Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trillium Cashiers, NC Real Estate Landslide/Unstable Soil Concerns

Jackson County, NC Landslide Map

Jackson County, NC Slope Movements/Slope Movement Deposits Landslide Hazard Map — April 2007
Other than this preliminary study, Jackson County, NC landslide hazard maps have not been released.

Jackson County, NC Landslides

Jackson County, NC  Landslide Photo
SouthWings Flyover 2010

Legasus/Waterdance Subdivision Landslide Jackson County, North Carolina—February 2010
Photos: Perry Eury

“These slides are occurring countywide. None as visible as this one, but I’m vetting calls every time it rains.” Robbie Shelton—Jackson County, NC erosion control officer.

Photo Jackson County, NC Airport

Jackson County, NC Real Estate Steep-Slope Subdivision Advisory Maps

Jackson County. NC Slope Evaluation Map
 Green indicates 30-50% slopes; purple 50-100%

Jackson County, NC  Subdivision Map

Jackson County, NC Real Estate Caveat

Jackson County, NC Planning Board Steep-Slope Subdivision acknowledgement:
As growth and development occur at an increasing rate in the County, the natural and manmade limitations to development become more apparent. Topography—primarily steep slopes—has been one of the more significant limitations to development. Map 1 [See Appendix] categorizes the development potential of land in the county based upon its slope, with land having a slope in excess of 30 percent considered to have severe limitations to development and lands with a slope in excess of 40 percent considered not suitable for development. Given these parameters, almost half the land in the county either has severe limitations on development or is considered not suitable for development.
Source: Jackson County, NC Land Development Plan, page 23.

Jackson County, NC Real Estate: Subdivision Development 2000–2005

Jackson County did not require slope/soil/hydrologic feasibility studies as a condition of permit for the following listed subdivisions.

Subdivision Name/Number of Lots

Mountain Top/325
Bear Lake/675
Balsam Mountain Preserve/354
Lonesome Valley/200
The Divide (Bald Rock)/67
Water Dance/94
Phase 1 River Rock/40
Phase 2 River Rock/200
Phase 3 River Rock/1760
Smoke Rise/100
Bear Pen/95
Black Bear Falls/99
Black Rock/32
Dills Cove/70
Bridge Creek/80
Garnet Ridge/100
Mountain River of Cullowhee/31
Cedar Hill/150
Stone Creek Estates/38
Whiteside Cliffs/30
Bakers Creek Preserve/ 42

Total Lots 5454

Landslide residential/road damage has been reported in Bear Lake Reserve, Water Dance, Hawks Ridge and Mountain Heritage Preserve Subdivisions.

Trillium Cashiers, NC: Soil Instability Disclosure

A number of Trillium Subdivision home sites are located on unstable steep-slope soils. These soil composites are classified unsuitable for residential development.

The question of adverse building site disclosure, re Jackson County, NC Soil Survey findings, has not been resolved by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. The Commission did determine in 2010 that Western North Carolina landslide maps are material facts.

2005 Western North Carolina Landslide Hazard Mapping Program

Federal authorities notified twenty-seven county governments in 1998 that the region's mountain slopes were geologically unstable and not suitable for development.  Planning boards did not heed these proscriptions and as a consequence homes and private subdivision roads have been built on critical slopes and costly to control soils.

September 2004 landslide events, which included fatalities and wide-spread property loss,  prompted federal intervention.  In February 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly agreed to formally initiate the Western North Carolina Landslide Hazard Mapping Program for nineteen high-risk counties

Counties covered by the Hurricane Recovery Act: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey.

The North Carolina Geological Survey has published landslide/soil hazard maps for Macon '06, Watauga '08 and Buncombe '09.  Geologic Information Systems show that significant portions of completed or proposed building sites in these three counties were sited on unstable to moderately stable slopes.

Landslide Insurance

A note of caution: landslide insurance is not purchasable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So where does that leave the property owners in 'landslide country' as far as being financially obligated in paying for such property? What would be suggested lawfully?