(a) A land-use plan for a county shall, for the purpose of this Article, consist of statements of objectives, policies, and standards to be followed in public and private use of land within the county, which shall be supplemented by maps showing the appropriate location of particular types of land or water use and their relationships to each other and to public facilities and by specific criteria for particular types of land or water use in particular areas. The plan shall give special attention to the protection and appropriate development of areas of environmental concern designated under Part 3. The plan shall be consistent with the goals of the coastal area management system as set forth in G.S. 113A-102 and with the State guidelines adopted by the Commission under G.S. 113A-107. The plan shall be adopted, and may be amended from time to time, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section.
(b) The body charged with preparation and adoption of a county's land-use plan (whether the county government or the Commission) may delegate some or all of its responsibilities to the lead regional organization for the region of which the county is a part. Any such delegation shall become effective upon the acceptance thereof by the lead regional organization. Any county proposing a delegation to the lead regional organization shall give written notice thereof to the Commission at least two weeks prior to the date on which such action is to be taken. Any city or county within the coastal area may also seek the assistance or advice of its lead regional organization in carrying out any planning activity under this Article.
(c) The body charged with preparation and adoption of a county's land-use plan (whether the county or the Commission or a unit delegated such responsibility) may either (i) delegate to a city within the county responsibility for preparing those portions of the land-use plan which affect land within the city's zoning jurisdiction or (ii) receive recommendations from the city concerning those portions of the land-use plan which affect land within the city's zoning jurisdiction, prior to finally adopting the plan or any amendments thereto or (iii) delegate responsibility to some cities and receive recommendations from other cities in the county. The body shall give written notice to the Commission of its election among these alternatives. On written application from a city to the Commission, the Commission shall require the body to delegate plan-making authority to that city for land within the city's zoning jurisdiction if the Commission finds that the city is currently enforcing its zoning ordinance, its subdivision regulations, and the State Building Code within such jurisdiction.
(d) The body charged with adoption of a land-use plan may either adopt it as a whole by a single resolution or adopt it in parts by successive resolutions; said parts may either correspond with major geographical sections or divisions of the county or with functional subdivisions of the subject matters of the plan. Amendments and extensions to the plan may be adopted in the same manner.
(e) Prior to adoption or subsequent amendment of any land-use plan, the body charged with its preparation and adoption (whether the county or the Commission or a unit delegated such responsibility) shall hold a public hearing at which public and private parties shall have the opportunity to present comments and recommendations. Notice of the hearing shall be given not less than 30 days before the date of the hearing and shall state the date, time, and place of the hearing; the subject of the hearing; the action which is proposed; and that copies of the proposed plan or amendment are available for public inspection at a designated office in the county courthouse during designated hours. Any such notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
(f) No land-use plan shall become finally effective until it has been approved by the Commission. The county or other unit adopting the plan shall transmit it, when adopted, to the Commission for review. The Commission shall afford interested persons an opportunity to present objections and comments regarding the plan, and shall review and consider each county land-use plan in light of such objections and comments, the State guidelines, the requirements of this Article, and any generally applicable standards of review adopted by rule of the Commission. Within 45 days after receipt of a county land-use plan the Commission shall either approve the plan or notify the county of the specific changes which must be made in order for it to be approved. Following such changes, the plan may be resubmitted in the same manner as the original plan.
(g) Copies of each county land-use plan which has been approved, and as it may have been amended from time to time, shall be maintained in a form available for public inspection by (i) the county, (ii) the Commission, and (iii) the lead regional organization of the region which includes the county. (1973, c. 1284, s. 1; 1975, c. 452, s. 5; 1981, c. 932, s. 2.1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014