Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.—Maya Angelou
Once again Fate, with a sly grin, is sending us new challenges. Just when we thought we had glimpsed the end of the pandemic, Fate tossed in a variant. We cannot always share the sense of humor, but we put on a grim grin and adapt.
We got together and allowed strangers to stick needles in our arms. As if in a dance with Fate, we put masks on, took them off, then put them on again. We would meet and work distantly using something called Zoom, and somehow things got done. Our village is still expanding, and homes are being bought and sold. There seem to be more people anxious to live here than there have ever been.
Most of us do miss being with people face-to-face, or at least mask-to-mask. I get more done on projects meeting with people in person. For example, it was very satisfying and productive to have a short meeting in person with three others on the FHA board in my home. There we were comfortable without masks. We may have to work with remote meetings for larger groups for a while, and we will find signs saying “mask required” on doorways, but we adapt, and keep on doing what we have to do, innovating when necessary.
An example of that innovation and adapting was the recent event at The Gathering Place for National Night Out. Rain and drizzle forced us to move much of the event indoors, but we had a good turnout nevertheless, and people enjoyed themselves even while wearing masks—though some found eating through them difficult and let their masks down a bit. Warren Ort, Director of Health, Safety and Security, worked diligently with our management company to make the event a success. I met old friends and made new ones who had recently moved into the village—though I doubt I would recognize the new friends without their masks.
FHA keeps working because it is always a challenge to keep life in this village the way we all want it. Sometimes the challenges are broad ones, like the future of Beechmast Pond or managing our budget. At other times they are local, perhaps trying to resolve disputes among neighbors concerning covenants.
Maybe these are small examples, but they typify how we meet challenges and either change things or adapt. I just call it “resilience.”
Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. —Winston Churchill
—Carl Angel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fearrington Homeowners Association Open Meeting
February 16, 2021
An open meeting of the FHA Board was held at 7 pm February16, using a Zoom Webinar. The presenters were Tony Daniels, Steve Stewart, and Jesse Fearrington. Carl Angel gave an introductory address, and Gordon Pitz was master of ceremonies.
The meeting was attended by 210 residents. This is probably an underestimate of the number of viewers, since several couples may have watched together with only one person signing in.
Speakers addressed two topics:
Community Assessment Survey, Results and Implications: Tony Daniels and Steve Stewart
The Future of Beechmast Pond: Jesse Fearrington
A question-and-answer session was held when the presentations had ended (see below).
A recording of the webinar is available on-line. You will need a password to access it, which is 9k$K?c9@
Note that the meeting does not begin until 6 minutes (0:06:00) into the recording. Before that all you see is a Welcome sign and a countdown clock.
You can click on this link to view the recording. When asked for a password, use 9k$K?c9@
Due to limitations on available storage for Zoom meetings, the board may need to remove the recording when space is needed for more meetings. We shall try to ensure that it is available for at least two weeks.
Questions and Answers
Viewers were able to type in questions as they watched, and several took advantage of this opportunity. Over 60 questions were submitted. Not all addressed the two topics on the agenda.
Questions have been divided into three broad categories, general questions, those concerning the survey results, and those concerning Beechmast pond. Click on a link, below, to go to a particular category.
They are not listed in the order they were asked. Rather, they have been sorted first into the three categories, and within a category into a number of separate topics. Some were comments rather than questions, so often an answer was not provided. Sometimes more than one answer was provided to a particular question.
The list includes a number of supplemental questions dealing with Beechmast pond that were submitted separately.
Answers were provided by the speakers, and by other board members. They are identified by their intials, as follow:
GP: Gordon Pitz WO: Warren Ort JF: Jesse Fearrington CA: Carl Angel SS: Steve Stewart TD: Tony Daniels PB: Pam Bailey CJ: Chris Jaeger RK: Rose Krasnow
|1||Judith Andersson||Will the recording be available later to everyone?||GP||Yes, it will be available for a limited period of time. See the link provided on this web page|
|2||Kathy Hotelling||The golf cart issue was asked at the last meeting and I have not seen an answer. It was my understanding there were no golf carts, but there is one that periodically comes down Millcroft to the Park. And left there, I assume while someone walks, but that is an assumption.||GP||The response was published in the January issue of the newsletter, https://www.fearringtonfha.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6680#board2|
|3||Margaret Pearson||What is the policy concerning golf cart usage in Fearrington Village? When will the Board formally announce that policy? For everyone’s safety, the rules governing golf cart usage on both the NC State roads and the private roads should be available. Many thanks.||WO||The comment about golf carts that appeared in our January newsletter (see above) reflects our FHA thoughts at this time. While I am not aware of any cart restrictions on community owned roads in the village, if you want to drive to the village center or Camden park you will be driving on a road with a yellow line down the center, which is a state road. With all the walkers, bikers and cars on the road if you get into an accident you’d better have a license for the cart and yourself. If not you are going to face a serious liability problem. A warning!|
|4||Ed Colby||To Carl Angel: How many residents have paid their 2021 FHA Annual Dues, even with the issues?||JF||As of 2/18, we still have over 380 accounts that payments have not been processed. Down about 20 from yesterday.|
|5||David Fleming||I am very familiar with Associa and they are an excelletn company. What does the HRW designation mean in the title||CA||Associa, a national company, acquired HRW and kept the name, since they had significant business in the area. The meaning of HRW is unknown. It may be the first initials of people who stated the company, but we have no confirmation of that.|
|6||gary kibler||I'm sometimes infuriated by the number of walkers on streets when there's a perfectly good trail 30 feet away. What is wrong with walking on the trail, especially the one that parallels Milcroft?|
|7||Julie Bishop||Regarding people not walking on the trails, I’ve asked people why they walk on the roads and not the trails. Some feel the gravel is too large and make them feel unstable. Others think the gravel is too slippery. Perhaps we should look at a better type of gravel. we should look at the accessibility of the trails.||JF||There is a walking path committee that has been formed to discuss the transfer of the maintenance of the paths to the FHA. One of the items that this committee will look at is the surface material of the walking paths. Currently surface material has been narrowed down to either 78m crushed rock or another crushed rock material referred to as either "rock dust" or "screenings". The goal is to make the path surfaces better for everyone.|
|8||Martha Adcox||Topic: Road walkers vs path walkers. Assume some people walk on the road since they are afraid of ticks.||JF||We have heard the concern about ticks. A couple of important points here: 1 - ticks do not like crushed rock, so you will not find ticks on the paths. Our current landscape contract requires our landscaper to trim any overhanging branches from the trails to minimize the risk of a walker from coming into contact with vegitation and ticks. 2 - NC law requires pedestrians walking on a state road to walk on the LH side and to step off the road onto the shoulder when a car approaches. Stepping onto the shoulder and into grass is high risk for tick encounters since ticks love grass. So, our walking paths are safer from ticks than walking on the roads.|
|9||David Fleming||In discussing walking…why are there signs stating no one is allowed to walk in Galloway Villa area?? Is this private property??||See answer provide next, item 10.|
|10||Kathy Hotelling||David Fleming.....COVID restrictions have been in effect for a long time there, that includes non GR people not walking there, so GR residents can walk without potential exposure.|
|11||Amy Ghiloni||I would like to know what percent of people living here are betweem 50 and 73 please.||SS||24.5% of residents are bewteen 50 and 69 years old. 54.4% are between 70 and 79|
|12||Kathy Hotelling||I think the demographics from the survey are those from those who filled out this survey. 14 years ago when I was 56 I probably would not have filled out this survey because I would not have had time. There are so many more children here now than when I moved here....and also there are lots of people who are not retired...yet everyone keeps stating 72-73. Statistically, this cannot be true due to the changes.||SS||Kathy, I too was surprised. However, I have to go with the statistics. Statistically, the respondents were representative of the village as a whole. These data mirror those reported in Gus Reed's "Book of Fearrington" in both the 2010 and 2016 editions.|
|13||Amy Ghiloni||I agree Kathy. I am surrounded by young families.||GP||No survey is immune to bias, of course, but every effort was taken to minimize it, such as deliving paper copies to those who did not have email, and sending two reminders to everyone. Until a better survey is conducted, our best estimate of the average age is still 73|
|14||Hyman Muss||considering the survey completion rate, what math was used for you to be 99% confident results are correct.||SS||The easy answer is to use a computer program developed by Survey Monkey. The real answer is a formula based on calculations of probabilities.|
|GP||More precisely, one can calculate a confidence interval for response proportions. For a proportion p and sample size of 900, the 99% confidence interval is p ± 2.58 * (√ (p * (1 - p) / 900), i.e., p ± 5%. This assumes a random sample, of course.|
|15||Donald Niedringhaus||Will the raw data from the survey be made available so residents can help analyze data? Suggest in CSV or Excel format.||TD||Response frequencies, as well as more extensive summaries , are available on the FHA website. The raw data, however, constitute a very large data matrix, each cell sometimes containing several selections or written comments. It will be easier to get data questions answered using Survey Monkey software than other alternatives. If anyone has in mind conducting a particular analysis, we request that they contact Tony Daniels or any other board member.|
|16||Helene Carlson||What is meant by “technology” being inadequate in the Gathering Place?||SS/TD||Having just been involved in the Fearrington Cares construction, technology may include an integrated, simple AV system using a TV screen rather than a projector. It probably will include a hearing loop for those with hearing issues. There are other new available that may be considered.|
|17||Helene Carlson||If clubs are the ones needing better technology in the Gathering Place, shouldn’t those clubs pay for those improvements rather than the FHA? FHA funds come from many residents who are not part of those clubs.||SS/TD||Clubs do pay rent to use The Gathering Place.|
|18||Matt Alexander||Tony, since there is little interest in expanding the Gathering Place will all the costs associated with its expansion ($450,000) be removed from the reserve study?||TD||The survey reflects attitudes and perceptions at a certain point in time. The concensus based on the survey is that we don't need a countryclub building but as the Village population grows certain modifications will be needed. There will be further study made before determining how much to transfer and where.|
|Paths and Trails|
|19||Kathy Hotelling||Steve....are trails and walkways the same in this survey?||SS||Yes, many or most folks have little idea as to the difference so we lumped them to|
|20||Rosemary Claudy||Which trails are NOT the responsibility of FHA?||JF/TD||Currently the FHA is responsible for the walking path in front of the Gathering Place and in front of the Smokehouse mail kiosk. All other paths are the responsibility of someone else. One caveat: This excludes the nature trails along Creekwood and North Langdon that are maintained by volunteers with supplies paidby FHA.|
|21||Jan Kowal||Will more gravel be put on the walking paths at Camden Park? There are many bald, and some highly eroded areas following the recent storm. Much more gravel is needed to cover the mud on much of the paths currently.||JF||The walking paths in Camden Park are maintained by Fitch Creations. We have raised concerns about the condition of the walking paths in several locations that they are responsible for.|
|22||Amy Ghiloni||I would like to know more information concerning the future of Creekwood Trail upkeep. Specifically are we considering the option of moving the responsibility to the HOA.||JF||At this time there is no plans to transfer trail maintenance to the FHA. The FHA is focused on the walking paths (gravel paths installed by the developer) and improving the maintenance of those.|
|TD||The FHA does pay for the materials such as lumber and signage for the nature trails. Cost is minimal. Additional nature trails could be considered on other FHA common land, especially as additional tracts are transferred from the developer.|
|GP||There is often some confusion here. "Trails" sometimes refers to the gravel walking paths. Creekwood trails, however, are intentionally left as nature trails. They are maintained by a crew of volunteers, affectionately known as the "Light Cavalry", and led by Jim Fink. There are no plans to change this.|
|23||Helene Carlson||what it the projected date of completion for FV build-out?||JF||Projected completion of course is based entirely on the robustness of the real estate market. Traditionally, Fitch Creations has built about 18-24 homes a year. There are approximately 200 remaining lots. So that would lead us to believe we are looking at between 8 - 11 years.|
|24||Jan Kowal||When the Village is built out, will there be as much of a need for all the space Fitch Creations has at their offices? Might it be posssible to rent space for Associa/HRW to use, so that more space at The Gathering Place could be used for gatherings, possibly with remodeling the inside space of The Gathering Place? My big concern is for parking if The Gathering Place is expanded. Is there any plan to increase the parking area?||TD||Jan, this is a valid thought, but the Fitch Creations owns their office building and is a commercial enterprise. I would think they would expect some type of rent for space. As technology increases our needs will change along with the management company and FC. As the Village grows so does the needs of the GP. Parking access is a concern with the GP and eventually more space will need to be found.|
|25||Helene Carlson||It might be helpful if you put a list of topics and points of contact in the next Newsletter for folks to volunteer on areas in the Village needing improvement.||TD||Helene, the process will surely evolve and we will find a way to reach out and find volunteers. Both the Board and Long Range Planning Committee are considering ways to do this. Listening and communicating will be essential.|
|PB/CJ||The Board is in the process of developing a volunteer program now. Please be on the lookout for more information, bith in the newsletter and on the website.|
|27||JoAnn Davis||Where is Beechmast Pond? I don’t see it on maps.||JF||Beechmast pond is located near the wastewater treatment facility off of Beechmast. The best and most enjoyable way to get to the pond is to walk the Creekwood trail starting near the village. You can also find the pond at the end of Creekwood. A trail from the cul-de-sac to the pond can be found there.|
|28||Deborah Granger||At the end of Creekwood—go down the path at the fire hydrant. It will take you to Beechmast Pond.|
|29||Amy Ghiloni||Beachmast Pond is at the end of the Creekwood Trail.||GP||The wastewater plant is just below the dam to the pond|
|30||Deborah Granger||DON’T KNOCK THE PLANT. People have been walking the trails beyond it more and more….|
|31||Deborah Granger||@Gordon I like the first route….|
|32||Lisa Hall||How long has the pond been there?||JF||Not sure, but we believe that the pond was created in the 1980's.|
|33||Deborah Granger||Sedimentation and Erosion Control Pond, says the plat|
|34||Deborah Granger||The plat that came with my house.|
|35||John Divine||Are there available committee discussion notes and other resources relating to choices?What are the environmental benefits and deficits of each plan? For instance, choice 2 offers the great wetland benefits of increasing native species diversification and their numbers. Has this been shared with the larger community as well as the possible problems of mosquitoes and other possible downsides.||JF||There are risks and rewards with all of the proposals. As mentioned, financial risks triggered the study. The engineering company did mention the mosquito risk with option 2, but said managing the flora could help mitigate that problem.|
|36||Deborah Granger||How well would Concept #3 deal with stormwater?||JF||It is our understanding that grants are only available when restoring back to the original environment prior to "man" making modifications. However, great question and we will ask.|
|37||John Divine||What are the strategies available to reduce the amount of sediment bearing water that comes through point and nonpoint sources?||JF||There is no way to control the amount of water coming into the problem area.|
|38||Brian Paren||With option 3 wouldn't the stream eventually clog with sediment?||JF||This is very unlikely due to the slope of the land.|
|39||Lisa Hall||Have you all determined the liklihood of risks associated with maintaining the pond as is? If so, what are those.||JF||No, we have not determined the likelihood of the risks. The primary risk is the cost of dredging increasing, we know for sure that will happen. However, risks such as pollution and having to take dredged material offsite is not reliably predictable. We know these are risks as well. Also, we have seen an increase in storm intensity and rainfall over that last many years and science predicts that this trend will continue due to global warming. So, our need to dredge will also increase along with the increased storm activity.|
|40||Deborah Granger||Not the dam so much but the spillway is being breeched more frequently.|
|41||Lisa Hall||I was wanting to know about the liklihood of those risks|
|42||Helene Carlson||In order to weigh pond options, it would be helpful to know what high pollution risks exist nearby. Did I hear someone say that some homes in the historic district are heated by oil, thereby having oil tanks on their property?||JF||We do not know if there are any homes in the historic district that are heated by oil. This was just an example of a potential danger to the pond. Maybe this was a poor choice of example dangers.|
|43||Lisa Hall||Thank you all! To clarify my question - how likely are the identified risks to occur if the pond is maintained as is?||JF||See item 39 above|
|44||Deborah Granger||That is why I asked about Concept #3 and how it will handle increased stormwater runoff and sediment from whatever source.|
|45||Deborah Granger||Let’s just hope there is not ever WWTP interconnect pipes in that area below the pond. For now: no go.|
|47||Deborah Granger||I have natural gas.|
|Bridges and Trails|
|48||John Divine||If option 3 is chosen will a bridge be needed to span the earthen dam area?||JF||A bridge will be provided|
|49||Pam Bailey||Would returning Beechmast Pond to a stream open up new areas for trails?||JF||Not really. There is already a trail that runs along Creekwood down to the pond. By taking the pond out, this would not really open up an area for trails since the pond occupies such a small area.|
|50||Deborah Granger||@Pam Bailey. There will need to be a bridge over the stream for those who normally walk across the dam.||JF||If the pond is restored to a stream, a bridge would be provided in that area to cross the creek.|
|52||Steven Krull||To Jesse Fearrington: is the matching grant from the federal government only or is part or all of the grant from the state? In any case, the community should be told the likelihood of obtaining this grant before the community decides to accept option 3.||JF||Grants are available from multiple entities, including federal, state and private grants. There is no one provider.|
|53||Deborah Granger||@ Jesse Fearrington Are there grant opportunities for Concept #2?||JF||It is our understanding that grants are only available when restoring back to the original environment prior to "man" making modifications. However, great question and we will ask.|
|54||John Divine||What are the facts about grant availability for option 1 or wetland option 2 ? Who funds the grant and what are its requirements? What is application timeline?||JF||See item 52 above|
|55||John Divine||Fitch Creations has been and continues to contribute significant amounts of sediment from the town center. Are they committed to pay their share of costs?||JF||There is no evidence that Fitch Creations is contributing to the sediment problem. The engineering study identified that the primary contributor is along the creeks in the historic district.|
|56||Sue Clark||With balance left after grant, would Fitch consider sharing the cost?||RK||The costs are entirely the responsibility of the FHA. Fitch creations has other financial concerns at this time, and it is very unlikely they would provide any help.|
|57||John Divine||Will there be an impact fee for any future building of dwellings, roads, and parking lots that will be future contributors to the sediment bearing water?||JF||No impact fees are being discussed at this time.|
|58||John Divine||Who would pay for the rain garden and other projects in the town center parking lot shown ?||JF||We are unfamiliar with any rain garden planned for a town center.|
|59||Helene Carlson||It seems like the Financial Cost chart for the pond options includes only costs directly related to the pond. Does it include the costs of landscaping that entire pond area once filled in, and mowing / annual landscape maintenance costs?||JF||The financial projections do not include landscape maintenance costs. The projections do include the cost for the initial landscaping during the construction phase. This is consistent with the "do nothing" projection.|
|60||Matt Alexander||Will all contracts for construction on Beachmast be for a fixed amount?||JF||We have not been presented any contract proposals, but we cannot image signing a contract that is not a fixed priced. Granted, all construction contracts have assumptions and contingencies built into them to cover unexpected items that could result in pricing increases.|
|61||John Divine||How much more time is planned for further community discussion and when and whom will make the final decision on these 3 alternatives ? How will it be paid for?||JF||There will be another Open Meeting discussion on the pond in either late April or early May. A survey will then be sent to the residence, like the Community Survey, to gage community opinions. The FHA Board then plans to make a decision in late may using the community feedback as one of the measures.|
|62||John Divine||Will a vote on any grant related option be delayed until all financing details are worked out and the grant has been awarded. If a grant is not assured will the decision be made independent of subsidy?||JF||If option 3 is the choice, this will start the grant process and project execution would depend upon that grant request.|
|63||Chris Kaman||what about the wastewter plant needs?||RK||The wastewater plant does not draw water from Beechmast pond. They are quite separate.|
|64||Gary Newman||Is there any interaction, now or potentially in the future, between the pond and the waste management facility?||JF||At this time we do not foresee any interaction.|
|65||Deborah Granger||@Jesse Thanks for clarification of drop from pond to plant.|
|66||Carol Kurtz||Beechmast Stream --This would result in considerable sediment discharge into Jordan Lake. Does that present an issue we need to assess if we go the stream route?||JF||All plans will be approved by the appropriate governmental agency. They are responsible for assessing that impact.|
|67||Deborah Repplier||@Carol To be very honest, I have been the only person who has really given attention to the stream below the Beechmast Dam. Everyone pays attention to the Creekwood trail and stream and largely ignores downstream of the pond|
|Other Areas with Problems|
|68||Dan Freehling||What is being done to ensure that the FHA doesn't get saddled with any more Beechmast Ponds or other common areas deeded by the developer to the FHA?||JF||By NC law, a HOA must assume responsibility of all common areas from the developer. So, we are working closely with the developer: to understand possible future obligations; to anticipate those obligations; and to ensure that when they are turned over that the common areas are in acceptable condition.|
|69||Deborah Repplier||Are any of the other ponds in FV at risk? Or is it that Fitch owns those?||JF||There are only three other ponds in FV, all owned by Fitch Creations. In addition to these, there are two other stormwater retention ponds in FV, but these are dry ponds and only hold water temporarily.|
|70||Deborah Granger||Who exactly made the decision to propose Concept #3 to FV, without substantive input from residents who live on Beechmast Pond? The decision had already been made when the FHA had Mr. Bass do his presentation.||JF||No decision has been made. The Board is providing two open meeting discussions, followed by a community survey, to better understand community opinion in regards to the pond before any decision will be made.|
How might the following information contribute to the FHA Board’s preferred proposal for Beechmast Pond?
“The Village, located in the Jordan Lake watershed and Cape Fear River Basin, is also subject to the 1994 Chatham County Watershed Protection Ordinance and the 2014 Chatham County Soil Erosion and Control Ordinance. However, the development is exempt from the more recent 2008 county Stormwater Ordinance, which is a policy required by the Jordan Lake Rules26, 27. Fearrington Village’s adherence to the appropriate policies requires a 50-foot buffer along both ephemeral and perennial streams28”
|All construction plans will be reviewed, approved and monitored by appropriate governmental agencies.|
|72||Why is FV exempt from the Stormwater Ordinance? Did that play a role in choosing Concept #3, which does not seem to address the increasingly severe stormwater issues associated with pond?||We believe that the exemption would be based upon the approvals that were granted at the time that FV was approved by the Chatham County Commissioners. There was NO consideration given to what regulations may now apply to this issue.|
|73||I mention the above, because I am still not entirely clear what the objectives are for this project, and whose interests are being served, particularly by going with the most expensive option at a time when construction on 15-501 is just beginning (the sediment will keep coming for a number of years), FV itself (based on the presentation) is contributing to the problem, and intense storms are unlikely to lessen in the years ahead. Best practices in stormwater management are—as much as possible—to keep the stormwater runoff reasonably “in place” or to “trip it up” on its path downhill. While I understand a small group of vocal, well-connected residents are concerned about their Creekwood trail, they seem not to have looked into:||
We have had no imput from any "small group of vocal, well connected residents" in regards to the pond. This issue has only been discussed within the Board and the engineering committee.
The Board did invite several neighbors who live near the pond to the presentation by the engineering company on their recommendations and you were one of those participants.
|74||~ educating property owners along the path about how run-off from individual properties could be minimized (none of these properties would be remotely affected even with substantial flooding along the trail, by the way);||The Board would be happy to host such a meeting. However, the FHA has no power to require or suggest such actions be taked by homeowners.|
|75||~doing the same for residents on the pond; in strong storms you will see MULTIPLE “rivulets” flowing down into the pond, exacerbating the stormwater issues;||see above question|
|76||~exploring inexpensive ways to stabilize streambanks along the Creekwood trail/stream (I participated in several of these in the Triangle while I was getting my Stormwater SCM Inspection and Maintenance Certification)||Per Kris Bass engineering, this is not feasible due to two primary reasons:
1- to stabilize the current stream would require removal of many large trees along the stream to all necessary equipment access to the area.
2 - this is a very expensive endeavor.
|77||~exploring creative options for slowing/”tripping up” water as it flows through the Creekwood trail area. (Following Florence/Michael I actually had Mr. Bass come out and advise me on simple things I could do in my yard if the water was going to be flowing through one way or the other.);||see above question|
Click on an Area or Trail name to open its map in a new tab or window.
Note: Areas with Service Groups may have additional restrictions.
FHA Board of Directors
Health, Safety & Security
"Fearrington Preserve" has a Wastewater Problem
Posted August 19
On August 16th, the Chatham County Commissioners held a public hearing on an application by Congruus LLC to expand the boundaries of the Compact Community Ordinance (CCO) to include 186 acres of land that they had assembled and hoped to densely (cont'd....)
Updated August 13, 2021
Chatham and Orange Counties have experienced an ever-increasing number of Covid infections, and CDC guidelines have changed to reflect the dramatic increase in infections nation-wide. As a result, the FHA Board voted to adopt the following policy:
An abundance of caution leads us to ask that (cont'd....)
Posted July 27
During the next few months, we will be working on a redesign of the FHA website, www.fearringtonfha.com. The original website was created in the 1990s, and it remained a rather simple one until about ten years ago. At that time Jim Brooking, the current volunteer webmaster, was (cont'd....)
Updated August 23
It’s a pleasure to welcome back Gussy’s Greek Street Food on Wednesday Aug. 25th, from 5 - 8 pm at the Gathering Place.
Their Mediterranean menu includes gyros, grilled chicken pitas, falafel, Greek salad, dolmades, tzatziki and more. Of course, there is baklava for dessert! You can view (cont'd....)
Posted June 26
On June 16, members of the FHA Board and the Long Range Planning Committee met with representatives of the NC Department of Transportation (NCDoT), Justin Bullock, Jennifer Britt, and Blaine Rivers. The purpose of the meeting was to address several questions that have arisen concerning roads and pathways (cont'd....)
Posted July 27, 2021
Here are links to a number of articles we would like to draw to your attention. They may not be as timely or important as those featured on the News tab, but they may be worth your reading. Some may provide helpful background information.
Gathering Place to Open as Polling Place on November 3
Fearrington Village and Galloway Ridge voters who choose to cast their ballots in person on Tuesday, Nov. 3, will be able to do so at the Gathering Place. As always on election days, the Gathering Place, which is the polling place for Precinct 78, also known as West Williams, will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Poll workers will be fully outfitted in personal protective equipment, and plexiglass shields will be in place between poll workers and voters. Voters will use disposable pens to mark their ballots, and voting stations will be wiped down with sanitizer between voters. The Gathering Place will be professionally cleaned and sanitized after the polling place closes at no cost to Fearrington FHA.
Voters will be asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing designations inside and outside of the building. Once voters enter through the main door, a new one-way traffic pattern will direct them through the voting process before they leave the building through an emergency exit to the right of the kitchen.
As usual, curbside voting will be available, but will be moved to the kitchen end of the Gathering Place so that there are additional parking spaces and poll workers can access and assist curbside voters without interrupting social distancing.
Voters who wish to vote before Nov. 3 have two options: One-stop, in-person voting at one of six early voting locations or by mail-in absentee ballot.
Early voting starts Oct. 15 and the closest location to Fearrington Village is at the Central Carolina Community College’s Health Sciences Campus, fronting 15-501 between Andrews Store Road and Jack Bennett Road. Alternatively, the second closest early voting site is the Bold Building, 41050 Moring Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517.
The same safety precautions for Nov. 3 will be practiced at early voting. Updates to come on the exact dates and hours for early voting.
To vote by absentee ballot, voters must request an absentee ballot as instructed at this website: https://www.chathamnc.org/government/departments-programs/board-of-elections/absentee-voting. The one-page form must be signed and can be returned by US Mail or electronically. Full instructions are available on the website.
As needed, additional updates for in-person voting at the Gathering Place will be included in the October issue of the newsletter. Special thanks to the Fearrington Village FHA leadership and the Chatham County Board of Elections staff for their commitment to make the Gathering Place available as a safe and convenience polling place for West Williams voters.
The Newsletter Style Sheet
Fearrington Homeowners Association
Published by The Newsletter Staff
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Fearrington Homeowners Association
Published by The Newsletter Staff
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Fearrington Homeowners Association Open Meeting
July 16, 2020
An open meeting of the FHA Board was held at 7 pm July 16, using a Zoom Webinar. The presenters were Rose Krasnow, Fran DiGiano, Jesse Fearrington, and Tony Daniels. Carl Angel gave an introductory address, and Gordon Pitz was master of ceremonies.
The meeting was attended by 206 residents. This is an underestimate of the number of viewers, since several couples watched together with only one person signing in. This is more than twice the number of attendees at a regular open meeting.
Feedback was very positive. Many viewers mentioned that the presentations were very informative, and they thought the webinar format provided a more useful experience than does a regular open meeting.
Speakers addressed three topics:
Wastewater Management Task Force: Rose Krasnow and Fran DiGiano
Issues in the Maintenance of Village Grounds: Jesse Fearrington
Budgets are Like Weather Forecasts: Tony Daniels
A recording of the webinar is available on-line. You will need a password to access it, which is.
Note that the meeting does not begin until 8 minutes (0:08:00) into the recording. Before that all you see is a Welcome sign and a countdown clock. The meeting effectively ends at 1:55:00.
You can click on this link to view the recording. When asked for a password, use .
Due to limitations on available storage for Zoom meetings, the board may need to remove the recording when space is needed for more meetings. We shall try to ensure that it is available for at least two weeks.
Questions and Answers
Viewers were able to type in questions as they watched, and several took advantage of this opportunity. Over 50 questions were submitted. The presenters have provided answers to many of these questions.
Answers labelled RK/FD were provided by Rose Krasnow and Fran Digiano. Answers labelled JF were provided by Jesse Fearrington. Answers labelled TD were provided by Tony Danels. A few of the questions were answered by more than one speaker.
If you have further questions about any of these topics you may contact the relevant board member, Rose Krasnow(email@example.com), Jesse Fearrington(firstname.lastname@example.org), or Tony Daniels (email@example.com),
Maria Tadd 07:14 PM: Isn't pumping effluent up hill an accident waiting to happen?
RK/FD: When managed properly, pumping of wastewater can be done without serious problems. Pumping wastewater uphill is done in many communities across the nation. In neighboring Chapel Hill, there are many pump stations and even the very small sewered area of Pittsboro requires at least 5 pumps stations. A ride up and down the many hills in Briar Chapel gives a sense of the need for pump stations there. Not sure of the number but my guess is about 10. The BC sewer system, however, has been plagued with problems. According to Envirolink, these problems were there before they took over the system in the last 5 years or so. One big problem was the PVC piping used for the force mains that pump the wastewater uphill. Every time a pump turns on to push wastewater uphill, there is a pressure surge and this has caused breaks in the PVC piping at the joints between sections. Envirolink purports to be replacing all PVC piping with High Density Polyethylene to solve the problems. However, in one area where the piping was recently replaced, they have already experienced sewer spills due to faulty welds that their contractor was responsible for. OWASA (Orange County Water and Sewer Authority) has excellent instructional videos for citizens to watch that explain how their collection system is managed.
Craig Fairbrother 07:23 PM: Will those homes not connected to the WWTP facility be required to pay the new fees?
RK/FD: No. Homeowners who have septic pay to maintain their own systems, but they will not receive any bills for the FV treatment plant or for the combined treatment option, should that be approved.
Terry Lucas 07:27 PM: How will the interconnect pipe to BC cross Bush Creek? Under the creek or over top?
RK/FD: The actual route of the pipe has not yet been designed. The route will have to be approved by the Department of Environmental Quality. You are correct that there are environmental concerns about crossing a creek, but it is not an unusual thing to do. If interested, here is useful link to DEQ that describes the regulation of stream crossings: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/.../MDCPS.pdf
Matt Alexander 07:31 PM: Since Fitch Creations owns the facility subject to their agreement with Envirolink, he has complete control over what is done with the facility. How does the FHA plan to get control of the facility and at what price?
RK/FD: The FHA has absolutely no plans to take control of the sewer facility. We have gotten involved because we are concerned about the rates we may have to pay with a combined system and about the environmental impacts that the interconnected system will have on FV, particularly since Chatham North, aka Old North State, is the proposed owner of the system and Envirolink is the Manager. Their track record to date in Briar Chapel and elsewhere in the state is very, very poor. However, since we didn’t testify at the public hearing, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) had no way of knowing that the FHA, on behalf of its residents, had these concerns so we filed a motion to intervene. The outcome of NCUC review could be: 1) approve of Chatham North as new owner and of the Interconnect Plan; 2) approve Chatham North as the new owner but reject the Interconnect Plan in which case Chatham North must would have to reconstruct the FV WWTP; or 3) reject Chatham North as the new owner in which case it reverts back to Fitch Creations Inc., which will have to reconstruct the FV WWTP or find another owner/operator.
Barbara Harris 07:37 PM: How many years for build out of Fearrington Village?
RK/FD: That is a good question. Fearrington Village is approved for 1602 homes. Currently, almost 1400 homes have been built. Fitch Creations tends to add about twenty new homes a year. At that rate, buildout would take another ten years or so. However, Fitch owns another 300 acres adjacent to FV. They are not currently part of our Planned Unit Development, but the land can only be accessed through FV. We do not know if Fitch Creations will seek approval to develop that additional land at some point in the future.
JF: There is not an exact answer to how long it will be before development in Fearrington Village is complete. Looking at historical information, Fitch Creations builds between 12 and 24 homes a year. There are approximately 180 homes that have been approved to be build remaining. So, you can figure that it will be between 8-12 years to complete. Of course, that all depends upon the economy.
That said, Fitch Creations owns approximately another 300 acres that could be added to our community. Any, they could purchase additional property. So, maybe it goes on for quite some time. Only time will tell.
TD: Estimates are 5 – 10 years – varies on real estate market/economy. As Fitch Creations owns adjoining parcels, he could petition the County to expand the present limit of the PUD 1602 units.
Gary Newman 07:37 PM: Are there usage growth projections for Galloway Ridge?
RK/FD: There are no plans to expand the number of units in Galloway Ridge.
JF: At this point there are no plans to expand Galloway Ridge beyond the 300 residents.
TD: It is my understanding that Galloway Ridge is built out. However, they did purchase the land parcel behind them facing the 15/501 last year.
Terry Lucas 07:41 PM: What is the current population for BC compared to FV? Is 50% split actual compared to % population?
RK/FD: Briar Chapel, which was built by Newlands, will have well over 2000 units when complete. We are limited to 1602 homes. However, the cost split is not based on population. The current BC WWTP was built in 2005 and only designed to handle Phase 1 of three phases of development. But BC residents are generating less wastewater per household than early projections. Newland still needs additional capacity for yet more homes being built as well as the commercial development of the land they own on 15-501. The estimate of flowrate needed for BC is roughly 400,000 gal per day at build out, up from the current treatment capacity of 250,000 gal per day. Chatham North is telling current BC residents that the capital cost to expand the WWTP will be charged to incoming residents of BC via a $4,000 connection fee so the promise is that the BC monthly rate will not increase from current of $42. The planned capacity at the BC WWTP will be 870,000 gal per day, Of the 870,000 gal per day, FV’s contribution (based on maximum daily flowrate on which NC DEQ requires that capacity be specified) will be 440,000 gal per day. That’s roughly 50% of capacity at BC. The planned expansion of BC WWTP will also be large enough to handle wastewater generated by other nearby developments, the most notable being Williams Corner. Of course, Briar Chapel residents do not want a “regional” WWTP so they want to limit the expansion to a facility no larger than 400,000 gal per day to handle only wastewater generated within their community.
Larry Newlin 07:42 PM: Are we eligible for low interest wastewater construction loans from the Community Facilities Program for rural communities administered by the USDA? Is our effluent released to the creek considered tertiary treatment?
RK/FD: When you say “Community”, does that include “unincorporated” like FV? Would FV really be considered “rural”? Is the program you mentioned intended to assist poor rural communities in contrast to an upscale, unincorporated village? Please provide more information if you think somehow FV would qualify.
As to our effluent, this is NOT “tertiary” treatment. Tertiary refers to a form of wastewater treatment that goes beyond “secondary” which refers to removal of biodegradable organics and suspended solids. For instance, a “tertiary” process might be membrane filtration or a chemical oxidation process that removes even more organics or seeks to get even higher removal particles. The DEQ requirements for nitrogen and phosphorus are not considered to require “tertiary” treatment because the nitrogen is still removed biologically within the “secondary” treatment and the phosphorus removal can be done either biologically or with a small chemical addition to precipitate the phosphorus out.
Marta Chase 07:42 PM: Why isn’t Chatham County developing something like OWASA in Orange County? Many new developments coming along 15/501 north of Pittsboro.
RK/FD: We agree that Chatham County needs to be thinking about public wastewater treatment, but this does not seem to be the case at present. The infrastructure would be very costly. It would require building a large interceptor pipe running down 15-501 connected to each development and a new WWTP that would need to get approved for discharge to a surface water, the nearest being the Haw River. This would put more wastewater into Jordan Lake at a time when NC DEQ is trying to reduce the pollutant loading so as not to face repercussions with EPA because Jordan Lake is currently on its “Impaired” list . The approval of any new discharge into the Haw River would be very contentious. Chatham County would also need to create a new department of government to manage this new system, e.g., hire operators, do maintenance, set up billings, be responsible for ownership and comply with state regulations. Another option would be to form an “authority” like OWASA, a quasi-government approach. It would take years just to form an authority, let alone consider adding the needed infrastructure. The point is that Private-Public partnerships should be discussed but the time horizon to get a new wastewater management system would be measured in decades, not years. For the next 20 years, it seems like we will need to manage wastewater development by development. Practically speaking, DEQ will not approve of any new discharges into Jordan Lake. Back in the 1970’s, 30 years before EPA declared Jordan Lake as “Impaired” due to excess growth of algae, Fitch was able to get an NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination) permit to discharge into Jordan Lake. It’s limited to 500,000 gal per day and was the last issued for Jordan Lake. It’s overwhelmed by the combined discharge of 25 million gal per day from OWASA and South Durham in the same general area of the lake; these permits were also obtained in the 1970s. Old North State came up with the idea of an interconnected system so it could dispose of some of Briar Chapel’s effluent into Jordan Lake in order to reduce problems with their spray irrigation system, which uses a so called “non-discharge permit” that’s required when surface water discharge is not allowed.
David Miller 07:45 PM: Would we have more control over rate increases if built and managed our own WWTP?
RK/FD: Any rate increases must be approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. If the Commission turns down the proposed interconnected system, Fitch will need to come up with another solution, because our plant is near the end of its useful life. The discharge standards are much stricter now than they were when the plant was built, and the existing plant cannot meet those standards. Although Chatham North claimed that having a regional system would result in a lower monthly rate than the reconstruction of the FV WWTP, our research has indicated that this is not true, particularly given the high costs of building out the interconnected system in figures submitted by Chatham North to the NCUC (about $6 million which is about equal to the cost of a new FV WWTP). A desire to ensure that Fearrington Village’s rates don’t rise too dramatically is one reason we have gotten involved, but it is important to point out that our rates have been kept artificially low for the last three years. Briar Chapel residents pay a little over $42 per month compared to our $21.67. Residents of Governor’s Club are paying $69 a month and their provider is seeking an increase to $79/month.
Gary 07:46 PM: Customers don't usually participate in capital costs incurred by a company that will provide the service. How did we arrive at a 50/50 split?
RK/FD: If improvements are made to either a WWTP or collection system, a common public good project, the usual procedure is for the municipality or authority (like OWASA) to pass along amortized capital to customers, e.g., your sewer fee goes up. That’s the nature of public services, e.g., a transit system. The typical way to calculate cost was given in the webinar. The usual expression might be in dollars per 1,000 gallons discharged by the plant and is based on both amortized capital and O&M. If the WWTP is owned by a private utility, the owner must present the case for a rate increase to the NC Utilities Commission. The rate to customers would be based on both the capital invested and O&M. Examples of rate calculation can be found online.
Esther Thyssen 07:50 PM: What are the chances that FV can actually influence the outcome: ie which method will be used to update the system?
RK/FD: We have no way of knowing, but we are encouraged by the fact that three different groups (Stop Chatham North, the Briar Chapel HOA, and FV HOA) have filed motions to intervene, and all three are opposed to the interconnect plan. State Senator Valerie Foushee also wrote a strong letter of opposition to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. We believe that the State’s Department of Environmental Quality has concerns as well. North Carolina is what is known as a lowest cost state, so if the interconnect is indeed more expensive, the Commission should turn it down. That is one thing we are trying to prove. We’ve hired a consulting engineer to review our Task Force estimates of cost to feel more confident of their validity. But the cost basis used by private utilities to get approval by Utilities Commission is challenging for us to determine.
Linda Patterson 07:50 PM: Who would own the waste water plant and who would manage it?
RK/FD: Under the proposed interconnect plan, Chatham North (aka Old North State) would own the Briar Chapel Plant. Our plant would be demolished, and a large lift station would be built in its place. That would also be owned by Chatham North, along with the other primary pipes and pump stations in the Village. Envirolink would manage the system, as they have done since January of 2018.
Beryl Sherman 07:51 PM: Other than monthly cost what are the drivers of the decisions that you presented?
RK/FD: We believe that it will benefit FV residents to reconstruct our current plant. This is based not just on cost (in terms of the rates we will be charged in the years ahead) but also on the fact that Chatham North and Envirolink do not seem to be well capitalized, their track record is abysmal both in Briar Chapel and elsewhere, and there will be significant environmental impacts in the Village, caused by the need to clear a large swath through the buffer protecting FV from commercial development along 15-501, and excavation on Trundle Ridge and down Creekwood in order to install the necessary pipes. If our plant were to be rebuilt on or near its current site, these impacts would not occur. We also believe that if a new plant is built in FV, we can eliminate most, if not all, of the current odor issues and ensure that the effluent being discharged meets all current day standards.
Kathy Hotelling 07:51 PM: Will Envirolink be in charge either way? They have a horrible track record?
RK/FD: If the interconnect plan is rejected, it will be up to Fitch Creations to decide whether to allow Envirolink to continue to operate our system or to hire another service provider. We surely hope that the FHA could have some influence on the decision of which service provider to use.
Cathy Rodgers 07:52 PM: Does Fitch "own" the current plant? If so, how do we ensure what the future of that is?
RK/FD: Yes, Fitch still owns the current plant. He has signed a purchase agreement, however, with Chatham North. If the Commission approved the interconnect plan as presented, Chatham North will be the owner.
Ernie Norris 07:52 PM: Who would be the owner of a treatment plant built in Fearrington?
RK/FD: Fitch does not really want to be in the utility business. If the current plan before the Commission is rejected, he will have to decide whether he wants to remain as the owner and find someone to reconstruct the plant, or else look for another company that may wish to build, own and operate the plant.
Sibyl Wilmont 07:52 PM: Is there any discussion of building a new plant on some of the currently undeveloped land in FV? Why is the current location the only option? Thank you for this excellent presentation.
RK/FD: The great thing about the plant’s current location is that it is one of the lowest points in the Village, which reduces the need to pump our wastewater uphill. In addition, the pipes going from every neighborhood lead to the plant, so it would be very costly to rebuild that part of the infrastructure. We examined other possible sites under the constraint that they would need to be very close to Bush Creek. If you take a look at a Google map, you will see that the low areas behind the cul de sacs of Beechmast adjacent to Bush Creek south of current location of the WWTP provide no more space than the current site. Moreover, it would be hard to imagine a service road being built in between single family houses to get to such a relocated plant (Take a look at the Whitehurst cul de sac, as we did, to rule out such a plan).
Barbara Krouse 07:52 PM: How does Galloway Ridge enter into this? Have you looked at the latest technology systems, advantages, cost, etc ?
RK/FD: Galloway Ridge uses our existing treatment facility to treat their wastewater, so they will be a part of whatever solution is finally adopted. And yes, we have spent a lot of time looking at the latest technology systems, their advantages and costs. The taskforce recently traveled to Hubert, NC to tour a 350,000 gallon MBR (membrane bio-reactor) plant that just opened in mid-June. One advantage of an MBR plant is that the footprint is small; we do not have a lot of available land at the current site. The quality of the effluent was exceptional! There are a few other technologies offered by vendor companies but that is beyond the scope of evaluation for a citizen’s Task Force. To advocate for a specific technology is beyond the task of comparing capital plus O&M for the reconstruction of the FV WWTP vs. the interconnection to BC. We want to let the Utilities Commission know that the range of estimates for reconstructing our own plant are reasonable without being tied to a specific technology and at least similar if not less than those for the Interconnect with BC.
Sydnie Kunin 07:52 PM: If Fearrington rebuilds its own plant, who would be responsible for maintaining it?
RK/FD: That would be up to the owner of the FV WWTP. If North Carolina Utilities should approve of the transfer of ownership to Chatham North, then the system would be maintained by Envirolink, the operating wing of their company. If Fitch Creations Inc. is still the owner, it would be responsible for hiring a company to operate the plant or perhaps sell it to a different owner/operator type company.
Bert Bowe 07:53 PM: What financial impact will the plant demolition costs have on each option? One comment - there is something to be said about having control over a new Fearrington plant versus one located in BC...
RK/FD: We are trying to determine demolition costs now. That costs would factor into the capital cost and result in a slight increase in the amortized cost. For instance, if demolition would cost $500,000 (very high estimate), the monthly bill to customers would increase by about $2.50 per month. We don’t think the cost would be that high, but we want to be sure. And while the FHA won’t have control over the FV plant, we certainly agree that the impacts should be less than the significant impacts that could result from a combined system, particularly since other proposed developments want to be a part of it as well.
Dave Shaub 07:56 PM: The finances look pretty good if we remain independent. My concern is with the political aspect; FV might well become the ‘little brother’ in a partnership. And, there have been some ‘vibrations’ about added developments which will/could put greater pressure on a larger, shared system. Let’s remain independent and be governed by ourselves. Thank you.
RK/FD: See answer above.
Craig Fairbrother 07:58 PM: Who is responsible for the maintenance of signage in the village? To whom should questions regarding signage maintenance be addressed?
JF: There is not a single answer. There are several entities that are responsible for signs. Clearly the DOT is responsible for many of our road signs. Fitch Creations is responsible for some. And, the FHA is responsible for some signs as are some of the Service Groups. So, if you will contact Jesse Fearrington at firstname.lastname@example.org he can help identify who is responsible for the sign in question.
TD: Depends which signs and where they are or would be located. Suggest you submit to an FHA board member, who may be able to explain or answer questions. If signage is on another entity’s land, we can forward the question to them.
Sibyl Wilmont 08:02 PM: What is the definition of “alternatives” with respect to repurposing Beechmast Pond?
JF: Certainly keeping Beechmast as a pond is an alternative. The study will look at ways to mitigate the silt that fills the pond annually as well as eliminating the pond and replacing it with something like a stream or wetlands. We have asked the engineering firm to be open minded in making recommendations.
Leslie Palmer 08:02 PM: My home in at 110 Creekwood. The pipeline plans would run across the front of my property.
If this plan is put in place, what protections would there be in case of broken pipelines or other problems.? Would there be a cost to Creekwood residents and my neighbors for the pipeline or the plant?
RK/FD: The pipeline will be buried in a ditch several feet below the ground surface. If a leak occurs, neighbors would need to call the company responsible for operation and maintenance of the sewer lines throughout FV. If the interconnect plan is approved, this would be Envirolink. Calls have been made for pump malfunctions at two stations within FV over the last year. While these should be upgraded to include real time monitoring and emergency response, a leak in a pipe is harder to detect unless it causes a decrease in pressure large enough to trigger an alarm.
The cost for the pipeline is not the responsibility of the unsewered residents. It will be a part of the total cost for Interconnect to BC system and therefore a determinant of the monthly rate for sewer users in FV.
Larry Newlin 08:10 PM: Re Beechmast Pond maintenance and maintenance of retention ponds, has their been any review of the Lake Jeanette community in Greensboro where ponds have been landscaped with bog plants in an aesthetically pleasing fashion (e.g. Louisiana Iris). It has reduced significantly maintenance concerns, erosion, and safety concerns without fencing or other barriers. Operation expenses for the developer and later the HOA have been reduced significantly. The landscaping has won state and national environmental awards.
JF: We will check with the firm that is providing the alternative solutions to see if they are aware of Lake Jeanette community. Thanks for the tip.
Deborah Granger 08:17 PM: My question: The parcel of land between 106 and 107 Creekwood is FHA property. The proposed path for the force main and effluent pipes (should ONS<>Fitch Utilities merge) are right through that property. Wouldn’t that require resident approval, in the way that changes to Beechmast Pond would?
RK/FD: This question is best answered by discussing with Chatham County Planning Dept. and a close look at the appropriate County ordinances.
TD: It is my understanding that all FHA land comes with utility easement access so we have limited negotiating influence.
Kathy Hotelling 08:20 PM: I understand that during renovation of Creekwood kiosk those folks will be relocated to Swim and Croquet. Where will those boxes be placed? What about parcel boxes? SC hardly has enough parcel boxes for the current box holders. We certainly can't expect carriers to drive packages to houses more than 1 mile which I believe is the guideline now. Thank you
TD: There is currently a wall of unused letter boxes along the wall closest to the GP. The plan is to replace those boxes with the old boxes from Creekwood along with parcel boxes. When the new kiosk is built, newer boxes and more parcel boxes will be installed. Full time postal workers can only make home delivery within ½ mile of their mailbox. we are hoping to get this done before Xmas rush but with lumber shortage and limited contractor availability, nothing is guaranteed.
Steven Krull 08:22 PM: Who, besides Envirolink or Chatham North or Old North State would be willing to develop and maintain a WWTP here in Fearrington Village? How can we be confident of the figures presented if we do not know who will assume these responsibilities and what they would charge FV households? Finally, if the FHA will not be this entity, and It should not be, how will this entity gain control over the facility from Fitch Creations, Inc.?
RK/FD: We have spoken to companies that seem to be interested in rebuilding our plant, and others that might wish to own and operate it. We have worked very hard to establish the costs, but we have provided both high and low options. Regardless of who owns the plant, it will be up to the Utilities Commission to approve any rate increases. They do try to look out for the rate payers’ best interests. A citizens’ Task Force is not able to know very easily the pathway that private utilities take in applying for utility rates. As an example, our recent visit to Pluris WWTP in Hubert, NC using state-of-the art technology (membrane bioreactor) led us to look at a similar plant in Hampstead, NC, which is about the same size as we would need in FV and also owned and operated by Pluris. The monthly rate at Hampstead is $64 per month. With our own estimates of costs for such a plant, we would have calculated just $50 per household. We would need to drill down even deeper into how rates are calculated to understand the difference. One important factor is that a new plant is constructed to serve the needs at build out but there are 50% fewer households (1500 vs. 2200) now than at build out to share the costs. So a rate of $64 could conceivably decrease in the future with more customers, though inflation and more flow to treat would cause the O&M cost to increase in the future. We’re best served by trying to stick to using the same estimating procedure for both the Reconstruct and the Interconnect with BC plans to show that the latter is more expensive.
Therese St Peter 08:25 PM: Will FV be assured it has preference within the discharge permit limit, even as it and other properties expand potentially beyond 550k gallon discharge ceiling?
RK/FD: The current discharge limit is 500,000 gpd. Right now, we only discharge up to 270,000 gpd. Although our discharge is low given the overall size of Jordan Lake, we believe it would be difficult to get approval beyond the 500,000 gpd already approved. One reason we are opposed to the interconnected system is that we see no reason why other developments should be able to take advantage of our discharge permit, which we may need ourselves as we build out in the future.
Any possibilities of additional discharge permits for Jordan Lake?
RK/FD: The point is that NC DEQ will not approve of more discharges to Jordan Lake because of the current stalemate created by the General Assembly’s refusal to force cities and towns within the Jordan Lake watershed (all the way up to Greensboro on the Haw River part of the watershed) to implement more nutrient removal, given the cost to local governments which are then passed on to all residents. The General Assembly’s argument is that non point sources, e.g. agricultural runoff as well as “feedback from the lake’s sediment layer” contribute more nutrients than the point sources from the WWTPs operated by cities and towns. Meanwhile the EPA keeps pressuring NC to take action to control nutrients. In this climate of uncertainty, the politics argue against approving more discharges into Jordan Lake EVEN IF it those discharges were treated to a very high degree such that the increase in nutrient loading to the lake would be extremely low. This goes back to the question asked about a new public system to manage wastewater in the 15-501 corridor – there would be a very long time horizon to see sweeping change in the political climate and a priority shift to accept more wastewater, ESPECIALLY given the need also to protect the lake, which is a PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY, now serving Cary/Apex and North Chatham County.
Steven Krull 08:25 PM: What are the possible problems that would occur down the road that resulted in the attorney hired by the FHA recommending and the FHA accepting responsibility for retention ponds etc.? Why did the FHA accept this additional expense?
JF: The lawyer cautioned the Board that rejecting common property could have unintended consequences down the road. Specifically he advised: "However, I caution the Board that rejection can have serious legal consequences, particularly if the developer becomes insolvent, goes out of business (such as, by dissolution) or bankruptcy. Also, I would not suggest rejection without some extremely good reason in favor of the Association".
In addition to this response, to some follow-up questions during our meeting with the lawyer he stated that should the developer decide to sell his business to another entity, that common property owned by the developer may be repurposed by the acquiring entity at the detriment of the residential development.
It was because of these two concerns that the Board felt compelled to accept the transfer so long as the common property is in acceptable condition.
Robert Cherniak 08:32 PM: What Mr. Fitch decides to do with the commercial property will affect the value of the entire community. Do we have a sense of what he plans to do with the commercial and farm land that he controls?
JF: At this point, Fitch Creations is maintaining status quo. When asked about future plans the FHA has been told that there are no plans to change anything.
Pam Bailey 08:32 PM: What services are covered by our service group associations and how does that relate to the FHA services?
JF: The FHA has bylaws and covenants that apply to the entire neighborhood. Also, the FHA is responsible for maintaining the property that it owns. Such as: The Gathering Place, the mail kiosks and some of the common property. Service Groups provide services for their residents above what the FHA does. Both groups perform landscaping duties. The duties are separated by who owns the property.
TD: Different service groups have different responsibilities to their homeowners. In addition to some owning and maintaining walking paths, others maintain their mail kiosks or others own their streets. A few limit rentals and have self-control covenant enforcement. All this leads to ambiguities in the layers of our covenants and the need for reform and clarity.
Judith Andersson 08:34 PM: Many of the changes proposed in this Webinar will require alterations to legal documents (deeds and covenants) before the changes can be implemented. Will the FHA be creating a discussion thread on the FHA website where homeowners can engage in a dialogue on these important issues?
TD: Yes, in all probability, there will be issues placed on the website forum for individual discussion. It does suffer from limited participation. We will also have discussions with Fitch Creations, President’s Council of service groups and FV Treasurer’s Committee along with others, to help identify issues. Progress on those fronts will probably be communicated through the website and newsletter to garner further awareness. Various covenants have been around since 1976 and few have had any updating, even though our community, general economy and housing needs continue to evolve.
Leonard Kreisman 08:35 PM: A community survey was done a number of years ago. Will there be an attempt to look at the results of that survey to see what impact that may have on current plans?
TD: That survey had a different focus and was reviewed before this year’s community-wide assessment began. As a result of that review, it became clear that we needed community guideance on many more issues and ascertain whether additional amenities need to be evaluated and at what cost.
Leonard Kreisman 08:39 PM: The pond has been a continuous drain on the FHA finances. Is there no way we can get a permanent solution so that there is not a continuous drain on FHA resources?
JF: That is one of the outcomes from the recommendation of the study that the Board is hoping to achieve.
David Franklin 08:40 PM: If FV already uses 250,000 gal/day of the 500,000 limit for effuent into Jordan Lake and FV increases residential equivalent units by approximately 50% from 1500 now to 2200 at buildout, it looks like there are few remaining gallons for Briar Chapel or any other community since at 250K now, and 375K at buildout and fluctuations based on timing. How do we limit other communities from crowding out FV usage if we engage in an arrangement with them at initiation?
RK/FD: The current agreement guarantees that there will be room for Fearrington Village to expand. Moreover, there will be additional capacity on an average day basis. That is, the average flow rate generated by FV may increase at buildout to perhaps 350,000 gal per day even though there will be occasional peak flows of up to 440,000 gal per day. With 500,000 gal per day allowance of discharge, this means that perhaps up to 150,000 gal per day could be discharged from BC. Chatham North would like to add more developments to the system. Their treated wastewater discharges could therefore be accommodated by the line from BC back down to FV. However, we do agree that as more developments join the proposed interconnected system, other ways to dispose of the additional gallons per day will have to be developed.
Barbara Thomas 08:43 PM: As we move forward towards buildout, is there any information about what will happen with the current dump property and also, Fitch Creation's Maintenance Yard property?
JF: At this point the FHA is unaware of any plans associated with either the dump or maintenance facility. The board has discussed the concerns around those properties and before the FHA would accept such a property a thorough examination by an environmental engineering firm must take place and any issue would have to be resolved before the FHA would accept the property.
Cathy Rodgers 08:44 PM: Is there any time line on the NCUC decision about WWTP ownership?
RK/FD: The evidentiary hearing is currently supposed to be on an unnamed date in September. Our testimony will be due thirty days before that hearing. Given the pandemic, we would not be surprised if it is postponed again. We do not know how long the Commission will need to render a decision after all the evidence has been gathered.
Barbara Thomas 08:46 PM: Is there any compensation budgeted for the affected property owners should the plan to connect to Briar Chapel WTP happen?
RK/FD: Generally, the answer is no, although I assume the homeowner on Trundle Ridge who agreed to let the pipes cross his land may be compensated.
These are the 13 birds you can find along the trail. The closeups show you what each bird looks like. The remaining images show the broader location, which you may find helpful in knowing where to look.
With many thanks to Maarten Simon-Thomas.
Director of Communications
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PLEASE JOIN US For a Fun Afternoon Tennis Mixer
Saturday, Nov. 9th from 2-4pm (Raindate: Sunday, Nov. 10th, 2-4pm)
We Will Be “Serving” Refreshments, Wine, Beer & Hors D’Oeuvres!
Come and Play Round Robin Format Mixed Doubles Or Just Come Out and Socialize Bring Your Spouse or Significant Other!
If You Know of Others Who Would Like to Get Back Into the Game, Ask Them To Join Us! Bring a Lawn Chair.
We Will Provide Tennis Balls and All Refreshments!
RSVP to Jan Doolin, email@example.com by Thursday, Nov. 7th
The 2017 Memorial Tournament was held on October 12th at Chapel Ridge. Thirty players, ten teams of three players each played a best ball scramble competition. Afterwards all golfers enjoyed a southern barbeque lunch catered by the Backyard Bistro at Chapel Ridge. Prizes were awarded to the first five place teams, as well as closest to the pin on all 4 par three holes and another prize for the most accurate drive. Malcolm Laner, Richard Beane and Boyd Webb were the overall winners. The team of Bert Bowe, Gene Rogers and Tad McArdle came in second. The third place team members were John Palermo, Pat Skiver and Bruce Birch. Closest to the pin winners were Bert Bowe(2), Richard Beane and Pat Skiver. The most accurate drive was hit by Malcolm Laner. Our tournament chair, Judd Barrett, solicited additional gifts from local merchants. A raffle was held to award those additional gifts. The North Chatham Fire chief joined us for lunch. The Fearrington Golf Club designates the Fire Department as the receipient of their charitable contribution.
To see more photos check out the Fearrington Golf Club's Shot of the Day page.
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