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State of North Carolina Agricultural Land Protection Ordinance - Cities

Urban | Suburban | Rural
Under the Conservation and Historic Preservation Agreements Act, found at Article 4 within Chapter 121, cities have the authority to acquire conservation easements and other interests in property for the purpose of retaining the land for, among other uses, agriculture, horticulture, and farming. § 121-35, § 121-37. (See Conservation Easements, above.) Additionally, North Carolina has a statutorily stated goal of preserving one million acres of farm lands, open space, and conservation lands by 2009. §§ 113A-240, 241. However, the provisions of the Conservation, Farmland, and Open Space Protection and Coordination Act simply set forth the goal and direct the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to “lead the effort” and “coordinate with other public and private organizations and entities that are receiving and administering lands for conservation purposes.” § 113A-241(b). Thus, the actual effect of the initiative on local governments is not yet clear.