State approves permit for The Cliffs

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

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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20 thoughts on “State approves permit for The Cliffs

  1. ableza

    This place is a disgrace. If you don’t think so, then drive up to Craggy Pinnacle and look at the massive gash slashing along the mountain side. If you still dont think it’s a disgrace, then you are just another spineless prick driven by money.

  2. Jeff

    This is just awful. In Chuck Brodsky’s words: “These are our ‘protectors’, they are sanctioning the slaughter.”

  3. BZ

    OH boy, we are so looking forward to more careless,and
    inconsiderate drivers in there fancy hi-dollar cars on Old Fort Road. The lovely gouge running around the mountain is so attractive. I wonder where the wildlife will live now? Guess they will have to move out like so many humans have had to do here. You rich people have made it so expensive around here a lot of life long residents have had to sell and move. GO HOME!!!!

  4. Don Yelton

    Did anyone doubt that it would go in?

    The next step is to develop a mountain overlay for insurance purposes to cover the houses for land slides and then we will all see our homeowners insurance go through the roof.

    They are expecting a 10% increase this year to cover the beach plan. We must insure all of those houses that Basnight and Purdue and Rand developed at the beach.

    Who benefits from all of the tax dollars on the multi-million dollar homes. Then we can build more affordable housing for those that are pushed into proverty from high property taxes.

    Oh that will not work either just ask the folks from Florida.

  5. jeff turner

    don on a ton of issues you are right it should be fire-code specific built ,and the other person mentioning the wildlife,you are correct also,living at the base of cedar cliff,i have already seen the wildlife coming in closer,more black bears getting hit in the roads,an increase in smaller animals as well,opossums,raccoon,and the foxes,,these developers ,and the rich folks building up there,,,ie.tiger,have ruined the habitat of many creatures,and many rare localized only plants,have been bulldozed,the streams in heavy rains run pure orange now,streams will be in altered states for years to come,sunlight sensitive plants are dying as well,yes sir we’ve had a sell-out commission in my opinion for the last 15 years,,i say again folks this bunch have failed the tax-base,and should be sued in superior court for that failure,,,both city and county,,,my opinion only???

  6. Brian

    I would much rather have a few high rise condo buildings in downtown Asheville than the sprawling developments like the Cliffs at High Carolina. As long as those high rise condos don’t block the view of the City Hall building, or the St. Lawrence Basilica or the…

  7. bobaloo

    I’ve seen countless articles and angry rants from MX and local bloggers denouncing new high rise condos in Asheville, not to mention the whole Parkside debacle which galvanized the whole community against the development.

    For the life of me, I can scarcely recall a word of objection from the same folks concerning this abomination.
    So I guess if it’s outside the city most of you “activists” don’t really give two s**ts.

    That’s cool, make sure you save your “green space” in the city because before too long you won’t have it anywhere else in Buncombe county.

  8. Spouting Horn

    Construction at the Cliffs at High Carolina will provide lots of good jobs and add to the economy.

    Privately spent money is far more effictive than any stupid “stimulus.”

    If you’re not native american indian, then quit complaining about outsiders coming here.

  9. Piffy!

    bob, come on. if you live in the city, you care about the city. if you live in the county, you care about the county…

    seems kinda harsh and unfair to claim no one cares. as i recall, a lot of folks have been making a lot of noise about the cliffs for a while now.

    as for your ‘greenspace’ comment, it hardly seems applicable. are you suggesting we build massive gated homes and golf courses downtown? i dont think a golf course will fit on top of any highrise, no matter how tall.

  10. Piffy!

    oh, and out of curiosity, what have you done to prevent the cliffs?

  11. bobaloo

    I’ve done what any ordinary citizen can do. Letters and phone calls.

    First off, if you live in the city, you still live in the same county and are surrounded by the same mountains as me.
    Second, if the same folks with influence who pitched a fit and organized so effectively against Parkside got away from their city only views then perhaps such developments that destroy the mountains could be halted or at least slowed and made more difficult.

    Last, I understand your point and I didn’t mean to imply that people don’t care. It’s just infuriating that there doesn’t seem to be as much of a ruckus concerning these types of developments as opposed to a new hotel by the basilica.

  12. Piffy!

    no worries, bob. it just seems like you have a specific few in mind, yet are making some broad accusations.

  13. Piffy!

    [b]I’ve done what any ordinary citizen can do. Letters and phone calls. [/b]

    Well, then maybe you shouldnt act like an ordinary citizen. Maybe dress like an animal or insect and sabotage their evil doings? It can be a very empowering experience, i understand.

    I plan on giving anyone who moves there a SARS infested blanket as a house warming gift.

  14. chnat76

    Due to this economic hardship, we are sacrificing our values and losing grips on what matters most: the land and resources that are a necessity for our survival! WAKE UP (Raleigh) people, this cannot go on! This is a temporary solution to a long-term problem; you cannot possibly be SO naive!!!!!!

    PLease say NO to the CLIFFS, and self-righteous acts of land-use!!!

  15. BZ

    Someone committed that the cliffs will boost our economy. It will add more const. jobs to the area. The problem with that is, they usually don’t hire local companies. The only boost is to the county in more tax dollars!!

  16. jeff turner

    i wrote a letter denouncing the whole project based on landslide potentials,,,damage to our waterways,the interference with the wildlife habitat,the rare only place in the world plantlife,,the immediate impacts on local schools,property taxes rising on the neighbors around them,the cost of our food climbing through the clouds,,the immediate damage and demand on our other resources,suck as water,sewage,highways,,warned them of the associated fire hazards which surely will happen,,,,did you know that at last i read there were only 27 people a day moving to north carolina,,,,,why ..because theyve ruined the last places,blantant disregard for everyone local..dang right i wrote these things to governor easley as part of my elected soil and water position and raleigh ,,,didnt even acknowledge receiving the letter,,in other words we do what we want in raleigh to hell with anyone else,,this is some of what i did to try and stop the cliffs,,,they ignore an offical letter ,i was born here,and i love my country,like a veteran aught to,,dont get me started,
    i gave don yelton a copy of the letter ,3 weeks back,,he gave it to harry moroni,it got mentioned a couple times,,,and boom all at once the okayed the destruction..only after the news of my letter got out,,i made copies just in case a situation like this came abought,at the end of the letter i implore the governor to stop this,as i still recovering from cancer of the lung,,between the two sites and goof course,,nearly 752 homes are planned up there way to much over-kill…yes sir I TRIED TO STOP IT,,THE ONLY PERSON WHO DIDNT STAND TO GAIN A PENNY.everybody who approved that development should be jailed,,,everyone

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