The General Assembly finds that the rapid growth and the spread of urban development along and near the State highways is encroaching upon or eliminating many areas having significant scenic or aesthetic values, which if restored, preserved and enhanced would promote the enjoyment of travel and the protection of the public investment in highways within the State and would constitute important physical, aesthetic or economic assets to the State. It is the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this statute to provide a means whereby the Department of Transportation may acquire the fee or any lesser interest or right in real property in order to restore, preserve and enhance natural or scenic beauty of areas traversed by the highways of the State highway system.
The General Assembly hereby declares that it is a public purpose and in the public interest of the people of North Carolina, to expend public funds, in connection with the construction, reconstruction or improvement of State highways, for the acquisition of the fee or any lesser interest in real property in the vicinity of public highways forming a part of the State highway system, in order to restore, preserve and enhance natural or scenic beauty. The General Assembly hereby finds, determines and declares that this Article is necessary for the immediate preservation and promotion of public convenience, safety and welfare. (1967, c. 1247, s. 1; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1977, c. 464, s. 7.1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014