Section 155.4.2  Establishment of Vested Rights.
   155.4.2.1  Purpose. The purpose of this section is to implement the provisions of NCGS 160A-385.1 pursuant to which a statutory vested right is established upon the approval of a site specific development plan.
   155.4.2.2  Establishment of a Vested Right.
   (A)   A vested right shall be deemed established upon the valid approval by the Board of Aldermen of a site specific development plan, following notice and public hearing as provided for by law.
   (B)   The Board of Aldermen may approve a site specific development plan upon the terms and conditions as may reasonably be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The failure to satisfy any of the terms and conditions so imposed will result in a forfeiture of vested rights.
   (C)   Notwithstanding subsections (A) and (B) above, approval of a site specific development plan with the condition that a variance be obtained shall not confer a vested right unless and until the necessary variance is obtained.
   (D)   A site specific development plan shall be deemed approved upon the effective date of the Board of Aldermen’s action relating thereto.
   (E)   The establishment of a vested right shall not preclude the application of overlay zoning that imposes additional requirements but does not affect the allowable type or intensity of use, or ordinances or regulations that are general in nature and are applicable to all property subject to land-use regulation by the town, including, but not limited to, building, fire, plumbing, electrical and mechanical codes. Otherwise applicable new or amended regulations shall be effective with respect to property that is subject to a site specific development plan upon the expiration or termination of the vested right in accordance with this section.
   (F)   A vested right is not a personal right, but shall attach to and run with the applicable property. After approval of a site specific development plan, all successors to the original landowner shall be entitled to exercise such right while applicable.
   155.4.2.3  Approval Procedures.
   (A)   Except as otherwise provided in this section, an application for site specific development plan approval shall be processed in accordance with the procedures established by ordinance and shall be considered by the designated approval authority for the specific type of zoning or land-use permit or approval for which application is made. Provided, however, that if such procedures established by ordinance do not provide for notice and a public hearing, in order for the applicant to obtain a vested right, the application must be considered and acted on following notice and a public hearing as provided in NCGS 160A-364.
   (B)   Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A) above, if the authority to issue a particular zoning or land-use permit or approval has been delegated by ordinance to a board, committee or administrative official other than the Board of Aldermen, in order to obtain a vested right, the applicant must request in writing at the time of application that the application be considered and acted on by the Board of Aldermen following notice and a public hearing as provided in NCGS 160A-364.
   (C)   In order for a vested right to be established upon approval of a site specific development plan, the applicant must indicate at the time of application, on a form to be provided by the town, that a vested right is being sought.
   (D)   Each map, plat, site plan or other document evidencing a site specific development plan shall contain the following notation: “Approval of this plan establishes a vested right under NCGS 160A-385.1. Unless terminated at an earlier date, the vested right shall be valid until (date).”
   (E)   Following approval or conditional approval of a site specific development plan, nothing in this section shall exempt the plan from subsequent reviews and approvals to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the original approval, provided that the reviews and approvals are not inconsistent with the original approval.
   (F)   Nothing in this section shall prohibit the revocation of the original approval or other remedies for failure to comply with applicable terms and conditions of the approval or the zoning ordinance.
   155.4.2.4  Duration.
   (A)   A zoning right that has been vested as provided in this section shall remain vested for a period of two years from the effective date thereof. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding sentence, a zoning right may be vested for a period not to exceed five years where warranted in light of all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the size and phasing of development, economic cycles, and market conditions. The determination as to whether the five year vesting period rather than the two year vesting period shall apply shall be made at the sole discretion of the Board of Aldermen. This vesting shall not be extended by any amendments or modifications to the site specific development plan.
   (B)   Upon the issuance of a building permit, the expiration provisions of NCGS 160A-418 and the revocation provisions of NCGS 160A-422 shall apply, except that a building permit shall not expire or be revoked because of the running of time while a vested right under this section is outstanding.
   155.4.2.5  Termination. A zoning right that has been vested as provided in this section shall terminate:
   (A)   At the end of the applicable vesting period with respect to buildings and uses for which no valid building permit applications have been filed;
   (B)   With the written consent of the affected land owners;
   (C)   Upon findings by the Board of Aldermen, by ordinance after notice and a public hearing, that natural or man-made hazards on or in the immediate vicinity of the property, if uncorrected, would pose a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare if the project were to proceed as contemplated in the site specific development plan;
   (D)   Upon payment to the affected land owner of compensation for all costs, expenses and other losses incurred by the land owner, including, but not limited to, all fees paid in consideration of financing, and all architectural, planning, marketing, legal and other consultant’s fees incurred after approval by the town, together with interest thereon at the legal rate until paid. Compensation shall not include any diminution in the value of the property which is caused by such action;
   (E)   Upon findings by the Board of Aldermen by ordinance after notice and a hearing, that the land owner or his representative intentionally supplied inaccurate information or made material misrepresentations which made a difference in the approval by the Board of Aldermen of the site specific development plan; or
   (F)   Upon the enactment or promulgation of a state or federal law or regulation that precludes development as contemplated in the site specific development plan, in which case the Board of Aldermen may modify the affected provisions, upon a finding that the change in state or federal law has a fundamental effect on the plan, by ordinance after notice and a hearing.
   155.4.2.6  Voluntary Annexation. A petition for annexation filed with the town under NCGS 160A-31 or NCGS 160A-58.1 shall contain a signed statement declaring whether or not any vested right with respect to the properties subject to the petition has been established under NCGS 160A-385.1 or NCGS 153A-344.1. A statement that declares that no vested right has been established under NCGS 160A-385.1 or NCGS 153A-344.1, or the failure to sign a statement declaring whether or not a vested right has been established, shall be binding on the land owner and any such vested right shall be terminated.
   155.4.2.7  Limitations. Nothing in this section is intended or shall be deemed to create any vested right other than those established pursuant to NCGS 160A-385.1.
(Ord. 1695, passed 11-8-12)