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Sec. 8.1 Purpose

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Durham County is endowed with an abundance of natural resources, including land, forests, streams and rivers, lakes, wildlife and natural beauty. Inappropriate development threatens the quality of the natural resources that make it a special place to live and work. Durham's governing bodies recognize that establishing standards for the protection of Durham County's natural resources represents prudent stewardship of the land and good business. The multiple purposes of natural resource protection standards are:

A. To preserve and enhance the quality of the water in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes that flow into and out of Durham County;

B. To minimize future flooding problems by restricting development in flood prone areas;

C. To preserve the water carrying capacity of watercourses and the natural water storage capacity of the floodplain;

D. To protect land and watercourses from pollutants, sedimentation and erosion;

E. To retain open spaces in order to protect their environmentally-sensitive character;

F. To protect and conserve significant natural resources from degradation due to inappropriate development. Such natural resources include Inventory Sites, wildlife and plant life habitats, wetland areas and riparian areas;

G. To minimize the impact of development by controlling the location, intensity, pattern and design of development and construction activities;

H. To enhance the aesthetic appearance of Durham as a means of improving quality of life and attracting new businesses and residents;

I. To improve air quality by reducing the heat island effect by reducing pollution and fossil fuel used for transportation by encouraging walking, bicycling and transit; and

J. To protect environmentally sensitive lands while recognizing the legitimate expectations of property owners and Durham's economic development goals.