I Stand Corrected

Before I elaborate on my mea culpa, let me assure the gentile reader I have not wavered one iota in my opposition to this ill conceived airport idea. In fact I am more dedicated than ever :)

I had the opportunity to exchange emails with House Speaker Hackney on the subject of my claim that S1925 bypasses county zoning ordinances. Speaker Hackney asserted that S1925 did not circumvent zoning and that he had put specific language into the bill that prevented Orange county zoning from being bypassed. I told him was not a lawyer, but I still had concerns.

Speaker Hackney pointed to this specific language in S1925:

"§ 116-274. General powers.

(a) An authority created under this Article has all powers that a city or county has under Articles 1 through 7 of Chapter 63 of the General Statutes and, in regard to financing capital expenditures and operations, shall have such powers as are delegated to or conferred upon the constituent institutions or the University of North Carolina Health Care System. Notwithstanding other provisions of law, both regulations adopted by an authority under this Article and development regulations adopted by a county or municipality under Article 18 of Chapter 153A or Article 19 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes shall be applicable to land owned by and the approaches to land owned by an authority created under this Article. In the event the regulations conflict, the more restrictive regulation applies.

I pointed him to language in GS Chapter 63 that seemed to specifically conflict with the language he pointed me to in the bill:


(d) The jurisdiction of each political subdivision is hereby extended to the promulgating, adopting, administering and enforcement of airport zoning regulations to protect the approaches of any airport or landing field which is owned by said political subdivision, although the area affected by the zoning regulations may be located outside the corporate limits of said political subdivision. In case of conflict with any airport zoning or other regulations promulgated by any political subdivision, the regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall prevail.

Speaker Hackney assured me that the specific language in the bill he pointed me to overrode the more general language in the GS. He followed up with an emailed legal opinion from his office. This made sense when he and his staff explained it to me and I now believe I was wrong.

So, Speaker Hackney, I publicly apologize to you for stating incorrectly that the language in S1925 over rode the county zoning. I thank you for putting this language in that protects our county zoning. I also appologize to anyone else who was mislead by my comments.

I also want to say, I appreciate Speaker Hackney's patience and attention to this matter and hope the dialog can be opened up and the facts of this bill and the real reasons for the universities desire for an airport under their control can finally come to light.

I forwarded the email chain to Barry Jacobs and the OCBoCC. I said in my email to Barry Jacobs, that in light of the language in the bill, I think a timely review and appropriate tightening up of the Orange County zoning laws and special use permits is in order.



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