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Partnership to Manage and Monitor Water Quality in Beaverdam Creek Watershed

(March 16, 2002) The Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners approved zoning for a new mixed-use development west of I-485 between Dixie River Road and Shopton Road West in July 2001. The developer, Pappas Properties, plans to build over 2,800  detached and multi-family residences around a town center. The development also will include shopping, office space, and the Upper Steele Creek District Park.

The development will cover over 1,000 acres and comprises approximately 30% of the Beaverdam Creek Watershed. Beaverdam Creek drains into Browns Cove on Lake Wylie. Browns Cove does not benefit from circulation of Lake Wylie and does not get a flushing from the lake to clean it out. A portion of the I-485 construction is within the watershed and already has deposited sediment into Browns Cove.

Runoff from the new development has the potential to adversely impact the watershed, and as a condition of zoning approval, Pappas Properties agreed to implement certain water quality management, monitoring, and modeling activities.

The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and Dixie River Land Company LLC (a Pappas subsidiary) have been working together to form a partnership to satisfy the conditions of the rezoning as well as to evaluate, predict, and study the surface water quality of the Beaverdam Creek watershed as a whole. They hope this cooperative working relationship not only will protect and enhance surface water quality in the area but also provide an opportunity to apply the lessons learned to other watersheds throughout the county.

The project will include an inventory of existing conditions and ongoing monitoring at several sites along creeks and in the cove. Monitoring will cover sediment levels, biological conditions, stream channel stability, as well as water quality. The project also will include a watershed management plan to protect the creek and cove.

The cost of the initial phase is $375,000, which will be jointly funded by the city, county, and Dixie River Land Development.