NC TRAIL EXPANSION/ECONOMIC CORRIDORS.

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
Senate Bill 486 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 25, 2015
AN ACT TO ENHANCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF THE STATE TRAILS NETWORK.
Intro. by Brock, Barringer.

Status: Re-ref Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate Action) (May 21 2015)
S 486

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 20 2015 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Amends GS 143B-434.2A, as enacted in this act, to direct the North Carolina Trails Committee, in consultation with the Travel and Tourism Board, to review all applications for funds from the North Carolina Trails Management Trust Fund and approve or reject (was, approve) projects for funding.

    Amends GS 143B-434.1 to direct the CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (was, the Director of the Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development) and the Secretary of Commerce to work with the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board (Board) to fulfill the duties and requirements as provided in this section and to promote the sound development of the travel and tourism industry in North Carolina.

    Amends GS 143B-434.1(b) to include among the functions and duties of the Board advising the Secretary of Commerce (1) in developing a budget for Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDP); (2) as to the effectiveness of agencies with which the EDP has contracted for advertising and regarding the selection of an advertising agency to assist Visit North Carolina in promoting the state as a travel and tourism destination; and (3) as to the effectiveness of the overall operations of Visit North Carolina (was, Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development). Also makes it a duty of the Board to advise the Secretary of Commerce on any matter that the Secretary, Governor, or Vice-President of Tourism for the EDP (was, Director of the Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development) may refer to it. Deletes the requirements of naming a subcommittee.

    Amends GS 143B-434.1(c) to require the Board to have 15 members (was, 13). Amends criteria for membership and designates member positions to be eliminated in order to achieve the reduction in membership. Amends subsection (d) to designate terms to be served by the members of the Board. Requires that one of the two appointments to the Board by the Speaker of the House of Representatives be associated with the tourism industry (was, tourism attractions). Requires that one of the two appointments to the Board by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate be associated with the tourism industry (was, the tourism-related transportation industry). Adds as members: (1) the Secretary of Commerce as a non-voting member; (2) the CEO of the EDP, or the CEO's designee, as a non-voting member; (3) one member of the Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina; (4) a member designated by the Board of Directors of the NC Travel Industry Association; and (5) one member-at-large appointed by the Board of Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

    Makes additional conforming changes to delete all references to the Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development.

    Adds authorization for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to establish admission fees and related activity fees authorized by GS 106-877 for state forests using a dynamic pricing strategy as defined in Section 3(e) of this act. Includes DACS as one of the entities required to assist in submitting a report on implementing the new pricing strategy to the Environmental Review Commission.

    Amends new GS 111-47.3 to provide that in addition to the Division of Parks and Recreation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), any other department given responsibilities for state parks may operate or contract for the operation of food or vending services at state parks.

    Amends Part V of this act to include any other department given responsibilities for the State Parks System in the General Assembly's authorization to add the Fonta Loop Trail to the State Parks System as provided in GS 113-44.14(b). Expands this Part on property management to direct DENR, or any other department given responsibilities for the North Carolina Aquariums, to study economic development opportunities for the Oregon Inlet Lifesaving Station related to tourism-related economic development. Requires DENR or the responsible agency to report its findings, including any legislative proposals, to the Environmental Review Commission no later than March 1, 2016.

    Directs the Wildlife Resources Commission to update the Mattamuskeet Lodge Business Management and Tourism Study prepared for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and issued in September 2008 (was, directed the Wildlife Resources Commission to study the feasibility of leasing Mattamuskeet Lodge and adjacent properties to a private developer for opportunities related to hunting, fishing, and tourism).

    Amends additional provisions in Part V to provide flexibility in property management so as to permit DENR or any other responsible agency to conduct the studies and or activities specified in this Part and report the findings to the Environmental Review Commission no later than March 1, 2016.

    Amends new GS 113A-96 to provide that trails are exempt from certain environmental regulation (was, exempt from environmental regulation). Provides that a trail is not considered a "built-upon area" under GS 143-214.7(b2). Makes a conforming change to GS 143-214.7(b2). Deletes provision defining an agency authorized to implement and enforce state and federal environmental laws. Effective when this section becomes law and applies to the construction, maintenance, or removal of a trail occurring on or after that date.

    Regardless of any provision of SL 1939-168, as amended, authorizes the Department of Administration, acting on behalf of the State, to enter into an agreement to convey the real property as described in Section 7(c) of this act from the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority in exchange for conveyance of the State-owned real property described in Section 7(d) of this act. Prescribes that fair market value be established for each property to be conveyed.

    Provides that if the real property described in Section 7(c) of this act is acquired by the State, the property is to be incorporated into Umstead State Park (Park) and dedicated to the State Nature and Historic Preserve. Directs the Division of Parks and Recreation of DENR or any other department given responsibilities for state parks to dedicate between 500 and 600 acres in the southwestern corner of Umstead Park to single-track bike trails and to work with regional and local bicycle stakeholders to modify the master plan for the Park to include a single-track bicycle course within the Park's boundaries.

    Removes several tracts in the Park from the Preserve. Requires the conveyance of approximately 40.82 acres of the Department of Transportation right-of-way previously acquired for the Duraleigh Connector to North Carolina State University for inclusion in Schenck Forest.

    Particularly describes all property to be conveyed, and the restrictions and requirements regarding conveyance of said property. Specifies the conditions to which the property conveyed by the state to Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority are to be subject. Authorizes the Secretary of Administration to negotiate the terms of the exchange agreement necessary to fulfill the provisions of this act. Directs the Secretary to ensure that the map, dated April 14, 2015, and referenced in this act is filed in the State Property Office. Provides that the requirements of Section 7 of this act become effective only upon a simple majority vote of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority to proceed with the property exchange identified in this act. Makes an exception that Section 7(K), which authorizes the Secretary to negotiate the terms of the exchange agreement, is effective when this act becomes law.


  • Summary date: Mar 26 2015 - More information

    Part I. 

    Enacts new GS 143B-434.2A creating the North Carolina Trails Management Fund (Fund) in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to assist with the completion of the Mountains to Sea Trail (Trail) and completion and connection of municipal and regional greenways and trails system to the Trail. Requires the North Carolina Trails Committee, in consultation with the Travel and Tourism Board, to review all applications for funds and approve projects for funding. Fund revenue comes from funds appropriated by the General Assembly; a surcharge on all fees charged for access, use, and services provided at parks within the State Park System; and gifts, grants, or contributions to the state that are specifically designated for inclusion in the Fund. Requires Fund money to be used as follows: (1) 65% to acquire fee simple title, lesser estates, easements, leases, or other written agreements with owners of private land and for capital projects; repairs and renovations; and the development, construction, and maintenance of ancillary facilities directly related to the use of the Trail system and (2) 35% to acquire fee simple title, lesser estates, easements, leases, or other written agreements with owners of private land for the purpose of completing connections of local and regional greenways and trails to the Mountains‑to‑Sea Trail. Sets out the priority order for funding. 

    Amends GS 113-35 to allow DENR to add a reasonable surcharge to fees for state parks and lakes and requires that the surcharge be transferred to the Fund.

    Requires DENR or any other department given responsibility for state parks to, as soon as practicable but no later than January 1, 2016, implement a revised fee schedule for all fees authorized at parks and trails within the State Park System, with the fee including the surcharge. Limits the surcharge for the first year to no more than $1 and allows it be increased or decreased thereafter as necessary. Prohibits the surcharge from being less than fifty cents.

    Part II.

    Amends GS 143B-434.1 to add to the duties of the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board (Board) promoting policies that support tourism in the state and advising the General Assembly on tourism policy matters upon request of specified legislative entities. Decreases the number of Board members from 29 to 13 and modifies the membership of the Board. Amends the terms of Board members. Makes clarifying and technical changes.

    Amends GS 143B-431.01 to modify the membership of the Economic Development Accountability and Standards Committee (Committee) by amending its membership. Requires any audit performed at the Committee's request to be forwarded to the Board.

    Part III.

    Amends GS 150B-1 to exempt DENR from rulemaking with respect to admission fees or activity fees at the North Carolina Zoo, State Parks, and the North Carolina Aquariums.

    Requires the Department of Cultural Resources (DCR) to establish admission fees and activity fees for historic sites and museums using a dynamic pricing strategy.

    Requires DENR, or any other responsible department, to establish admission fees and activity fees using a dynamic pricing strategy, which is defined as the adjustment of fees from time to time to reflect marketing forces with the effect of maximizing revenues from use of these state resources to the extent practicable to offset General Assembly appropriations. Repeals any current rules related to fees upon the effective date of a new fee. 

    Requires DENR and DCR to report on the pricing implementation by March 1, 2016, to the Environmental Review Commission.

    Applies to admission fees or activity fees charged on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Part IV.

    Enacts new GS 111-47.3 allowing the Division of Parks and Recreation (Division) to operate food or vending services at state parks. Requires the net revenue from the vending to be used for park operation.

    Requires the Division to study the feasibility of operating kiosk‑type gift shops at state parks that offer park‑related merchandise for purchase in unmanned vending machines, including issuing a request for proposal (RFP) from vendors who would own, install, and maintain the vending machines in exchange for a portion of the revenue derived from sales. Provides that if the Division enters into a contract under this section, 25% of the net proceeds derived from vending machine sales must be credited to the North Carolina Trails Management Trust Fund.

    Part V.

    Authorizes DENR to add the Fonta Flora Loop Trail to the State Parks System and requires DENR to support, promote, encourage, and facilitate the establishment of trail segments on state park lands and on lands of other federal, state, local, and private landowners. Provides that on segments of the Fonta Flora Loop Trail that cross property controlled by agencies or owners other than the Department's Division of Parks and Recreation, the laws, rules, and policies of those agencies or owners govern the use of the property.

    Directs the Department of Administration (DOA) to identify all state‑owned property located within five miles of either side of the center line of the Mountains‑to‑Sea Trail and provide a written inventory of all properties identified to the Environmental Review Commission no later than March 1, 2016.

    Requires the Division of Parks and Recreation, in consultation with the North Carolina Trails Committee, to identify in its Mountains‑to‑Sea Trail master plan all municipal and regional trail systems and greenways that connect with, or have the potential to connect with, the Mountains‑to‑Sea Trail. Specifies items that must be included in the plan. Requires the Division of Parks and Recreation to study the feasibility of expanding the marina at Jordan Lake and report its findings to the Environmental Review Commission no later than March 1, 2016.

    Requires the Wildlife Resources Commission to study the feasibility of leasing Mattamuskeet Lodge and adjacent properties to a private developer for opportunities related to hunting, fishing, and tourism. Requires a report no later than March 1, 2016.

    Requires DENR to study the feasibility of leasing property of the North Carolina Zoological Park to a private developer for construction of a hotel/conference facility immediately adjacent to the African Savanna exhibit and report its findings no later than March 1, 2016.

    Part VI.

    Enacts new GS 113A-96 exempting activities related to the construction, maintenance, or removal of a trail from environmental regulation by an agency authorized to implement and enforce state and federal environmental laws. Specifies the eight agencies that are authorized to implement and enforce State and federal environmental laws. 

    Part VII.

    Includes a severability clause.


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