Developer works to fix latest erosion violation

Published 8:14 am Monday, March 31, 2008

The North Carolina Division of Land Resources issued a notice for the erosion control violation, which it says was the third such violation at Chocolate Drop.

Mitch Stott, the local representative for LGI, says the erosion problem, which occurred after heavy rainfall earlier this month, stems from last year&squo;s extreme drought.

He says some of the vegetation planted on slopes died as a result of the drought and was no longer able to hold the slopes in place in some spots. The heavy rainfall then caused the top three inches of soil in some fill areas to break loose and slide about 50 to 60 feet, he says.

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According to Stott, LGI did not wait to hear that it was in violation before taking action to clean up and fix the problem.

He says the erosion control problem has impacted only one property owner whose land includes a pond at the foot of Chocolate Drop Mountain. The pond on the northern end of the mountain turned brown after receiving heavy flows of mud and silt.

Stott says the developer has been clearing out that silt and putting in measures to make sure silt doesn&squo;t flow down there again.

&dquo;We&squo;ve spent two weeks and hundreds of man hours digging out the lake and creek,&dquo; he says. &dquo;We&squo;re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in expense. We&squo;re making repairs, one to be good neighbors up here, and two because we have a moral obligation.&dquo;

Stott says the developer plans to get guidance from the state for a plan to implement additional erosion control measures within the development and prevent future problems.

He adds that the development has followed state erosion control standards since its initial design.

&dquo;While we have had some erosion take place, the development was built under N.C. DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) guidelines,&dquo; says Stott. &dquo;In light of the fact we had the drought, we have installed containment measures and any silt left has been properly cleaned up to the satisfication of affected property owners.&dquo;

Eric Gass, who lives next tot he development and has raised concerns bout its impact, said he gives the developer credit for fixing erosion problems.

&dquo;We have to say they&squo;ve spent a lot of time and expense to do a lot of erosion control,&dquo; Gass said.