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Environmental victory in North Carolina Supreme Court

September 20, 2010

In a seminal decision affecting future development throughout all of western North Carolina, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that permanent development can take place immediately adjacent to waters classified as trout streams. McGuireWoods argued the case on behalf of Mountain Air Development, which had proposed to expand its golf course community in Burnsville. Interpreting the trout water variance provision of the state's sedimentation statute for the first time, the Supreme Court ruled that permanent development in such areas was permissible, provided the sedimentation effects were temporary and minimal. The decision reversed a Court of Appeals decision that had virtually stopped all development in the North Carolina mountains.