Vested Rights
Purpose. A Vested Right is a right established pursuant to NCGS §153A-344.1 to undertake and complete
the development and use of property under the terms and conditions of an approved site-specific
development plan. Any request for a Vested Right shall be granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment
(ZBA) in accordance with the requirements and procedures set forth in this subsection.
Pre-application Conference. Each applicant for a Vested Right shall meet with the Planning
Director prior to, or at the time of, the submittal of an application. The purposes of this conference
are to provide additional information regarding the review process and assist in the preparation of
the application.
Application. Each application for a Vested Right shall be submitted along with the appropriate
fee(s) and site plan to the Planning Department. Applications shall additionally include: (1) a letter
indicating the intent to obtain a Vested Right for the particular use or development proposed and
(2) a site-specific development plan. Applications may be modified by Planning Staff as necessary,
who may require the applicant to supply additional information pertaining to the Vested Right. 
Review Schedule. Applications for a Vested Right have a 30 day processing period for notification
requirements and review by Planning Staff (and, if necessary, the Technical Review Committee
(TRC)) prior to the public hearing.
Fees. Any review fee established by the Commissioners shall be submitted with the application.
Staff Review. Planning Staff shall process and review all applications for a Vested Right. Planning Staff
may present the application to the TRC for its comments and recommendations and may forward the
application on to the appropriate departments and agencies for their review. Planning Staff shall prepare a
staff recommendation for the ZBA on the vested right application.
Public Hearing. Prior to considering a vested right application the ZBA shall hold a public hearing on the
application in accordance with §42-371 (Quasi-Judicial Process Standards).
Public Notification. Public notification of such hearing shall comply with the provisions of §42-371 (Quasi-
Judicial Process Standards). Planning Staff shall be responsible for all necessary public notifications. 
Quasi-Judicial Proceeding.
Standards of Review. The ZBA shall grant a Vested Right upon finding that all provisions of this
Chapter are met in the proposed use or development plan and that the granting of the Vested Right
does not materially endanger the public health, safety and welfare. The Zoning Administrator is
directed to issue all required permits subject to the changes in the site plan (see §42-364 (Vested
Rights) subsection F(2)) to be made by the developer. A variance shall not constitute a site-
specific development plan and approval of a site-specific development plan with the condition that
a variance is obtained shall not confer a Vested Right unless and until the necessary variance is
Conditions. The ZBA may approve a Vested Right request subject to conditions that are necessary
to protect the public health, safety and welfare. 
Review. The ZBA shall reach a decision within 45 days of the conclusion of the Vested Rights
hearing. The ZBA shall issue an order within 45 days of reaching its decision.
Vested Right Validity. Upon the ZBA approving a site-specific development plan, there shall be a vest on
such site-specific development plan for a period of two (2) years from the date of approval. A Vested Right
shall confer upon the terms and conditions of the site-specific development plan as provided for in this
Vested Right Extension. The ZBA may approve a vesting period not to exceed five (5) years from
the date of approval at the request of the landowner if it is found that the development cannot be
secured within two (2) years because of the: 
Size of the development, 
Level of investment required, or 
Current lack of, but potential future need for, the development. 
Vested Right Minor Modification. The Zoning Administrator may authorize minor modifications
to the site-specific development plan provided that the changes in the plan do not change the basic
relationship of the conditions set forth by the ZBA. Changes in detail that may be modified shall
include, but not be limited to, the reduction in:
Square footage of signs
Square footage of buildings and
The number of buildings
Applications for a minor modification shall include a new site-specific development plan and a
detailed description of the proposed changes. Each applicant may appeal the decision of the
Zoning Administrator regarding the Vested Right to the ZBA.
Vested Right Revocation. The ZBA may conclude forfeiture of a Vested Right previously recorded
where there is failure to abide by the terms and conditions placed upon the original approval.