(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)
The Steep Slope Task Force in Boone, NC has approved an extension of a steep slope building moratorium. To be enacted, the measure has only to pass the Boone Town Council, which I suppose it will.
The task force recommended adoption of a 120-day moratorium on multi-family development on steep slopes of 20 percent or more grade.
Buncombe County, NC also recently approved a similar measure. As small mountain towns grow, development is increasingly forced up hillsides, and into territory which can be dangerously flood, creep, or slide-prone. The new development is not restricted to large commercial buildings, but is often small single family homes.
Serious questions were raised about the wisdom of steep slope building in Boone, NC when the White Laurel subdivision was partially washed away after Hurricane Frances severely flooded the East Coast. One home was completely destroyed, and eight were condemned. Miraculously, no one was hurt.
The NC Geological Survey has an interesteing set of pictures from that event here.
I'd be curious to know how places like West Virginia handled steep slope building. It varies quite a bit from location to location.