The North Carolina Division of Water Quality wants your input on the Water Quality Certification requested by Don Nickell for The Cliffs at High Carolina project in southern Buncombe County. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, starting at 6:30 p.m. at A.C. Reynolds High School in Fairview, the division is holding a public hearing on Nickell’s request.
According to DWQ reports, “The activity for this Certification is sought to impact 6,149 linear feet of stream channel, 0.219 acre of wetlands, and 0.03 acre of open water in order to construct a golf course and residential development on a 2,780 acre tract of land known as The Cliffs at High Carolina.”
In the proposal, The Cliffs developers offer various plans for addressing water-quality issues, but some local residents and environmental watchdogs have voiced concern that the proposals are insufficient. In addition to the Tiger Woods-designed golf course, the project includes plans for about 1,000 homes. The development has already received county-level approval for erosion control, land disturbance and storm water, and a U.S. Army Corp of Engineers permit is pending, according to a summary posted by the nonprofit Clean Water for N.C.
At the hearing, doors will open at 6 p.m. for seating and speaker registration. Depending on the number of people who register to comment, speaking times will be determined on the day of the hearing. Those wanting to speak need to register at the hearing; the sequence of speakers will follow the order of registration. Also, written comments may be forwarded at any time before or after the hearing, but must be received by the Division — by regular mail, fax or e-mail — no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008.
Comments should be sent to the N.C. Division of Water Quality, 401 Oversight Unit, 1650 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1650, Attn: Cyndi Karoly (919-733-1721, FAX: 919-733-6893, Cyndi.Karoly@ncmail.net ). Comments may also be mailed to 2321 Crabtree Blvd. Suite 250, Raleigh, NC, 27604-2260.
Copies of the 401 application materials are on file and can be viewed at the DWQ Asheville Regional Office at 2090 U.S. Highway 70, Swannanoa, NC, 28778. For more information, call 296-4500 or the Raleigh office (listed above).
— Margaret Williams, contributing editor