The Western North Carolina Alliance and its mountain allies propose for the Common Agenda a bill aimed at preventing landslides caused by unsound home and road construction. In recent years, WNC has experienced a number of landslides resulting in five deaths, millions of dollars in property damage, and environmental destruction to mountainsides, forests, and streams. Many of these landslides originated where homes and roads were not properly constructed on steep slopes. This unsafe construction continues today as most western governments do not have ordinances setting minimum standards for construction on steep slopes. The proposed legislation would establish these minimum standards; mandate that local governments adopt ordinances consistent with those standards; and penalize local governments for failing to adopt an ordinance. The bill would also mandate a real estate disclosure of the landslide hazard rating assigned to the property.
RESULTS: Legislation was introduced on the matter. There was a full hearing in the committee and we had amendments that we liked added to the bill. However, it still needed some work so it was decided to let this issue go away for the session. We will continue to work on improving it in the interim. This is an issue whose time is almost here. H782