Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reynolds Mountain Real Estate Assessed for Landslide Hazards

Examples of hazardous-land data available to Town of Woodfin/Buncombe County planners.

Upper chart displays overview of landslide areas on a NCGS Stability Index Map. The next risk reports were generated by the Renaissance Computing Institute—they show parcel count and value for parcels in unstable and upper threshold landslide areas in the Town of Woodfin. Reynolds Mountain Communities is located in the Town of Woodfin.

It is not known whether Kirk Boone, current CEO of Reynolds Mountain Communities, has been apprised of the fact that all Buncombe County real property has been evaluated for landslide hazards.

Hazardous-land ( flooding, wildfire, landslides) risk assessment reports are mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reduce the probability of future disasters.

The question is, now that Mr. Boone is aware of the Buncombe County hazardous-land real estate report, how can he protect his clients’ from making unwise decisions? The answer is simple: It’s called a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. This pre-sale document has accompanied all California hazardous-land real property transactions since 1998.

The following is a modified version of the California disclosure statement and is an example of the type of risk information that should be included in Buncombe County real estate transactions.

Buncombe County Real Estate Hazardous-Land Disclosure Statement

Please be advised that you are buying real estate in a federally designated disaster-prone county.

The Renaissance Computing Institute and the Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center have evaluated hazardous-land data and have determined that extensive real property in Buncombe County is threatened by three expected high-impact geological events: landslides, flooding and wildfires. Every parcel in the county has been assessed for hazard extent and potential market-value loss. Information is available though various planning offices throughout the county.

Buncombe County Landslide-Hazardous Real Estate

The decision to buy landslide-hazardous real estate should be well-considered. Flood and fire insurance is available to property owners. Landslide insurance protection is not obtainable. The inability to insure this special-risk real estate will have an adverse effect on property values. Please seek legal advice concerning landslide liability.

The maps and reports generated by the Buncombe County Multi-Hazard Risk Tool are “best guess” estimations of probable disastrous events. Flood and wildfire risks are known through published maps available to the insurance industry. Costs to insure these properties are predicated on the level of risk.

Landslide maps, likewise, show generalized questionable building locations. Landslide propensity is only determinable by on-the-ground site surveys. These investigations should be conducted by state licensed engineers.

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