§ 89A-1. Definitions.
The following definitions apply in this Chapter:
- Board. — The North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects.
- Landscape architect. — A person who, on the basis of demonstrated knowledge acquired by professional education or practical experience, or both, has been granted, and holds a current certificate entitling him or her to practice “landscape architecture” and to use the title “landscape architect” in North Carolina under the authority of this Chapter.
Landscape architecture or the practice of landscape architecture. — The performance of services in connection with the development of land areas where, and to the extent that the dominant purpose of the services is the preservation, enhancement or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, ground cover and planting, naturalistic and aesthetic values, the settings, approaches or environment for structures or other improvements, natural drainage and the consideration and determination of inherent problems of the land relating to the erosion, wear and tear, blight or other hazards. This practice shall include the preparation of plans and specifications and supervising the execution of projects involving the arranging of land and the elements set forth in this subsection used in connection with the land for public and private use and enjoyment, embracing the following, all in accordance with the accepted professional standards of public health, safety and welfare:
- The location and orientation of buildings and other similar site elements.
- The location, routing and design of public and private streets, residential and commercial subdivision roads, or roads in and providing access to private or public developments. This does not include the preparation of construction plans for proposed roads classified as major thoroughfares or a higher classification.
- The location, routing and design of private and public pathways and other travelways.
- The preparation of planting plans.
- The design of surface or incidental subsurface drainage systems, soil conservation and erosion control measures necessary to an overall landscape plan and site design.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 1; 1997-406, s. 1; 2001-496, s. 12.1(a).
Session Laws 2001-496, s. 12.1(b), provides: “The State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors and the Board of Landscape Architects shall agree to a Memorandum of Understanding that identifies areas of overlap or common practice regarding the scope of their respective professions and means for resolving disputes concerning standards of practice, qualifications, and jurisdiction regarding the identified areas of overlap. The parties shall send a joint written report to the General Assembly no later than April 30, 2002, concerning the Memorandum of Understanding and whether the changes in Section 13.1(a) of this act [s. 12.1(a) of Session Laws 2001-496] should be repealed or modified, and the General Assembly may consider and take action on the report during its session in 2002 or at any other time as it may consider appropriate.”
For article, “The Learned Profession Exemption of the North Carolina Deceptive Trade Practices Act: The Wrong Bright Line?,” see 15 Campbell L. Rev. 223 (1993).
For article, “In Defense of Occupational Licensing: A Legal Practitioner’s Perspective,” see 43 Campbell L. Rev. 423 (2021).
OPINIONS OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
A town may not, under its land use ordinance, require that all construction drawings submitted for approval be prepared and sealed by a licensed professional engineer, to the exclusion of licensed professional architects. Such a restriction would be in excess of the powers granted the town. See opinion of Attorney General to Mr. Michael B. Brough, Carrboro Town Attorney, 59 N.C. Op. Att'y Gen. 58 (1989).
The detailed drawings and accompanying calculations of street design and storm drainage systems, including subsurface systems and component structures, fall within the definition of the practice of engineering and not within the definition of landscape architecture. See opinion of Attorney General to Jerry T. Carter, Executive Director, N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, 2001 N.C. AG LEXIS 8 (3/22/2001).
§ 89A-2. Practice of landscape architecture or use of title “landscape architect” without registration prohibited; use of seal.
- No person shall use the designation “landscape architect,” “landscape architecture,” or “landscape architectural,” or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that he or she is a landscape architect or shall engage in the practice of landscape architecture unless the person is registered as a landscape architect in the manner hereinafter provided and thereafter complies with the provisions of this Chapter. Every holder of a certificate shall display it in a conspicuous place in his or her principal office, place of business or employment.
- No firm, partnership, or corporation shall engage in the practice of landscape architecture unless the firm, partnership, or corporation registered with the Board and has paid the fee required by G.S. 89A-6. All landscape architecture performed by a firm, partnership, or corporation shall be under the direct supervision of an individual who is registered under this Chapter.
- Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed (i) to authorize a landscape architect to engage in the practice of architecture, engineering, or land surveying, (ii) to restrict from the practice of landscape architecture or otherwise affect the rights of any person licensed to practice architecture under Chapter 83A, or engineering or land surveying under Chapter 89C of the General Statutes if the person does not use the title landscape architect, landscape architecture, or landscape architectural, (iii) to restrict any person from engaging in the occupation of grading lands whether by hand tools or machinery, (iv) to restrict the planting, maintaining, or marketing of plants or plant materials or the drafting of plans or specifications related to the location of plants on a site, (v) to require a certificate for the preparation, sale, or furnishing of plans, specifications and related data, or for the supervision of construction pursuant thereto, where the project involved is a single family residential site, or a residential, institutional, or commercial site of one acre or less, or the project involved is a site of more than one acre where only planting and mulching is required, or (vi) to prevent any individual from making plans or data for their own building site or for the supervision of construction pursuant thereto.
- Each landscape architect shall, upon registration, obtain a seal of the design authorized by the Board, bearing the name of the registrant, number of certificate and the legend “N.C. Registered Landscape Architect”. Such seal may be used only while the registrant’s certificate is in full force and effect.Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as authorizing the use or acceptance of the seal of a landscape architect instead of or as a substitute for the seal of an architect, engineer, or land surveyor.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 2; 1989, c. 673, s. 3; 1997-406, s. 2.
§ 89A-3. North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects; appointments.
- There is created the North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects, consisting of seven members appointed by the Governor for four-year staggered terms. Five members of the Board shall have been engaged in the practice of landscape architecture in North Carolina at least five years at the time of their respective appointments. Two members of the Board shall not be landscape architects and shall represent the interest of the public at large. Each member shall hold office until the appointment and qualification of his or her successor. Vacancies occurring prior to the expiration of the term shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term. No member shall serve more than two complete consecutive terms.The Board shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 93B of the General Statutes.
- The Board shall elect annually from its members a chair and a vice-chair and shall hold such meetings during the year as it may determine to be necessary, one of which shall consist of the annual meeting. A quorum of the Board shall consist of not less than three members.
- The members of the Board shall not be compensated. However, members shall be entitled to be reimbursed from Board funds for all proper traveling and incidental expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this Chapter.
- , (d) Repealed by Session Laws 1997-406, s. 3.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 3; 1979, c. 872, s. 1; 1997-406, s. 3.
For survey of 1979 administrative law, see 58 N.C.L. Rev. 1185 (1980).
§ 89A-3.1. Board’s powers and duties.
The Board shall have the following powers and duties:
- Administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter.
- Adopt rules to administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter.
- Examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for registration and renewal of registration.
- Determine the qualifications of firms, partnerships, or corporations applying for a certificate of registration.
- Issue, renew, deny, suspend, or revoke certificates of registration and conduct any disciplinary actions authorized by this Chapter.
- Establish and approve continuing education requirements for persons registered under this Chapter.
- Receive and investigate complaints from members of the public.
- Conduct investigations for the purpose of determining whether violations of this Chapter or grounds for disciplining registrants exist.
- Conduct administrative hearings in accordance with Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.
- Maintain a record of all proceedings conducted by the Board and make available to registrants and other concerned parties an annual report of all Board action.
- Employ and fix the compensation of personnel that the Board determines is necessary to carry out the provisions of this Chapter and incur other expenses necessary to perform the duties of the Board.
- Adopt and publish a code of professional conduct for all registrants.
- Adopt a seal containing the name of the Board for use on all certificates of registration and official reports issued by the Board.
- Retain private counsel subject to G.S. 114-2.3.
History. 1997-406, s. 4; 1997-456, s. 27; 2002-168, s. 7.
§ 89A-4. Application, examination, certificate.
Any person hereafter desiring to be registered and licensed to use the title “landscape architect” and to practice landscape architecture in the State, shall make a written application for examination to the Board, on a form prescribed by the Board, together with such evidence of his or her qualifications as may be prescribed by rules of the Board. Minimum qualifications under such rules shall require that the applicant:
- Shall be at least 18 years of age.
- Shall be of good moral character.
- Shall be a graduate of a Landscape Architect’s Accreditation Board (LAAB) accredited collegiate curriculum in landscape architecture as approved by the Board.
- Shall have at least four years’ experience in landscape architecture.
- Notwithstanding the requirements of subdivisions (a)(3) and (4) of this section, any person who has had a minimum of 10 years of education and experience in landscape architecture, in any combination deemed suitable by the Board, may make application to the Board for examination.
- If the application is satisfactory to the Board, and is accompanied by the fees required by this Chapter, then the applicant shall be entitled to an examination to determine his or her qualifications. If the result of the examination of any applicant shall be satisfactory to the Board, then the Board shall issue to the applicant a certificate to use the title “landscape architect” and to practice landscape architecture in North Carolina. Examinations shall be held at least once a year at a time and place to be fixed by the Board which shall determine the subjects and scope of the examination. The Board may adopt rules for administering the examination in one or more parts at the same time or at different times.
- The Board, within its discretion, may issue licenses without examination and licenses by reciprocity or comity to persons holding a license or certificate in landscape architecture from any legally constituted board of examiners in another state or country whose registration requirements are deemed to be equal or equivalent to those of this State.
- Repealed by Session Laws 1997-406, s. 5.
- The Board, within its discretion, may grant an honorific title license to persons who have held for a minimum of 20 years a license or certificate in landscape architecture issued by the Board or a legally constituted board of examiners in another state or country whose registration requirements are equal or equivalent to those of this State. The honorific title license shall allow the person to use the title “landscape architect emeritus”, but the person shall not practice landscape architecture or provide expert testimony as a landscape architect in this State unless the person complies with the provisions of this Chapter. There shall be no fee charged for an honorific title license.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 4; 1971, c. 162; 1979, c. 872, ss. 2, 3; 1997-406, s. 5.
For article, “In Defense of Occupational Licensing: A Legal Practitioner’s Perspective,” see 43 Campbell L. Rev. 423 (2021).
§ 89A-5. Annual renewal of certificate.
Every registrant under this Chapter shall, on or before the first day of July in each year, obtain a renewal of a certificate for the ensuing year, by application, accompanied by the required fee. Upon failure to renew, the certificate shall be automatically revoked. The certificate may be renewed at any time within one year after its expiration if the applicant pays the required renewal fee and late renewal penalty, and the Board finds that the applicant has not used his or her certificate or title or engaged in the practice of landscape architecture after notice of revocation and is otherwise eligible for registration under the provisions of this Chapter. When necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, the Board shall require such evidence as it deems necessary to establish the continuing competency of licensees as a condition of license renewal.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 5; 1979, c. 872, s. 4; 1997-406, s. 6.
§ 89A-6. Fees.
Fees are to be determined by the Board, but shall not exceed the amounts specified herein, however; fees must reflect actual expenses of the Board.
Application $100.00 License by reciprocity or comity 250.00 Annual license renewal 100.00 Late renewal penalty 50.00 Reissue of certificate 25.00 Corporate certificate 250.00
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In all instances where the Board uses the services of a testing service for preparation, administration, or grading of examinations, the Board may charge the applicant the actual cost of the examination services, in addition to its other fees. Fees shall be paid to the Board at the times specified by the Board.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 6; 1979, c. 872, s. 5; 1989, c. 673, s. 4; 1997-406, s. 7; 1999-315, s. 1.
§ 89A-7. Disciplinary actions.
The Board may deny or refuse to renew a certificate of registration, suspend, or revoke a certificate of registration if the registrant or applicant:
- Obtains a certificate of registration by fraudulent misrepresentation.
- Uses or attempts to use another’s certificate of registration to practice landscape architecture.
- Uses or attempts to use another’s name for purposes of obtaining a certificate of registration or practicing landscape architecture.
- Has demonstrated gross malpractice or gross incompetency as determined by the Board.
- Has been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a crime that indicates that the person is unfit or incompetent to practice landscape architecture or that indicates the person has deceived or defrauded the public.
- Has been declared mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction.
- Has willfully violated any of the provisions of this Chapter or the Board’s rules.
- The Board may require a registrant to take a written or oral examination if the Board finds evidence that the person is not competent to practice landscape architecture as defined in this Chapter.
- The Board may take any of the actions authorized in subsection (a) of this section against any firm, partnership, or corporation registered with the Board.
In addition to taking any of the actions authorized in subsection (a) of this section, the Board may assess a civil penalty not in excess of two thousand dollars ($2,000) for the violation of any section of this Chapter or the violation of any rules adopted by the Board. All civil penalties collected by the Board shall be remitted to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred. Before imposing and assessing a civil penalty and fixing the amount thereof, the Board shall, as a part of its deliberations, take into consideration the following factors:
- The nature, gravity, and persistence of the particular violation.
- The appropriateness of the imposition of a civil penalty when considered alone or in combination with other punishment.
- Whether the violation was willful.
- Any other factors that would tend to mitigate or aggravate the violations found to exist.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 7; 1973, c. 1331, s. 3; 1987, c. 827, ss. 1, 71; 1997-406, s. 8.
§ 89A-8. Violation a misdemeanor; injunction to prevent violation.
- It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to use, or to hold himself or herself out as entitled to practice under the title of landscape architect or landscape architecture or to practice landscape architecture unless he or she is duly registered under the provisions of this Chapter.
- The Board may appear in its own name in the courts of the State and apply for injunctions to prevent violations of this Chapter.
History. 1969, c. 672, s. 8; 1973, c. 1331, s. 3; 1987, c. 827, s. 72; 1993, c. 539, s. 610; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997-406, s. 9.