manner that would violate affected persons' constitutional rights to an impartial decision maker. Impermissible violations of due process include, but are not limited to, a member having a fixed opinion prior to hearing the matter that is not susceptible to change, undisclosed ex parte communications, a close familial, business, or other associational relationship with an affected person, or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter.
   (4)   If an objection is raised to a board member's participation at or prior to the hearing or vote on a particular matter and that member does not recuse himself or herself, the remaining members of the board shall by majority vote rule on the objection.
(Ord. of 7-10-2000, § 15.2; Ord. of 1-14-2002; Amend. of 4-2-2007; Amend. of 3-3-08(1); Amend. of - - )