(A)   Generally. It shall be the duty of the Planning Board, in general, to:
      (1)   Acquire and maintain in current form basic information and material as are necessary to an understanding of past trends, present conditions and forces at work to cause changes in these conditions;
      (2)   Identify needs and problems growing out of those needs;
      (3)   Determine objectives to be sought in development of the area;
      (4)   Establish principles and policies for guiding action in development of the area;
      (5)   Prepare and, from time to time, amend and revise a comprehensive and coordinated plan for the physical, social and economic development of the area;
      (6)   Prepare and recommend to the Town Board ordinances promoting orderly development along lines indicated in the comprehensive plan and advise it concerning proposed amendments of the ordinances;
      (7)   Determine whether specific proposed developments conform to the principles and requirements of the comprehensive plan for the growth and improvement of the area and ordinances adopted in furtherance of the plan;
      (8)   Keep the Town Board and the general public informed and advised as to these matters; and
      (9)   Perform any other duties that may lawfully be assigned to it.
   (B)   Basic studies. As background for its comprehensive plan and any ordinances it may prepare, the Planning Board may gather maps and aerial photographs of physical features of the area; statistics on past trends and present conditions with respect to population, property values, the economic base of the area and land use; and other information as is important or likely to be important in determining the amount, direction and kind of development to be expected in the area and its various parts. In addition, the Planning Board may make, cause to be made or obtain special studies on the location, the condition, and the adequacy of specific facilities, which may include, but are not limited to, studies of housing; commercial and industrial facilities; parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities; public and private utilities; and traffic, transportation and parking facilities. All town officials shall, upon request, furnish to the Planning Board available records or information as it may require in its work. The Board or its agents may, in the performance of its official duties, enter upon lands and make examinations or surveys and maintain necessary monuments thereon.
   (C)   Comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan, with the accompanying maps, plats, charts and descriptive matter, shall be and show the Planning Board's recommendations to the Town Board for the development of the territory, including, among other things, the general location, character and extent of streets, bridges, boulevards, parkways, playgrounds, squares, parks, aviation fields and other public utilities and terminals, whether publicly or privately owned or operated, for water, light, sanitation, transportation, communication, power and other purposes; the removal, relocation, widening, narrowing, vacating, abandonment, change of use or extension of any of the foregoing ways, building, grounds, open spaces, property, utilities or terminals; and the most desirable pattern of land use within the area, including areas for farming and forestry, for manufacturing and industrial uses, for commercial uses, for recreational uses, for open spaces and for mixed uses. The plan and any ordinances or other measures to effectuate it shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the town and its environs that will, in accordance with present and future needs, best promote health, safety, morals and the general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development; including among other things, adequate provision for traffic, the promotion of safety from fire and other dangers, adequate provision for light and air, the promotion of the healthful and convenient distribution of population, the promotion of good civic design and arrangement, wise and efficient expenditure of public funds and the adequate provision of public utilities, services and other public requirements.
   (D)   Subdivision regulations.
      (1)   The Planning Board shall prepare and submit to the Town Board for its consideration and possible adoption regulations controlling the subdivision of land in accordance with the provisions of G.S. Ch. 160A, Art. 19, Part 2, as amended. It shall review, from time to time, the effectiveness of the regulations and may make proposals to the Town Board for amendment or other improvements of those regulations and their enforcement.
      (2)   In accordance with the provisions of any regulations that are adopted, the Planning Board may review subdivision plats that are submitted and:
         (a)   Make recommendations to the Town Board concerning the plats; or
         (b)   Approve, approve subject to conditions or deny approval for the plat.
   (E)   Zoning ordinance. The Planning Board shall prepare and submit to the Town Board for its consideration and possible adoption a zoning ordinance in accordance with the provisions of G.S. Ch. 160A, Art. 19, Part 3, as amended. The Planning Board may initiate, from time to time, proposals for amendment of the zoning ordinance, based upon its studies and comprehensive plan. In addition, it shall review and make recommendations to the Town Board concerning all proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance.
   (F)   Public facilities. The Planning Board shall make recommendations concerning public facility issues referred to it by the Town Board.
   (G)   Historic Preservation Commission. The Planning Board may exercise the functions of a Historic Preservation Commission, as authorized by G.S. § 160A-400.7.
   (H)   Urban redevelopment. The Planning Board may make findings and recommendations concerning urban redevelopment projects in the area, pursuant to the Urban Redevelopment Law found in G.S. Ch. 160A, Art. 22.
   (I)   Miscellaneous powers and duties.
      (1)   The Planning Board may conduct public hearings as may be required to gather information for the drafting, establishment and maintenance of the comprehensive plan. Before adopting any plan, it shall hold at least one public hearing thereon.
      (2)   The Planning Board shall have the power to promote public interest in and an understanding of its recommendations and, to that end, it may publish and distribute copies of its recommendations and may employ other means of publicity and education as it may elect.
      (3)   Members of the Planning Board, when duly authorized by the Town Board, may attend planning conferences, meetings of planning associations or hearings on pending planning legislation, and the Planning Board may, by formal and affirmative vote, authorize payment within the Board's budget of the reasonable traveling expenses incident to the attendance.
(1989 Code, § 15-34; 2003 Code, § 2-5.4)