Weaker slope law could lead to lawsuits

To the Editor:

After reading the Jan. 15 edition and seeing continued plans to weaken the present Steep Slope Ordinance in Jackson County (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/12322), I am reminded of the letter below that I wrote last year. The facts and issues appear unchanged. So that everyone understands possible consequences, it cost me $25,000 to clear and repair the mudslide damage on my property.

Here’s the earlier letter:

This is an open letter to our planning committee and county commissioners.

Things to consider:  

1) We have an existing Steep Slope Ordinance.

2) Mudslides are not covered by insurance in N.C.

3) Changes being considered to make the present ordinance more “user friendly” could weaken it. 

4) We live in an increasingly litigious society.

My question is as follows: if someone loses his/her home to a mudslide in Jackson County that might not have occurred except for a weakened Steep Slope Ordinance, will our county tax dollars be used to defend present Planning Board members and County Commissioners or will these individuals be responsible for their own defense?

This issue has become even more personal to me as I pay thousands of dollars to clean up a mudslide on my property that is not covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Craig N. Green


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