Throughout the watershed, large scale developments are occurring at a rapid rate. In some cases, development and growth are necessary, and it is not always done poorly. However, when developers place profit over human and environmental health, Haw River Assembly and our passionate members will take action. Below are some specific developments that we are keeping a watchful eye on. Do you have a development concern that isn’t listed? Please let us know!

Chatham Park, Chatham County

Chatham Park will be bulldozing  a huge portion of their nearly 8000 acre development, which is now mostly forested land.  As trees are replaced by buildings and roads, those hard surfaces will increase the stormwater flowing off the land, which can increase flooding and pollution to streams, and to the Haw River and Jordan Lake.  Chatham Park’s approval by the Town of Pittsboro included a requirement to use “exceptional design” to protect the environment, which includes managing stormwater. HRA believes it will not be possible to adequately control stormwater flooding and pollution with the number of houses and commercial areas they plan to build in this new city for 55,000 residents. We’re urging the Town for more trees and natural areas to be saved in this environmentally important land near the Haw River and Jordan Lake.

A general overview of our enviromental concerns regarding Chatham Park can be viewed in this slideshow from 2015,  ” Conservation of Critical Resources in Chatham Park”

Though the Master Plan has been submitted and approved, many aspects of Chatham Park are not set in stone, and we will continue to educate the public and our elected officials and advocate for the health of the Haw. Chatham Park’s Additional Elements have not been approved by the Town of Pittsboro, and these elements could have devastating implications on the health of our river.

The  “Additional Element” for Stormwater, is analogous to Town’s Stormwater Ordinance, but applied just to Chatham Park PDD.  The Additional Element for Stormwater references a Stormwater Manual which describes a point system that is proposed to be used for subwatersheds within the PDD.  A draft of this manual can viewed here.
HRA has many concerns about what is being proposed.  We have compiled a list of QUESTIONS about Chatham Park’s Stormwater Manual and their “point system” which appears to reward contractors for doing what is already required by law.  

Other Important Links

Public Comments and Letters:
In 2010, there was an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) turned in to NC DENR regarding a proposed Wastewater Treatment Plant that would have discharges into Robeson Creek and the Haw. In that EIS, there is a mandate stating that regions of the Haw that will support the endangered Cape Fear Shiner, there must be ZERO percent change in the hydrograph after any development. This means that the water flow rate and quantity must be the same as pre-development levels.
The EIS can be found here.
A letter from the US Fish and Wildlife Service stating the implications of this mandate can be found here.
Chatham Park’s Response to public comments (4/17) link
HRA comments regarding Additional Elements (3/17) link
HRA presentation on Additional Elements (1/17) link