Sec. 13-1. Planning board.
   A planning board for the town is hereby created under the authority of G.S. 160D-301 to serve the public interest by promoting the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Surf City and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. It is the intent of the town to have representation of a broad cross-section of community interests.
   (a)   Composition and vacancies.
      (1)   There shall be a planning board consisting of nine (9) members. Six (6) members plus two (2) alternates, appointed by the town council, shall reside within the town. One member, shall be appointed in accordance with G.S. 160D-307(b).
      (2)   Such members that are serving on the planning board at the time of adoption of this section shall continue their service in the same capacity as previously appointed until the expiration of their appointment terms of service. Planning board members shall be appointed for three-year staggered terms, but members may continue to serve until their successors have been appointed. Vacancies of member seats occurring for reasons other than expirations of terms shall be filled as they occur for the period of the unexpired term by appointment of the town council.
      (3)   If a member moves outside of the town, or its ETJ in the event they were appointed pursuant to G.S. 160D-307(b), that shall constitute a resignation from the planning board, effective upon the date a replacement is appointed by the council.
      (4)   Planning board members may be removed by the council at any time for failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings, for failure to attend seventy-five (75) percent or more of the meetings within any twelve (12) month period, or for any other good cause related to performance duties. Upon request of the member proposed for removal, the council shall hold a hearing on the removal before it becomes effective.
      (5)   All appointed planning board members shall take an oath of office before starting his or her duties in accordance with G.S 160D-309.
   (b)   Organization, rules and records.
      (1)   A chair and vice-chair from among the appointed members shall be elected by the planning board members annually at the first meeting of the fiscal year. The town manager shall designate administrative personnel to serve as secretary to the board. The planning director and town attorney, as requested by the planning director, shall sit as staff to the planning board and shall provide professional planning assistance and legal guidance to the board in the implementation of section 13-1(a). All members shall be entitled to vote.
      (2)   In the event of the absence of both the chairman and vice-chairman from a meeting of the planning board, the remaining members present may elect a temporary chairman for that meeting and proceed with the order of business.
      (3)   The chairman shall decide all points of procedure and for the transaction of its business, and the secretary shall keep a record of attendance, resolutions, transactions, findings, and recommendations. Such records shall record how each member votes on each question requiring a vote. The records of the planning board shall be public, and a copy of all minutes shall be placed in the town hall. The planning board shall hold at least one meeting every three (3) months, and all of its meetings shall be open to the public. There shall be a quorum of four members for the purpose of taking any official action required by this article.
   (d)   Meetings/attendance of members.
      (1)   Annually, regular meetings of the planning board shall be determined and published with the town clerk. Each member shall be notified of each regular meeting by the secretary to the planning board. The secretary shall also notify each planning board member of all joint town council/planning board public hearings. Said meetings shall be considered town council meetings for the purposes of determining the rules of conduct and procedure. The chairman reserves the right to move the meeting location, time and date of a regularly scheduled meeting so long as notice of such meeting is given to the general public and all planning board members are given written, electronic or oral notice of the change at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance.
   (e)   Member responsibilities.
      (1)   A member shall request to be excused from discussion of or voting on any matter 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)   No planning board member shall vote on recommendations regarding 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.
      (3)   No planning board member shall vote if the landowner of the property subject to a rezoning petition or any zoning amendment is a person whom the member has a close familial, business, or other associational relationship. A familial relationship shall be considered a spouse, parent, child, brother, or grandparent, grandchild. A familial relationship shall also consider step, half, and in-law relationships.
      (4)   A member shall represent him or herself as a board member and not undermine board recommendations at any other public meetings that address planning issues.
   (f)   Action by the board.
      (1)   All actions of the planning board shall have been put before the planning board members in the form of a motion, duly seconded, and voted upon by all unexcused members present for a quorum.
      (2)   Voting shall be done by voice or hand, as determined by the chairman. Only members present at the time a vote is taken shall be eligible to vote.
(Ord. No. 1979-1, § C, 4-3-79; Ord. No. 1992-41, § 1, 12-1-92; Ord. No. 2020-13, § 1 (part), 12-1-2020; Ord. No. 2021-13, § 1, 8-3-2021; Ord. No. 2024-10, § 1, 7-2-2024)
Cross reference— Boards, commissions and committees, § 2-101 et seq.