Amendment to the Subdivision Ordinance for the County of Mitchell

Mitchell County North Carolina Seal

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WHEREAS, the County of Mitchell is a political subdivision of the State of North Carolina and a public body established under the laws of the State of North Carolina for the representation of its citizens and residents; and

WHEREAS, N.C. Gen. Stat. §160D-801 et seq. authorizes local governments to regulate the subdivision of land within its jurisdiction; and

WHEREAS, prior to the enactment of a subdivision ordinance for Mitchell County, large scale subdivisions such as the Village of Penland created lots which are inaccessible to unsuspecting purchasers, could not reasonably support a well or septic system, and were not sustainable as a productive use of land; and

WHEREAS, the North Carolina Fire Code requires that a subdivision road have a minimum of a twenty foot (20’) wide travel surface, which does not include ditches, culverts, and slope cuts for safe access by fire trucks; and

WHEREAS, the North Carolina Fire Code recommends that the travel surface be capable of supporting a “imposed load of fire apparatus weighing at least 75,000 pounds (34,050 kg);” and

WHEREAS, the Mitchell County Commission is mindful of respecting individual property rights, family divisions of land, and recombinations of land while providing for the public health, safety, and welfare of those purchasing such lots; and

WHEREAS, the minimum lot standards set forth in this ordinance are designed to facilitate compliance with the State requirements imposed upon the Toe River Health Department for setbacks of water from septic systems, leach field requirements, and repair area requirements; and

WHEREAS, having minimum lot standards will minimize unsuspecting purchasers from being stuck with an unusable property; and

WHEREAS, the division of land into parcels greater than 3 acres were no street right-of-way dedication is involved is exempt from regulation under this ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the division of land for certain smaller acreage tracts is exempt from regulation under this ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the division of land in accordance with the terms of a probated will or an inheritance is exempt from regulation under this ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the Mitchell County Commission seeks to balance the interests of those wishing to subdivide land with those of the prospective purchasers and needs of emergency responders;

Therefore, the County of Mitchell hereby adopts the following amended Subdivision Ordinance:

SECTION I.  The following amended Subdivision Ordinance for the County of Mitchell is hereby adopted:

SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE

ARTICLE I – Title

This Ordinance shall be known and cited as the Mitchell County Subdivision Ordinance.

ARTICLE II – Authority

This Ordinance is adopted pursuant to the provisions of North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 160D, Article 8.

ARTICLE III – Purpose

The purposes of this Ordinance are as follows:

  1. To provide for the orderly growth and development of the county.
  2. To assure adequate roads and utilities to sub-divisions within the county.
  3. To provide for erosion control and minimize sedimentation pollution resulting from land disturbing activities.
  4. To assure proper legal description, identification and recordation of sub-divided land within the county.
  5. To establish procedures and standards for the sub-divisions of land.
  6. To promote public health and safety.

ARTICLE IV – Definitions

Section 1.     Owner

As used in this Ordinance the term Owner shall mean the person, combination of persons, corporation or other entity holding title to the land sub-divided or being sub-divided.

Section 2.     Developer

As used in this Ordinance the term Developer and Owner are synonymous terms.

Section 3.     Agent

As used in this Ordinance the term Agent shall mean a person designated in writing to act for the Owner or Developer.  Acts of the agent shall be construed to be acts of the Owner or Developer.  Representations of the Agent shall be construed to be representations of the Owner or Developer.  If the Owner or Developer is a corporation, LLC, LLP or other entity authorized to own land other than an individual then the Agent shall be an officer or manager of the entity, or attorney acting upon their behalf.

Section 4.     Utilities

Utilities in this ordinance refers to any service provided to a subdivision not to include water and sewer.

Section 5.     Review Board

Review Board means the GIS Coordinator or Land Records Manager and the Director of Inspections. In the event that a municipality wishes to adopt this ordinance within their planning and zoning jurisdiction, the review board will have representation from that town.  The Board of Commissioners may from time to time designate additional members to review sub-division plats and other documents required in this Ordinance to be submitted for review and approval.

Section 6.     Comprehensive Plan

Comprehensive Plan means the entire package of documents required to be submitted to the Review Board with the sub-division plat including all necessary disclosures in recordable form.

Section 7.  Sufficiently Sized Fire Response Vehicles

Sufficiently Sized Fire Response Vehicles mean those fire engines, tankers, ladder trucks, or other vehicles commonly in use in Mitchell County, North Carolina which may reasonably be expected to respond to a structure fire call.  This definition shall include the dimensional requirements for access by fire response vehicles and apparatus as set forth in the North Carolina Fire Code as it exists at the time of the submission of the subdivision application.

ARTICLE V – Sub-division Definition and Exceptions

Section 1.     Sub-division Defined:

For the purposes of this Ordinance a sub-division shall mean any division of real estate into six (6) or more lots or parcels for the purpose of sale or building development (whether immediate or future) and shall include any further division of any parcel previously divided into only five parcels after the effective date of this Ordinance.

A sub-division also means the combination, recombination or division of previously sub-divided and recorded lots if the total number of lots is increased or the resultant lots are not equal to or in excess of the minimum lot sizes adopted in this Ordinance or if the combination, recombination or division of previously sub-divided lots results in the dedication of a new street or a change in existing streets.

Section 2.     Exceptions.

The following divisions of land shall not constitute a sub-division.

  1. The division of land into parcels all greater than three (3) acres if no street right-of-way dedication is involved.
  2. The division of land among tenants in common in a partitioning proceeding brought in the Superior Court pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 46 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
  3. A division of land among family members where the relationship existing between all Grantors and Grantees is that of parent and child, grandparent and grandchild or brother or sister.
  4. The combination or recombination of portions of previously sub-divided lots if the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of this Ordinance.
  5. The division of a tract into parcels in accordance with the terms of a probated will or in accordance with intestate succession under Chapter 29 of the General Statutes.
  6. The public acquisition by purchase of strips of land for the widening or opening of streets or for public transportation system corridors.
  7. The division of a tract in single ownership whose entire area is no greater than 2 acres into not more than three lots, where no street right-of-way dedication is involved and where the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of the local government, as shown in its subdivision regulations.
  8. A boundary line agreement between two adjoining property owners where the tract to be conveyed is recombined with an adjoining tract.
  9. A division of land exempt from regulation, to the extent provided for under N.C. Gen. Stat. §160D-802.

Section 3.  Consideration of previous subdivisions in determining applicability.

For purposes of determining the number of lots created and the standards required for approval, all previous subdivisions created within five years of the submission of the current application shall be considered in determining the total number of lots created and potential exemptions.  Subdivisions created more than five years prior to the submission of the current application shall not be considered as part of the review of the current application.

ARTICLE VI – Sub-Division Water and Sewer Systems

Section 1.  Compliance with Health Department Regulations.

Each subdivision of land shall meet the minimum requirements established by the State of North Carolina for water and septic compliance, including any rules and regulations established for the Board of Health having jurisdiction in Mitchell County.

ARTICLE VII – Sub-Division Roads

Section 1.     Definition:

Sub-division roads shall include all roads located within the sub-division and all roads connecting the sub-division to a state maintained road.  For the purposes of this Ordinance the following definitions shall apply.

  1. Private roads are roads that are open to public travel serving four (4) or more residents or addressable structures. A private road may not be part of the state maintenance system and /or any municipal maintenance system.
  2. Public roads are roads open to public travel and maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation as part of the state maintenance system.
  3. Access roads are roads built through vacant property to provide access to the property being developed. This road would not have lots platted along it.
  4. Dead end roads shall mean all roads open at one end only with special provisions for turning around as hereinafter mandated.  Dead end roads shall be classed as either primary sub-division roads or Local sub-division roads depending on the number of lots or parcels using the road for ingress or egress.
  5. Cul-de-sac shall mean a turning area at the end of all dead end roads either by bulb or T design as set forth in the North Carolina Fire Code.

Section 2.     Requirements for Sub-Division Access Roads.

  1. If the Sub-Division Access Road is to be dedicated as a public road then the road shall meet all minimum construction standards for sub-division roads as adopted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and obtain a certificate of approval as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. §136-102.6 prior to final plat approval.  Before beginning construction, the developer shall obtain a permit/encroachment agreement authorizing construction on state right-of-way and connection to the state maintained road.
  2. If the sub-division access road is not to be dedicated as a public road then the developer shall obtain a permit/encroachment agreement authorizing construction on state right of way and connection to a state maintained road before beginning construction if applicable.
  3. All gate codes will be reported to the 911 Communications Office and to the Mitchell County Building Inspections Office.  It shall be the responsibility of the entity having authority to alter such codes to immediately update any changes to these codes.
  4. Use of Existing Access Roads to Reach Property.
    In the event a proposed subdivision utilizes private roads or right of ways to reach the property, such private road or right of way may be used so long as it meets all of the following criteria:

    1. The application has a deeded right of way or judicially established right of way across the property which the right of way traverses;
    2. Installation or verification of erosion control measures in accordance with Article 10, Section 3 of this ordinance;
    3. Installation or verification of at least 6 inches of gravel base upon the travel surface of the road; and
    4. Attestation by a North Carolina licensed civil engineer stating that the existing access road accommodates ingress and regress for sufficient sized fire apparatus as established by the North Carolina Fire Code or stating that the road is built in accordance with the specifications set forth the most recently version of the North Carolina Fire Code (currently codified in Appendix D of the 2018 North Carolina Fire Code); or a letter from the Mitchell County Fire Chief for the district in which the proposed development is to be located and the Mitchell County Fire Marshal attesting that the existing access road can accommodate ingress and egress for a sufficiently sized fire response vehicle in accordance with the North Carolina Fire Code.
  5. Prior to a developer conveying any lots, all sub-division roads shall be completed in accordance with this Ordinance.  If a developer wishes to sell lots prior to the completion of all road infrastructure, the developer shall post a performance bond in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. §160D-804.1.
  6. Certifications Required on Recorded Plat.  Prior to entering into any agreement with or conveyance to any prospective buyer of any parcel or parcels or real estate contained within the boundaries of the sub-division plat the developer shall make public disclosure by means of a recorded instrument submitted for recording and in form for recording with the sub-division plat the following disclosures regarding all roads within the sub-division and all sub-division access roads.  Said disclosure documents shall completely disclose the status (whether public or private) of all roads within the sub-division and all sub-division access roads and shall include the following:
    1. As to all roads designated by the developer as public roads the developer shall certify that the rights of way and design for the road has approval by the Division of Highways, and that the road has been or will be constructed by the developer in accordance with the standards for sub-division streets adopted by the Board of Transportation for acceptance as part of the highway system.
    2. As to all roads designated by the developer as private roads the developer shall disclose that the road is not or will not be constructed in accordance with the standards sub-division roads adopted by the Board of Transportation and that the roads will not be constructed to standards sufficient to allow their inclusion in the state highway system for maintenance.
    3. With respect to all roads not completely constructed at the time of the submission of the sub-division plat for recording the developer shall make the following disclosures:
      1. The proposed method of payment for the construction of all roads not completely constructed including the amount of any irrevocably escrowed money, performance or surety bonds or irrevocable letters of credit guaranteeing the availability of sufficient funds to complete the construction of all sub-division roads.   If no money has been irrevocably escrowed and if no performance or surety bonds or irrevocable letters of credit have been obtained then the disclosure shall explicitly affirm their non-existence.
      2. The existence or non-existence of easements of sufficient width and adequate grade to allow the construction of all public sub-division roads in accordance with the minimum standards for sub-division roads as adopted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and to allow construction of all private sub-division roads in accordance with the minimum standards of this Ordinance.
      3. The estimated cost of construction of all roads not completed at the time of submission of the sub-division plat for recording based on estimate obtained from a disclosed licensed professional engineer.
      4. The estimated date for completion of all sub-division roads.
      5. The responsibility as to maintenance for all sub-division roads clearly disclosing the party or parties upon whom responsibility for maintenance shall rest.
      6. If any cost for construction or maintenance of any sub-division road is to rest upon the purchaser of any lot or parcels within the boundaries of the sub-division then such obligation shall be clearly disclosed.
    4. With respect to existing and proposed private access roads located on adjacent properties, the developer shall provide in the application documentation that legal easements are in place that allow for the increase in the burden of servitude due to the proposed development.

Section 3.     Construction Standards.

  1. Public Roads.  All sub-division roads designated on the sub-division plat and disclosure document as public roads shall be designed, and constructed to meet all minimum construction standards for sub-division roads as adopted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.  The developer shall present to the Review Board with the sub-division plat and disclosure document a certificate of approval issued by the Department of Transportation as required by NC GS §136-102.6(c) and the sub-division plat shall not be recorded without a certificate of approval by the Division of Highways that the plans of all roads designated as public roads are in accordance with the minimum standards of the Board of Transportation for acceptance of sub-division roads by the State Highway System for maintenance.
  2. Standards for private sub-division access road and private sub-division roads.
    1. Right of Way Width:  The minimum right of way shall be thirty (30) feet lying fifteen (15) feet on both sides of the center line of the travel portion of the road.
    2. Travel Portion Height:  The minimum height of travel shall be no less than thirteen feet six inches (13ft 6in) from the travel portion of the road to the lowest obstruction including utilities.
    3. Travel Portion Width:  The minimum width of the travel portion shall be twenty (20) feet lying ten (10) feet on both sides of the center line of the right of way of the road except the developer may apply to the Technical Review Committee for a width variance and a width variance may be granted for a length not in excess of six hundred (600) feet.
    4. Grade:  The maximum grade of any road shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%).  The maximum grade within one hundred (100) feet of any intersection shall not exceed ten (10%) percent.  A Variance as to the limitation of grade may be granted up to a maximum grade up to twenty percent (20%) for a distance not in excess of two hundred (200) feet.  .  Roads with a grade over 15% shall be paved. In consideration a Variance, all of the following must apply:
      1. The application must include a certification by a North Carolina licensed engineer that the resulting grade will not pose a danger to life, safety, or property and that the resulting grade will allow for proper ingress and egress of sufficiently sized fire response vehicles in accordance with the North Carolina Fire Code; and
      2. The Variance meets the standards and requirements set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. §160D-705.
    5. Curves:  All horizontal curves shall have a minimum radius of forty-five (45) feet.  Vertical curves shall have sufficient transition to accommodate a sufficiently sized fire apparatus in accordance with the requirements of the North Carolina Fire Code. The above curve requirements will not apply in the event that the developer submits a plan to the review board certified by a North Carolina licensed engineer that such curvature allows for sufficiently sized fire response vehicles as set forth in the North Carolina Fire Code.
    6. Surface:  The travel portion of all roads shall be surfaced with compacted gravel of not less than six (6) inches ABC stone or equivalent.
    7. Cut and Fill Slopes:  The maximum slope on any cut shall be on a 1.1/2:1 ratio.  The maximum slope on any fill shall be on a 2:1 ratio without being engineered.  All cuts and fills shall be stabilized.  All land disturbing activity and stabilization thereof shall be conducted in full compliance with the approved erosion control plan herein mandated.
  3. Culverts:  All culverts shall be the size mandated in the erosion   control plan and installed in accordance with the plan.  Culverts shall be designed and sealed by a North Carolina registered design professional.
  4. Bridges:  The minimum criteria for bridges on private roads within the sub-division and on Sub-Division Access Roads shall be designed and sealed by a North Carolina registered design professional.
  5. Shoulders:  The minimum shoulder width on each side of the travel portion shall be two (2) feet of the compact surface.
  6. Ditches:  Road drainage side ditches shall be constructed with sufficient width and depth to carry the expected volume of storm water runoff.
  7. Road names must be approved by the Mitchell County Addressing Office prior to submittal.  A copy of all road names in subdivision must be given to the Mitchell County Addressing Office after it is recorded.
  8. Standards for Cul-de-sacs.  All Cul-de-sacs and terminal roads shall be designed in accordance with the minimum requirements of the North Carolina Fire Code in effect that the time of submission of the subdivision application (currently codified as 2018 North Carolina Fire Code Appendix D (D103.4 and table D103.4).  Additionally, bulb design cul-de-sacs shall have a minimum radius of fifty (50) feet of gravel surface.  A T design cul-de-sac shall have two (2) prongs of 90° angles to the dead end road with each prong having gravel surface of a minimum of twenty (20) feet with a 45° radius in width and fifty (50) feet in length measured from the center of the end of the travel surface of the dead end road.  Grade on neither prong of the T design cul-de-sac shall be greater than eight (8%) percent.

ARTICLE VIII – Sub-Division Road Names and Signs

Section 1.     Road Names.

All Sub-Division Roads shall be named and the name approved by the County Agency in charge of addressing for 911 purposes before filing.

Section 2.     Signs.

Signs bearing the name of the road shall be placed within six (6) feet of the intersection of any road with another road and on the side of the road nearest to the public road providing access to the sub-division.  The sign bearing the name of the road shall be reflective green in color with the name of the road printed in reflective white lettering.  The sign shall be a minimum size of six (6) inches in height and thirty-six (36) inches in length and shall be mounted on a metal post at least six (6) feet above the ground.  Letters shall be of a minimum height of four (4) inches.   Vegetation or other materials which may obstruct the view of the sign to approaching vehicles shall be removed for a distance of fifteen (15) feet approaching the sign and the sign shall be and remain clearly visible to any approaching vehicle.  Road signs can be purchased from the Addressing Office upon approval by the Review Board, subdivisions can use their own signage.  If the signs are purchased from the Addressing Office the Addressing Office or designee will install those signs.  Sign locations must be approved by the board.

Section 3.     Costs.

There will be a cost for road signs.  The cost for road signs will be based on fair market values plus labor.

ARTICLE IX – Utilities

Section 1.     Rights-of Way to Sub-Division Boundary.

Before the filing of any sub-division plat there shall be secured and recorded a right-of-way for the installation of utilities from a utility distribution line to the boundary of the sub-division. A right-of-way for the benefits of the electric provider with a minimum width of forty-five (45) feet for the entire length from the existing distribution line to the boundary of the sub-division.  Utilities include but are not limited to electrical, telephone, internet, and gas, but does not include water and sewer.

Section 2.     Rights-of-Way(s) Within Sub-division.

There shall be clearly delineated on the sub-division plat rights of way for the installation of utility service to every residential lot within the sub-division.  If utility services to residential lots within the sub-division is to be provided by above ground lines then the minimum width of the right of way shall be forty-five (45) feet.  The right of way for utility service(s) may run parallel to the sub-division roads. If utility service(s) within the sub-division is to be provided by underground lines then the minimum width of the right of way shall be fifteen (15) feet.  The right-of-way for underground utility service(s) may run parallel to and with the road right-of-way.  Underground and aboveground lines may cross road rights of way where necessary at a ninety (90°) degree angle to the right of way.   Underground lines placed under the travel surface of the road shall be lowered at a minimum depth of three (3) feet and the location thereof shall be clearly identified on the ground and on the sub-division plat.

Section 3.     Disclosure.

With respect to all utility services not installed at the time of the submission of the sub-division plat for recording the developer shall make the following representations and disclosures:

  1. The proposed method for payment for the installation of said lines including the amount of any irrevocably escrowed money, performance or surety bonds or irrevocable letters of credit guaranteeing the availability of sufficient funds to complete the installation of all utility lines.  If no money has been irrevocably escrowed and if no performance or surety bond or irrevocable letters of credit have been obtained then the disclosure shall explicitly affirm their non-existence.
  2. The estimated cost of installation of all utility lines not installed at the time of the submission of the sub-division plat for recording based on an estimate obtained from a disclosed licensed professional engineer.
  3. The estimated date for the completion of the installation of all utility lines.
  4. If any cost for the installation of utility lines is to rest upon the purchase of any lot or parcels within the sub-division then such obligation shall be clearly disclosed.

ARTICLE X – Erosion Control and Damage

Section 1.       Sedimentation and Erosion Control Plat Mandated.

Unless the total area of land disturbed by all land disturbing activities including road and utility construction and installation constitutes less than one acre the developer shall submit to the Review Board with the Sub-division Plat a written notice from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Land Quality Section, written notice of approval of a soil erosion and sedimentation control plan.  No land disturbing activity shall begin until the notice of approval of the plan has been received by the developer.

Section 2.       Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan Violations.

If at any time following the beginning of land disturbing activity the developer receives notice of violation of the approved plan then all land sales within the sub-division shall immediately cease until all violations have been fully corrected.

Section 3.       Drainage.

All storm drainage on roads shall be adequate so that the road may be maintained without excessive costs, and not cause flooding on private property not within the sub-division.  All drainage shall be designed and installed in strict conformity with the approved Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan.

ARTICLE XI – Sub-Division Minimum Lot Size

Section 1.       Factors Affecting Lot Size.

Mitchell County recognizes that numerous factors affect the suitability of lots for residential development.  Among these factors are the availability of sewage disposal through a municipal or approved community sewage disposal system and the steepness of the land upon which residential housing is proposed to be located.  Recognizing these factors, minimum lot sizes may vary depending on the availability of municipal or approved community sewage disposal system and the slope of the land.

Section 2.       Minimum Lot Size.

Minimum lot size of one (1) acre for lots not having municipal or approved community sewage disposal systems available to the lot at the time the Sub-Division Plat is submitted to the Review Board for approval are established as follows:

  1. On any lot where the maximum slope between the highest and lowest point in elevation on the lot is no more than fifteen (15%) percent the minimum lot size, excepting rights of way reserved for sub-division roads, is one acre.
  2. On any lot where the maximum slope between the highest and lowest point in elevation on the lot is more than fifteen (15%) percent and less than twenty-five (25%) percent the minimum lot size, excepting rights of way for sub-division roads, is one and one-half acres.
  3. On any lot where the maximum slope between the highest and lowest point in elevation on the lot is twenty-five (25%) percent or greater but not in excess of thirty-five (35%) percent the minimum lot size, excepting rights of way for sub-division roads, is two acres.
  4. Lots where the maximum slope between the highest and lowest point in elevation  on the lot exceeds thirty-five (35%) percent are deemed not suitable for residential development but may be platted and sold as bigger areas provided that any conveyance of such lots clearly restricts building upon the lot.  Lots may be built upon with engineer approval and stamped drawings.

Section 3.     Lots.   Lots having immediate access to municipal or approved community sewer.

  1. For a lot restricted to one single family dwelling the minimum lot size, excluding rights of way for sub-divisions roads, is one half acre.
  2. For any lot designated for multi-family housing units such as condominiums, the minimum lot size, excluding of rights of way for sub-division roads, shall not exceed 43 units per acre maximum. Lots must be large enough to allow at least 1.75 parking spaces per unit. If the multifamily housing units are not on municipal sewer, then the multifamily housing must maintain a one (1) unit per .75 acre ratio.
  3. No lot less than one acre and no interest in any multi-family housing lot or unit of multi-family housing may be sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise alienated until sewer collection lines connected to a municipal or approved community sewer system has been extended to the lot boundary.

Section 4.     Modification of Lot Sizes.

If at any time following the filing of the Sub-division Plat sewer collection lines connected to a municipal or approved community sewer system are extended to any lots in an approved Sub-division meeting the maximum slope requirements contained in Section 2 of this Article, then all such lots then having such sewer collection lines extended to the boundary thereof may be divided into lots not less than one half acre, excluding rights of way for Sub-division Roads or they may be combined and changed into multi-family lots meeting the size requirements of Item B of Section 3 of this Article.  Such division or combination of lots shall not constitute a new sub-division even if the total number of lots in the sub-division is increased.

Section 5.     Setbacks.

Minimum setbacks are front 20 feet, side is 10 feet, and rear is 10 feet. All lot lines shall be marked prior to construction beginning.

ARTICLE XII -Sub-division Plat Review and Approval

Section 1.     Plat Approval Required.

Before any sub-division plat may be recorded it must be submitted to the Review Board for review and must bear the approval of the Review Board.

  1. There will be a review fee charged upon application submittal of $300.00.  Each subsequent review will be an additional charge of $100.00.
  2. Stages of approval are preliminary, road approval, pre-subdivision, water and sewer and final.
  3. The identification of every lot exceeding fifteen (15%) percent in slope between the highest and lowest elevation within the lot.\
  4. The identification of every lot exceeding twenty-five (25%) percent in slope between the highest and lowest elevation within the lot.
  5. The identification of every lot exceeding thirty-five (35%) percent in slope between the highest and lowest elevation within the lot.
  6. A certification that all sub-division roads including sub-division access roads are graded and in the proper location.

Section 2.     Documents to be submitted for Review.

The developer shall submit to the Review Board for review and approval the following documents:

  1. The sub-division plat in recordable form declaring under signature and seal of a registered surveyor or professional engineer compliance with all the requirements of Article VIII of the Ordinance entitled sub-division plats.
  2. A disclosure document executed, acknowledged, and in recordable form fully declaring all matters required to be disclosed by the provisions of this Ordinance.
  3. A copy of the written notice of approval issued by NCDEQ, Land Quality Section approving the soil erosion and sedimentation control plan for the sub-division.
  4. An executed copy of approval by the Department of Transportation for all sub-division access roads connecting to the state maintained road system if applicable.
  5. If the water  supply to any lots in the sub-division is to be provided by connection to a municipal water system a document executed by the appropriate municipality irrevocably permitting connection to the municipal water supply system and agreeing to supply water to the sub-division.
  6. If the sewage disposal system to any lots in the sub-division is to be provided by connection to a municipal sewer system a document executed by the appropriate municipality irrevocably permitting connection to the sewer system and agreeing to supply sewer collection and discharge service to the sub-division.
  7. If any of the sub-division roads are designated in the disclosures or on the sub-division plat as public road; a signed copy of the Division of Highways approval of the construction plan for all such public roads certifying that the plans are in compliance with the minimum standards for acceptance of the sub-division roads on the state highway system for maintenance.
  8. Sufficient data to determine compliance with road grade requirements with any area of any road exceeding fifteen (15%) percent grade clearly identified.
  9. A recorded copy of all necessary easements for the transmission of utility service from the utility distribution line to the sub-division boundary.
  10. A recorded copy of all necessary road rights of way for the construction and maintenance of sub-division access roads from the public road to the sub-division boundary.
  11. The full name, address and telephone number of the Developer and the full name, address and telephone number of the agent of the Developer submitting the documents to the Review Board for review.

Section 4.     Action by Review Board:

Within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the Sub-division Plat and all necessary documents the Review Board shall review all documents to determine compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance.  If the Review Board determines that all necessary documents have not been supplied or that any documents are not sufficient to meet the requirements of this Ordinance, it shall notify the Developer or the Agent of the absence or insufficiency of any document by letter mailed first class mail to the address to the Developer or Agent provided to the Review Board on presentation of the documents for review.  The Developer shall have fifteen (15) working days from the date of the mailing of the notice to supply any document not previously supplied or to correct any deficiency in any document supplied.  No denial of the approval of the Sub-division Plat for recording shall be made prior to the expiration of fifteen (15) working days of the mailing of notice by the Review Board to the Developer or Agent.

After review and after fifteen (15) working days from the mailing of Notice of Failure to submit necessary documents or deficiency in documents submitted for the Review Board shall determine whether the documents submitted for review are sufficient to demonstrate full compliance with all the requirements of this Ordinance and shall issue his approval or denial of sub-division plat for recording.

Section 5.     Notice of Denial:

The Review Board shall notify the Developer or Agent in writing of any denial of approval of a sub-division plat or any portion of a sub-division plat.  The denial notice shall be in writing and mailed by first class mail to the Developer or Agent at the address furnished to the Review Board at the time of submission of documents for review.  The notice of denial shall clearly state the following:

  1. All reason for denial including all portions of all documents submitted that are not in compliance with this Sub-Division Ordinance, any deficiencies in any of the documents and the failure to submit any necessary documents.
  2. Whether any of the reasons for denial may be connected by the granting of a variance together with the procedures for applying to the Technical Review Committee for a variance.
  3. The rights of the Developer to appeal the decision of the Review Board denying approval to record the sub-division plat including any time limitation for filing notice of appeal.
  4. The rights of the Developer to correct any deficiencies in any document submitted and to resubmit them for review.

ARTICLE XIII – Sub-division Plats

Section 1.     Recordable Plat Required.

Before any lot or lots constituting a part of a sub-division is sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise transferred from the developer to any person, corporation or other entity capable of holding title to real estate there shall be filed in the Office of Register of Deeds for Mitchell County a plat of  the sub-division made in full conformity with the provisions of NC GS §47-30 and the requirements to this Ordinance and bearing the certificate of approval of the Review Board  The final plat presented for recording must be prepared by a registered land surveyor holding a valid license to survey real estate in North Carolina and shall bear his signature and registration number together with his certification that the sub-division as surveyed complies with all the requirements of this Ordinance.

Section 2.     What the Recordable Plat Must Include.

Every plat submitted to the Review Board for review and recording must show sufficient data to determine readily and reproduce accurately upon the ground the following:

  1. The location, bearing and length of every line constituting the center line and width of the right-of-way of every sub-division road including all sub-division access roads including the radius and other data for curves in every road.
  2. The location, bearing and length of every line constituting the center-line and the width of every easement for utilities including every easement connecting the existing utility distribution line to the sub-division boundary.
  3. The location, bearing and length of every line constituting the center line and the width of every easement for sewer collection and water distribution lines, including every easement connecting an existing municipal water supply system and/or municipal sewer system to the sub-division boundary.
  4. The location of any community water supply system and community sewage disposal system.
  5. The location, bearing and length of every lot line and other property boundaries, including the radius and other data for curved property lines.
  6. That all accessible lot corners are marked upon the ground with visible survey markers or reference markers and the sub-division plat shall show clearly the location and type of every marker.
  7. The accurate acreage contained in every lot.
  8. Verify that each lot abuts upon a sub-division road or has a dedicated access easement.
  9. The final plat shall be eighteen (18) inches by twenty-four (24) inches for recording with the Mitchell County Register of Deeds, and shall be at a scale of not less than one (1) inch equals two hundred (200) feet. The final subdivision plat must show minimum and maximum elevations on each lot. Maps may be placed on more than one sheet with appropriate match lines.

Section 3.     Building Permits.

No building permit shall be issued for construction of any building within a sub-division unless the approved Sub-Division Plat is recorded in the Office of Register of Deeds.

  1. Lot lines must be marked before applying for approval for building permit.

ARTICLE XIV – Technical Review Committee

Section 1.    Appointment.

The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Technical Review Committee consisting of nine (9) persons.   The Committee shall consist of the following persons:

  1. One employee of the Mitchell County Inspections/Addressing Office.
  2. One employee of the Toe River Health District or the Mitchell County Health Department employed in the design and approval of private sewage disposal systems (septic tanks) and wells.
  3. One person named by the Mitchell County Fire Association.
  4. Two members of the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners.
  5. One (1) NC licensed real estate professional or real estate attorney, (1) one NC Licensed Surveyor, (1) one professional excavation contractor or NC Licensed Civil Engineer and (1) one NC Licensed Building Contractor.

Section 2.     Duties:

The Technical Review Committee shall hear and decide all appeals from denials of approval of Sub-division Plat recording made by the Review Board.  In hearing said appeals the Technical Review Committee is authorized and empowered to do any of the following acts:

  1. To adopt procedures for hearing appeals which procedures shall afford the Developer notice and opportunity to appear at the hearing and present evidence regarding any finding made by the Review Board, which finding constituted a basis for the denial of approval for recording of the Sub-division plat.
  2. To issue subpoenas to persons it deems necessary to present evidence regarding the decision of the Review Board directing said person or persons to appear and testify or produce documents at the hearing. Subpoenas shall be issued at the request of the Developer, the Review Board, or the Technical Review Committee.
  3. To administer oaths to any witness.
  4. To accept from the Developer any required documents not submitted to the Review Board and any documents modified after filing with the Review Board to correct deficiencies found by the Review Board
  5. To grant variances as allowed under the Article of this Ordinance entitled Variances if said variances will bring the proposed sub-division or a portion thereof into compliance with this Ordinance.
  6. To affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Review Board as may be appropriate based on the evidence and documents produced at the hearing and any variances granted by the Technical Review Committee after filing of the appeal.
  7. The Technical Review Committee is authorized to act upon and to grant or deny applications for variances received by any Developer in conformity with the Article of this Ordinance entitled Variances and to conduct such hearings and make such investigations as it deems necessary in deciding whether to grant or deny any application for variance.
  8. The Technical Review Committee is authorized to make recommendations for amendments to this Ordinance as it deems appropriate to better provide for the orderly development and to carry out the purposes of this Ordinance.

Section 3.     Meetings.

The Technical Review Committee shall meet upon the call of a meeting by the Chairman or a majority of the members and shall meet as necessary to act upon Appeals and requests for Variance.

Section 4.     Officers.

At the initial meeting of the Technical Review Committee it shall elect from its membership a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary.  The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings and it is authorized to call witnesses, issue subpoenas and administer oaths.  In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall exercise all powers and duties of the Chairperson.  The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Technical Review Committee including a recording of all hearings on appeal.  The Secretary is authorized to request from Mitchell County a county employee to record the proceedings and transcribe the recorded record of the proceedings.

Section 5.     Appeal.

Appeals from a decision of the Review Board shall be made in writing to the Technical Review Committee and filed with the Clerk to the Mitchell County Board of Commissions within thirty (30) days of mailing of the decision of the Review Board.  Every decision of the Technical Review Committee regarding appeals and variances shall be subject to review by the Superior Court Division of the General Court of Justice for Mitchell County by proceedings in the nature of criteria which shall be filed with the Clerk of Superior Court within thirty (30) days after mailing of written decision to Developer at the address furnished to the Review Board.

Section 6.     Quorum.

The presence of five (5) or more members of the Technical Review Committee shall constitute a quorum.  No business of the Committee shall be conducted except a quorum be present.

Section 7.     Appointment and Term.

The initial Technical Review Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners within forty-five (45) days of the adoption of this Ordinance.   Appointment shall be for a term of three (3) years unless set by role and the individual no longer meets the qualifications of the underlying position.  Vacancies shall be filled by the Board of Commissioners.

ARTICLE XV – Variances

Section 1.     Authority to Grant:

Only the Technical Review Committee is authorized to grant a variance from the requirements of this Ordinance and only as is expressly authorized by this Ordinance.  The standards to be applied to a Variance by the Committee shall be handled in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. §160D-406 and N.C. Gen. Stat. §160D-705.

Section 2.     Road Variances:

The Technical Review Committee is authorized to grant variances on the grade, width and slope requirements of Sub-division Access Roads and Primary Sub-division Roads as follows:

  1. To permit the reduction of the width of the travel portion of these roads to twelve (12) feet over a linear distance not in excess of six hundred (600) feet provided that the variance mandates at least one pull out within the middle one hundred (100) feet of the variance to allow for two lanes of travel over a distance of at least sixty (60) feet.  The pull out area combined with the travel surface of the road shall have a combined width of travel surface of at least sixteen (16) feet with two (2) feet of level shoulder surface on each side.  A width variance not in excess of three hundred (300) feet may be granted without a pull out provided the road is visible from both directions for the entire length of the variance.
  2. To permit increase in the maximum slope requirement up to twenty-five (25%) percent for a distance not in excess of one hundred linear feet and provided that no width and slope variance should be granted over the same area of any road.
  3. One lane roads with one way traffic will need to be a minimum of 12 feet in width.  The Board may approve variances on a case by case basis.
  4. The developer may apply to the Technical Review Committee for a grade variance and grade variances may be granted which allow maximum grades up to twenty percent (20%) for a distance not in excess of two hundred (200) feet.

Section 3.     Lot Variances.

The Technical Review Committee is authorized to grant variances from the maximum slope requirement of thirty-five (35) percent in the size of the lot exceeds two and one-half (2.5) acres.

  1. There is within the lot an area of at least one (1) acre that does not exceed twenty (20%) percent slope as determined in this Ordinance.
  2. The lot has been issued an improvements permit and the septic system as designed including the repair area is not closer than fifty (50) feet to the nearest lot boundary.
  3. All improvements will be placed on the area that does not exceed twenty (20%) percent slope as determined by this Ordinance.
  4. All improvements will be placed on the area that does not exceed twenty (20%) slope as determined by this Ordinance.
  5. The Technical Review Committee is authorized to grant variances from the minimum lot size requirement of one (1) acre in the following instances:
    1. The Developer has furnished satisfactory proof of the ability to provide sewer service to the lots from a municipal sewer system or an approved community sewer system in the following manner.
    2. The Developer has furnished a cost estimate from a registered professional engineer together with an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount sufficient to complete the work as determined by the estimate.
    3. The Developer deposits with Mitchell County certified funds in an amount equal to 125% of the cost estimate to be released only as the work is performed.

Section 4.     Factors to be Considered:

The Technical Review Committee in determining whether to grant or deny any variance permitted as to roads shall consider the effect of the variance on the ability of emergency vehicle to travel the road safely, the number of lots served by the road in the area of the proposed variance and the effects of the variance on the ability of vehicles to travel the road in an orderly, uninterrupted manner.  It shall also consider the difficulty and cost of constructing the road without the granting of the variance and any adverse affects on the purposes of the Ordinance, which will result from granting the variance.

Section 5.     Limitations on Variances.

No variance shall be granted except those variances expressly authorized by this Article and applicable statutory requirements.

Section 6.     Application for Variances.

The Developer may apply for any permitted variance at any time before submission of the sub-division plat for review and at any time between the denial of the sub-division plat for recording and the hearing on appeal to the Technical Review Committee.

ARTICLE XVI – Penalties and Enforcement

Section 1.     Penalties:

If any who is the owner or agent of the owner of any land located within the territorial jurisdiction of the Ordinance sub-divides his land in violation of the Ordinance or sells land by refinance to, exhibition of, or any other use of a plat showing a sub-division of land before the plat has been properly approved and recorded under this Ordinance and recorded in the Office of Register of Deeds for Mitchell County, shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor.  The description by meets and bounds in the instrument of transfer does not exempt the transaction from this penalty.

Section 2.     Enforcement/Injunctive Relief.

The County may bring an action for injunction of any illegal sub-division, transfer, conveyance or sale of land prohibiting the transfer or sale of any parcel of land sub-divided in violation of terms of this Ordinance.

The Mitchell County Department of Inspections shall deny building permits for any sub-divided lots that have been sub-divided in violation of this Ordinance and for any sub-division found to be in violation of any provisions of the Ordinance and for any sub-division having been notified to be in violation of its soil erosion and sedimentation control plan.

Section 3.  Civil Penalties.

The violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall subject the offender to a civil penalty in the amount of $100.00.  Violators shall be issued written notice of the violation which must be paid within 30 days after receipt of said notice. If the violator does not pay the penalty within 30 days, the County may recover such penalty, and all subsequently accruing penalties, in a civil action.

(A) Each day’s continuing violation of any Ordinance provision shall be a separate and distinct offense.

(B) Notwithstanding this Section, the Ordinance may also be enforced by appropriate equitable remedies issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction.

(C) If any division of this section is held to be invalid or unenforceable, all other divisions shall nevertheless continue in full force and effect.

(D) In the event it is necessary for the County to institute a civil action to collect a civil penalty for the violation of any provisions of this Ordinance, the offender shall pay all court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the County.

ARTICLE XVII – Subdivision Completion

Section 1. Final plat approval.

Following preliminary plat approval and the completion of any infrastructure required under this ordinance (of the posting of the appropriate bond in lieu of final construction), any individual may apply for final plat approval which under approval shall be recorded with the Mitchell County Register of Deeds.

Section 2. Continuing obligations.

Following final plat approval, the owners of the parcels shall have an affirmative and continuing duty to maintain any infrastructure not dedicated to and accepted by a governmental institution.  All such infrastructure shall be maintained in such a manner as to allow proper and appropriate access by emergency vehicle access consistent with this ordinance.

Section 3.  Severabilty Clause.

If any section, part or provision of this Ordinance is declared unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, then it is expressly provided and it is the intention of the County Commission in passing this Ordinance that its parts shall be severable and all other parts of the Ordinance shall not be affected thereby and they shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 4.  Publication and Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days following its passage and publication according to law.

READ, CONSIDERED, PASSED AND APPROVED at a regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners for Mitchell County, North Carolina, following a public hearing at which a quorum was present and which was held on the 10th day of July, 2023.

Adopted this the 10th day of July, 2023.

Signed, Steve Pitman, Chairman

Attest: Taylor McCurry, Clerk to the Board

Steve Pitman, Chairman
Harley Masters, Vice-Chairman
Jeff Harding
Brandon Pittman
Clayton Roberts