Lawsuit seeks lifting of subdivision moratorium

A group of Realtors and developers filed a lawsuit against Jackson County this week over a subdivision moratorium imposed by the county in February.

Some highlights of the draft Jackson County steep slope ordinance

• The ordinance only applies to development on slopes greater than 30 percent.

• Developers must file a hydrology report, geotechnical analysis and a tree survey and reforestation plan. They must also provide an assessment describing the impact of the development on the environment of the mountain.

• Earth moving should be limited to the minimum required for the footprint of the foundation, driveways and roads.

• The roofline of a home cannot must be at least 20 feet below any ridgeline.

• No wholesale clearing of trees in front of a home for views. Natural vegetation must be retained to screen at least 50 percent of a the face of a building when viewed from the nearest public road.

• Homes should use natural, earth-tone color pallettes.

• Outside light should be muted and kept from spilling onto neighboring properties.

• To avoid excessive cut-and-fill slopes for building pads, homes on hillsides should “step-down” the mountain with a split foundation to conform to the natural contour of the slope.

• Cut slopes cannot exceed a 1:1 ratio and fill slopes cannot exceed a 1.5:1 ratio. Cut-and-fill slopes greater than 35 feet in vertical height shall be benched at 35 foot intervals.

• Density follows a sliding scale based on the slope. Lots must be a minimum of two acres on slopes with a 30 to 35 percent grade; 2.5 acres on slopes with a 35 to 39 percent grade; 5 acres on slopes with a 40 to 44 percent grade, and 10 acres on slopes great than 45 percent.

Deadline nears for public input on steep slope ordinance

The Jackson County planning board is accepting written public comment through May 14 on the latest version of a draft steep slope ordinance.

Jackson citizens asked to ‘imagine ... a library’

A coffee shop.

That’s one of the more unique but interesting ideas that emerged during a series of public input sessions last week for a new Jackson County library.

Leaders, citizens demand input as road plan progresses

After a two-year lull, debate over a controversial expressway through Jackson County known as the Southern Loop could soon re-emerge.

What should a new library look like?

The Sylva library is favorite destination for Kim Mathis and her four children. There’s just one problem.

“The library has been this same size since I was a child,” said Mathis, 39. “I just want it to be larger and provide more books and more things and more space. It’s just not enough.”

Jackson planners consider open space for new developments

Developers in Jackson County could be asked to designate 25 percent of new developments as conserved open space under a provision the Jackson County planning board is weighing.

Still on the table

Jackson County planning board meetings likely will get even more interesting as members move on to the nuts and bolts of a slope ordinance this month.

Planning a new future for Jackson’s business growth

The town of Sylva is embarking on a smart growth plan that could reshape some of the town’s more unsightly commercial corridors in coming decades.

Planners nearly done with subdivision ordinance: Steep slope draft expected to take longer

The moratorium on new subdivisions in Jackson County might be over before the five-month time period originally estimated if the planning board charged with drafting development regulations keeps up its current pace.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.