Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mountain Landslides

A writer on the North Carolina Conservative site protests the marketing of land in western North Carolina that is prone to landslides and to the inability of unsuspecting homeowners, whose houses have been rendered unlivable, to collect on their insurance.

A law was introduced in this session of the NC legislature, H1756, the "Safe Artificial Slope Construction Act," that would require full disclosure of pre-existing landslide hazards in any mountain land transaction. Republican House members Mitch Gillespie (McDowell), Curtis Blackwood (Union), and Roger West (Clay, Cherokee), together with the powerful real estate and homebuilders lobbies, managed to sideline the bill into a "study commission," usually a sure way not only to delay a law but to kill it over time.

Bottomline: there'll be no disclosure of landslide hazards to potential land buyers any time soon.

The North Carolina Geologic Survey's mapping of known landslide hazard zones in Watauga County is due out this summer. We understand from reports that the NCGS found some 140 new homes sitting in those known landslide areas.

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