TRINITY — A resolution opposing bills the city said would limit its local planning and development authority was passed at the most recent meeting of Trinity City Council.
House Bill 401 and Senate Bill 349 were filed in the General Assembly as a means to “reform local government zoning authority to increase housing opportunities,” but city officials say the legislation shifts control from the local government to the state.
Staff and local governing bodies nearby believe the cause for the legislation is mainly with problems that have arisen in some municipalities across the state not allowing for multi-family dwellings at all. In response, the legislation reportedly will not allow differentiation in zoning ordinances between multi-family uses of duplex, townhome, triplex, quadplex and a single-family dwelling.
“Basically, there is a proposal in the House and the Senate of the state to state that if your property is zoned residential, you would be allowed to have single-family, duplex, triplex or quadplex on there,” said Marc Allred, Trinity’s planning director. “It wouldn’t matter what you guys say [as city council] if it’s zoned residential. I’ve had multiple people tell me this deal probably isn’t going to happen; it’s in pretty bad shape. … It just takes away the local authority of residential zoning.”
The proposed legislation would mandate that every local government in North Carolina must allow all “middle housing” types in areas zoned for residential use, including those residential zoning areas currently defined as for single-family homes.
According to a similar resolution in Davidson County, commissioners believe the bills do not actually provide an increase of housing opportunities, but instead hinder local governments’ ability to achieve compatible development of land within their jurisdictions. Commissioners and staff argue that opposition to the legislation is to promote desirable living conditions and stable neighborhoods.
In addition to changing the character of many established neighborhoods, the bills could also prevent local governance from preserving the rural nature of its jurisdiction and protecting agriculture. Officials say they’re concerned about the bills threatening property values due to inconsistencies in development areas, as state control is prioritized over local and individual interests.
“As far as I can tell, it’s just another infringement by the government on us,” Councilman Don Payne said.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.