north carolina
Population: 7,650,789
Counties: 100
Governor Mike Easley

Key Laws/Administrative Actions/Media

Click here for the amount of protected land in North Carolina, and click here to review North Carolina's federal transportation spending.
Source:  Pew Center on the States & Changing Direction:  Federal Transportation Spending in the 1990s. Surface Transportation Policy Project

The following are some the legislative priorities for the North Carolina Low Income Housing Coalition the 2001 legislative session:
· $50 million in recurring annual appropriations to the Housing Trust Fund
· Give local governments express statutory authority to adopt inclusionary housing programs that require that all large new housing developments include some affordable homes in return for compensating density bonuses.
· Expand the state housing tax credit from 25% to 75% of the federal credit for Tier 3, 4 and 5 (more urban) enterprise areas.
· Authorize $5 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to be used for housing costs.
NCLIHC acts as a clearinghouse and unified voice for several local housing organizations throughout the state, To learn more about the North Carolina Low Income Housing Coalition's goals and priorities, click here

Contact information:
NC Low Income Housing Coalition
3948 Browning Place, Suite 210
Raleigh, NC  27609

Key Laws:
For an overview of North Carolina's planning and zoning statutes, see a summary provided by the American Planning Association .

Due to the destructive affect of large hog farms on North Carolina's rural public health and quality of life, on July 21, Governor Hunt signed the Clean Water Act of 1999 into law, extending the moratorium on new or expanded large-scale hog farms, raising the maximum water pollution fine from $10,000 per day to $25,000 per day and imposing public disclosure requirements for spills at wastewater treatment plants and from animal

H.B. 1468 Growth Management Act (1999) 
This act will create a growth management framework including impact fees, urban growth boundaries, and consistency with local plans.
An act providing for effective growth management by local governments, authorizing impact taxes by local governments engaging in effective growth management, providing for the acquisition by local governments of interests in land for conservation purposes; and allowing property subject to conservation management agreements to be taxed at its present-use value.

Environmental Policy Act of 1971 (1971, c. 1203, s. 1; 1991, c.
431, s. 1.)
The purposes of this Article are: 

  • To declare a State policy which will encourage the wise, productive, and beneficial use of the natural resources of the State without damage to the environment. 
  • Maintain a healthy and pleasant environment.
  • Preserve the natural beauty of the State.
  • To encourage an educational program which will create a public awareness of our environment and its related programs.
  • To require agencies of the State to consider and report upon environmental aspects and consequences of their actions involving the expenditure of public moneys or use of public land; and to provide means to implement these purposes.
Administrative Actions:
Coastal Buffers Directive
In November 1999, the Coastal Resources Commission adopted a rule requiring structures to be built at least 30 feet from the water on coastal waterfront property. Buffers help water quality by filtering pollutants and nutrients from runoff. They also help protect houses and other structures against flooding. The rule applies to property along rivers, streams, sounds, marshes and other navigable waters in the 20 coastal counties.

Conservation Easements on Swine Operations
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently announced it has begun accepting offers from pork producers with operations in the 100-year floodplain who are interested in selling their permit to operate a feedlot. The solicitation is part of DENR’s Program to Acquire Conservation Easements on Swine Operations within the 100-year Floodplain, a program funded through a $5.7 million grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Gov Hunt's Initiative for 1 million acres saved
North Carolina’s economic vitality is encouraging unprecedented growth –
another 2 million people will be added to the state’s current population of 7.6 million by 2020. Our state needs a green infrastructure of protected open space and farmland to complement this growth and development and to maintain our high quality of life. Therefore, Governor Hunt has challenged North Carolina to add one million acres to North Carolina’s current assemblage of permanently conserved open space and farmland by the end of the year 2009. 
For more information, please go to

Smart Growth North Carolina Commission 
The commission was created in 1999 to study North Carolina's explosive growth and issue periodic reports. 

21st Century Communities Task Force
The Task Force, which has already held 13 public hearings by 1999, is attempting to build a public concensus and plan of action regarding North Carolina's urban and rural future.

The Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy at the Brookings Institute released "Adding it
up: Growth Trends and Policies in North Carolina" summarizing the growth trends in North
Carolina. The report concludes that the state needs to grow differently, in a more compact
and balanced fashion. The report offers eight policy options that can put North Carolina on
a different growth path, and detailed suggestions for future research that can help all North
Carolinians make the link between public policies and development. 

"Why cities need farms; And, conversely, why farms need cities," The Charlotte Observer.
May 5, 2001.

"The 10-year spread: 2000 census shows suburban sprawl continuing across the Triangle,"
News and Observer. April 30, 2001.

"N.C. falling short on land preservation," The Charlotte Observer. March 21, 2001.


"Rezoning votes test support for `smart growth' policies." Charlotte Observer. January 26, 2001.

North Carolina Sierra Club and North Carolina Sierra Club's Challenge to Sprawl Campaign are reachable at:
112 S. Blount St., Raleigh, NC 27601
Ph:  919-833-8467
Fax: 919-833-8460

North Carolina Smart Growth Alliance
To bring North Carolinians together to inspire, create and promote a shared vision of growth
which sustains and enriches the character of our communities, the health of our environment,
and the strength of our economy. We accomplish this mission through inclusion, education,
communication and consensus-building.