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State of North Carolina Scenic Resource Protection Ordinance

Urban | Suburban | Rural
At § 160A-402, the North Carolina General Assembly declares that “the rapid growth and spread of urban development in the state” is threatening many open spaces and areas that have significant “scenic or esthetic values,” and that cities and counties should have the authority to spend public funds to acquire property interests in such open spaces and areas to protect them. Open spaces and open areas are defined at § 160A-407(a) as “any space or area (i) characterized by great natural scenic beauty or (ii) whose existing openness, natural condition, or present state of use, if retained, would enhance the present or potential value of abutting or surrounding urban development.” The specific grant of authority to local governments to acquire property interests in open spaces is given at § 160A-403, and at § 160A-404, cities and counties are authorized to act jointly in such efforts.