Sunday, October 2, 2022

Developers of Harris Teeter location put on notice for failed erosion control

Construction at the Crossroads at Independence site, which will be anchored by a Harris Teeter, photographed in December. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON –– Developers of a forthcoming commercial complex in Wilmington, to be anchored by a massive Harris Teeter grocery store, received a notice of violation from county officials due to deficient erosion control measures and other issues. 

Crossroads at Independence began construction last November. The development will cover 92,000 square feet of building space, including the largest Harris Teeter in southeastern North Carolina.

READ MORE: Largest Harris Teeter in the Southeast underway in fast-growing area of Wilmington

The development experienced a spill out of sediment from the clear-cut site during a recent rain event. It also failed to conduct land-disturbing activity in accordance with its approved plan, according to a July 26 notice of violation issued by New Hanover County Engineering.

Developer Dean Scarafoni of Live Oak Development Company and David Honeycutt of Honeycutt Construction Services told Port City Daily that corrective measures have already begun. The site’s engineer has submitted updated plans for the Crossroads site, and the development team is working alongside local officials to bring the site into compliance.

“I can tell you that we will do whatever is necessary, as quickly as possible, to resolve any issues,” Scarafoni wrote to Port City Daily in an email. 

The notice cited 24 components of New Hanover County’s Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance that were violated. The developers did not “install and maintain the approved erosion and sedimentation control measures as per the approved Plan,” according to the July 26 notice. 

These notices are not often handed down to developers, according to county engineer Jim Iannucci. They serve as official nudges, telling builders to remedy defects in the construction process. When a rain storm showered the area recently, the onsite pond experienced a “blowout” and sediment escaped into the road, Iannucci said. (The site is at the corner of Independence Boulevard and Carolina Beach Road.) 

“I believe they’re meeting out in the field to identify what still needs to be done and look at what they need to do to correct it,” Iannucci said. “That will be the next step, to look for a way they can resolve it and fix the problem.”

In the notice, a New Hanover County engineering official said the required corrections include installing all erosion control measures cited in the plan, as well as removing sediment from the stream, streets and parking lot.

“We’re in the middle of getting everything cleaned up now and are all working together,” Honeycutt told Port City Daily. “We’re working with all the agencies to get it all straight.”

Honeycutt Construction Services previously drew the ire of the county’s erosion team in May, when inspectors complained they couldn’t get that site’s development team “to do much of ANYTHING” about long-standing issues at the Landing at Lewis Creek. 

READ MORE: Gordon Road subdivision catches heat for lackluster erosion control

In North Carolina all land-disturbing activities of one acre or more are required to submit plans that address erosion and sediment control during the construction process, according to Daniel Sams, regional engineer for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. 

New Hanover County has been delegated oversight of this process by the state, like many other territories, since the late 1970s. This line of work is intended to protect surface waters from degraded water quality.

“The County has autonomy to approve the erosion and sediment control application, conduct inspections, and take appropriate corrective actions as long as they meet the perimeters of the [Sedimentation Pollution Control Act],” Sams wrote in an email to Port City Daily. 

Developers and contractors are given 21 working days to bring sites into compliance after receiving a notice of violation. 

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