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North Carolina County and Municipal Land Preservation Ordinances and Programs

[This page is currently being updated as of December 31, 2013.]

The following are links to information on this page:

 

County and Municipal Ordinances and Programs

Most of the following documents on this page are in PDF and require Adobe Acrobat Reader unless specified otherwise. Click on the icon below to download this program.

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Ordinances may be downloaded or printed. The quality will vary according to the original documents that were scanned -- or that were provided by local governments. Most of these documents are not searchable due to their conversion from scanned images to PDF. Searchable documents will be noted. Additional program materials will be included for each county where available.

Names denoted by an asterisk (*) will have files containing materials such as program applications or brochures. Names denoted by a "+" sign indicate ordinances, which allow for enhanced voluntary agricultural districts within the same program ordinance.

Scanned files typically contain signatures of county officials as well as the date on which the ordinance was adopted.

Jurisdiction
Editor's Notes and Links to HTML Files
   
  Alamance Adopted in March 2001. More information is available on the Alamance County Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program by clicking on the following link: Farmland Preservation - Alamance County.

  *Alexander

Adopted on March 5, 2002.

AlexanderScanned PDF file includes ordinance, application, staff checklist, program brochure and the notice to real estate purchasers.

Presentation on Alexander Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program is available in PDF: Alexander Presentation [PDF, 496kb].

Click on the following link to access the searchable PDF file: Alexander Searchable PDF. Please note that the year of passage in the searchable version, 2000, is not correct and that the year of passage is 2002.


  *Alleghany

Adopted on August 18, 2003. Available in searchable PDF.

Alleghany Scanned PDF file contains ordinance, application, and approval form.

Click on the following link to access the searchable PDF file: Alleghany Searchable PDF. Also available in PDF directly from Alleghany County Government County Ordinances website. Click on the following link to access: Farmland Preservation PDF.


  *Anson+

Adopted on March 3, 2009.

Anson Searchable PDF contains ordinance and program application.


Anson/Peachland Memorandum of Understanding

Signed on April 5, 2010.

Anson/Peachland Memorandum of Understanding Scanned contains the signed memorandum.


  Ashe

Adopted on July 16, 2001.

Ashe Searchable PDF contains ordinance.


  Avery+

Adopted on June 16, 2008.

This ordinance is currently in effect and provides for both a voluntary agricultural district program and enhanced voluntary agricultural district program.

Avery Scanned PDF contains the dates and signatures.


  Avery
  old

Adopted on March 2, 1992.

Provided for reference purposes only.

  Beaufort

Adopted on August 6, 2007.

Beaufort Scanned PDF contains the ordinance and is a 1.5MB download.


  Bertie

Adopted **.


  Bladen

Adopted on June 4, 2007

Bladen Scanned PDF contains ordinance with signatures.


  *Brunswick

Adopted on September 17, 2001.

Brunswick Scanned PDF, [630kb], contains ordinance and program application.


  Buncombe+

Amended on February 1, 2011.

The full version of the Buncombe County's Program, including all amendments, is available online in searchable HTML format. Click on the following link to access: Buncombe HTML.

More information is available on Buncombe County's Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program by clicking on the following links: Farmland Preservation- Buncombe County -- and -- Soil and Water Conservation - Buncombe County (See bottom of page).


  *Buncombe
   old

Amended February 20, 2001. See amendment below.

Buncombe PDF contains the old ordinance text, previous ordinance amendements, and a program application.


  Buncombe
  old amendment
This is the
February 20, 2001 amendment.
  Burke

Adopted on August 6, 2002.

More information is available on the Burke County Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program- Burke County.


  *Cabarrus+
   approved

Adopted on November 21, 2005. Allows for enhanced voluntary agricultural districts.

Cabarrus Scanned PDF, contains the scanned ordinance, the application for farmland preservation program, conservation agreement, example approval letters, and advisory board rules of procedure.

More information on the Cabarrus County Voluntary Agricultural District Program is available by clicking on the following link: Cabarrus County - Voluntary Agricultural Districts.


  Cabarrus
  old proposal
This old proposed version is posted on this page for reference and example purposes only and is not the approved or legally enforceable version.

  Caldwell

Adopted on August 20, 2001.

  Camden Adopted on May 6, 2013
  Caswell Adopted on March 19, 2001.

  Catawba+ Adopted on October 20, 2008.

  Chatham

Adopted on Nov. 5, 2001.

Also available in searchable HTML format. Click on the following link to access: Chatham HTML.

More information is available on the Chatham County Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Chatham County - Voluntary Agricultural District Program.


  Cherokee+ 
  new

Adopted on May 9, 2014.

This ordinance is currently in effect and provides for both a voluntary agricultural district program and enhanced voluntary agricultural district program.

  Cherokee
   old

Adopted on
December 5, 1995.

Provided for reference purposes only.

  Chowan

Adopted on September 14, 2009.

Chowan Searchable PDF contains the searchable program ordinance.


  Clay Adopted in March 1993.

  *Cleveland

Adopted on June 5, 2001.

Cleveland County PDF file contains ordinance, program application, and brochure.

Program reports for 2002 and 2003 are available in PDF by clicking on the following link Cleveland Reports.

More information is available on Cleveland County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program - Cleveland County.


  Columbus Adopted on November 3, 2008.

  Craven+

Adopted on January 5, 2009.

 

  *Cumberland

Adopted on November 20, 2007.

Cumberland Searchable PDF contains ordinance and form to process application through the Register of Deeds Office.


  Currituck

Adopted on April 16, 2001.

Currently available in searchable PDF.

Also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode: Currituck HTML.

  Davidson

Adopted on June 27, 2006.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Davidson Searchable PDF.


  *Davie+

Adopted on January 7, 2008.

Davie Searchable PDF contains ordinance and program application.

Scanned PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Davie Scanned PDF.

More information is available on Davie County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program - Davie County.


  Durham

Amended through August 2003 (not indicated in ordinance, however).

Durham Searchable PDF contains the ordinance establishing both the voluntary agricultural district program, which utilizes conservation agreements, and the purchase of development rights, which utilizes conservation easements; as well as a program brochure.

More information is available on Durham County's Farmland Protection Program by clicking on the following link: Farmland Protection Board - Durham County.

Also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode: Durham HTML.


  Durham
   old

Old Version Included for Reference Purposes Only

Adopted on May 13, 1996.

This document is the old Durham County Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program and is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above. This PDF document is not searchable.

  *Duplin Adopted on June 7, 2004. PDF file includes brochure also.

  Eastover

Adopted on December 4, 2007.

Eastover Searchable PDF contains the program ordinance.

  Edgecombe+ Adopted on June 7, 2008.

  Franklin+ Adopted on August 29, 2012.

  Franklin
  old

This document is the old Franklin County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance and is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above.

Adopted on August 18, 2003.

  Forsyth
  VAD Program
Adopted January 28, 2008.

More information is available on Forsyth County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District - Forsyth County.

  Forsyth
  Preservation
  Program

The guidelines dated July 1997 are currently in effect in Forsyth County. The "Forsyth County Farmland Preservation Guidelines" dated August 25, 1986 are included for example/reference purposes only. A searchable PDF version of the Forsyth County program ordinance, without the 1986 guidelines is available by clicking on the following link: Forsyth Searchable PDF.


  Gaston+

Adopted on March 22, 2007.

The newer 2007 ordinance is the legally enforceable version. This ordinance currently in effect and provides for both a voluntary agricultural district program and enhanced voluntary agricultural district program.

  Gaston
  old

Adopted on July 22, 2004.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link to the old version of the ordinance, which is provided for reference purposes only: Gaston Searchable PDF (older version).

  Greene

Adopted on May 7, 2007

Greene Searchable PDF contains the ordinance.

   Guilford+
   new

Adopted on August 25, 2011.

The ordinance only is also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode at the following link: Guilford HTML.

  *Guilford
    old

Adopted on September 7, 2000.

The PDF file contains the old ordinance, application, brochure and other related materials. These older materials are provided for reference purposes only.

Guilford/Summerfield Memorandum of Understanding Signed on June 16, 2011.
  Halifax Adopted in 2010.

  Harnett Adopted in 2007.

  Haywood Adopted in 1994.

  Haywood+

Adopted on March 5, 2007.

Haywood Enhanced Searchable PDF contains amendments, adding the creation of enhanced voluntary agricultural districts, to the Haywood County Farmland Preservation Ordinance.

More information is available on Haywood County's Farmland Preservation Program by clicking on the following link: Farmland Preservation Program - Haywood County.


  Henderson+

Adopted on December 18, 1991.

Amended on September 6, 2012. See amendment below.

The ordinance only is also available online in searchable HTML format at the following link: Henderson County Code of Ordinances - Chapter 45 - Farmland Preservation.

More information is available on Haywood County's Farmland Preservation Program by clicking on the following link: Online Agricultural Districts- Haywood County.

  Henderson
  amendment
Amendment adopted on September 6, 2012.

  *Henderson
   old
Adopted on December 18, 1991.

  Iredell

Amended through June 6, 2006

Iredell Searchable PDF contains the ordinance enabling the voluntary agricultural district program.

The Countywide Farmland Protection Plan for Iredell County is available in PDF.

Also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode: Iredell HTML.


  Iredell Enhanced

Adopted on December 4, 2007.

Iredell Enhanced Searchable PDF contains the ordinance providing for the enhanced voluntary agricultural district program.

More information on farmland preservation program in Iredell County is available by clicking on the following link: Iredell County Farmland Preservation Program - Iredell County Planning Division.


  *Iredell
   old

Old Version Included for Reference Purposes Only

Adopted on June 19, 2001.

Old Iredell PDF file, which is provided for reference purposes only, contains the original program ordinance, application for farmland preservation program, and program brochure.

Program report for 2002 is available in PDF by clicking on the following link Iredell 2002 Report.


  *Iredell PDR Iredell PDRApp PDF file contains application for purchase of development rights and program brochure.

  Jackson+ Adopted on May 22, 2008.

  Johnston

Adopted on May 1, 2006.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Johnston Searchable PDF.


Johnston/Benson Memorandum of Understanding

Signed on March 26, 2009.
Johnston/Clayton Memorandum of Understanding

Signed on September 2, 2008.
Signed on October 13, 2008.
  Jones Adopted in 2007.

  Lee

Adopted on September 15, 2008.

Amended on February 18, 2013.


  Lee
  old


This document is the old Lee County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance and is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above.

Adopted on September 15, 2008.


Lee/Broadway Memorandum of Understanding Adopted April 2009.
  Lenoir

Adopted March 4, 2013.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Lenoir Searchable PDF.


  Lincoln Enhanced

Adopted on October 15, 2007.

The newer 2007 ordinance is the legally enforceable version. This ordinance provides for the enhanced voluntary agricultural district program.

Copies of both both the district and enhanced district ordinances are available by clicking on the following link: Documents and Ordinances - Lincoln County.


  *Lincoln

Adopted on October 7, 2002.

Lincoln Scanned PDF file, contains ordinance, application for farmland preservation program, conservation agreement, staff checklist, tax office form, notice to real estate purchasers, notice to applicant for building permit, and program brochure.

This ordinance provides for a voluntary agricultural district program.

Copies of both both the district and enhanced district ordinances are available by clicking on the following link: Documents - County of Lincoln - Official Website.

More information on the Lincoln County Voluntary Agriculture District Program is available.


  *Macon

Adopted on February 4, 1997.

Macon Searchable PDF contains ordinance.

  Madison  
  McDowell Adopted on August 11, 2003.

  Mitchell Adopted on **, 200*.

  Montgomery+

Adopted on November 17, 2009.

The ordinance only is also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode at the following link: Montgomery HTML.

  Moore+

Adopted on August 21, 2006.

Amended on June 5, 2012.

  Moore
  old

This document is the old Moore County Voluntary Farmland Protection Ordinance and is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above.

Adopted on August 21, 2006.

  Nash+ Adopted in November 2011. Searchable.

  *Nash+
    old

Adopted in 2009.

Nash Searchable PDF contains the old ordinance and program application.

These older materials are provided for reference purposes only.

  Northampton

Ordinance updated and adopted on December 4, 2006.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Northampton Searchable PDF.

  Northampton
   old 2006

Old Version Included for Reference Purposes Only

Ordinance updated and adopted on May 15, 2006.

Searchable PDF format, which is provided for reference purposes only, is available by clicking on the following link: Old Northampton Searchable PDF.


  *Northampton
    old 2003

Old Version Included for Reference Purposes Only

Originally adopted on January 21, 2003.

Old Northampton Scanned PDF file, provided for reference purposes only, contains ordinance, application procedure, application, staff checklist, conservation agreement filed with with register of deeds office, staff checklist, notice to applicant for building permit, and program brochure.

  Onslow Adopted on April 21, 2008.

  Orange+

Adopted on March 24, 1992.

Amended April 17, 2000; June 23, 2005; and April 20, 2010.

Also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode (Search for "farmland preservation"): Orange HTML.

More information is available on by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural Districts In Orange County.


  Orange
  old 2000

This is an old version of the Orange County Voluntary Farmland Protection Ordinanceordinance as it was amended on April 17, 2000. All changes are reflected in this old ordinance document.

It is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above. This PDF document is searchable.

  Orange 
  old DRAFT 1999
This document is an old DRAFT of the Orange County Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program dated August 12, 1999 -- and it is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above. This PDF document is not searchable.

  Pamlico+

Adopted August 17, 2009.

Pamlico Scanned PDF contains the signed ordinance.

  Pasquotank Adopted on April 5, 2010.

  Pender Adopted on September 4, 2012.

  Person Adopted on February 7, 2011.

  Pitt Adopted on August 20, 2012.

  Perquimans

Adopted on November 2, 2009.

Perquimans Scanned PDF contains the signed ordinance.

  Polk

Adopted on February 4, 2002.

  Polk+

Adopted on April 17, 2006. Allows for enhanced voluntary agricultural districts.


  Randolph+

Adopted on February 5, 2007.

Randolph Searchable PDF contains the updated ordinance.

More information is available on Randolph County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program - Randolph County.

  *Randolph
   old

Old Version Included for Reference Purposes Only

Adopted February 7, 2005.

Randolph PDF file contains ordinance and example map of agricultural districts.


  Richmond Adopted on May 12, 2010.

  Rockingham

Adopted on June 7, 2004.

Rockingham1 PDF file contains ordinance, application, and brochure.

Also available in searchable PDF format by clicking on the following link: Rockingham Searchable PDF.

More information is available on Randolph County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District - Rockingham County.


  Robeson Adopted on January 3, 2011.

  Rowan

Adopted on July 19, 1990.

Amended March 7, 2011.

The ordinance only is also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode at the following link: Rowan HTML.

  *Rowan
   old
Adopted on July 19, 1990.

  Rutherford Currently available in searchable PDF. Also available online in searchable HTML format through Municode (Search for "farmland preservation"): Rutherford HTML.

  Saluda

Adopted on October 8, 2007.

Polk County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance adopted by the City of Saluda.

  Saluda+

Adopted on October 8, 2007.

Polk County Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance adopted by the City of Saluda.

  Sampson

Adopted on August 20, 2001.

SampsonCounty PDF file, [1.57MB download], contains ordinance, application, supplemental information, staff checklist, conservation agreement, brochure, notice to real estate purchasers, and photos of program signage.

  Scotland

Adopted on March 10, 2008

Scotland County Searchable PDF file, [104 kb download], contains the ordinance only.

  Siler City Although this is a municipal legal device, and is not a county ordinance, this Resolution is posted here for reference purposes. It is significant because it is an example of how a municipality can support an Agricultural District Program established by a county—in this instance Chatham County. Passed on November 4, 2002.

  Stanly Adopted on November 18, 2002.

  *Stokes

Adopted on April 14, 2003.

StokesScanned PDF file includes ordinance text application, supplemental tract form, program brochure, and description of benefits.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Stokes Searchable PDF.

More information is available on Stokes County's Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program - Stokes County.


  Surry

Adopted on August 1, 2005.

Surry Searchable PDF contains ordinance.


  Swain+

Adopted on August 10, 2009.

More information is available on Swain County's Voluntary Agricultural District and Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program - Swain County.


  *Transylvania Adopted on March 11, 1996. Scanned PDF file includes the ordinance, program application, and program brochure.

  Tryon

Adopted on May 15, 2007.

Polk County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance adopted by the Town of Tryon.

  Tryon+ Adopted on May 15, 2007.

Polk County Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance adopted by the Town of Tryon.
  Union Adopted on May 7, 2001.

  Wake
  Easement Program
Adopted on October 2, 1989.
  Wake
  Ag District
Adopted on September 16, 2002. More information is available on Wake County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program - Wake County.

  Warren

Adopted on April 2, 2007.

WarrenSearchable PDF, [50kb download], contains ordinance.


  Washington

Adopted on November 2, 2011.


  Watauga

Adopted October 2, 2000.

WataugaSearchable PDF file contains ordinance and application for farmland preservation program.

Program report for 2002 is available in PDF by clicking on the following link Watauga 2002 Report. More information is available on Wake County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program - Watauga County.


  Wayne Adopted on August 3, 2004.

  *Wentworth+

Adopted on July 18, 2006. Allows for enhanced voluntary agricultural districts.

Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Wentworth Searchable PDF, which includes the program application and advisory board application.


  Wilkes

Adopted on April 15, 2008.

More information is available on Wilkes County's Voluntary Agricultural District Program by clicking on the following link: Voluntary Agricultural District Program - Wilkes County.


  Wilson Adopted in 2004.

  Yadkin

Adopted on November 18, 2002.

Amended on May 20, 2013.

  Yadkin
  old

This document is the old Yadkin County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance and is included here for example and reference purposes only. The amended and legally enforceable ordinance is available above.

Adopted on November 18, 2002. Searchable PDF format is available by clicking on the following link: Yadkin Searchable PDF.

A PDF file of the Yadkin Voluntary Agriculture District sign is available.

If you are aware of other county or municipal farmland/open space preservation ordinances and programs please contact us and let us know. Please also let us know if you have any difficulty accessing or viewing the information provided on this page.

 

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Disclaimer

This searchable database is intended to supply general information. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but cannot guarantee that this information is accurate. Laws change quickly, and the reader should always ensure that legal information of any sort is up-to-date and accurate before relying on it. The legal information provided at this site is general, and not specific. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation without consulting competent counsel in his or her home state. This website is not intended to be a solicitation. The information contained within is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein constitutes the provision of legal advice or services. By clicking on links on this page, you acknowledge having read and understood this disclaimer.

 

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What's New

  1. Other local governments in N.C. are currently proposing ordinances/programs or changes to them. Check this site for updates or please contact us if you know of new ordinances or changes that are being proposed.

  2. Ordinances for Nash and Guilford Counties updated.

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