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Erosion Control

The Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Division regulates certain land disturbing activities in order to prevent the pollution and damage of water sources, lakes, streams and rivers, and other public and private property.

The Division is a delegated authority by the State of North Carolina, and enforces the "Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973" in all areas of Buncombe County, excluding the City of Asheville and where public monies are involved (i.e. DOT, Schools).

All land disturbing activities must utilize protective measures, such as silt fencing and mud matts, to prevent sedimentation from moving off-site. In addition, an Erosion Control permit is required for land disturbing activities of one acre or more. Properties located in a 'Hillside Subdivision' as defined by the Buncombe County Subdivision Ordinance, are required to obtain an Erosion Control permit for ¼ acre or more of disturbance.

Plan review fees shall be double the normal fee if the land disturbing activities began prior to obtaining a permit.


All available documents, files, forms, and information related to Erosion Control.

View All Planning & Development Documents & Forms

Most Common Reasons for disapproval of a Plan

  • Limits of disturbed areas not clearly delineated or does not include all disturbed areas. (utilities, measures, etc.).
  • Failure to address stream, springs, etc.
  • Failure to submit COE, DWQ, DWF permits.
  • Failure to address COE, DWQ, DWF comments on the plan (recessed culvert per comments, must upsize culvert accordingly).
  • Adjoining property owners not shown.
  • Slopes exceed limits on steepness.
  • Does not address setback to adjoining property.
  • Failure to address offsite conditions. (ponds, streams, culverts, etc.)
  • Did not complete and sign checklist.
  • No calculations and drainage areas not clearly designated.
  • No construction details.
  • No road profile or typical cross section.

Questions / Answers

Yes, everyone must control erosion and sedimentation. “Persons conducting land-disturbing activity shall take all reasonable measures to protect all public and private property from damage caused by such activities.”

No. You must obtain a permit prior to beginning the land disturbing activity.

Plan review fees shall be double and additional penalties are possible.

Yes. You must obtain a stormwater permit. If work is to be completed within a stream, an Army Corp of Engineers permit is required. Any work completed within a NC DOT right-of-way requires encroachment agreements and may require additional permits.

No, if a land disturbing permit is required you must obtain it prior to obtaining a building permit.  If already obtained, the building permit will be put on hold.

If land disturbance does not begin within six (6) months of issuance the permit will expire. Once land disturbance begins, the permit is valid for five (5) years from the permit issuance date.

Yes. Contact the Erosion Control division to request an inspection. A Certificate of Compliance will be issued once all work is complete.

Any use of, or operations on, the land by any person in residential, industrial, educational, institutional, or commercial development, highway and road construction and maintenance that results in a change in the natural cover or topography and that may cause or contribute to sedimentation.

Yes. However, if cutting trees is a precursor to land development, a land disturbing permit must be obtained (refer to definition of land disturbance).

Current land disturbing activities.

The Erosion Control Division cannot address complaints regarding non-current land disturbing activities, agricultural activities from state designated bona-fide farms, and legitimate logging operations. Refer to the Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Ordinance, §26-210 and §26-209 for more information.

When public monies are involved.

Locate & Contact

Planning & Development - Erosion Control


Jason Guess
Erosion Control Officer

P: (828) 250-4848
F: (828) 250-6086

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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