To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
In this email you will find information about:
1. Updates on the August 16th public hearing for Fearrington Preserve and Vickers Village proposals at the Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CC BOC) meeting and next steps on these proposals.
2. Updates on the Tri-Party Council.
Public Hearing Fearrington Preserve and Vickers Village
On August 16th at 6:00pm, Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CC BOC) held public hearings for applications from Fearrington Preserve and Vickers Village to extend the compact community map to include additional property from Fearrington Preserve and Vickers Village, allowing them to propose their developments under the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO). Both of these developments are contiguous to Briar Chapel property. Vickers Village’s plans include a wastewater (WW) facility for their development. Fearrington Preserve has not yet finalized its plans for wastewater but hopes to request a contiguous service area extension to connect to either Briar Chapel’s or Fearrington Village’s WW system.
The BCCA (Cathy Washburn’s statement) and SCN (Rusty Field’s statement) spoke out in opposition to Fearrington Preserve’s plans to utilize Briar Chapel’s WW system. In addition, Shelley Colbert made a public statement, Rose Krasnow (Fearrington Village HOA) and other property owners in the vicinity spoke in opposition of the Fearrington Preserve’s proposal. We are also aware of several Briar Chapel residents who submitted written statements. Our thanks to the BCCA and BC residents for speaking out.
A motion was made by Diana Hales and seconded by Karen Howard on behalf of Briar Chapel residents asking for a one month delay to allow for public comment since the notice of the public hearing was not provided to any Briar Chapel property owners. The CC BOC voted 3-2 to not allow this delay and moved the application forward to the Chatham County Planning Board (CC PB). Jim Crawford, Mike Dasher and Franklin Flores voted against the motion.
We sent information on Fearrington Preserve’s proposal to John McDonald (owner of the Briar Chapel WW system). Once again, we asked Mr. McDonald if he has any plans to allow communities outside of Briar Chapel to use the Briar Chapel WW system. He responded, “To date we have turned away all inquiries about connecting to the Briar Chapel system. There are no current discussions with developers.” We genuinely appreciate his response and hope that he continues to take this position.
Similarly, the Fearrington Village HOA has made an inquiry to their wastewater system owner (Fitch Creations) about whether the owner planned to provide capacity to Fearrington Preserve and received the following response: “First, Fitch Creations, Inc., either in its capacity as the developer of Fearrington Village or as the owner of Fearrington Utilities, is not involved with this project. Second, Fearrington Utilities’ waste treatment plant is nearing capacity and for that reason cannot consider connecting to wastewater collection systems outside our service area, which is defined by the North Carolina Utilities Commission as being only Fearrington Village. We are in the planning stages of upgrading the plant but this renovation will not increase treatment capacity.”
The Chatham County Planning Board (made up of resident volunteers) will review the application. The CC PB and CC Planning Department will both make recommendations and then the matter will go back to the CC BOC for final decision. This application will need to be approved by the CC BOC before the developer, Congruus, can apply for a conditional use permit. The application for the conditional use permit will require Congruus to provide a clear statement of how wastewater treatment for their development will be provided, including documentation that shows the owner of one of these wastewater systems has agreed to provide capacity to Fearrington Preserve from their wastewater system; otherwise, they will need plans for building their own wastewater system.
We will notify you before significant steps in this process so that residents who are concerned can speak out. The next CC Plng Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th at 6:30pm. Once we can confirm that this item will be on the agenda, we will provide you information on how to provide public input or watch the meeting remotely.
For those of you not aware of where these proposed developments are located: Fearrington Preserve owns the property that includes: Durham Farms (which backs up to Hawk Point Rd in Briar Chapel) runs down to Andrews Store Rd, across Andrews Store Rd along and behind the Chatham County Park and then down on the east and west sides of Parker Herndon Road (map) and Vickers Village is located between Vickers Road and Jack Bennett Road along 15/501, across from the entrance to Briar Chapel (map). The Vickers Village proposal includes a private WWTP, two irrigation retention ponds and discharge using spray irrigation of reclaimed water along Briar Chapel Community Association and Veranda property.
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:
· Work on the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) expansion to 500,000 gpd is on schedule and expects 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 has issued the permit approving additional spray irrigation packages H, I, and J which when constructed, certified, and fully operational will provide up to 552,806 gpd capacity to our spray irrigation system. Construction for Package H has begun and covers property around the Western retention pond and near the end of Logbridge Rd. This area will be heavily irrigated and will not allow trails in these spray irrigation areas. Packages I and J include: conversion of Encore homeowner irrigation from potable to reclaimed water, Encore common areas and the woods surrounding Encore, behind Cliffdale/Whispering Wind and the Sports Courts area. Note, the permit does not allow year round irrigation for some zones within the community and does not allow use of the irrigation system during major rain events or during freezing temperatures. It also discourages the growing of edible crops: vegetables, herbs and fruit trees in areas that are irrigated with reclaimed water unless they are thermally processed before consumption.
· The BCCA will do irrigation sampling and testing in Encore and other areas of the community for fecal coliform, biological oxygen demand (BOD) and ammonia-nitrogen.
· ONSWC is verifying whether the encasement pipe on the aerial sewer lines over Pokeberry Creek extends for 200-300 ft on either side. If so, ONSWC engineers believe the chance of failure would be markedly reduced. Note, these sewer lines were originally installed under the creek but due to erosion have become aerial and unsupported. These lines have been cited by TetraTech as a high priority risk.
· Recently we have seen a jump in the number of odor complaints we are receiving from around the Briar Chapel WWTP. We have reached out to ONSWC to ask for an explanation of why the odor conditions have increased.
· Work has begun on the SD-East Pump station to support connections from the commercial areas under development by Newland east and west of 15/501 near Taylor Road.
· Meeting notes have been posted for the July 13th 2021 meeting of the Tri-Party Council.
· The last meeting of the Tri-Party Council was on August 10th. Meeting notes are not yet available from that meeting.
Documenting our Concerns
We are extremely thankful for the information shared with us by BC residents. 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 STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com. We will make sure your complaint is documented and shared with all the appropriate parties (ONSWC, NCDEQ, BCCA, First Residential, Chip White).
Total amount donated: $51,966.85 (507 families contributing)
Spent to date: $42,603.06 (Legal: $35,317.50, Engineering Expert: $6,142.00, Administrative: $1,143.56)
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.
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: www.stopchathamnorth.com