Stanly commissioners define construction related term significant expenditure

Published 1:29 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

The Stanly County Board of Commissioners, with a split vote, have set a standard for significant expenditure for construction projects.

With a 5-2 vote, commissioners passed a new standard to establish a landowner’s statutory right to complete the project based on the standards at the time of the project’s beginning. Chairman Bill Lawhon and Commissioner Peter Asciutto voted against the motion.

The new standard states the developer or landowner must complete 25% of the dollar value of the construction of a project within the first 24 months after the county issues a permit.

After two years, developers must complete 25% of the remaining balance of the project within the next two years.

If the standards are not met for a project, the developer or landowner will have to resubmit the project for approval, taking into account any new standards passed within that time.

The 25% of the total project includes “costs of engineering, design/planning, grading, infrastructure, material construction, erection, alteration, excavation, demolition, or similar work.”

County Planning Director Bob Remsburg said he and staff have worked with county attorney Jenny Furr on what would be appropriate for the definition.

Remsburg said it was discovered that the definition, described as “substantially commenced work,” already existed in the zoning ordinances. Prior to the county meeting, the existing language had defined “substantially commenced work” as 20% of the project.

Vice Chairman Mike Barbee, who eventually made the motion which was passed, said he initially wanted 33% but added he “was willing to drop down to 25%, which would make it easier.”

Furr said once a developer or property owner qualifies as having made substantial expenditure, they would have a vested right for the project, but if not, they would have to start over.

When asked by Commissioner Brandon King if vested rights lasted forever, Furr said the rights would only if work continued on the project. If work is stopped for 24 consecutive months, the property owner or developer would have to reapply.

Remsburg said that at some point, he or whomever the zoning administrator was would have to make a determination if work was or was not progressing. The landowner could then appeal to the Board of Adjustments if they so chose.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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