Henderson Co. hearing Tuesday night on Polk’s Lake Adger plans

Published 3:18 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Polk County has requested a Class III watershed, which would impose development restrictions in an area extending into Henderson County.

Some Henderson County residents and officials have suggested that Polk County seek a less restrictive watershed classification that would only impact Polk County.

At a recent meeting with citizens at the Green River Fire Station, Bill Moyer, chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, said the proposed classification impacts the entire 87,000-acre Green River watershed, including 51,000 acres in Henderson County.

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Some Henderson County residents say the restrictions on development density may limit how much they can subdivide their land, thereby limiting the value of their land.

Henderson County officials say they have been negotiating an agreement with Polk County relating to the watershed.

The Water Supply III (WS-III) classification that Polk County is seeking is applied to &dquo;waters used as sources of water supply for drinking, culinary, or food processing purposes for those users where a more protective WS-I or WS-II classification is not feasible. WS-III waters are generally located within low to moderately developed watersheds, according to the N.C. Division of Water Quality.

Development restrictions are divided into two categories; a critical area immediately surrounding the proposed water intake location and an area covering the remainder of the watershed.

In the critical area, which extends a half mile from the intake, property owners are allowed to develop one unit per acre. In the remainder of the watershed, one unit per half acre is allowed.

The classification also limits what percentage of the land can be developed, sets requirements for stream buffers and prohibits landfills.

The less restrictive Water Supply IV does not cover the rest of the watershed, but only the protected area, which is &dquo;five miles and draining to water supplies as measured from the normal pool elevation of reservoirs.&dquo;

Polk County also had to get Saluda&squo;s approval for its watershed classification request, and Saluda did agree.

Saluda is also in the process of seeking approval from Henderson County for its own water plans. The Henderson County chairman Moyer notes that his board also must approve Saluda&squo;s plans. The city is seeking the county&squo;s permission to purchase the Tuxedo water system, owned by Aqua North Carolina. The county&squo;s permission is required since the system is located in Henderson County.

Saluda is offering to pay Henderson County a royalty of one percent on all water sold outside the Saluda City Limits.

Henderson County is planning a hearing on Saluda&squo;s plans in the near future. The Henderson County board meets at the historic Henderson County Courthouse.&bsp;