Current Status of the Seven Falls Development
On February 16th, 2015, the Superior Court Judge ordered a continuance in the Seven Falls matter to allow the County to get permits from US Army Corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. New permits are required because the previous permits were revoked due to inaction and violations caused by Seven Falls, LLC. New permits are further warranted because the scope of the project has changed to only include the subdivision section and not the golf course or non-residential portions. The permitting process is estimated to be between 6 to 12 months. After the County has the permits from both agencies in hand the project will then be bid out for construction. A hearing was held May 5, 2015 (click here for additional information). The Court approved that up to $94,600 of the Surety Bond could be spent acquiring permits (click here for the order).
The County sought bids for site stabilization of the project area. Separate, Sealed Bids were received by Henderson County by 2:00 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Submitted bids were opened and read publicly at the date and time for the furnishing of materials, labor, and equipment for construction. Click here for full bid package provided at the time.
The County received a $6 million bond to pay for roads, water and sewer improvements in the Seven Falls Subdivision. The County believes that the bond money will not cover the cost of all bonded improvements and does include fees to cover the permit and mitigation costs imposed by the NC Department of Natural Recourses Water Quality Division (DWQ) and US Army, Corps of Engineers (USACE).
The Board of Commissioners at its meeting on January 16, 2013 directed the County Attorney to send a letter on behalf of the Board to all entities with a property interest in Seven Falls Subdivision. According to the Office of the County Attorney, the County would obviously prefer a solution by agreement rather than imposition by the Court. To that end the County Attorney proposed a brief meeting for all of the entities, to be held February 11, 2013, at 3:00 pm at the Henderson County Historic Courthouse, 1 Historic Courthouse Square, Hendersonville, NC 28792. This meeting will likely be very brief, involving the County Attorney reiterating the facts and allowing all the other holders of property interest, the Corps and DWQ to attempt to set up a method of attempting to negotiate an agreement. This meeting is open to the public, but only the holders of a property interest within the subdivision, the Corps and DWQ can actually participate.
In March 2013 a law suit was filed by the County against all interested parties in the Seven Falls development that asked the Court for guidance as to how the bond funds should be spent. Included in this was a motion for Partial Summary Judgment for Emergency Relief. This motion requested the court release approximately $260,000 in bond funds for remediation, site stabilization, fixing or adding to current soil erosion measures, and seeding the grass. This motion was granted by the Court on May 7, 2013.
Click Here to view the engineered cost estimates for completing the bonded infrastructure. (Henderson County does not know the future contract price for obtaining the work that needs to be done, including fees and permit costs. The following is the best current estimate available to the County.)
Process for Completing the Bonded Infrastructure Improvements in Seven Falls
The County is ready to proceed with completing the bonded infrastructure as the money has been received. The County has selected an engineer who has reestablished all soil erosion measures on site, to complete the design work and acquire all necessary permits to complete the infrastructure improvements. The County sought bid requests in January 2015 (See bid request document made available at that time) to complete onsite improvements. The County cancelled the bid request in order to acquire necessary permits from NCDENR and the Army Corps of Engineers. The following links provide proposed maps made available during the bid request: Water Plan Map; Sewer Plan Map; Off-Site Utilities Plan Map; and Road Plan Map.
|May 5||Notice of Hearing|
|March 19||County Revised Engineering Agreement with WGLA|
|February 4||US Army Corps of Engineers Letter regarding Permit Process|
|December 9||Court Order Regarding Proposals to Construct Improvements filed|
|May 7||Court Order Granting Partial Summary Judgment and Emergency Relief filed.|
|August 7||Court of Appeals issues Opinion in favor of Henderson County|
Lexon Brief filed by Henderson County
|September 16||Lexon files and serves Notice of Appeal|
|September 10||Lexon Petitions N.C. Supreme Court for Discretionary Review|
Summary Judgment Order entered against Lexon for full $6 million sum