To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
We hope everyone is staying healthy during this challenging time. Obviously, with social distancing some of our efforts have had to be delayed, but there are some updates that we’d like to share:
In our last update, we notified you that our attorney has filed our Petition to Intervene for StopChathamNorth on behalf of the Briar Chapel homeowners. This allows us to participate in the NCUC hearing currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 16th.
On March 31st, the HOA Board also filed a Petition to Intervene, that allows the HOA Board to participate in the hearing. We are encouraging our attorneys to work together to provide the best possible support for Briar Chapel BCCA and our homeowners.
Given the uncertainties around public meetings during the coronavirus, we are moving ahead to prepare for the June 16th hearing, but expect that this hearing date will likely be further delayed.
If you have information that you want to share with SCN’s legal counsel, please email your information to mailto:STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com.
On April 3rd a sewage spill was reported to Envirolink, located near the walking trail behind the homes on Serenity Hill cul-de-sac. On April 8th, Envirolink put up tape to mark the area and made repairs. During the repairs, numerous tank trucks were filled with sewage from the pump station located behind the dog park on Great Ridge Parkway and transported/dumped into the sewer line manhole located south of the WWTP. We are not sure why there was a 5-day delay in Envirolink starting the repair. The spill was documented and reported to the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).
Thanks to one of our generous residents, Paige Duffey, we have launched a website: http://www.stopchathamnorth.com/ that holds a repository of useful information on Briar Chapel’s wastewater issues. This is an excellent place to go if you want to understand the wastewater issues in our community, the history of this situation and the parties involved. Included on the website are:
· Timeline on all the events that got us to this point (with links to public documents)
· Email posts that we’ve sent out since forming in January 2020
Meetings of Note
The public hearing for the rezoning proposal for the Williams Corner project was scheduled for the April 20th Chatham County Board of Commissioners meeting. This month’s CC BOC will be a closed meeting and the public hearing for Williams Corner is going to be rescheduled. The date has not yet been decided. Note, the Williams Corner rezoning proposal includes the offsite treatment and discharge of Williams Corner wastewater at the Briar Chapel WWTP. SCN is firmly against the use of Briar Chapel’s WWTP by any development or community outside of Briar Chapel.
When the new date for the public hearing is rescheduled, we will notify residents to encourage you to attend and will be sending out template letters to assist residents in reaching out to our Commissioners on this issue.
Letters to Builders
On March 20th we sent letters to the builders in Briar Chapel pointing out how resolution of the WWTP issues was in all of our best interests and soliciting their support. We noted that at least one realtor serving Briar Chapel has begun to issue acknowledgement of disclosure notices to their clients. To date, we have received no response from any of the builders.
Irrigation is Getting Ready to Start
ONSWC/Envirolink has sent out a notice saying they plan to start spray irrigation on or about May 1st. They plan to flush the irrigation lines at the start of the season. This is the first time these lines have been flushed and with more than 30 miles of irrigation lines there will be a considerable amount of stagnant water and debris to be flushed. They plan to flush to points furthest away from homes, but warn that the debris can cause valves to stick which could activate zones and sprinkler heads.
ONSWC is also seeking approval from NCDEQ to add chlorine to the spray irrigation lines once spraying begins. This has not yet been approved.
ONSWC has also notified the HOA that they will discontinue irrigation in the following areas until the HOA Board gives them approval:
· Briar Chapel Parkway medians
· Boulder Park area (common spaces and residences)
· Great Meadow Park area
· Briar Commons are
· Pollard Middle School area
Please contact us at mailto:email@example.com if you experience any strong odors, discolored irrigation, oversaturation, pooling of irrigation water, runoff of irrigation water into storm drains, or sinkholes caused by the irrigation system. Video and pictures are helpful.
It’s time to Document our Concerns
Thank you for documenting your complaints, concerns or questions to Envirolink. Since Feb 7th, we have been copied on 100 complaints, including: 81 complaints for odors, 5 sewage spill complaints, 4 construction complaints, 5 spray irrigation complaints, and 5 general complaints. In comparison, Envirolink reported to the NC Utilities Commission that in 2019 there were a total of 79 complaints and only 10 odor complaints. While we regret that our residents are experiencing these issues, we believe this documentation will make a difference in showing that Briar Chapel residents have serious concerns that have been underreported.
It’s important to document any concerns or complaints that you personally experience with the Briar Chapel wastewater system (odor, runoff, spills, spray effluent pooling). Just a simple email works. If your concern can be documented with a picture (e.g., spills, spray effluent pooling), please attach any pictures you’ve taken of the incident to your email. It is imperative that we continue this effort. We also know that you experience some of these conditions over and over (i.e., odor) but again it is important to document these concerns each time you experience them.
When you have a complaint, Envirolink asks that you call their customer service number 252-235-4900. Please do so. To make sure your complaint is documented, we ask that you also email your concern to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy (cc) us at STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com. Your concern will only be tracked if you send the email.
Total contributions to date (as of 4/8/2020): $31,070.28
Total number of contributors: 331
We’d like to thank everyone who has already donated towards the cost of legal representation. These funds will be used to pay for our attorney’s representation at the NCUC hearing through to final decision. If you haven’t had a chance to make a donation yet, please consider doing this.
You can donate via PayPal by using this link:
If you prefer not to use PayPal:
You can write a check to: STOPCHATHAMNORTH and mail it to: STOPCHATHAMNORTH in care of Terri Burrell, 78 Middleton Place, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 or simply drop the check at Terri’s house.
We are maintaining a full accounting of these funds and will return any unused funds to all homeowners who contribute on a prorated basis. Thank you again for contributing. If we all work together, we have a better chance of achieving our goals.
StopChathamNorth is an unincorporated non-profit association representing concerned homeowners within Briar Chapel. StopChathamNorth does NOT support a regional wastewater treatment plant within the residential community of Briar Chapel. We are aware that there are a number of new communities surrounding Briar Chapel that are planning to utilize our WWTP, in addition to the current proposal to add Fearrington Village to our WWTP. We are opposed to all of these plans to expand Briar Chapel’s WWTP for uses outside of the Briar Chapel residential community. We also believe that the WWTP and ONSWC must be fully compliant with all governance and regulatory guidelines to ensure operations do not create nuisance, unhealthy or hazardous conditions for Briar Chapel residents.