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Sep 03, 2007

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John D. Young

I posted my comments below over in the N&R comments section for today's LTTE but I would also like to post it here. Because in the LTTE comments both yesterday and today the issue of eminent domain was mentioned. That is clearly not the issue.
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Someone in LTTE comments yesterday mentioned about the State's ability of eminent domain but that is not being raised by anyone connected with the Haw River State Park. The property owners have already signed contracts to sale their land to the Bluegreen development group. That contract, however, is dependent on several factors including rezoning, special permits to remove significant water from the Haw River, community septic system permits, water line extension approval from Rockingham County (at significant expense to Rockingham County), etc. That rezoning and special permit process is underway but is far from being resolved. In fact the infrastructure expense to both Rockingham and Guilford County for this 775 house development at the edge of both counties could prove very expensive to tax payers. Including water line extension, new fire department, widening of Church St. and areas of Hwy 150, plus additional class space in the areas primary, middle and high schools that are currently almost at full capacity.

What is now good for the property owners is that they have a second, eager, alternative buyer, NC Depart. of Environment and Natural Resources, willing to pay the full market value as determined to a large extent by Bluegreen development. So now the property owners have two real buyers in the wing. If all of the hoops that Bluegreen must jump through for this project along the banks of the Haw River are not approved their contract will be terminated. The land owners then will have another fine option.

Also funds for the expansion of the Haw River State Park are of little drain on the State's budget. Money for the huge land acquisition needed for the long term development of the HRSP will likely come from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, supported by a portion of the state's tax on real estate deed transfers. Other funding comes from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Natural Heritage Trust Fund.

G/

Make the gated community developers buy "green-space"
elsewhere (or better yet as we do up north) have them contribute 1 million per development acre/or the local economic equivalent to the local county green space committee?? We have found a lot of older farms, and natural areas preserved in a greater-size and significant location, purchased this way...But perhaps that doesn't make sense or it is too late to happen for this project.

Links to follow ( sooner than the Huggins, links :).

Ed Cone

It's a nice idea, G, but there's a specific value to this particular piece of land, given its proximity to the river and the park.

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