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May 16, 2023

Municipal – Real Property – Easements – Governmental Immunity – Insurance

Plaintiffs have an easement over a gravel road on a servient tract; the new owner of the servient tract developed that tract, built a road that crosses the gravel road, and offered the road to the defendant-town for dedication. The town has not accepted the dedication, but plaintiffs included the town as a defendant in […]

Feb 17, 2023

Municipal – Tort/Negligence – CGL Insurance – Governmental Immunity

Even though the defendant-city bought commercial general liability insurance, this did not waive the city’s governmental immunity, given that the policy expressly stated that the city’s purchase of insurance was not a waiver of governmental immunity under the General Statutes and that the insurance “applies to the tort liability of an[] insured only to the […]

Feb 17, 2023

Municipal – Appeals – Housing Board – Judicial Review

On 31 October 2019, the respondent-city’s housing appeals board upheld a notice of violation due to overgrowth and debris on petitioner’s property. Petitioner was notified that he had 15 days to appeal, yet he did not file notice of appeal until 21 November 2019. Even if the city failed to provide petitioner with the administrative […]

Nov 18, 2022

Municipal – Zoning – Residential – Agriculture Restrictions – Potbellied Pigs 

Petitioner kept ten potbellied pigs as pets, but the “Limited Agriculture” provision of the respondent-town’s zoning ordinance, which applies to petitioner’s residential property, prohibits the keeping of “livestock such as . . . swine. . . .” Although petitioner may treat her pigs as pets, the ordinance provision does not distinguish between commercial and non-commercial, […]

Nov 16, 2022

Municipal – Zoning – Remote Meetings – State of Emergency 

Plaintiff argues that the defendant-city violated its own City Council Rule 28 by holding an electronic meeting via WebEx to decide a matter that could have been postponed, i.e., the rezoning of property to allow the construction of up to 280 townhouses adjacent to plaintiff’s land. However, the meeting was held during the state of […]

Apr 25, 2022

Municipal — Vance Monument – Civil Practice – Standing – Completed Restoration Contract

The parties’ contract contemplated plaintiff’s restoration of the Zebulon Baird Vance Monument and the restored monument’s subsequent donation to the defendant-city. Since plaintiff had no ongoing contractual or ownership interest in the monument, plaintiff suffered neither injury nor infringement of a legal right when—after the monument was restored and the city accepted plaintiff’s don[...]

Apr 25, 2022

Municipal — Real Property – Subdivision Approval – Illegally Exacted Funds – First Impression – Off-Site Improvement Requirements

Although the plaintiff developer spent a total of $993,584 to meet its obligations under the parties’ Mitigation Measures Agreement,” much of that sum was paid to other parties, and G.S. § 160A-363(e) required the defendant-town to repay the developer only the amount the developer paid directly to the town. We affirm summary judgment for the […]

Apr 13, 2022

Municipal — Short-Term Rentals – Registration Requirement – Ultra Vires

Pursuant to former G.S. § 160A-424(c), the defendant-city was prohibited from requiring the owner of rental property (1) to obtain permission from the city to lease or rent or (2) to register rental property with the city. The General Assembly’s 2019 recodification of the statute to G.S. § 160D-1207(c) and its slight amendment of the […]

Apr 12, 2022

Municipal — Public Utilities – Water & Sewer Capacity Fees – Former Statute Version

The version of G.S. § 160A-314(a) in effect during the fiscal years 2016-2018 required that municipal water and sewer fees be applied to contemporaneous uses of those systems. Where the defendant-city collects and deposits “capacity” fees into its general water and sewer fund, carries the monies forward over time, does not currently have a plan […]

Apr 1, 2022

Municipal — Subdivision Roads – Civil Practice – Mandatory Injunction – Prior Appeal

The parties have a long history of disagreement about exactly how to bring the roads of the defendant-developers’ subdivision into compliance with North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. The trial court recognized this disagreement but failed to resolve the dispute when it ordered the developers “to submit to the [plaintiff] Town a proposed plan […]

Dec 27, 2021

Municipal — Subdivision Approval – Water & Sewer Capacity Fees – Developer’s Contract

The defendant-town asserts that it charged the plaintiff-developer future water and sewer capacity fees pursuant to the parties’ contract and not pursuant to an ordinance that is unlawful under Quality Built Homes Inc. v. Town of Carthage, 369 N.C. 15, 789 S.E.2d 454 (2016). However, on the town’s motion to dismiss pursuant to N.C. R. […]

Feb 10, 2021

Municipal – Public Utilities – Real Property – First Impression – Unconstitutional Conditions Doctrine

The plaintiff-developers argue that the defendant-county violated the unconstitutional conditions doctrine by assessing water and sewer fees prior to issuing permits to develop real property. The doctrine seeks to prevent the government from leveraging its legitimate interest in mitigating harms by imposing extortionate demands which may pressure a landowner into voluntarily giving up property for[...]

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