Moore v. Board of Adjustment for City of Kinston, 113 N.C. App. 181 (1993)

Flea market does not fit definition of stores and shops conducting retail business.

Petitioner contested the board of adjustment's determination that his open air flea market was not a permitted use within the city's B-1 Neighborhood Trading District. Petitioner argued that the use fell within the permitted category of stores and shops conducting retail business. On de novo review, a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that the flea market is not a permitted use. Applying the canons of statutory construction, the Court sought to give the terms store and shop their ordinary and common meanings and to construe them within the context of the ordinance. Based on dictionary definitions of the terms, the Court found dispositive the fact that stores and shops were consistently defined as establishments, connoting a fixed place of business with a quality of permanence not found in the transient character of a flea market. Further, all other permitted uses in the district have a fixed or establishment-like quality to them, and a flea market would not fit within this context.

[Land Use; Definitions; Flea Markets]