Doing it right in Chatham
In response to Rebekah Cowell's article "Welcome to Zombieland: The aftermath of Chatham's pro-growth era" (Jan. 13): There is development in Chatham, as in any other county, that is not being done by "mega-developers." Many of Chatham's residents live in homes that have been built by local, small business entities over the past 30 years. Unfortunately, your article, though speaking the truth about the content covered, indirectly lumps all development into the same category of folly and failure.
As a developer, I am quite proud of our efforts in Bingham Ridge, Chatham County. From the beginning of the project our goal has been to create housing that is truly better, for homeowners, the environment and the overall community. By creating comfortable, upscale housing that uses only 30 percent of the energy commonly used in finished new construction, we feel that we are actually doing something about global warming. We have created new homes for families, retirees and professionals who work in the local environment.
Your article, though ringing true with regard to "big business development," commits a certain degree of harm to those of us who are trying to do it right by intimating that all new housing development in Chatham is in a failed state and that Chatham houses do not have value. Please visit Bingham Ridge to get a different perspective: www.silverwood-inc.com.
I feel that some kind of statement regarding the positive elements of living in North Chatham is in order after your thorough evaluation of all things negative.
Regarding the Jan. 20 article "UNC's wastewater worries," I would like to correct and clarify some information.
There have been three recent incidents involving treated wastewater leaks at the UNC's Bingham Facility. The 630-gallon figure refers to a Nov. 18 pipe leak, not the Dec. 10 leak of an unknown amount of treated wastewater caused by a tear in the liner of a holding pond. The Jan. 14 release from broken check valves, caused by extended freezing temperatures, resulted in "at most" 100 gallons being released, not "at least," according to the report to the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Only one of these incidents, the pond leak, was later determined by DENR to have resulted in treated wastewater reaching Collins Creek.
Each of these incidents has been self-reported by UNC to DENR and, now that a communications process and e-mail list has been established, to the Bingham Facility's neighbors as well. I am focused on communicating regularly and clearly to the neighbors as we move forward.
Editor's Note: The writer is special assistant to the chancellor for state and local relations at UNC-Chapel Hill.