Development Agreement Lawyers

In 2005, counties and municipalities throughout North Carolina were given approval by the North Carolina General Assembly to engage in long-term agreements with real estate developers. These intricate agreements fall under the area of zoning and land use and require developers and local municipalities to abide by certain statutory obligations. Because both the current and subsequent landowners are legally bound by these terms, it’s imperative to have assistance when drafting or reviewing a development agreement in North Carolina. Contact Goosman Rose Colvard & Cramer, P.A. today to schedule a consultation.

What Are Development Agreements?

Under North Carolina law, General Statutes (G.S.) §160A-400.20 through §160A-400.32 codify agreements for cities while G.S. §153A-349.1 through §153A-349.13 codifies counties. 

A development agreement between landowner and developer is a series of contracts dictating what can and can not be done by all involved parties. This includes cities, counties, developers, landowners, and lenders. Because both the developer and landowner have individual interests regarding the project, a real estate lawyer can make sure your interests are accounted for throughout the process.

Required Items In A Real Estate Development Agreement

Although the contracts have a litany of requirements for all involved parties to uphold, each development agreement must primarily contain the following items.

  • A legal description of the property and all names of equitable and legal owners; 
  • The type of uses allowed on the property, such as building types, design, and population densities; 
  • A list of all approved or need-to-be-approved local permits; 
  • Agreement duration; 
  • A description of dedicated land and/or land reservations for public purposes, along with applicable provisions for any environmentally sensitive property; 
  • A description of public facilities that will assist the development; 
  • Any conditions, restrictions, terms, or other standards deemed necessary by the local government meant to protect the public health, safety, and/or welfare of citizens; 
  • Descriptive provisions for the preservation and restoration of historic structures; and
  • A development schedule that includes commencement and interim completion dates with no more than five-year intervals.

Limitations Of Development Agreements

The agreements do have several limitations to be considered, including the following.

  • The property in question must be at least 25-acres in size;
  • The agreement can not exceed 20 years;
  • A public hearing on the proposed agreement must be held and follow public notice requirements that apply to zoning text amendments;
  • The local government can not require a fee or tax, or use any authority not otherwise allowed by North Carolina law; and 
  • Be consistent with ordinances enacted upon agreement approval. 

Changes To North Carolina’s Current Law

During the 2019 session of the General Assembly, state legislators passed Senate Bill 355. This bill repeals the existing statutes governing development agreements while clarifying and changing the state’s land-use regulatory laws. The bill took effect in two parts, the first begins on July 11, 2019, while Part II goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

Real Estate Attorneys in Asheville, NC

Large-scale developments can provide an economic influx to the developer and landowner alike for years. As the real estate landscape throughout North Carolina continues to change, having an ideal agreement in place is key. An experienced real estate attorney with Goosmann Rose Colvard & Cramer, P.A. can help you draft all the required legal paperwork for your next real estate venture. Contact us today!