The High Hampton Inn & Country Club located in Cashiers, NC has been undergoing major renovations and expanded development since 2019. The Chattooga Conservancy has been tracking this development since the public notice for commenting on the state and federal permits was released back in 2018. Over the past several months, we’ve been hearing from residents downstream of the development about impacts to the Chattooga’s headwaters.
The development is adjacent to Fowler Creek, a classified Wild Trout stream that flows into the Chattooga River. Residents who live along Fowler Creek have been contacting authorities to report sedimentation issues in the creek for over a year, but their complaints had largely been left unresolved. Heavy rains this spring amplified the siltation problems and prompted residents to again reach out to us for help. Conservancy staff visited the area to assess the conditions in the creek and immediately contacted the NC Division of Water Resources (DWR), who sent agents to conduct a site inspection of the High Hampton development.
On May 21, the DWR issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the High Hampton developers due to an erosion control failure impacting Fowler Creek and its tributaries. The NOV came with a 30-day period to respond and get the site back into compliance with state and federal regulations. Should the site not get back into compliance during this period, the site could be subjected to heavy daily fines.
The High Hampton developers responded quickly with a plan to rectify the erosion control failures, but unfortunately, downstream residents have yet to notice an improvement in Fowler Creek. The submitted remediation plans include removal of sediment from stream reaches within the property boundary, but not downstream. The Chattooga Conservancy will continue to monitor this clean-up effort and follow up with any additional actions as necessary.