Friday, April 18, 2008

Versant and the Asheville/Buncombe County Landslide Hazard Map

Is it safe to build or buy property in Versant? This is a serious question and one that can only be answered by state licensed professionals.

Versant was approved in advance of the Asheville/Buncombe County "Is it safe to build here?" hazard mapping program so landslide risks were undetermined. It is important to know whether the Versant building sites are safe: geologic costs for ascertaining slope stability are affordable, generally less than $2,000. Investors should note that they will be self-insuring for all landslide property loss. Homeowners policies will not cover this expense, regardless of the cause.

The preliminary landslide hazard map for Buncombe County shows mountain slopes and ridges at certain risk of slope failures. Red Zones (High Geologic Hazard) are identified as cautionary, must be investigated, building sites. A significant number of landslides and landslide deposits are displayed on the map. These areas are considered "no build" locations. The approximate location of Versant is shown on the map.

For additional information about the Western North Carolina landslide hazard mapping program, please visit the North Carolina Geological Survey website.

The Buncombe County Hazard Mitigation Plan (August 23, 2004) determined that the steep slopes and fragile soils of Western North Carolina put the county at high risk for landslides. This report was issued just weeks before the catastrophic 15 county slope failures of 2004. (Western North Carolina received 2 federal disaster declarations in September 2004)

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