Lincoln Co. residents blame lack of county ordinance for runoff problems

LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A new apartment development in Lincoln County is stressing out one neighborhood.

Home and landowners who live by the complex, built by Southwood Realty near Buffalo Shoals Road, say there's runoff from the units that's ruining their land.

"They can put apartment houses or they can put outhouses on it. It's their land, they can do what they please," says landowner and farmer Charlie Keener.

Charlie Keener says he's not upset about the new apartment complex that's been built close to their homes, but it's the runoff sliding down from the development that ends up seeping into his land that has them pretty upset.

Keener believes the runoff is ruining all things rural for him.

"I can't farm this anymore. If I wanted to put corn out here or soybeans or whatever - it would wash slap away."

Keener spends most of his days tending to his cattle on his 75-acre farm. He says the erosion is not only an eyesore, but gets worse when it rains. He wants the problem fixed because if not, he's worried his calves will be forced to walk in the sludge and their hoofs filled with the discharge.

"We're going to have foot problems and be doctoring them, and that ain't no cheap thing."

The Vice President of Southwood Realty spoke to WBTV over the phone to inform the building was in ordinance with city, county and state regulations.

Landowners like Keener believe the problem stems from the fact that Lincoln County does not have a stormwater ordinance, which is why he says they've seen an overflow of runoff water since the start of this development.

"If I run my machinery through [my farm] it's going to be a mess. Oh, it's going to be a terrible mess."

The complex has put basins to help regulate the flow of water and runoff, but Keener says that's not enough and if nothing more is done to preserve his land he may file a lawsuit for negligence or loss of property.

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