20 Jul Open Meeting, July 16, 2020
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 9k$BY&?$.
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 9k$BY&?$.
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(firstname.lastname@example.org), Jesse Fearrington(email@example.com), or Tony Daniels (firstname.lastname@example.org),
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 email@example.com 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.