Mixed Motivations: Local Commitment to Land Use Plan Development and Implementation in Coastal North Carolina

EPA Grant Number: U915197
Title: Mixed Motivations: Local Commitment to Land Use Plan Development and Implementation in Coastal North Carolina
Investigators: Norton, Richard K.
Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: August 1, 1997 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Urban Planning , Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice


The objective of this research project is to address the question of how local commitment to both the process and goals of land use planning affects the on-the-ground implementation of land use plans. The research also will contribute to the growing body of empirical work on plan implementation, facilitate methodological comparisons between quantitative and case study-based research, and generate policy relevant knowledge for North Carolina, which is currently revisiting its coastal land use planning guidelines.


Building on the current literature, this research project will present and test a typology of local commitment that distinguishes between and integrates a locality's commitment to plan process or "utility" (i.e., commitment to planning as a tool to inform local land use decision making) and commitment to substantive plan goals (i.e., resource protection versus economic growth). This research project will focus on mandated local land use plan development and implementation efforts in coastal North Carolina, primarily because of the substantial deference given to localities as they make policy decisions that balance resource protection against economic growth-an ideal institutional setting for focusing on the role played by local commitment. Limiting the research to local planning in North Carolina also will control state-related factors affecting local plan development and implementation. The empirical research will be conducted in two phases. Phase I, addressing local plan development, will consist of a content-based assessment of 40 to 70 local land use plans and a short survey of the state planners who oversee local plan development. The data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics and OLS regression to explain the relationship between local commitment and local land use plan quality. Building from the results of the Phase I analysis, Phase II will address local plan implementation, and will consist of indepth case study analyses of three to eight selected counties and/or local communities.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, growth management, sustainable communities, planning, RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, POLLUTION PREVENTION, sustainable development, State, decision-making, Urban and Regional Planning, Economics & Decision Making, stakeholder involvement, policy making, community involvement, coastal land use, environmental decision making, decision making, community based environmental planning, environmental policy, North Carolina (NC)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final