Run for the Hills!

The southeast United States has been pounded by hurricanes and tropical storms especially over the course of recent years. Residential real estate insurance for states like Florida has become very expensive and in some cases no longer available to homeowners. Today’s CSI article outlines the impacts of hurricane-savaged communities and what people do including moving to mountain areas away from tropical coastlines.

Of course, the environmental impact of a "mass-exodus" is always of concern. Big mountain developments change the way the mountains look and how the environment – locally and downstream behaves. Good article.

Thanks for visiting today,

Channing Boucher

Coastal Living Loses Favor to the Mountains

(June 21, 2006) —   As hurricane insurance makes coastal living more costly and as wealthy buyers look to resort communities for vacation-home purchases, pricey mountaintop developments are gaining popularity.

Ridge-top homes in the western North Carolina mountains are going for $225,000 to $1.5 million. There are dozens of such developments along the mountains of North Carolina. Among the largest is Wolf Laurel near Mars Hill, with over 600 of 1,000 planned homes completed so far.

But along with the nice views comes a big controversy: Some experts say that the developments could hurt the environment.

"These mountain communities face a dilemma where they’ve got an eroding economic system and the only choice is to take in things that are going to damage the environment and change the culture," says Boston College sociologist Charlie Derber.

Developers insist that mountaintop communities create jobs and stimulate rural economies, while critics express concerns about the loss of pristine mountain views and polluted waterways caused by runoff.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, Patrik Jonsson (06/20/06)

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