Some highlights of the draft Jackson County steep slope ordinance

• The ordinance only applies to development on slopes greater than 30 percent.

• Developers must file a hydrology report, geotechnical analysis and a tree survey and reforestation plan. They must also provide an assessment describing the impact of the development on the environment of the mountain.

• Earth moving should be limited to the minimum required for the footprint of the foundation, driveways and roads.

• The roofline of a home cannot must be at least 20 feet below any ridgeline.

• No wholesale clearing of trees in front of a home for views. Natural vegetation must be retained to screen at least 50 percent of a the face of a building when viewed from the nearest public road.

• Homes should use natural, earth-tone color pallettes.

• Outside light should be muted and kept from spilling onto neighboring properties.

• To avoid excessive cut-and-fill slopes for building pads, homes on hillsides should “step-down” the mountain with a split foundation to conform to the natural contour of the slope.

• Cut slopes cannot exceed a 1:1 ratio and fill slopes cannot exceed a 1.5:1 ratio. Cut-and-fill slopes greater than 35 feet in vertical height shall be benched at 35 foot intervals.

• Density follows a sliding scale based on the slope. Lots must be a minimum of two acres on slopes with a 30 to 35 percent grade; 2.5 acres on slopes with a 35 to 39 percent grade; 5 acres on slopes with a 40 to 44 percent grade, and 10 acres on slopes great than 45 percent.

The Naturalist's Corner

  • Fingers still crossed
    Fingers still crossed Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery, but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago — tree trimming on adjacent property — and for a day or…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic
    The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic While walking stream banks or low-lying wetlands, you have perhaps had the memorable experience of flushing a woodcock — that secretive, rotund, popeyed, little bird with an exceedingly long down-pointing bill that explodes from underfoot and zigzags away on whistling wings and just barely managing…
Go to top