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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Coastal Management - Land Use Planning/Beach & Waterfront Access

Coastal Management

CAMA Land-Use Planning

A land-use plan is a collection of policies and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth. These plans are a fundamental element of coastal management in North Carolina.

The Coastal Area Management Act requires each of the 20 coastal counties to have a local land-use plan in accordance with guidelines established by the Coastal Resources Commission.

The CRC's guidelines provide a common format for each plan and a set of issues that must be considered during the planning process; however, the policies included in the plan are those of the local government, not of the CRC. By law, the role of the CRC is limited to determining whether plans have been properly prepared.

Each land-use plan includes local policies that address growth issues such as the protection of productive resources (i.e., farmland, forest resources, fisheries), desired types of economic development, natural resource protection and the reduction of storm hazards.

Beach Access

Beach and Waterfront Access

The Division of Coastal Management awards about $1 million a year in matching grants to local governments for projects to improve pedestrian access to the state's beaches and waterways. Funding for the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program comes from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

Local governments may use access grants to construct low-cost public access facilities, including parking areas, restrooms, dune crossovers and piers. Projects range in size from small, local access areas to regional access sites with amenities such as large parking lots, bathrooms and picnic shelters. Towns and counties also may use the grants to replace aging access facilities. In addition, local governments can use the funds to help acquire land for access sites or to revitalize urban waterfronts.

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