Grant Opportunities

The Planning Department offers a variety of land use planning services in the nine-county region.  Planning staff advises local governments on current planning issues such as zoning, annexation, ordinance revisions and related land-use issues. Staff also draws on expertise in such areas as the environment, transportation and strategic planning to assist local governments as requested.  This work includes the development and update of numerous types of ordinances (UDOs, Zoning, Subdivision, Historic Preservation, Public Nuisances, Minimum Housing, Flood Damage Prevention, and other codes), and plans (Comprehensive, Land Use, Bicycle/Pedestrian, etc.), as well as performing administrative services for primarily smaller municipalities.

The Town of Atlantic Beach has chosen to proactively develop a watershed restoration and resiliency plan to actively reduce stormwater runoff within two of its three 12-digit HUCs (Drum Shoals & Beaufort Inlet). This document provides an overview of the past and present hydrologic conditions influencing the stormwater runoff while suggesting methods and strategies for reducing it to match achievable historic conditions. Stormwater runoff can have a negative impact on water quality and excessive stormwater runoff can cause hazardous flooding conditions. Based on aerial imagery and the analysis conducted within this report, a large increase in development has caused a large increase in stormwater runoff. This plan seeks to restore the hydrological conditions that were present during the 1980’s to reduce stormwater runoff and its associated negative effects. This plan seeks to suggest cost effective methods for attenuating stormwater runoff, reduce residential flooding, improve water quality of runoff, help restore the usefulness of the water resources, and increase stormwater resiliency of the Town of Atlantic Beach. This plan will include proposed stormwater project site locations, proposed stormwater treatment methods, and suggested local ordinances to implement within the Town of Atlantic Beach. The Atlantic Beach Watershed Restoration & Resiliency Plan focuses on the application of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Nine Minimum Elements, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Section 319 office guidelines, and the practiced coastal watershed restoration methods developed by the plan’s partners.

To view the full plan please click here.

160D Resources

Chapter 160D is the NC General Statute from 2019 that reorganized and modernized development regulation statutes.  Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes consolidated city- and county-enabling statutes for development regulations (formerly in Chapters 153A and 160A) into a single, unified chapter. Chapter 160D placed these statutes into a more logical, coherent organization. While the new law did not make major policy changes or shifts in the scope of authority granted to local governments, it did provide clarifying language and some reforms.   The deadline for compliance was July 1, 2021.

The UNC School of Government has Chapter 160D resources available online:

Online Training Modules

The School produced a series of short training modules (online videos) to give an overview of the specific changes in Chapter 160D. Module topics include Comprehensive Plan Requirement, Legislative Land Use Decisions, Administrative Land Use Decisions, Judicial Review, and more.

Other resources posted online include a checklist of changes required for local ordinances, an update to the annotated bill, cross-over charts to compare Chapter 160D to the old statutes, and more.

ECC is now working with communities who are not 160D compliant to review their ordinances and make recommendations to help these communities come into compliance. Each community’s ordinances are different and will take varying amounts of time to review. ECC is developing technical assistance proposals for conduct these reviews based on each community’s ordinances and needs.

Communities that are not 160D compliant are strongly encouraged to contact ECC Executive Director David Bone at 252-638-3185, ext. 3005 or at

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