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COA Decision Highlights Important Practice Reminder

March 2, 2011

The North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in CRLP Durham v. Durham City/County Board of Adjustment, COA10-120, underscores the importance of a carefully assembled record on appeal.  As is often the case in many zoning cases, including vested rights, two or more ordinances are at issue.  In CLRP Durham, the petitioners only included excerpts from one of the two ordinances that had been adopted by the City.  Noting that N.C. Courts will not take judicial notice of municipal ordinances and that “[a]ppellate review is based solely upon the record on appeal . . . ,” the COA dismissed the appeal.

The Court also discussed Overton v. Camden County, 155 N.C. App. 391, 574 S.E.2d 157 (2002), as it pertains to determining which ordinance applies in circumstances where the facts and relevant time period span the adoption of multiple ordinances.  I have an article idea that includes analysis of Overton that I hope to get out the incubation phase soon!

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