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NC Senate bill would end local design rules

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Some North Carolina lawmakers are pushing legislation that forbids local governments from adopting their own building design standards in most cases.

The Senate bill that passed the Commerce Committee on Tuesday says that local governments can't control design features such as color, exterior materials, interior layout and other style elements. Exceptions are granted for historic districts, in cases of safety and complying with other laws or flood insurance programs.

Supporters argue they're spelling out what the law already says and that local regulations drive up prices and restrict the market. Opponents argue aesthetic standards also serve legitimate public functions and the loss of local control prevents municipalities from meeting individual needs.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor. It already cleared the House in March.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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