160D-1403.1. Civil action for declaratory relief, injunctive relief, other remedies; joinder of complaint and petition for writ of certiorari in certain cases.

(a) Civil Action. - Except as otherwise provided in this section for claims involving questions of interpretation, in lieu of any remedies available under G.S. 160D-405 or G.S. 160D-108(h), a person with standing, as defined in subsection (b) of this section, may bring an original civil action seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief, damages, or any other remedies provided by law or equity, in superior court or federal court to challenge the enforceability, validity, or effect of a local land development regulation for any of the following claims:

(1) The ordinance, either on its face or as applied, is unconstitutional.

(2) The ordinance, either on its face or as applied, is ultra vires, preempted, or otherwise in excess of statutory authority.

(3) The ordinance, either on its face or as applied, constitutes a taking of property.

If the decision being challenged is from an administrative official charged with enforcement of a local land development regulation, the party with standing must first bring any claim that the ordinance was erroneously interpreted to the applicable board of adjustment pursuant to G.S. 160D-405. An adverse ruling from the board of adjustment may then be challenged in an action brought pursuant to this subsection with the court hearing the matter de novo together with any of the claims listed in this subsection.

(b) Standing. - Any of the following criteria provide standing to bring an action under this section:

(1) The person has an ownership, leasehold, or easement interest in, or possesses an option or contract to purchase the property that is the subject matter of a final and binding decision made by an administrative official charged with applying or enforcing a land development regulation.

(2) The person was a development permit applicant before the decision-making board whose decision is being challenged.

(3) The person was a development permit applicant who is aggrieved by a final and binding decision of an administrative official charged with applying or enforcing a land development regulation.

(c) Time for Commencement of Action. - Any action brought pursuant to this section shall be commenced within one year after the date on which written notice of the final decision is delivered to the aggrieved party by personal delivery, electronic mail, or by first-class mail.

(d) Joinder. - An original civil action authorized by this section may, for convenience and economy, be joined with a petition for writ of certiorari and decided in the same proceedings. The Rules of Civil Procedure govern the parties for the claims raised in the original civil action. The record of proceedings in the appeal pursuant to G.S. 160D-1402 shall not be supplemented by discovery from the civil action unless supplementation is otherwise allowed under G.S. 160D-1402(i). The standard of review in the original civil action for the cause or causes of action pled as authorized by subsection (a) of this section is de novo. The standard of review of the petition for writ of certiorari is the standard established in G.S. 160D-1402(j).

(e) Action Not Rendered Moot by Loss of Property. - Subject to the limitations in the State and federal constitutions and State and federal case law, an action filed under this section is not rendered moot, if during the pendency of the action, the aggrieved person loses the applicable property interest as a result of the local government action being challenged and exhaustion of an appeal described herein is required for purposes of preserving a claim for damages under this section.

(f) Stays. - An appeal under this section is stayed as provided in G.S. 160D-405.

(g) Definitions. - The definitions in G.S. 143-755 apply in this section. (2020-25, ss. 46, 50(b).)