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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Unread 04-08-2008, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
648 posts, read 1,898,578 times
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These slope ordinances are popping up gradually all over the mountains. It could very well render many now-vacant lots un-buildable. If passed, the town will set a deadline by which plans must be submitted before the ordinance takes effect. The city of Asheville passed a steep-slope ordinance recently, and seventeen subdivisions submitted plans within the week before the deadline!

If in doubt about a particular piece of property, get a survey done before you buy. Otherwise you may be "stuck" with an acre of trees on which to camp.
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Unread 04-09-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: rising sun, md
78 posts, read 178,436 times
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Thanks Copperwx. This subdivision has roads cut in, ameneties/gas/sewer and water line are in place and several homes have been built. But most lof the lots have not been built on yet although they are almost all sold. I bought this lot a year ago.

At what stage were those Asheville communtieis your describe (who quickly submitted plans)? Plot plans in palce, lots sold, any homes built on the lots? It would seem kind of crazy to have a developed community, with utilities in place, rendered virtually unbuildable.

I had a survey done and and I'll look it over. I have a call into the township. No response yet. I've got some home work to do? Yikes!
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Unread 04-10-2008, 03:00 AM
 
141 posts, read 312,430 times
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A slope protection ordinance is moving through the approval process in Black Mountain. There's an extensive article about it in the 4/3/08 Black Mountain News. The new ordinance still has to be approved by the town council. I'd think that the Settings would be exempt since it's an existing subdivision but who knows - the article didn't speak to that point.

I wish you well with your build in that subdivision if you choose to pursue it but don't be surprised if you don't have many neighbors there for a very long time. Most of the lots in the Settings were purchased, sight unseen and for way over-the-top dollars, by speculators from Florida at the very height of the real estate frenzy a few years ago. Most of these purchasers never had any intention of building out their lots. Now they're stuck with them.

I watch the real estate transfers in Black Mountain carefully. To date I've seen exactly one resale of a Settings lot even though there are dozens of them presently being offered on the secondary market. Additionally, the developer is still peddling the last phase or two of the development just to add to the supply/demand imbalance. It will be interesting to see what happens there, good luck.
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Unread 04-10-2008, 06:36 AM
 
116 posts, read 296,777 times
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Hey Gottogofishing,
Those numbers sounds pretty high to us as well. My husband and I also looked at lots and building in the Settings. The pricing we got was about 250 to 300 a square foot. Check out your contractors there can be a real range there.
Also, Black Mountain is a funny little community there are many areas where are a previous poster stated the prices are under 375,000 , but there are also areas like Cheshire, The Settings, and Montreat and probably some of the historical areas where the least expensive home you could purchase would probably be around 500,000.
We do think that the Settings did make the initial mistake of taking on too many investers, however building is picking up up the there (we know three families currently building homes there). From what we understand there are at least 15 homes being built up there are another 20+ in design review. A great friend of ours in an archetect in the area and says he is "slamed" and can talk to no new client until at least the fall.
So.....good luck....hope to see you in Black Mountain someday!
Duke101
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Unread 04-10-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
648 posts, read 1,898,578 times
Reputation: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by gottogetfishing View Post
At what stage were those Asheville communities your describe (who quickly submitted plans)? Plot plans in place, lots sold, any homes built on the lots? It would seem kind of crazy to have a developed community, with utilities in place, rendered virtually unbuildable.
My understanding was that the proposals needed to have the lots outlined, showing the intent to build. Many subdivisions here are created with the idea of the owner building a custom home. I think the "intent to build" in the plans was the key to getting those communities approved ahead of the more stringent slope laws. If that's the case, a new ordinance should not affect the Settings.

I'd still advise calling the town or the developer/sales office at the Settings.
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Unread 04-10-2008, 01:35 PM
 
Location: rising sun, md
78 posts, read 178,436 times
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Great information and commnets from all. Many thanks. As for the potential slow build in The Settings because Floridians bought speculatively...that's ok with me! I won't mind being one of only a handful who build there over the next few years or so. I also have heard, however, from the builder that I have selected, that about 20 more homes are apparoaching the achitectural review board and permits are being pulled. So Duke 101, since you have friends building there or preparing to build there...we'll see your face in the 'hood sometime in the future as you visit?

As for the slope ordinances, I spoke with the folks at the Settings. They're meeting with the Planning Board of BM on Monday but on the previously scheduled subject of set backs. They may or may not have the ability to approach this newer subject at that time. You know how goernmentofficials stick to agendas. But, they are aware that some clarification is needed. I sent the info to my architect who feels the Settings folks - as a big corporation - will put up a pretty strong fight if the ordinance prevents or inhibits their buyers from building and he suspects some lgeal action would ensue if this was the case.

Finally, the building craze seems pretty much alive and well in BM and probably other nearby areas as well. My builder is booked up for some time and my architect doesn't seem too boared either!

By the way, I'm unfamiliar with the spell check program offered here. So, I apologize for all of the spelling errors that you see.
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Unread 04-10-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Lowcountry
764 posts, read 894,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottogetfishing View Post
Great information and commnets from all. Many thanks. As for the potential slow build in The Settings because Floridians bought speculatively...that's ok with me! I won't mind being one of only a handful who build there over the next few years or so.
The speculators, now aware of stricter slope limitations, could also dump their lots at a significant discount from their purchase price and move on to the newest speculative area. At this point you'll a bunch of lots which will never be built on unless the rules are relaxed which could be a good thing if you don't want to be crowded.

Conversely, the value of existing homes will take a hit when the overvalued lots are sold; homes already there will be at the high end of the price range.

If you don't plan on selling anytime soon and wait for normal price appreciation, then you should be ok except for an inflated tax bill.
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Unread 04-11-2008, 11:15 AM
 
116 posts, read 296,777 times
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Seems like a lot of speculation....I personally would not panic. Another positive on the Setting behalf is that they are partnered with a long time local family, who was very careful about what was going to be developed in BM. I think this could be good if a battle insues!
As far as developement and open lots are concerned, there are a lot of open lots in BM that are and have been held by local families for years and are enjoyed by all. Don't think that is what Floridian investers had in mind, but I know several locals who also bought lots in the Settings early on that they may sell eventually or hand down to their kids.
Gottogofishing, I think you are being very wise in doing your leg work. Trust your gut, and remember if you love where you are, and enjoy it that is what really matters. Hope to see you around town one of these days!!
Duke101
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Unread 04-13-2008, 03:48 PM
 
Location: rising sun, md
78 posts, read 178,436 times
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Hello again Duke101, and tahnks for the calming vote of confidence. You know, in the past, I've had a good nose for good real estate investments and I felt that the Settings was on the mark for us not to mention that the town and the community setting is so lovely. We've visited there now about 6 or 7 times during all the seasons. We think we've started to get a feel for what we're getting into as far as the culture, the amenities, proximity to health care, etc. And, these are all important aspects of the decision. But, you are right to take into account the intuition. I want tobe sure that I balance intellect with emotion and intuition and make careful and sound decisions that can be enjoyed for years to come. Next week we meet again with the architect to review what we think would be good revisions to the initial design ideas presented. Thankfully, the process is slow and deliberate and we can obsess as much as we want to over it without loosing our minds and without facing any deadlines. This is really a fun aspect and creative aspect of the project. I can only hope that the slope ordinances don't stand in our way or cost us more to build.
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Unread 04-20-2008, 03:35 PM
 
19 posts, read 98,622 times
Reputation: 23
Default The Settings of Black Mountain. Is this Development on Stable Ground?

Is it safe to build or buy property in The Settings of Black Mountain? This is a serious question and one that can only be answered by state licensed professionals.

The Settings of Black Mountain project was approved in advance of the Buncombe County "Is it safe to build here?" hazard mapping program, so landslide risks were undetermined. The preliminary landslide map for the county shows mountain ridges and slopes at certain risk of slope failures.

Red Zones (High Geologic Hazard) are identified as cautionary, must be investigated, building sites. A significant number of landslides and their deposits are displayed on the map; these areas are classified "no build" locations. The approximate location of The Settings of Black Mountain is indicated on the map.

The Buncombe County Hazard Mitigation Plan (August 23, 2004) determined that the steep slopes and fragile soils of Western North Carolina put the county at high risk for landslides. This report was issued just weeks before the catastrophic 15 county slope failures of 2004. (Western North Carolina received 2 federal disaster declarations in September 2004)

It is critical to know whether The Settings of Black Mountain building sites are safe: geologic costs for ascertaining slope stability are affordable, generally less than $2,000. Investors should note that they will be self-insuring for all landslide property loss. Homeowners policies will not cover this expense, regardless of the cause.
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