The battle over mountaintop development in WNC

  Monday 03 February 2014 - 08:40:35 | Doug Ingram

A special two-part report from Carolina Public Press, takes an in-depth look at how ridge-top development in 24 mountain counties turned on a dime following the passage of the Mountain Ridge Protection Act of 1983, which was enacted 30 years ago this month. The law signaled a change in mountain politics regarding conservation — and this two-part series explores the impact that single law has had on Western North Carolina’s politics, landscape and economy.
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Henderson County Residents Discuss Steep Slope Issues

  Tuesday 27 September 2011 - 05:59:17 | Doug Ingram

The Times-News of Hendersonville reported ( that about 30 people attended a steep-slope forum on September 26, 2011.

This year, the N.C. General Assembly discontinued a program that funded landslide hazard mapping by the N.C. Geological Survey "a really short-sighted and terrible decision" by lawmakers, said D.J. Gerken, an attorney with the nonprofit Southern Environmental Law Center. Gerken spoke during the steep-slope forum sponsored by the Environmental and Conservation Organization (ECO) at the Henderson County Public Library. Henderson County was the fourth and final county to be mapped before the program was pulled.

ECO plans to post on its website,, a general map that highlights high-risk areas.

Click here for more information.
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Franklin Area Group Pushes for Steep Slope Ordinance

  Wednesday 17 August 2011 - 07:31:51 | Doug Ingram

A group of Macon County citizens announced the launch of a public outreach campaign to build support for a steep slope ordinance in the County.

Called, the new organization has created a website with information about the issue, an online petition and other tools to allow the community to express their support for a slope ordinance. Additionally, they plan to reach out to Macon County citizens by organizing petition drives, planning public events and running public service advertisements on local media outlets.

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Macon County Considers Steep Slope Law

  Friday 03 June 2011 - 06:25:08 | Doug Ingram

Nearly 530 landslides and debris flows in WNC have killed six people and injured five since 1990, according to a Citizen-Times investigation in 2009. They have destroyed 40 homes and buildings resulting in property damage that has reached at least $13.4 million. Of those deaths, five were from a 2004 debris flow in the Macon community of Peeks Creek, though the disaster was on a natural slope during heavy rain. Neighboring Jackson County has a steep-slope law as do Haywood and Buncombe counties. 

The Macon County Planning board will consider a steep-slope construction ordinance that, if passed, would make Macon at least the fourth county in the region to adopt such standards. Macon's proposed law would require no regulations on grades of 30 percent or less. A 30 percent grade is a 1-foot run to a 3-foot rise.  For midlevel slopes, the Macon law would require the county planning staff to assist with designs. For a very steep or hazardous slope, an engineer would be required.

Read the full article here.
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May 18, 2011 - Landscaping on a Slope

  Friday 18 February 2011 - 05:22:57 | Doug Ingram

May 18th, 2011
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Walkertown, NC

Steep slopes can be found in many landscapes, and present many challenges to homeowners and gardeners. They are often difficult and dangerous to mow, contain poor soil, and suffer from soil erosion. This class will cover design options and plant suggestions for aesthetic appeal and to prevent erosion. Contact Kathy Hepler at 703-2852 to register.

Event Location
Walkertown Library
2969 Main St
Walkertown, NC 27051

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Geologists and meteorologists work to develop landslide warning system

  Monday 14 February 2011 - 10:09:49 | Doug Ingram

Appalachian State University hosted meteorologists from the National Weather Service's (NWS) regional offices in Blacksburg, Va., and Greer, S.C., geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Kentucky Geological Survey, Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, and N.C. Geological Survey (NCGS) in the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), and N.C. Division of Emergency Management representatives to discuss the best ways to use data to predict the potential of landslides along steep slopes and how to alert residents in a timely manner about the dangers of landslides following significant rainfall.""Among the tools for anticipating landslides are landslide hazard maps being created by the N.C. Geological Survey in NCDENR. ... Nineteen counties were identified for mapping, the first of which were Macon, Watauga, Buncombe and Henderson counties. The maps are online at

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Asheville Land Developers Conference

  Monday 24 January 2011 - 08:31:08 | Doug Ingram

March 3rd and 4th, 2011 <br /> At The Biltmore DoubleTree Hotel, Asheville, North Carolina

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Maggie Valley residents escape massive mudslide

  Wednesday 10 February 2010 - 08:05:07 | Doug Ingram

By Clarke Morrison - February 7, 2010

MAGGIE VALLEY - As the torrent of mud, rocks and shattered trees battered her home, Tammy Jones dropped to her living room floor. She thought she was about to die.
Read original article here.

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Mountain Green Sustainable Communities Conference - June 23, 2010

  Monday 01 February 2010 - 21:25:38 | Doug Ingram

The Mountain Green conference is held on the campus of Warren Wilson in June and features experts in architecture, development, energy, and construction to discuss best practices along with a professional vendor expo with displays of sustainable technologies.  See for details.
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Our new site is up and running!

  Wednesday 02 September 2009 - 11:55:52 | Doug Ingram

After much work, we have finally put the final touches on our new site. Please have a look around and let us know what you think. If you find we are missing something important, please send us a note. We promise to keep the site up to date and pertinent to the needs of developers in the beautiful Western North Carolina area.<br />

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