Democratic NC House member Gruce Goforth (Buncombe Co.), who is also a land developer who's never exhibited any love for steep-slope building regs., has suddenly reversed himself and says now that he will actually introduce a bill this year that would require mountain counties to comply with minimum steep-slope development rules within two years.
Can you spell "wow"?
This is an election year conversion that might actually mean something for advancing the cause of regulating steep-slope development, since the mountain delegations in the General Assembly have been mainly among the staunchest opposers of any sort of land-use planning.
Why the conversion? Might have something to do with the most recent landslide in Maggie Valley. Might have something to do with the Democratic primary Goforth is facing with Patsy Keever, who does support steep-slope regs and has made that a campaign issue in Buncombe County.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Posted by J.W. Williamson at 2/24/2010 02:22:00 PM
Labels: Bruce Goforth, Patsy Keever, steep slope hazards
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<p>Patsy's statement on the new Slopes Bill via PatsyKeever.com
</p><p>“This morning the Asheville Citizen-Times reported that my opponent is planning to introduce a bill which would require mountain counties to comply with minimum steep-slopes development rules within two years. We can’t wait two years! Just today, right here in Buncombe County, Old Chunns Cove Road has been shut down due to slope failure. I’m delighted that my opponent has finally seen the light that we do need standard state-wide development regulations. For the health and safety of our citizens, we need statewide standards and they need to go into effect as soon as possible – not in two years.”
Putting People First
Speaking of steep slope development, does anyone have an update on the planned 1000 acre development on Old Johns River Road south of Blowing Rock? I understand the developer, Keith Brown of Sunsystems Inc. of Chapel Hill, has just purchased an additonal 200 acres which will now give the needed access that has thus stalled the development. This development has the potential to dwarf anything the high country has seen. In doing research on Keith Brown, he is apparently a cutting edge software developer who nets in upwards of 150 million a year, so there is virtually no chance his 2nd business, Sunsystems Inc, will go broke when building luxery homes off Johns River Road. The development is now very covert in nature (it was first brought it up a few years back at a Blowing Rock Town Council Meeting as Backbone Ridge Development), and what is happening is Keith Brown is buying land as fast as sellers will sell it. Some folks living in the area have recently seen State Parks Vehicles in the area, which probalby means Brown will attempt to designate some parts of the development as a state park or conservation easement to try and fend off environmental groups. Brown will more than likely continue to buy land (he just bought the 150 acre Coffey farm for 1.4million) to build a mega resort complete with its own store. I wonder if anyone has brought up the endangered species that is known to inhabit that area?
Oh, Lord. I can just see all the traffic - even more huge-ass SUV's careening up 221, especially in that one section that ALWAYS has black ice!
Indangered species in Blowing Rock - Floridians? :-D
Well, I don't know about those varmits from Florida, but Crotalus Horridus Horridus, also known as the Timber Rattlesnake, is very common on Backbone Ridge according to local legend. Perhaps this species will become a factor in another 1000 acres being ruined by corporate America. Do you wonder why this development may have fallen off the radar of "Wild South" and other environmental groups? They were all over it when it was first presented a few years back, but now not a peep. I also hear the Town of Blowing Rock is mum on the subject after being bought off by the developer, Keith Brown, who paid for the Blowing Rock Fire Substation on Highway 221 last year. I contacted the town and asked for a list of donors, but they said they would not release the information at the request of the donor!! And notice how the local papers never commented on the substation until AFTER it was built? Like Blowing Rock's corrupt relationship with Virginia Foxx, I believe this too to be something taking place behind the scenes.
Don't think of it as more SUV's on Rt. 221 - think of it as "thinning the gene pool." :-D
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