In a July 2 notification, the North Carolina Division of Water Quality issued a water-quality certification permit for The Cliffs at High Carolina, a golf-community development located between Swannanoa and Fairview. The certification allows The Cliffs to move forward with plans that affect about a quarter-acre of wetlands and open water, as well as 3,337 linear feet of streams located on the approximately 3,000-acre development site.
Last November, Water Quality officials held a public hearing attended by about 140 people: Many Fairview residents spoke against the development, citing concerns about possible chemical runoff from the planned golf course, detrimental affects to groundwater quality and supplies, sediment problems in streams downhill from the development, and the affect on native trout populations in streams affected by construction and the placement of culverts and crossings. (See “The Green Scene: The Cliffs and a Dash of Indigo Dye,” Nov. 26, 2008, Xpress).
According to a lengthy DWQ report that accompanied the permit, state officials took many of those concerns into consideration. In the months after the hearing, officials requested more information from Cliffs planner Don Nickell, met with Cliffs staf, and came up with a list of conditions for the permit, such as allowing no wet concrete in streams, installing culverts in ways that “allow aquatic life movement,” permitting no construction near trout streams during the spawning season, implementing a strict storm-water mitigation plan and requiring Nickell to monitor trout populations.
Click here to see the July notificatin, as well as the DWQ report that accompanied the permit.
— Margaret Williams