November 25, 2007
Susan K. Ihne, Executive Editor
Asheville, North Carolina 28802
Dear Ms. Ihne:
Your newspaper today published a real estate feature for Breakaway Village. Ms. Terrell's article, "Live on a mountaintop and ski" discussed all the advantages of buying property in this resort but there was no mention of the fact that this steep slope property is located in a high risk natural landslide hazard area.
In my letter to Governor Easley on February 17, 2006 I expressed concern about the safety of the steep slope construction sites for Breakaway and the adjoining property called Scenic Wolf.
On March 7, 2006 James D. Simons, Director and State Geologist for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources responded to my letter: "Your concern about the potential problems of mountain development, including the Scenic Wolf Mountain Resort, is certainly justified. We have already seen a number of cases of severe property damage and loss of life results because of development in areas of unstable slope."
In all fairness, your readers should be advised that Western North Carolina landslides are frequent, serious, and uninsurable threats to real estate values.