Butner Development Suitability
The foundation of the Imagine Butner 2040 Comprehensive Plan is the Mapping and Suitability Analysis which is a GIS-based build-out model that estimates potential future growth in the Butner. There are three components to the Suitability Analysis:
This map shows the current zoning districts. In the plan it may be beneficial to summarize zoning districts by acres to see what your predominant zones are and which ones are barely, if ever, used. This analysis could assist with land use policies and recommendations about adding zones that could spur development or removing or retooling those that are seldom used.
Percent slope was calculated by using the digital elevation model in the above map to illustrate where steep slopes are present. Steep slopes exist north of Old NC 75, in the quarry and along some drainages in the southern part of town, draining to Falls Lake.
Prime farmland, as described by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the USDA, is Land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops. It has the soil quality, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce economically sustained high yields of crops when treated and managed according to acceptable farming methods, including water management. In general, prime farmlands have an adequate and dependable water supply from precipitation or irrigation, a favorable temperature and growing season, acceptable acidity or alkalinity, acceptable salt and sodium content, and few or no rocks. They are permeable to water and air. Prime farmlands are not excessively erodible or saturated with water for a long period of time, and they either do not flood frequently or are protected from flooding.
In some areas, land that does not meet the criteria for prime or unique farmland is considered to be farmland of statewide importance for the production of food, feed, fiber, forage, and oilseed crops. The criteria for defining and delineating farmland of statewide importance are determined by the appropriate State agencies. Generally, this land includes areas of soils that nearly meet the requirements for prime farmland and that economically produce high yields of crops when treated and managed according to acceptable farming methods. Some areas may produce as high a yield as prime farmland if conditions are favorable. Farmland of statewide importance may include tracts of land that have been designated for agriculture by State law.
The majority of land that is in the study area, well drained and not developed is classified as either Prime Farmland or Farmland of Statewide Significance.
Forest cover is a dataset derived from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service which shows crop and forest cover by type. This map illustrates where in Butner large swaths of tree stands exist. Large, in-tact stands of deciduous forest are likely more valuable from a natural resource perspective than the evergreen forests. Most of the evergreen forest likely represent non-native pine plantings.
Natural Features and Habitat
This map shows all natural heritage areas (natural heritage natural areas and natural heritage element occurrences) as well as the biodiversity/wildlife habitat value. Information from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission describes biodiversity/wildlife habitat ranking in the following way:
“This dataset shows the state's conservation priorities for aquatic and terrestrial species and habitats, and landscape functions and connectivity. The relative conservation values displayed by this dataset focus on:
1. the biodiversity of aquatic and terrestrial species and communities
2. large-scale landscapes, including core wildlife habitats and habitat connectors
3. lands important to ecosystem processes, such as riparian buffers and wetlands.
These data illustrate the locations and conservation values of significant natural resources throughout North Carolina, and have been applied by local governments, state agencies, regional councils of governments, funding programs, and conservation organizations to support planning and decision-making for land use, conservation, mitigation, and transportation projects.
Priorities for conservation of important biodiversity and wildlife habitats are depicted using a scale of 1 (moderate conservation value) to 10 (maximum conservation value). Twenty-seven individual datasets are contributed by various state agencies and conservation organizations for this assessment. Each individual data input is assigned a relative conservation value based on resource rarity and distinctiveness, resource function, and data precision, accuracy, and completeness; these data inputs are then combined to show conservation priorities statewide. Data inputs include significant natural heritage areas, rare species occurrences, core wildlife habitats and their connections, important aquatic resources (e.g., trout streams, fish habitat, fish nursery areas, outstanding resources waters), wetlands, and watershed priorities based on Federally-listed species and other factors. For more information on the data inputs, see Chapter 4 of the Conservation Planning Tool. This assessment is intended to be used for planning purposes and should not substitute for field work at the project level.”
Natural heritage natural areas and natural heritage element occurrences are identified by the Natural Heritage Program within NC’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR). A natural area, as described by DNCR is a site (either terrestrial or aquatic) of special biodiversity significance due to the presence of rare species, unique natural communities, important animal assemblies, or other ecological features. Fortunately, more than half of these sites are in conservation ownership. Element occurrences are shown on the map and illustrate occurrences of rare plants, animals, natural communities and animal assemblages.
There are a 11 areas designated as Natural Heritage Natural Areas (NHNAs) within the Butner Planning Area. There are also many heritage element occurrences (131). Valuable habitat is located within and near the NHNAs and on game lands and institutional lands, as well as adjacent to Falls Lake, along stream corridors and in uplands between the railroad and I-85.
This map shows numerous hydrologic features in and around the study area. The tie-in to future maps is framing the area as a town with lots of hydrologic constraints (buffers around wetlands, streams, ponds; Falls Lake rules, etc.). This map can lead into the developable area map and offer context for it (what went into creating the map, etc.)
Juxtaposes large parcels with more traditional urban/built environment. Illustrates the massive amount of managed land surrounding Butner.
Existing Land Use
Existing land use was summarized with tax parcel data provided by Granville County. This analysis utilized fields within that data that included owner name, building value, and tax codes to assign a generalized land use code for each parcel within the study area. Analysis was further verified by cross-referencing aerial photography and general knowledge of the area. Below are some key takeaways from that analysis:
Using data derived from County tax records, a land supply analysis was conducted to divide land into three categories; “available”, “underutilized”, and “utilized”. Available land is typically vacant land and may be, for example, currently used for farming purposes with no significant structure onsite.
Underutilized parcels are those that have a low structure value to land value ratio. Although some land identified as underutilized might already be developed, it provides insight into land that could conceivably be redeveloped if development pressures are experienced.
Utilized or “built” lands are those that have homes, businesses, churches or schools on them.
This exercise showed that approximately 49 percent of the land in in Butner is utilized, with the remainder (51 percent; 12,948 acres) classified as available or underutilized. Much of the available and underutilized land is located along the town’s southern and eastern periphery. The town core is also pockmarked with available and underutilized land.
Large developable tracts (underutilized or available) of institutional land is substantial within the study area, including a 750-acre tract that follows along the northern border of W. B St., and around 35 acres at the abandoned school site. There are numerous underutilized and vacant parcels in the town core either privately owned or owned by the town.
Other notes on methods include:
This map sorts through the multiple types of institutional land found in Butner. Because some of this land has the potential to be available for development in the future, this analysis was needed to gain an accurate estimate of the amount of developable land within the study area. Gameland by owner, institutional land with buildings, federal or state-owned land with or without buildings, and general institutional (churches, schools, and etc.) were analyzed.
Developable area is a product of the land supply and environmental constraints map. This map illustrates all land outside environmental constraints (stream and lake buffers, wetlands) and utilized land (from land supply map) to show how many acres of developable land lies within Butner and the greater study area.
Septic Tank Absorption
This map illustrates land within the study area that has soil limitations as it related to septic tank absorption. This data is taken from the USDA’s soil survey data (SSURGO).
Sewer Service Tiers
The sewer service tiers map shows a potential policy map on where sewer service should be provided based on catchment analysis, cost to serve and areas likely to develop in the future.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities, Existing and Planned
Shows numerous facilities within and in close proximity to Butner. Illustrates the potential connections from Butner to the East Coast Greenway and the Mountains to Sea Trail.
Average Annual Daily Traffic
Illustrates the average number of cars that utilize streets and highways daily. Shows potential pinch points and areas around interchanges that could develop in the near term. Re: gas station development spoken about at meeting with Stimmel.
Drivetime Analysis – East End Connector
This map shows drivetimes from the center of Butner. The East End Connector and Research Triangle Park has been added for reference.The
Butner Demography and Marketplace Research
Demographic information by driving distance from Town Hall
This information tells us which how much money is spent on retail products and services in Butner. If there's a deficit (numbers in red), this means Butner residents are having to leave Butner to purchase these goods and services. The numbers in red represent an opportunity in Butner for those goods and/or services.
LifeMode groups represent markets that share a common experience—born in the same generation or immigration from another country—or a significant demographic trait, like affluence. Tapestry Segments are classified into 14 LifeMode groups. For details on these, please click here for a link to more information.