Permit lapses for proposed Jackson County golf course

Plans for a 300-acre golf course on Cullowhee Mountain in Jackson County have been temporarily sidelined after developers failed to follow through on a federal environmental permit.

Several creeks were in the way of Legasus’ golf course design. Nearly two-thirds of a mile of streams had to be buried for construction of the greens and fairways. To do so, Legasus needed a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The agencies sent Legasus back to the drawing board in April 2008 to consider a different golf course design that would lessen the environmental impacts.

A year lapsed, however, prompting the Army Corp to put Legasus on notice that its permit application would be canceled. Legasus sought a 120-day extension, but that extension has now lapsed as well.

“As such we assume that you no longer wish to pursue federal authorization and your application has been withdrawn,” the Army Corps wrote in a letter to developers dated Sept. 4.

The golf course was part of an 1,800-acre development with more than 850 lots and condos called Webster Creek. Legasus failed to make timely mortgage payments on the tract and a portion of it landed in foreclosure in July, prompting 368 acres to be sold off — including a portion once slated for the golf course.

Webster Creek was one of five tracts being developed under the name River Rock, which called for a total of 1,700 lots on 3,500 acres on five separate tracts between Tuckasegee and Glenville.

The status of the grand plan seems to be in flux, however, with several of parcels sold off voluntarily or through foreclosures in recent months.

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