Lawsuit filed against Chocolate Drop development

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Callebs own approximately 100 acres with an approximate four-acre lake and several streams contiguous to and below gradient from Chocolate Drop. Chocolate Drop development consists of 45 lots on 122 acres and the lawsuit claims that the disturbance of land at Chocolate Drop is approximately 21 acres.

&dquo;As a result of the numerous discharges of substantial amounts of mud and sediment from the Chocolate Drop Development onto the property of the plaintiffs, substantial amounts of mud and sediment have been deposited in the lake located on plaintiffs&squo; property, thereby damaging plaintiffs&squo; recreational and aesthetic enjoyment of the lake,&dquo; states the lawsuit.

The Callebs also claim that as a result of the mud and sediment, a road leading to a cabin on their property has been repeatedly wahed out, causing them to lose rental income.

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The Callebs are asking for LGI to recover damages in an amount in excess of $10,000 for each of six claims for relief, including but not limited to damage to property, cost of restoration and repair, cost of measures to prevent further future damage, loss of use and enjoyment of property (including the lake), loss of rental income for property and out of pocket expense as well as the costs of the civil action.

LGI will have 30 days to file and answer to the complaint.

Mitch Stott, the local representative of the developer, says LGI&bsp; has spent considerable time and money working to fix erosion problems, including those that resulted in sediment flowing to the lake below the development. &bsp;

According to Stott, LGI cleared out silt from the pond, put in silt fences and completed other erosion control measures to keep silt from flowing there again. The developer also has reseeded grass on other steep slopes to keep them in place.

Stott says LGI has repaired many of the erosion problems it has had since the development was created, and plans are in place to address current erosion issues.

The N.C. Division of Land Resources has cited LGI for erosion violations, including the one that resulted in silt flowing into the pond below the development. As of the end of last year the state had fined LGI $116,000 for not properly stabilizing slopes and not producing a geotechnical report needed to determine proper erosion control measures.