Cliffs at High Carolina
Community & Golf Course
and Fact Sheet
An Introduction to The Cliffs
1991, The Cliffs Communities has developed eight residential/golf
course communities in the western part of North and South Carolina.
Six of these developments are in South Carolina and include three
residential/golf communities in the mountains and three on Lake
Keowee. The remaining two developments are in North Carolina and
include The Cliffs at Walnut Cove and The Cliffs at High Carolina.
Six of the eight communities are in advanced stages of development,
with the remaining two communities in the early phases of planning
and development. The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, located in Arden, NC, is
considered to be in an advanced stage of development, while The
Cliffs at High Carolina, located in Swannanoa, NC, is in an early
Cliffs’ continuing philosophy for sustainable development has
led to the creation of The Cliffs Center for Environmental Golf
Research in collaboration with Clemson University and several
industry-leading private-sector companies, including Toro and Bayer.
The Cliffs is also involved in other environmentally conscious
projects such as an organic farm, construction of a "Green
Showcase Home" and Green Design Guidelines for property owners,
and The Cliffs Cottage – Southern Living Magazine‘s
first-ever LEED Certified Showcase Home at Furman University. The
Cliffs and its property owners together formed Parkland Trust, a
non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve green spaces and
create conservation easements for perpetual protection within The
Cliffs’ land holdings. To date, this organization has preserved
1,300 acres and set aside an additional 30 miles for trail systems.
The Cliffs has also partnered with Blue Ridge Forever, which is a
consortium of conservation groups dedicated to protect land within
Western North Carolina. The Cliffs also serves as a Conservation
Partner for the Jocassee Gorges in South Carolina, and has recently
received a Certificate of Environmental Excellence from South
Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control
(SCDHEC) for marina operations at The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards
2007, The Cliffs Communities’ track record of quality
development was recognized by CNBC’s International Property
Awards as "Best International Development".
Overview of The Cliffs at High Carolina
Cliffs Communities’ second development in North Carolina, The
Cliffs at High Carolina, is a master planned community on
approximately 3,000 acres located on a mountain between the Swannanoa
and Fairview communities within Buncombe County, North Carolina. The
Cliffs proposes to develop the High Carolina community to include
both single and multi-family homes; a village which will include a
spa, an inn, a restaurant, a golf shop and other amenities; and a
golf course by Tiger Woods Design. The golf course is designed as a
walkable course and will include a practice range and a short game
learning facility that will serve as the hub for the golf course. The
development to-date of High Carolina consists of the construction of
the parkway road connecting the main entrance at Exit 59 in Swannanoa
to the secondary entrance off Old Fort Road and the residential roads
and lots required for the first sales release on November 8th.
Summary of the Permits Received to Date
order to construct the planned development at High Carolina, The
Cliffs has applied for and received approval for a number of permits.
These include the planning approvals from the Buncombe County
Planning Commission; the stormwater, land disturbance, and erosion
control permits from the Buncombe County Planning and Development
Department; and a Nationwide Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of
Cliffs at High Carolina has and will continue to comply with all
Federal, State, and County ordinances and regulations. Buncombe
County officials visit High Carolina regularly to ensure that all
regulations and ordinances are being followed. In addition, The
Cliffs’ trained personnel inspect all Erosion and Sediment
Control measures weekly or after each significant (½" or
greater) rain event and report monthly.
Status of the Section 401/404 Individual Permits
order to complete the planned development at High Carolina, it will
be necessary to alter – or what is technically called impact
– a small percentage (approximately 6%) of the State and
Federally regulated jurisdictional streams and wetlands located on
the property. This activity requires that The Cliffs obtain Section
401/404 Individual Permits from State and Federal Agencies. These
alterations include 6,149 linear feet of streams and less than 0.25
acre of wetlands and open water. In order to receive these permits,
The Cliffs is proposing to compensate for these alterations –
or what is technically called to mitigate – by enhancing
or restoring 6,251 linear feet of previously impaired offsite Brook
Trout streams and previously piped streams on-site, by avoiding (not
altering) nearly 18 miles (93,972 linear feet) of on-site streams, by
restoring 0.394 acres of impaired off-site wetlands, and by
preserving 0.857 acres of wetlands.
off-site enhancement or restoration activity will occur at Shoal
Falls Farm and is strongly endorsed by the regulatory agencies
because the Farm contains classified "Trout Waters"
supporting all three species of trout found within North Carolina,
"High Quality Waters", and it drains directly to critical
habitat for the federally endangered Appalachian elktoe (Alasmidonta
raveneliana) in the Little River.
Summary of the Water Quantity & Conservation Plan
domestic water for all the homes and amenities at High Carolina will
be provided by the City of Asheville from its municipal water supply.
At full buildout, the total flow to the development from Asheville
Water is projected to be approximately 600,000 gallons per day, all
of which will be a net addition to the water balance on the property.
Cliffs has elected to require that all residences construct and
maintain water conservation/detention devices on-site which will
recharge the groundwater. The homeowner may select from several
options which include cisterns, rain gardens, etc. Currently, High
Carolina is the only development in Buncombe County which has
implemented this conservation practice.
addition, the irrigation water utilized for the golf course and
surrounding landscape will remain on-site and recharge the
groundwater. This water will come from three sources. The first
source will be the effluent (discharge) from the on-site wastewater
treatment plant which will be treated to reuse standards which is the
highest treatment standard in the state. A computerized irrigation
system will be used to regulate a consistent watering schedule, using
less water more efficiently. A drought will not affect the
wastewater treatment plant’s output. The second source will be
the rainwater from the amenities which will be collected and stored
in cisterns. This water will be blended with the wastewater treatment
plant effluent and used for irrigation. The third source of
irrigation water for the golf course will be the existing on-site
pond. The Cliffs Communities will maintain base flow in the stream
below the pond.
Summary of the Water Quality Plan
establishment and operation of High Carolina should not negatively
impact water quality of the area. The Cliffs has an unblemished
track record of no incidents or violations with any of the regulatory
agencies over the construction and operation of its six completed
golf courses and the one currently under construction. Furthermore,
at The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, the eight holes that are located
immediately adjacent to the lake’s shoreline have been
continually monitored (even during construction) without issue.
Cliffs will work hand in hand with Clemson University’s Turf
Grass Science Section of its Department of Horticulture to finalize
state-of-the-art procedures and standards for the construction and
operation of the golf course. Water quality issues can be segmented
into three categories:
Loading – All erosion control and stormwater will be
permitted through Buncombe County and maintained to the required
standards. Although during the construction of the golf
course the ground will initially be disturbed (as required by the
grading permits), The Cliffs will be installing silt fences and a
series of sediment basins to control the runoff and sediment. Once
the golf course is established, the trees, shrubs and sod will
hold the soil in place, and the soil will no longer be disturbed.
In addition, a minimum of a thirty foot buffer will be kept and
maintained along all streams in order to filter the runoff prior
to entering the stream and to minimize the potential for erosion.
Within this buffer, no stormwater devices are allowed and,
therefore, none are proposed.
Leaching – As noted in recent research on golf courses
in North Carolina completed by Dr. Tom Rufty of NCSU, the
establishment and fertilization of a golf course should not
increase the chemicals leaching into surrounding waters. All
fertilizers and pesticides to be utilized will be licensed by the
EPA for use on golf courses and applied by state licensed
applicators utilizing dedicated equipment designed specifically
for the appropriate application. An integrated pest plan will be
prepared and managed by the golf course superintendent. The plan
will include soil and tissue sampling as well as the use of a
licensed plant pathologist. All golf course equipment will be
washed down at the end of each day using a golf course wash
station. The grass clippings will be removed and collected; the
wash water will be channeled through a filtered wash system
utilizing a sand filter. University and government studies
indicate that properly applied pesticides and fertilizers do not
leach into groundwater in any appreciable amounts. Modern
turfgrass management practices greatly reduce the potential for
leaching or runoff into water supplies. Pesticides and
fertilizers are used only on certain portions of the golf course
such as tees, fairways, and greens. The remainder of the course
will consist of drought tolerant, naturalized areas that reduce
the need for both water and turf care products.
Temperature – The North Carolina Division of Land
Resources’ Land Quality Section regulations require a
minimum of a twenty-five foot buffer along any stream classified
as "Trout Waters". Any piping or hand-clearing within
trout buffers requires a variance through the Land Quality
Section. Low growing shrubs such as rhododendron, mountain laurel,
and dog hobble will be preserved or planted at playovers. This
vegetation is native to North Carolina and provides shade and
cover for aquatic organisms and keeps the temperature of the water
cool. The construction of High Carolina should actually lower
the water temperatures in the stream below the dam because The
Cliffs will be repairing the existing on-site dam and bringing it
into compliance with the North Carolina Dam Safety requirements by
adding a coldwater release.
on the above plan, sediment, chemicals, temperature and other impacts
to the waters in and around High Carolina should minimal or
Summary of the Traffic Access Plan
primary entrance to High Carolina will be at Exit 59 off Interstate
40 in Swannanoa. The anticipated completion of the Parkway through
the development to this entrance is scheduled to occur by Spring
2009. When this occurs, the majority of the traffic will use the
Patton Cove Road entrance.
entrance to High Carolina off Old Fort Road is the secondary
entrance. A NCDOT-approved left turn lane will be added on the east
bound side of Old Fort Road at the High Carolina entrance.
The traffic on Old Fort Road will be greatly reduced when the
Patton Cove Road entrance is complete.
Cliffs’ Commitment to the Swannanoa and Fairview Communities
Cliffs’ goal is to make the Swannanoa and Fairview communities and
area we work within better for our company and our property owners’
being there. Our company’s philosophy and owners’ interests in the
importance of giving back provide many opportunities to be engaged
ways that add to the quality of life in the area.