Neighbors raise stormwater concerns at Echo Farms development

Neighbors raise stormwater concerns at Echo Farms development

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - As the controversial effort to redevelop a run-down golf course nears the four year mark, developers have had a run-in with city and county officials.

The Woodlands at Echo Farms project continues to more forward, but in recent weeks, neighbors have lodged complaints over the construction site’s stormwater management.

New Hanover County sent GHK Cape Fear Development and Matrix Development Group a “Notice of Violation” on December 27, regarding the project’s sediment and erosion control measures.

In the county, any development that requires the movement of earth must have an approved stormwater and erosion management plan, and according to the notice, “it appears this project has failed to follow the approved plan, failed to install and maintain the approved erosion and sedimentation control measures and failed to document the phases of construction required by the approved Plan and the land disturbing permit.”

Neighboring property owners brought the matter and other stormwater concerns to the attention of Wilmington City Council, and emails obtained by WECT show council members passed along the concerns to city development staff.

The resident claimed the developer was “pumping thousands of gallons of polluted muddy water and sand” on to private property.

The emails indicate the developer was attempting to remedy the pumping situation, as well as the erosion control issues, by implementing silt “bags” designed to capture sediment.

Developers are required to use sediment filters and fencing to prevent soil and other contaminants from making their way into storm drains and local waterways. Sediment can build up, causing not only flooding concerns, but damage to habitats and ecosystems.

WECT reached out to both GHK Cape Fear Development and a spokesperson for Matrix for details on what the firms are doing to remedy the issues, but as of publication has not received a response.

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