SCN EMAIL BLAST: December 23, 2021
Subject Line: StopChathamNorth – 12/23/21: Update BCCA/SCN collaboration, Fearrington Preserve
Preview Text: SCN Updates: Fearrington Preserve, Tri-Party Council & more
To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
In this email you will find information about:
1. BCCA announces their representation of our community’s homeowners on wastewater issues and plans for BCCA and SCN to discuss how both groups can work together on these issues going forward.
2. December 20th Chatham County Board of Commissioner’s (CCBOC) meeting approves Fearrington Preserve map amendment to the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO).
3. Latest updates from the Tri-Party Council.
4. Updates on Briar Chapel Non-Discharge Monitoring Report and Sewage Spill.
5. Recap and updates on future dates for “Living with a WWTP and Reclaimed Water” public presentations.
BCCA and SCN Working Together
On December 13th, the BCCA sent an email to residents announcing their commitment to continue to represent the interests of our Association and community’s homeowners on wastewater issues. In this statement, they stated “the BCCA intends to continue to take appropriate steps, legally and otherwise, to oppose regionalization of our community wastewater system, protecting the interests of our Association and the community we serve.”
Members of the BCCA board and SCN have met, and we are excited and committed to working with the BCCA to serve the residents of Briar Chapel. We are confident that we can partner with the BCCA to achieve a stronger voice in opposing the regionalization of the Briar Chapel Wastewater System.
December 20th Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CCBOC) Meeting – Fearrington Preserve
At the November 15th Chatham County Commissioner (CCBOC) meeting, the Congruus application for amending the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO) map was not approved and was not denied. Commissioner Franklin Gomez asked Congruus to respond to concerns that were raised by the Planning Board.
At the December 20th CCBOC meeting, the commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the map amendment allowing Fearrington Preserve to apply for development under the CCO, with the deciding votes in favor made by Jim Crawford, Mike Dasher and Diana Hales. A video recording is available (this topic starts at 3:03).
The pivotal vote came from Diana Hales (our District representative who is stepping down next November). She raised Congruus’s plan to work with Adam McIntyre of Water and Land Solutions to provide preservation and restoration of Pokeberry Creek within Fearrington Preserve with private funding using mitigation banking. Mr. McIntyre argued that this could not be done if all the Fearrington Preserve property was not brought into the CCO. Note, as commissioner Karen Howard pointed out this proposed restoration/preservation work is not yet a commitment on Congruus part.
We are disappointed in this decision by the Commissioners, given Congruus’ lack of justification for expanding the compact community map and a lot of open questions about their development plans. We share in the sentiment provided by Commissioner Franklin Gomez who indicated that the promise of stewardship of Pokeberry Creek and affordable housing were simply carrots that were dangled in lieu of an actual plan by Congruus.
Please consider letting your voice be heard about this outcome by emailing the Commissioners (please note: the December 20th meeting was Jim Crawford’s last meeting as he has decided to step down from the Board for personal reasons).
Chatham County Commissioners
Karen Howard, Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Franklin Gomez Flores, Vice-Chair: email@example.com
Diana Hales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Dasher: email@example.com
Jim Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tri-Party Council Notes – November 16th and December 16th meetings:
A couple of updates to note:
· WWTP expansion has slowed due to supplier delays. Current estimate for completion is February 2022.
· SD-East Pump station is delayed until January 2022 due to additional piping under 15/501 and the replacement of a specialized electrical cable.
· BCCA testing of reclaimed water from the irrigation system continues to be within accepted NCDEQ limits.
· A structural engineer confirmed that no additional reinforcement of the pipe casing is needed for the sewer pipes that cross Pokeberry Creek, noting that the casing pipe is sufficient to withstand the force of the water and potential debris in the stream. A written report of his findings will follow.
On Monday, December 20th a Briar Chapel resident reported a sewage leak in the area where a prior leak had occurred on Hill Creek Drive. SCN documented and reported this leak to ONSWC, BCCA and NCDEQ. This was a slow leak from Force Main A which is no longer in use, NCDEQ reported that the current estimate is that 50 gallons was leaked into a nearby storm sewer. NCDEQ does plan to issue a Notice of Violation (NOV).
This brings the total to 35 sewage leaks in our community.
Briar Chapel Non-Discharge Monitoring Report
On December 6th, NCDEQ posted the June Non-Discharge Monitoring Report (nDMR) reports for Briar Chapel. This report shows that ONSWC exceeded daily maximum and monthly average limits for Nitrogen – Ammonia which will result in a Notice of Violation (NOV).
Living with a WWTP and Reclaimed Water
Residents of NE Chatham held two informational and educational meetings last month with Chatham County residents to discuss the challenges with the current WWTP status in NE Chatham and concerns about the on-going development with continued reliability on private companies to manage our WW. Highlights from this meeting will be shared soon and there are plans to hold another community educational meeting following the holidays. The next meeting will focus on politics and WW in Chatham County, a popular request by attendees.
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 and press “1” for customer service. 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 of several new communities surrounding Briar Chapel that are planning to utilize our WWTP. We are opposed to all 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