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Government Affairs LOCAL NEWS/UPDATES


ALERT: ANOTHER LOCAL REGULATORY MAN- DATE: BACKFLOW PREVENTION INSPECTIONS


Please check with the jurisdiction your apart- ment community is located to be sure you are in compliance with any applicable Backflow Prevention Ordinances.


Backflow is the undesirable flow reversal of water, liquids, gases or other substances into the City of Raleigh Public Water Supply. Backflow can occur when water pressure in the distribution system drops relative to a service line. This can happen due to the use of hydrants for fire fighting, water main break, high usage, or backpressure from a pump.


A backflow is an assembly that allows water to travel in only one direction. When working properly it stops a contaminant such as pesticides, fertilizers or animal waste from entering the potable water supply when either a backsiphonage or backpressure event occurs. A reduced pressure assembly (RPZ) is required for both residential lawn irrigation systems and when a resident uses public domestic service while also hav- ing a private irrigation well within the property limits.


In April, the City of Raleigh began notifying resi- dential and commercial customers whose backflow assemblies are due for testing. Do not be caught off guard, contact your TAA vendor to make sure your property is in compliance. For more information on Raleigh’s program visit http://www.raleighnc.gov/ home/content/PubUtilAdmin/Articles/CrossConnec- tionFAQ.html and Durham’s program at http://dur- hamnc.gov/ich/op/dwm/Pages/Backflow-Prevention- Program-(CCC).aspx.


N.C. SUPREME COURT’S LANVALE DECISION PUTS ORANGE COUNTY 3-R PROGRAM IN JEOPARDY


The Orange County Commissioners have been discussing several new operational and funding op- tions for their recycling program, in response to the recent ruling of the North Carolina Supreme Court in the Lanvale decision, which essentially states, “That where there is no direct statutory authority to levy a fee, a local government cannot levy a fee.”


Reduce, Reuse & Recycle (3-R) Fees is a multi-part fee that is assessed annually and billed on the property tax bill. All improved properties in Orange County are subject to the basic fee which pays for recycling services generally available to all, and then a sepa- rate collection service fee is assessed to all properties eligible to participate in the Multifamily recycling pro- gram (M fee), the Rural Curbside recycling program (R fee), or the Urban Curbside recycling program (U fee). For fiscal year 2012-2013 the Basic Fee is again set at a $37 per unit per year, the Multifamily Fee


8 the ApartMentor | May/June


is $19 per unit per year, the Rural Curbside fee is $38 per unit per year and the Urban Curbside fee is $52 per unit per year. A property with multiple units (whether those units are residential or commercial) will be assessed one fee for each unit. The owner of each property eligible for collection service will be assessed for the basic fee plus the specific service fee (M, R or U) regardless of whether the occupants choose to recycle or not.


The problem, however, may be that Orange County has been charging its residents a recycling fee that had not been approved by the N.C. General As- sembly. The Board of Commissioners will continue to discuss and seek public comment from residents. To follow the debate and learn more visit http://www. co.orange.nc.us/occlerks/agenmenu.asp.


STATE NEWS/UPDATES


GENERAL ASSEMBLY TACKLES REGULATORY REFORM


Legislation introduced this session would make big changes to environmental permitting, and could roll back portions of local regulations that exceed state mandates.


Senate Bill 612, the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, was introduced by Sens. Harry Brown (R-Onslow); Brent Jackson (R-Duplin) and Andrew Brock (R- Davie). This legislation would provide regulatory relief to the citizens of North Carolina by: • Prohibiting cities and counties from enacting ordinances that are more stringent that existing state or federal regulations; • Creating a fast-track permitting process for


stormwater and erosion control plans when certain minimum standards have been met and certified by the applicant’s engineer; • Allowing third-parties to request a review of existing state rules through the NC Rules Review Commission; • Allowing brick and wood debris to be used as fill on development sites; • Clarifying the laws relating to groundwater compliance boundaries; • Amending the prohibition on master meter- ing to permit an all inclusive lease in a multi-family property; and, • Eliminating riparian buffer requirements on property in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins.


This legislation could potentially save developers millions in infrastructure costs and substantially open the market for redevelopment of long-neglected infill sites.


Regulatory Reform has been tackled in each of the past two legislative sessions, and the 2013 General Assembly seems committed to taking additional steps


to improve North Carolina’s standing as a business- friendly state that can attract economic development and new jobs.


MAY 22 IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO ADVOCATE ON BEHALF OF YOUR LIVELIHOOD!


Listed below are key industry bills we are advocat- ing for passage in the 2013-2014 Session. We hope you can join us for our Apartment Lobby Day. If you can’t join us on May 22, please call or email your NC General Assembly members and ask them to support these pieces of legislation.


• MASTER METERS/LANDLORD- TENANT AGREEMENT


SENATE BILL 545, Master Meters/Landlord- Tenant Agreement. This legislation was requested by the Apartment Association of North Carolina and would allow landlords and tenants to enter into all inclusive leases, where all utilities are included in the rental payments. Current law requires all utilities to be in the name of the user of the utilities. Although this provision has not been en- forced and many of these leases are currently being used in North Carolina, technically they are illegal. The bill would allow the lease to include the cost of the electric service or natural gas service, or both, in the rental pay- ments and the service to be in the name of the landlord. Introduced by Senator Rabin, referred to the Senate Com- merce Committee.


• LANDLORD/TENANT/SHORTEN EVICTION TIME


HOUSE BILL 802, Landlord/Tenant/Shorten Eviction Time: This legislation would amend the laws related to landlord and tenant relationships to shorten the time period required to evict a tenant. Introduced by Representatives Earle, T. Moore, W. Brawley and Cunningham, referred to the Judiciary Subcommittee C.


• LOCAL GOVTS/BLDGS/ STRUCTURES/INSPECTIONS


HOUSE BILL 773, Local Governments/Build- ings/Structures/Inspections: This legislation would prohibit jurisdictions from adopting inspection ordinances that discriminate between owner-occupied and rental-occupied buildings. Jurisdictions will also be prohibited from levying a special fee or tax on residen- tial rental property that is not also levied against other commercial and residential properties. Introduced by Representa- tives W. Brawley, Moffitt, Hardister and Brisson, referred to the Govern- ment Committee.


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