Re: Major Development In The Future Of The River Walk ... Still MORE!

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Posted by Rich on October 21, 2000 at 02:36:54:

In Reply to: Major Development In The Future Of The River Walk posted by Rich on October 20, 2000 at 03:08:21:

This is a special update from Friends of the Falls, the grassroots group working to prevent residential development near High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls inside the DuPont State Forest.

Council of State calls special meeting Monday
The North Carolina Council of State has scheduled a special meeting for Monday afternoon at 4 pm to consider invoking eminent domain on the 2200 acre tract inside the DuPont State Forest. Unless developer Jim Anthony makes a dramatic concession, we expect the issue to be decided at that time. WLOS-TV reports that Anthony plans to attend the Monday meeting.

State explains breakdown of negotiations
Both Anthony and State representatives gave their interpretations to the news media yesterday (see media links below for definitive articles by Harrison Metzger of the Hendersonville Times News). In the article, Don Hobart, legal counsel to the Attorney General's office confirmed our suspicions about the reason for the breakdown of negotiations: "What Mr. Anthony has not explained is how the state could expect to enforce the public's rights of access and the conservation easements he is showing on that map, and he has not explained who would control the trust."

What can you do?
We would like as many of our Friends of the Falls supporters to call, fax, or email the Council of State members to urge them to take the bold action necessary to secure this property for future generations. We cannot allow this apparent good news to lull us into silence just as our opponents will be gearing up. Thank them for their support and emphasize how positively this decision will be viewed by our children and future generations. Tell them that the State is right not to fall for vague and unenforceable concessions.

We also need for our supporters to write letters to the editors of their local papers praising the State for their bold stand on the future of the DuPont State Forest. These are needed to balance letters from disgruntled property rights and pro-development groups. It would be especially helpful if you emphasize the point that Anthony's public offer of public access and conservation was not legally enforceable. Seen in this perspective, the Governor's demands are much more reasonable than Anthony has portrayed them.

Anthony sells 440 acres to investors
The Times News reported today that Anthony has recently sold 440 acres, the entire Henderson County portion of his tract, to a group of investors who helped finance his original purchase. This tract is among the most remote and undisturbed in the entire DuPont forest. Woody Keen reports that the beautiful hardwoods of the lower Briery Creek drainage are very peaceful and are one of his favorite spots on the property. This tract blocks several dead-end trails in the Forest, and is surrounded on three sides by existing State Forest. Representatives of the State declare that this will have no effect on the State's planned acquisition. See link below for story.

What's comes after the Council of State?
Though there are some legal complexities to the process, the Council of State has the sole power to invoke eminent domain. Once that occurs, the State must post a bond or escrow for appraised value with the county court. The State would legally own the property at that time. As far as we understand, the former landholder has the right to appeal the appraised value - but future legal battles are essentially about compensation, not ownership.


Times News: Subdivision plans filed in Transylvania County

Times News: 420-acre tract in Henderson sold to investors

How to contact the Council of State (email all with 1 link!)

Contact Governor Hunt:
800-662-7952 or (919) 733-4240
Fax: (919) 733-2120

Contact Attorney General Mike Easley:
(919) 716-6000
Fax: (919) 716-6050

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