§ 156.224   AMENDMENTS.
   Zoning regulations and restrictions, and zone boundaries, may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed, modified or repealed, in the following manner:
   (A)   The Planning Board or the City Council may, on its own motion, institute an application for a change in the text or change in the zoning map.
   (B)   The owner of property, or one having financial or close interest in the property with the written consent of the owner, may institute an application for a change in the zoning classification of that particular property.  Any resident of the city or resident of the extraterritorial area or any person having financial or otherwise close interest in the property within the city or the extraterritorial area may institute an application for a change in the text of this chapter.
   (C)   The application for a rezoning shall be made in duplicate on a form provided by the Zoning Officer.
      (1)   Each non-contiguous parcel of land for which a rezoning is requested shall be considered as a separate application, and a fee (as established by the City Council) shall accompany each application.  There shall be no fee for applications instituted by any city governmental agency.  For the purpose of this division, land traversed and separated by a road, stream, right-of-way, or other similar natural or man-made configuration, shall be considered as contiguous.
      (2)   The filing fee shall be returned to the applicant only when the application is withdrawn by letter received by the Zoning Officer prior to the Planning Board review of the proposed change.  Each application shall be signed, be in duplicate, and contain the following information:
         (a)   The applicant's name in full; applicant's address, and detailed legal description of the property to be rezoned and tax map lot and number reference;
         (b)   Applicant's interest in the property and the type of rezoning requested;
         (c)   If the proposed change would require a change in the zoning map, an accurate diagram of the property proposed for rezoning showing:
            1.   All property lines with dimensions, distances of lot from the nearest street intersection and north arrow;
            2.   Adjoining streets with rights-of-way and paving widths;
            3.   Existing location of buildings on lot;
            4.   Zoning classification of all abutting lots;
            5.   The names and addresses of all adjoining property owners as shown on the correct records of the Union County Tax Supervisor's office. Adjoining property shall be construed to mean and include property on the opposite side of any street, stream, railroad, road or highway from the property sought to be rezoned, and, in the event the owner of the property sought to be rezoned owns other property adjoining the property sought to be rezoned, the adjoining property shall be construed to mean and include property adjoining the other property of the owner which adjoins the property sought to be rezoned.
   (D)   The application for a change in the text shall be made in duplicate, on a form provided by the Zoning Officer and the filing fee shall be in the same amount as required. The application change shall contain a reference to the specific sections, subsection, paragraph or item proposed to be changed, as well as the wording of the proposed change, and the reasons therefore.
   (E)   No application will be considered by the Planning Board unless it has been properly completed and submitted to the Planning Department prior to the meeting in which it is to be reviewed.  No application will be sent to the Planning Board until staff determines the application, site plan, and all other supporting documents are sufficient for staff to develop a professional recommendation.  Once staff has developed a recommendation, the application will be scheduled to be heard at the next available Planning Board meeting that is scheduled at least seven (7) days from staff’s acceptance of a completed application and preparing a formal recommendation.
   (F)   If a petition for rezoning is proposed, the Planning Board shall consider the matter. If a recommendation is made to the City Council, it shall be as follows:
      (1)   Grant the rezoning as requested;
      (2)   Grant the rezoning with a reduction of the area requested;
      (3)   Grant the rezoning to a more restricted district or districts;
      (4)   Grant the rezoning with a combination of divisions (F)(1), (2) and (3);
      (5)   Recommend that the application be denied; or
      (6)   If a petition to amend the text of this chapter is proposed, the Planning Board shall consider the matter.  If a recommendation is made to the City Council, it shall be as follows:
         (a)   Adoption of the amendment as written;
         (b)   Adoption of the amendment as revised by the Planning Board; or
         (c)   Rejection of the amendment.
      (7)   The list of all zoning districts in descending degrees of restrictiveness is:
         (a)   R-40 most restrictive;
         (b)   R-20;
         (c)   R-10;
         (d)   R-MF;
         (e)   R-MH;
         (f)   OT;
         (g)   G-B;
         (h)   G-I least restrictive.
   (G)   (1)   The Zoning Officer shall transmit the decision of the Planning Board to the City Council.  A public hearing shall be held by the City Council before the 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 city.  The first notice shall be published no less than ten (10) nor more than twenty-five (25) days prior to the date established for such hearing. In computing such period, the day of publication is not to be included but the day of the hearing shall be included. The Mayor reserves the right to adjourn the meeting to another place or time to be announced at the hearing.
      (2)   At least ten (10) days prior to the public hearing, all adjoining property owners as shown on the current records of the Union County Tax Supervisor’s Office shall be notified of the hearing by first class mail.  The owner of the property in question shall also be notified in this manner in the event the amendment was initiated by someone other than the owner.
      (3)   Any petition for an amendment to this chapter may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the person initiating such a request, upon written notice to the Administer.
      (4)   The first class mail notice required under subsection (2) of this section shall not be required if the zoning map amendment directly affects more than 50 properties, owned by a total of at least 50 different property owners, and the city elects to use the expanded published notice provided for in this subsection.  In this instance, a city may elect to either make the mailed notice provided for in subsection (2) of this section or may as an alternative elect to publish notice of the hearing as required by G.S. § 160A-364 but provided that each advertisement shall not be less than one-half of a newspaper page in size. The advertisement shall only be effective for property owners who reside in the area of general circulation of the newspaper which publishes the notice. Property owners who reside outside of the newspaper circulation area, according to the address listed on the most recent property tax listing for the affected property, shall be notified according to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, (G.S. § 160A-384(b)).
   (5)   When a zoning map amendment is proposed, the city 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 city shall post sufficient notices to provide reasonable notice to interested persons, (G.S. § 160A-384(c)).
   (H)   Statement of protest.
      (1)   A written statement of protest may be filed with reference to any proposed changes in the zoning regulations or in the zone boundaries.
      (2)   Zoning ordinances may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed, modified or repealed. If any resident or property owner in the city submits a written statement regarding a proposed amendment, modification, or repeal to a Zoning Ordinance to the Clerk to the Board at least two (2) business days prior to the proposed vote on such change, the Clerk to the Board shall deliver such written statement to the City Council. If the proposed change is the subject of a quasi-judicial proceeding under G.S. § 160A-388, the Clerk shall provide only the names and addresses of the individuals providing written comment, and the provisions of such names and addresses to all members of the Board shall not disqualify any member of the Board from voting.
   (I)   (1)   The City Council may render a decision concerning a proposed change to this chapter or map only after the public hearing has been conducted and officially closed.
      (2)   If the City Council has denied an application for the change of any zoning district or change in the zoning text, it shall not thereafter accept any application for the same change of zoning districts affecting the same property or any portion thereof or similar change in the zoning text, until the expiration of one year from the date of such previous denial.
      (3)   A City Council member shall not vote on any zoning map or text amendment where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on the member, (G.S. §160A-381(d)).
      (4)   When adopting or rejecting any zoning amendment, the Governing Board shall also approve a statement describing whether its action is consistent with an adopted comprehensive plan and any other officially adopted plan that is applicable, and briefly explain why the Board considers the action taken to be reasonable and in the public interest. That statement is not subject to judicial review.
(Ord. O-2003-63, passed 12-16-03; Am. Ord. O-2004-18, passed 6-1-04; Am. Ord. O-2006-10, passed 4-4-06; Am. Ord. O-2007-02, passed 1-9-07; Am. Ord. O-2010-03, passed 4-6-10; Am. Ord. O-2016-12, passed 5-3-16)