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Environmentalists at Odds with Proposed Raleigh Development

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RALEIGH — Plans for a new development in Raleigh are stirring up controversy and concern about water pollution. Designs for the project have been approved, despite the fact that developers overlooked one important detail: There are several creeks on the proposed site of the Neuse Crossroads.

Some environmentalists fear that the creeks could be contaminated by the development. By state law they should be protected, but so far the building plans don't contain for protection provisions. The city is taking another look at the project, but the state will have the last word.

Greg Flynn says a 260 acre development at Perry Creek Road and Capital Boulevard could contaminate the Neuse River. Three creeks run through the property. New state regulations say there must be a 50-foot buffer zone around creeks, but Flynn says the site plan doesn't provide this.

The Raleigh Planning Commission has endorsed the Neuse Crossroads project. It includes a shopping center, a school and housing. But after concerns were raised about the creeks, the city council voted to send it to their planning committee for more study. Councilor Benson Kirkman says that they'll be looking for the developer's enviromental protection plans.

The new environmental regulations went into effect January 22. Many developers and local governments are still not aware of the new rules, according to Raleigh's Planning Director, George Chapman.

The North Carolina Division of Water Quality has reveiwed maps of the development, but have not seen the actual site. They say it's possible that the state may require developers to make several changes to the plan before they can begin building.


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