The Committee will seek to have the following bill introduced and passed by the North Carolina General Assembly to designate the Corridor.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly of North Carolina:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SECTION 2. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.
(2) Designation as heritage areas can improve the public welfare through combining historic and cultural preservation, education, and recreation with economic goals and improvements to successfully create a partnership among state, county and local governments and private citizens to protect and develop such areas of special character.
(3) The common goal of any such area is the planning and management of exemplary areas of natural and cultural resources to improve their recognition, protection, beneficial enjoyment and economic viability.
(4) While numerous local, regional and State agencies, businesses and private citizens have recognized the need to cooperatively plan to preserve and improve such resources, these efforts have not been fully realized.
(5) Existing State and Federal programs are insufficiently coordinated with local planning and regulatory authorities so as to combine resource preservation and conservation with economic development in a manner consistent with the protection and public use of the area.
(6) The State Government should assist local entities in preserving, interpreting and developing the special historic and cultural resources of heritage areas by
The General Assembly further finds that:
(2) The 250-year history of the Society of Friends along the Deep River valley has been a pivotal force in the development of the social, cultural and political environments of Piedmont North Carolina. The history of this region is largely a history of what has been called "the Other South:" the anti-Confederacy, anti-slavery, pro-Union, pro-industrial South which ran counter to the stereotypical Southern agrarian tradition.
(3) The unique history of the region as one of the birthplaces of the Underground Railroad; its tradition of anti-slavery activism; its active opposition to the Confederate government and the Civil War; together with its role in establishing some of the earliest textile manufacturing operations in the Southern United States, all offer an opportunity to establish and develop a nationally significant corridor representative of the states cultural heritage.
(4) The public interest would be served by preserving, protecting and enhancing these resources for the benefit of the people of North Carolina, and by the designation of a cohesive area of this special region as a state Heritage Corridor.
SECTION 3. PURPOSE.
SECTION 4. DEFINITIONS.
(2) COMMISSION- The term Commission shall mean the Heritage Area Planning Commission established herein, or any successor organization created or designated to implement the Management Plan.
(3) HERITAGE AREA- The interchangeable terms "Heritage Area" or "Heritage Corridor" shall mean a definable geographic area of settled public and private uses ranging in size from a portion of a single governmental unit to a regional area of special coherence, such area being distinguished by physical and cultural resources (natural and/or manmade, including waterways, structures or artifacts reflecting a historical period, architectural style or cultural themes) which can provide educational, inspirational, economic and recreational benefits for present and future generations. A heritage area may include traditional parks (pleasure grounds set apart for public recreation) and historic places or property on the national or state register of historic places, but the term heritage area shall not be deemed to mean an individual park or historic property as those terms are used in other provisions of law, which provisions shall continue to apply to the specific parks and historic properties within an area.
(4) PLAN- "Cultural Heritage Management Plan" or "plan" shall mean the fundamental document defining the goals and objectives for a heritage area, and shall outline the means to implement and manage it. The document may include, but is not limited to, a comprehensive statement in words, maps, illustrations, or other media, setting forth objectives, policies, and standards to guide public and private uses in the preservation, interpretation, development, and use of cultural, historic, natural, and architectural resources of a heritage area.
(5) STATE- The term State means the State of North Carolina or any State agency, department, board, commission, including any public benefit corporation or public authority at least one of whose members is appointed by the governor.
SECTION 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF DEEP RIVER STATE HERITAGE CORRIDOR.
(b) BOUNDARIES. The Corridor shall generally consist of that area in the State of North Carolina known as the Deep River watershed, including all or portions of the counties of Chatham, Forsyth, Guilford, Lee, Montgomery, Moore and Randolph, as specifically depicted on a map accompanying the Management Plan upon its approval by the Advisory Council. Boundary maps for the heritage area shall be kept on file in the office of the Secretary of Cultural Resources and in the office of the manager of each county included in the heritage area.
(c) ADMINISTRATION. The corridor shall be administered by the Planning Commission and its successors, in accordance with this Act.
SECTION 6. HERITAGE AREA PLANNING COMMISSION
(b) PURPOSE. The Commission shall be a cooperative regional organization established to work with participating municipalities, businesses, organizations and residents to assemble a county and state-approved management plan for the heritage area assembled from the proposals submitted by each county and municipality therein. Creation of the plan shall be coordinated with the local planning, cultural and recreation activities of each governmental unit, and shall be based upon the mutual assent and participation of each governing body.
(c) MEMBERSHIP. Said Commission shall have seventeen (17) members who shall reside within the Deep River watershed area. The governing body of each municipality, historical society, preservation commission or tourism board within the heritage area may forward the names of a recommended commission appointee to the chairman of the commissioners of the county in which it is incorporated. One voting member shall be appointed from among the names so forwarded by the chairman of the counties of Chatham, Forsyth, Guilford, Lee, Montgomery, Moore and Randolph. The remaining ten members shall be appointed as follows: two members shall be appointed by the temporary president of the Senate; two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; one member shall be appointed by the Minority leader of the House; four members shall be appointed by the Governor, at least one of whom shall be the Mayor of a municipality within the heritage area. All persons responsible for appointing members of the commission shall be mindful of the importance of assuring adequate representation on the commission of the interests of various municipal entities, conservationists, business owners and operators, tourism promotions agencies, persons engaged in agricultural pursuits, minorities, educators and persons having an interest and experience with at least one of the four heritage goals of preservation, recreation, education and economic development. The Mayor, manager or other executive officer of any county or municipality within the heritage area may participate in commission meetings as non-voting members and shall receive notice of all commission meetings. The Secretary of Cultural Resources, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Commissioner of Agriculture shall be non-voting members of the Commission and may designate a representative. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(d) DUTIES. Appointments to the planning commission shall be filed with the Secretary of Cultural Resources, who shall convene the first meeting of the Commission following the filing of a majority of the appointments. At the initial meeting, the members of the planning commission shall elect officers, and may adopt bylaws. The members of the planning commission shall serve without compensation, except that members may be allowed their necessary and actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The commission shall encourage attendance at such meetings of representatives from municipalities and other interested parties. Copies of the minutes of each meeting with the date of the next scheduled meeting shall be made available upon request.
(e) CORPORATE POWERS. To carry out the foregoing purposes and responsibilities, the commission shall have the following powers:
(6) to accept gifts, grants, loans, or contributions from, and enter into contracts or other transactions with, the United States, the State or any subdivision of either of them, any municipality, any public or private corporation or any other legal entity, and to use any such gifts, grants, loans or contributions to implement the management plan;
(7) to enter into cooperative agreements with the entities located in whole or in part within the boundaries of the heritage corridor to advance their common goals of historic preservation, education, recreation and economic development;
(8) to designate and enter into agreements with public facilities and attractions throughout the heritage corridor to create a network thereof;
(9) to acquire by purchase, grant, lease, gift, or otherwise and to use, real property or rights or easements therein necessary for its corporate purposes subject to the local zoning, planning and historic preservation regulations as well as regional and local comprehensive land use plans, and to sell, convey, mortgage, lease, pledge, exchange or otherwise dispose of such property in any appropriate manner;
(10) to establish and administer a preservation revolving fund, including provision for grants and loans therefrom with funds for such purpose from any federal, state, municipal, and/or private sources for the preservation of historic properties in furtherance of the public interest in preservation;
(11) to contract with state agencies to provide for projects, services and programs which encourage appreciation of heritage area resources or for any planning, transportation, or other services necessary to carry out the management plan.
(12) to appoint officers, agents and employees, to prescribe their qualifications and fix their compensation, and to pay the same out of the funds of the Commission;
(13) to make contracts and leases, and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient with any person, firm, partnership or corporation, whether public or private;
(14) to prepare an annual report on the conduct of its activities which shall include a financial statement for that year and a work plan for the next year, and which may include a summary of the resources required to complete it;
(15) to do all things necessary or convenient to carry out its purposes and exercise the powers given it by this Act.
(f) TERM. The planning commission shall remain in existence until the plan is approved and a successor body is created to implement it.
SECTION 7. HERITAGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN.
(a) DETAILS OF PLAN- The Plan shall
(3) state the goals and objectives of the heritage area;
(4) compile an inventory that includes any property in the Corridor that should be preserved, restored, managed, developed, maintained, or acquired because of its state or national significance (whether historic, cultural, natural or recreational), and recommend applicable advisory standards and criteria;
(5) establish, with the advice of the advisory council and officials from affected local communities, standards and criteria for preservation of resources within the heritage area. At least one public hearing shall be held to solicit comment on the proposed standards and criteria prior to their adoption;
(6) inventory the existing and potential recreational sites that now exist or could be developed along the corridor and surrounding areas;
(7) identify the types of uses, both public and private, to be promoted, and describe a program to encourage and accommodate visitation to the heritage area;
(8) outline a plan for historic and educational interpretation programs;
(9) evaluate ways to assist and support agricultural activity in the heritage corridor including the promotion of agricultural products through direct marketing, farmers markets and the development of agri-tourism;
(10) recommend policies for resource management that consider and detail application of appropriate land and water management techniques, including the development of intergovernmental cooperative agreements to protect the historical, cultural, recreational, scenic and natural resources of the Corridor in a manner compatible with economic revitalization efforts;
(11) make an economic assessment of the long and short term costs and benefits related to the establishment, operation and maintenance of the heritage area, including comprehensive estimate of the costs of implementing the management plan identified by source of funding and specifically delineating expected state, local, federal and private contributions;
(12) describe the organizational structure to be utilized for planning, development and management of the heritage area, including the responsibilities and interrelationships of local, regional and state agencies in the management process and a program to provide maximum feasible private participation in the implementation of the management plan. Such organizational structures may include but not be limited to utilization of existing private businesses or state and local agencies for administrative and finance purposes through contracts and letters of agreement; and
(13) contain a program and schedule for implementation of the Plan by the Commission, detailing ways in which local, State, and Federal programs may best be coordinated to promote the purposes of this Act.
( c) IMPLEMENTATION OF PLANAfter review and approval of the Plan by the Advisory Council, the Commission or its designated successor shall implement the Plan by taking appropriate steps throughout the Heritage Area, consistent with the goals of the Plan, to preserve and interpret its historic resources, develop its recreational resources, and support public and private efforts in economic revitalization. These steps may include:
(1) assisting State and local governmental entities, regional planning organizations, and nonprofit organizations throughout the Corridor in
(B) preserving and ensuring appropriate use of lands and structures;
(C) establishing and maintaining visitor centers and other interpretive exhibits;
(D) developing recreational programs and resources;
(E) increasing public awareness of and appreciation for its historical and architectural resources and sites;
(F) restoring any historic property;
(G) ensuring that clear, consistent signs identifying access points and sites of interest are established; and
(8) encouraging by appropriate means enhanced economic and industrial development throughout the Corridor; and
(9) encouraging local governments to adopt land use policies consistent with the management of the Corridor and the goals of the Plan; and
(10) contracting with any person or organization to provide technical assistance in the protection, enhancement and interpretation of the resources identified in the Plan.
(d) GRANTS AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE-- To effect the purposes of this act, any county, city, town or other unit of local government may appropriate and pay over to the Commission moneys to be expended by the Commission to carry out its functions.
1. As part of the implementation of the management plan, the Commission and eligible local governments may apply for any pertinent existing state grant and/or loan funds, and, to the extent allowable, shall be awarded priority points in state agency evaluations due to inclusion in the Heritage Area. The matching funds limitations outlined below shall not apply to any existing state grant program or financial assistance that may already be available or awarded to state-designated heritage areas.
2. Within the amounts available or appropriated therefor, the Commission may award a grant or grants to local governments or other appropriate entities identified as part of the heritage area for planning, design, acquisition, development and programming of heritage areas. Such planning grants to municipalities will be for the purpose of assisting localities to prepare management plans and may cover up to fifty percent of the cost of the plan. The state share must be matched by local funds or approved in-kind contributions.
3. Acquisition and development grants may be made by the Commission to local governments or to other entities as authorized following approval of a management plan for the heritage area where the grant will be used. Such grants shall be for the purpose of implementing the heritage area program in conformity with the approved management plan and may be used for project design, acquisition and development of real property and interests therein. No such acquisition or development grant shall exceed twenty-five percent of the total project cost for which it is awarded and furthermore, local contributions must equal or exceed such grants.
4. Program grants may also be made by the Commission to local governments or authorized entities to develop and present interpretive exhibits, materials or other appropriate products to further educational and recreational objectives of the heritage area program and to encourage urban revitalization of, and reinvestment in, heritage area resources. Program grants may cover up to twenty-five percent of the estimated project cost, and the state share must be matched by local funds or other non-state funds.
SECTION 8. NORTH CAROLINA STATE HERITAGE AREAS ADVISORY COUNCIL.
(b) JURISDICTION, FUNCTIONS, AND POWERS. In addition to any other powers, functions and duties conferred upon it by this title, or other provisions of law, the advisory council shall:
(3) Meet at least twice each year to provide information and review the activities conducted pursuant to this act.
(4) Direct representatives of State Agencies with program responsibilities that affect aspects of the interpretation, preservation, development and use of heritage area resources to prepare a statement detailing actions in the areas of planning, development, use, assistance and regulation that can support and assist the establishment and management of state heritage areas.
(5) Review and approve draft heritage area management plans, and proposed changes or amendments to a previously approved management plan. Such approval shall be based upon the general consistency of the plan with the policy and goals of this act and in particular to its ability to protect resources and provide educational, recreational, preservation, economic and cultural benefits for the public at large. The Advisory Council shall tender in writing such approval within ninety days after receipt of the locally approved management plan or change or amendment thereto. Final approval by the Advisory Council of a management plan within three years of the date of designation is a condition of permanent designation as a heritage area.
(6) Review complaints made by local governments or other entities established to administer heritage areas, and make recommendations with respect thereto, regarding activities undertaken by state agencies that may adversely affect heritage area resources.
(7) Submit reports to the governor, not less than once a year, concerning progress toward implementing the heritage area, including recommendations for the future.
(8) Exercise and perform such other advisory functions, powers and duties related to the planning, development and management of the Heritage Area, as may be requested by the Commission.
(9) On an ongoing basis, to evaluate areas of the state in regard to their significance as potential locations for designation as heritage areas, to establish guidelines for evaluating eligibility, and to submit recommendations for designation to the legislature.
(c) DUTIES. The Advisory Council shall approve or disapprove a Plan submitted under this Act by the Commission not later than 90 days after receiving the Plan. The Advisory Council shall approve a Plan submitted if
(1) they find the Plan would adequately protect significant historical and cultural resources of the Corridor while providing adequate and appropriate outdoor recreational opportunities and economic activities within the Corridor;
(2) they determine that the Commission held public hearings and provided adequate opportunity for public and governmental involvement in the preparation of the Plan; and
(3) the Secretary receives adequate assurances from appropriate State officials that the recommended implementation program identified in the Plan will be initiated within a reasonable time after it is approved, and that such implementation program will ensure effective implementation of the State and local aspects of the Plan.
(d) APPROVAL OF PLAN. Approval of the management plan by the Advisory Council shall:
(1) Establish eligibility for the receipt of acquisition, development and programming assistance from the state within the defined heritage area boundaries;
(2) Require, for continuance in the program, appropriate action by participating local governments to protect and safeguard the defined resources in the heritage area.
(e ) DISAPPROVAL OF PLANIf the Secretary disapproves a Plan submitted by the Commission, he shall advise the Commission in writing of the reasons therefor, and shall make recommendations for revisions in the Plan. The Commission shall, within 90 days of receipt of such notice of disapproval, revise and resubmit the Plan to the Secretary, who shall approve or disapprove a proposed revision within 60 days after the date it is resubmitted.
(f) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCEAt the request of the Commission, and subject to the availability of funds appropriated specifically for the purpose, or made available on a reimbursement basis, the Secretary shall provide administrative, technical, financial, developmental, and operational assistance. Such assistance may include:
(1) general administrative support in planning, finance, personnel, procurement, property management, environmental and historical compliance, and land acquisition;
(3) office space and equipment;
(4) planning and design services for visitor use facilities, trails, interpretive exhibits, publications, signs, and natural resource management;
(5) development and construction assistance, including visitor use facilities, trails, river use and access facilities, scenic byways, signs, wayside facilities, and rehabilitation of historic structures; and
(6) operational functions, including interpretation and visitor services, maintenance, and natural resource management services conducted within the boundaries of the Corridor.
SECTION 9. DUTIES OF STATE AGENCIES.
(1) consult with the Advisory Council and the Commission with respect to such activities;
(2) cooperate with the Advisory Council and the Commission in carrying out their duties under the Plan and, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate such activities; and
(3) to the maximum extent practicable, conduct or support such activities in a manner which the Advisory Council and Commission determines will not have an adverse effect on the Heritage Area.
(4) incorporate the heritage Area into the review of actions pursuant to the state environmental quality and historic preservation reviews.
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