The latest attempt to repeal the Map Act, which allows the state to designate highway corridors and limit property rights in the path of future roadways, is headed to the Senate floor.
After being recommended by the Senate Transportation committee, the bill gained Rules and Operations approval Tuesday.
The bill cleared the state House by a 114-0 vote April 3.
A similar bill cleared the House in the 2015 session, but was not taken up in the Senate.
If the House measure eventually becomes law, the legislation would end the N.C. Transportation Department’s ability to designate corridors for future highway construction — including the path of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway.
Forsyth Reps. Debra Conrad and Donny Lambeth, both GOP, and GOP Sen. Joyce Krawiec and Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe are co-primary sponsors of their respective bills.
The Map Act is under fire from critics who say that it essentially takes land from property owners without compensation — a view upheld by the N.C. Court of Appeals when it ruled in favor of a group of landowners in the path of the beltway.
Those landowners and others across the state have filed suit saying that the state must compensate them for placing development limits and other restrictions on their properties through the Map Act. DOT has begun in recent months paying landowners for properties in the beltway’s path.
Conrad has said repealing the Map Act would give the state time to come up with a better method of road planning.
“The moratorium expires July 1, so this bill needs to be signed this month,” Conrad said.
She said that she expects Gov. Roy Cooper will do that.
Krawiec said repealing the map act “has been a priority for me since I arrived at the Senate six years ago. I believe the Senate will pass the bill quickly.”
“These families, many that have waited for decades, can now have closure and satisfaction that this will not happen to others.
“Properties will no longer be allowed to be held in limbo, and citizens will not be asked to carry the burden of maintaining current prices for future NCDOT construction.”