Claremont South concerns – Bolin Creek

If there is any good news here, it is that the developer must meet Jordan Lake nutrient standards as well as Carrboro’s new storm-water volume controls passed last year. The applicant intends to meet these standards by asking Carrboro and the State of North Carolina to approve a complex plan including “pervious pavement” for the for-profit school’s parking lots. Pervious pavement places porous concrete on top of gravel, which is meant to allow water to soak into the soil. N.C. State University has shown it can be effective only if the pavement is regularly maintained. Another large part of the plan includes four large bioretention cells interlinked to a dry pond with a single outflow above Bolin creek. This network must be serviced after each storm event to ensure proper functioning. At the moment, the proposed maintenance schedule for this system is one town inspection a year.  Unfortunately, storm-water facilities are often not maintained properly. Will the owner of this for-profit school site, National Heritage Academies, provide the regular maintenance required for these facilities? Will this “innovative” system, as one engineer has called it, work over time? It is a new system, largely untested in the Piedmont area of North Carolina as to its on-the-ground effectiveness. To the degree maintenance is not performed, the creek will suffer.

The school will be located very near Bolin Creek. The entire site will need to be graded creating a steeper bank of fill dirt above the creek.  Technically the erosion construction plan should control earth moving but Orange County has few inspectors for the entire county to make sure the plan is followed.  The proposed soccer field using chemical fertilizers will pollute the creek.

We think the developer is not conforming to the spirit of Carrboro’s 40% open space requirements.  X percent is located a long a narrow strip of land next to the roadway.

Any major construction near surface waters requires great  care in its design….better yet , it should be built elsewhere. The edges of this entire development require the removal of the water-retaining trees that act as purifiers for Bolin Creek. The plan uses permeable concrete in the massive parking lot…but this concrete requires regular maintenance. They claim they would maintain this concrete..but what town staff will be available to monitor this process? Who enforces this guarantee?  What will be the consequences to National Heritage Academies if they fail to maintain the concrete? The natural grasslands and forest can do a much better job protecting our creek from pollution than porous concrete and dry ponds ever will.


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