§ 161.10  PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CONDEMNATION OF FARMLAND.
   (A)   Purpose.  Pursuant to G.S. § 106-740, no state or local public agency or governmental unit may formally initiate any action to condemn any interest in qualifying farmland within a voluntary agricultural district until such agency or unit has requested the Agricultural Advisory Board to hold a public hearing on the proposed condemnation. The procedures for such hearings shall be as set forth below.
   (B)   Procedures.
      (1)   Establish Public Hearing.  Upon receipt of a request for a public hearing, the Agricultural Advisory Board shall have 30 days to set a date for a public hearing on the proposed condemnation pursuant to G.S. § 106-740. No formal initiation of condemnation shall be initiated while the proposed condemnation is properly before the Advisory Board within the time limitations set forth in this section.
      (2)   Notice of Public Hearing. The Advisory Board shall run a notice of the public hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the county at least 10 days prior to the date established for the hearing. The notice shall contain the date, time and place of the hearing and shall provide the name of the agency requesting the hearing and the purpose of the condemnation.
      (3)   Public Hearing.  The Advisory Board shall conduct the public hearing and receive information and comments from the agency requesting the condemnation action and the citizens of the county. Additionally, the Board shall review the following:
         (a)   Has the need for the project requiring the condemnation been satisfactorily shown by the agency requesting the action?
         (b)   Has a financial impact analysis been conducted by the agency seeking the action?
         (c)   Have alternatives been considered to the proposed action that are less disruptive to the agricultural activities and farmland base of the voluntary agricultural district within which the proposed action is to take place?
         The Advisory Board shall invite and allow input by the County Cooperative Extension Agent, U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservationist, the Farm Service Agency, and may consult with any other individuals, agencies or organizations, public or private, necessary to the Board's review of the proposed action.
      (4)   Findings and Notification.  Within 30 days after the public hearing, the Advisory Board shall make a report containing its findings and recommendations regarding the proposed action to the Board of County Commissioners. The report shall be conveyed to the decision-making body of the agency proposing acquisition and made available to the public for comment.
      (5)   Pursuant to G.S. § 106-740, the Board of Commissioners shall not permit any formal initiation of condemnation by local agencies while the proposed condemnation is properly before the Advisory Board within these time limitations.
(Ord. passed 7-16-01)