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Erosion Control

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control enforces the “Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973” in all the municipalities of Buncombe County excluding the City of Asheville and where public monies are involved (Ex. D.O.T., Schools, etc.) enforced by the NC Division of Land Resources.

Preamble: “Permit development with least detrimental effects from pollution by sedimentation.” “ The sedimentation of streams, lakes and other waters of this state constitutes a major pollution problem.” “Control of erosion and sedimentation is vital to the public interest and necessary to public health and welfare…”

Soil Erosion and sedimentation control regulates certain land disturbing activities to control accelerated erosion and sedimentation, In order to prevent the pollution of water and other damage to lakes, water courses and other public and private property by sedimentation.

Requires permits for land disturbing activities of one acre or more and for ¼ acre or more disturbance as described in Chapter 70, Subdivisions, sec.70-68 and Chapter 26 sec. 26-211 of the Erosion Control Ordinance.

Issues the NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit with the approved Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan and Permit.  Enforced by the NC Division of Water Quality.

Important Announcement: Self Inspection Program - October 1, 2010

The Erosion Control Office permitting is a cost-recovery program through plan review fees and not funded as a direct cost from county-assessed property taxes.

Administrative Processes

Administrative Process For Article V. Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control of Chapter 26 Environment of the Buncombe County Code of Ordinances


Current Ordinance

Buncombe County Code of Ordinances
Chapter 26: Article V

Current Amendments

None at this time.

Development Checklist

Current Checklist 

Most Common Reasons for disapproval of a Plan

  • Limits of disturbed 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).
  • Do not show adjoining property owner.
  • Slopes too steep.
  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 and if work is to be done within a stream, an Army Corp of Engineers Permit is required and work within the D.O.T. requires encroachments and possible 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 (6) months of issuance, the permit will expire. If work begins, then 5 years from permit issuance.

Yes.  Call this office for an inspection.  If all is complete, a certificate of compliance will be issued.

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. 

Non current land disturbing activities, agriculture and legitimate logging, refer to the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance, Sec 26-210 and Sec. 26-209.

When public monies are involved.