160D-1302. Finding of necessity.

The General Assembly finds that the rapid growth and spread of urban development in the State is encroaching upon, or eliminating, many open areas and spaces of varied size and character, including many having significant scenic or aesthetic values, which areas and spaces if preserved and maintained in their present open state would constitute important physical, social, aesthetic, or economic assets to existing and impending urban development. The General Assembly declares that it is necessary for sound and proper urban development and in the public interest of the people of this State for any local government to expend or advance public funds for, or to accept by purchase, gift, grant, devise, lease, or otherwise, the fee or any lesser interest or right in real property so as to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of, or otherwise conserve open spaces and areas within their respective jurisdictions as defined by this Article.

The General Assembly declares that the acquisition of interests or rights in real property for the preservation of open spaces and areas constitutes a public purpose for which public funds may be expended or advanced. (2019-111, s. 2.4; 2020-3, s. 4.33(a); 2020-25, s. 51(a), (b), (d).)