Planning Tools for Pittsboro

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Courthouse in Pittsboro, NC

Like many of the rural communities surrounding the Research Triangle Park, Pittsboro is facing intense development pressures threatening their natural resources. Also like many small towns, Pittsboro limited number of staff to meet the challenges of conservation planning. The NC Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry with help from the Chatham Conservation Partnership (CCP) obtained funding in 2013 through the Federal Forestry Service Redesign Program for natural resource planning in Pittsboro.

A Case Study: Natural Resource Planning Tools for Small Towns
The natural resource planning process used in this project was documented as a case study to illustrate the types of tools or strategies that can be used by a community to prioritize and protect their important natural areas. The case study outlines the planning tools applied in Pittsboro, but the process outlined is a framework that any community could apply for assessing and reassessing their community’s goals and identifying natural resource protection needs.

The tools used in Pittsboro are are summarized as standalone reports provided in the appendices of the case study.
Appendix A: Summary of the Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat Assessment for Pittsboro, NC
The Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat Assessment (BWHA) is a tool that helps highlight areas of significant natural resources. The result of the assessment is a map that represents the highest priority areas for conservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

Appendix B: Summary of Land Cover Change Analysis and Urban Tree Canopy Assessment for Pittsboro, NC
The analyses used to create land cover data and to complete a tree canopy assessment for Pittsboro is documented. These data sets are used to calculate the economic value of the following ecosystem services: stormwater storage, air pollution removal and carbon storage provided by the forest and other green infrastructure.

Appendix C: Strategies to Incorporate Green Infrastructure for North Carolina
This brief guide presents approaches for incorporating green infrastructure through Carolina communities.

Appendix D: Summary of Developing Tree Protection Ordinances in North Carolina
This is a guide that provides multiple references and examples of ordinances language that can be adopted to ensure tree protection for sites undergoing development. Primarily, protection of tree canopy is addressed, but additional protection through tree save areas and specimen trees is discussed.

Appendix E: Summary of the Natural Resource Conservation Ordinance Recommended for Pittsboro, NC
The process used to draft a proposed natural resource overlay district that complements development is documented.

Appendix F: Summary of an Analysis of Furture Property Tax Revenues and Co-benefits of Conservation for Pittsboro, NC
This is a summary of the study on property tax revenues for a future buildout scenario using available data in the Pittsboro extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), and how the property tax revenues change as conserved open space is increased. Also, the positive co-benefits associated with conservation are examined in this report.

Appendix G: Possible Funding Sources
This provides a list of grant opportunities that could potentially be used to fund conservation planning and policy development.

Development pressures and small towns: planning tools that can help
Slides and notes from presentation given in November, 2015 at Partners in Community Forestry Conference in Denver Co that summarizes conservation planning tools used in Pittsboro.

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