Email Blast - June 18th 2021

StopChathamNorth (SCN)

To the Residents of Briar Chapel,

In this email you will find information about:

1. How to attend or speak at the Public Hearing for Herndon Farms rezoning request for a regional WWTP to be located on property just north of Briar Chapel off 15/501.

2. Important update on June 16th BCCA Board meeting.

3. Updates on the Tri-Party Agreement.

Herndon Farms Proposes WWTP – Located just North of Briar Chapel Veranda and Trails

Monday, June 21st at 6:00 pm there will be a public hearing on the proposed rezoning of Herndon Farms. The public hearing will be part of the regular session of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and will take place at the Pittsboro Historic Courthouse (in person). To sign up to speak, you must register at this link for the June 21st (Public Hearing 4). If you wish to only submit a written statement, it can be sent to Lindsey Ray at Call for action: If it is important to you to stop this rezoning request, we need you to speak or submit a written statement at this Public Hearing.

Herndon Farms (formerly Rigsbee Farms) has proposed rezoning for a Compact Community located on the east and west sides of 15/501 adjacent to Briar Chapel. The east side is just north of Dogwood Veterinary (across from the Veranda) and will be a 55+ community offering 161 residential units. The west side runs north of the Veranda and along the Briar Chapel property line from 15/501 to the Bennett Mountain area (beyond Catullo Run) near Briar Chapel Parkway. The west side includes a 1-acre area that they are requesting to be rezoned for Light Industrial which will allow a regional WWTP that can be used by Herndon Farms and other surrounding property. This WWTP will use spray irrigation for discharge of the reclaimed water on both the west and east properties. Here’s a map of the proposed development showing the WWTP located off Oak Island Road, near the power easement not far from the Veranda and Briar Chapel’s bike skills area and walking trails. Here’s information on the Herndon Farms Light Industrial Rezoning request and the Herndon Farms Compact Community Rezoning request.

Our main concern with this proposal is with the Light Industrial Rezoning and the location of the WWTP. If this area is rezoned Light Industrial, this will allow the WWTP to be a “public utility facility serving regional areas”. Herndon Farms requires 90,000 gpd in wastewater capacity, but according to Jason Sullivan (Director of CC Planning Dept), “since the wastewater treatment plant area is a general use light industrial rezoning there is no limit on the treatment capacity of the plant.” In short, this would give Herndon Farms the first step in gaining approval of a regional WWTP located near The Veranda and just north of Briar Chapel walking trails.

On June 7th we sent information to the BCCA Board about these rezoning requests. They did not respond to SCN, but at the BCCA Board Meeting on June 16th they announced that Jerry Cole would represent the BCCA at the Public Hearing.

BCCA Board Meeting – Opens with Legal Updates

The BCCA Board met on June 16th and opened with two legal updates from their legal counsel, Hope Carmichael.

  • Ms. Carmichael reminded the board that their meetings are business meetings and that NC state law does not require them to have public input/comment at these meetings. Because the board chooses to allow public comment (limited to 3-minutes), they can deny any homeowner wishing to speak who they feel is “beating the same drum”. BCCA board meetings are not an open homeowner forum.
  • Ms. Carmichael went on to discuss an incident where a resident had done “unauthorized work in the wetlands.” As a result, the BCCA had issued a cease and desist order to the resident and was billing them for the cost of undoing the work that had been done. That resident will have 30 days to pay the bill. If they do not pay within 30 days, a lien will be placed on their home. She explained that all BCCA members (homeowners) have an easement allowing them to use the common areas, but residents must follow the rules of the BCCA.

We noted that none of the board members appeared to question or challenge these updates. It is disappointing that the board does not want to encourage and support community input. We are all members of this community and while we may not agree on every issue, we have the right to be heard. This meeting sent the message that we as a community do not have a voice.

Status Update on Tri-Party Agreement

Here’s the latest information we have on the status of the work outlined in the Tri-Party Agreement:

· Vonzell Jones will replace Cathy Washburn as one of two BCCA representatives on the council.

· Since the acquisition by Brookfield Residential, Newland is now being referred to as NNP.

· The force main bypass was certified and put into service on June 3rd. This replaces force main A which has been the source of so many pipe failures. We hope this will significantly reduce the number of sewage spills in our community.

· Work on the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) expansion to 500,000 gpd is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. NCDEQ has approved the permit to allow the odor control improvements to be added as part of this expansion.

· NC DEQ is reviewing two additional permit modification requests from ONSWC (which will increase spray irrigation capacity to just over 500,000 gpd) that would convert some existing spray irrigation from potable to reclaimed water (e.g., Encore residential homes) and allows the construction of some additional spray irrigation fields (area north and south of Western retention pond and in common areas within Encore and behind Cliffdale homes). At the last BCCA Board Meeting, Jerry Cole confirmed that NCDEQ will not allow trails in the spray irrigation areas planned around the Western Pond. We expect this additional irrigation to be approved soon. In the meantime, irrigation in Encore will start with potable water since conversion to reclaimed water has not yet been approved.

· On June 3rd, the thunderstorm took out the motherboard on the main computer operating Briar Chapel’s reclaimed irrigation system. ONSWC has installed multiple antennas around the neighborhood to allow them to operate the irrigation system.

· The BCCA will do irrigation sampling in Encore and other areas of the community.

· The last meeting of the Tri-Party Council was June 8th. They have not yet posted the meeting notes for that meeting.

Documenting our Concerns

We are extremely thankful for the information shared with us by BC residents. We need to continue to document resident’s complaints/concerns, particularly odor and spray irrigation issues. To date, residents have reported over 500 complaints about spills, odor conditions, irrigation and other issues. When you have a complaint, please call ONSWC’s customer service number 877-511-2911. To make sure your complaint is documented, we ask that you also email your concern to us at We will make sure your complaint is shared with all the appropriate parties (ONSWC, NCDEQ, BCCA board, First Residential, Chip White), documented and tracked.


Total amount donated: $51,430.23 (502 families contributing)

Spent to date: $42,603.06 (Legal: $35,317.50, Engineering Expert: $6,142.00, Administrative: $1,143.56)

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 Liz Rolison, 1900 Briar Chapel Parkway, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 or simply drop the check at Liz’s house.

We are maintaining a full accounting of these funds and will return any unused funds to all contributors taking into account the weighted average cost to contribution basis. Thank you again for contributing.



Mission Statement

StopChathamNorth is an incorporated non-profit 501(c)(4) social welfare 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 several new communities surrounding Briar Chapel that are planning to utilize 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 a nuisance, unhealthy or hazardous conditions for Briar Chapel residents.

For more information: