Cullowhee River Club gets green light in exchange for greenway

The Jackson County Planning Board last week approved a preliminary plan for the Cullowhee River Club housing development proposed along the Tuckasegee River near Western Carolina University.

Planning department staff gave a report saying the master plan for the large project met local development regulations, except for the rules stipulating how wide roads should be in subdivisions.

The development calls for nearly 300 homes, condos and cottages south of campus on a more than mile stretch of the river. It is the largest development to come before the planning board in as many as five years.

Although the preliminary plan was approved by the board, it did come with stipulations. One of those stipulations was that the developer, Tim Newell of Atlanta, work with the county to implement a public-use greenway along the riverfront.

Two board members were also displeased that the developer was asking for an exception to the county’s laws regarding road width. Board Member Mark Jamison said it could be a mistake making the paved portion of the main entrance road, that provides access for such a large subdivision, two feet narrower than required. The difference could possibly make the roadway unsafe for bikers and pedestrians looking to use it.

— By Andrew Kasper

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