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Bynum Beach river access plan action items

Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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Bynum, NC - Chatham County staff, Bynum neighbors and other interested community members held a stakeholder meeting on January 17,2009 to discuss a variety of issues surrounding the continued public uses of this one acre parcel, owned by Chatham County.

After a discussion of the issues and a site visit, the following action items were agreed to by the community as the plan to move forward with. It is requested that the Board of Commissioners (BoC) review and approve (with any addendum) this draft plan if they believe it is satisfactory. We look forward to improving this county parcel for the continued benefit of the public.

1. Hold a volunteer work day to clear the steep slope (adjacent to the Bynum Road NCDOT right-of-way line), of debris, invasive and dead vegetation and develop a planting plan for the slope and the border area. This work day and planting plan meeting will be scheduled and developed with all interested stakeholders on a date to be determined in February. Another item for this work day is to stake out the alignment of a foot path that will re-create the old foot path from the steps to the Bynum Beach area on the Haw River. The path will be approximately four feet (4') in width and composed of hardwood mulch. Chatham Parks and Recreation Dept. (P&R) will install the path at a later date. (This internal path and steep slope work will not be held up or impacted by the property boundary survey, initially offered to be performed by the neighbors, but under consideration for the County to perform.)

2. After the property boundaries and corners are clearly identified, P&R will: '
a. Improve the steps with additional steps, bollards and a hand rail.
b. Install two (2) public safety signs; the first one at the foot of the steps, the second one further down the path, nearer the Bynum Beach area. Language for the signs will be developed by P&R from other signs intended for similar purposes and shall include: site rules, hours of operation, contact information, general safety and river safety.
c. Install one (1) environmental education sign adjacent to the riparian area. The Environmental Resources Division will develop the language for this sign.
d. If signage does not appear to keep visitors out when the access area is closed, a gate may be installed at the top of the steps.

3. The Parks and Recreation Department will again work with the Department of Corrections and schedule a work day for inmates to continue with the debris clean up. P&R will notify all adjacent property owners by mail that the date is established for February 9, 2008. (This activity will have already occurred by the time this plan is reviewed by BoC.)

4. After a consultation with NCDOT and the appropriate utilities, locate and place large boulders and selected plantings on the top of the steep slope to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from passing at this point. The intent is to provide for public safety in an aesthetic manner while protecting the steep slope from further erosion causing activities. If the proposed method is not acceptable to NCDOT and the appropriate utilities, an alternative will be discussed and presented to the stakeholders prior to further action. If necessary, the BoC will determine the final alternative barrier type. After the barrier is installed, the border plantings will be provided by and planted by Andy Upshaw.

5. The draft Flora Management Plan and Site Management Plan will be fully developed in Spring 2009 and submitted to stakeholders for comment. The Flora Management Plan includes methods for invasive species removal, a planting plan and roles and responsibilities for the work, including the Progress Energy easement areas within the site. The Site Management Plan will include the roles and responsibilities of the county and citizens groups for. the continued management of the site, such as litter clean up and maintenance.

6. The Bynum community on the south side of the Haw River may elect to incorporate a separate Community Watch as a means to better coordinate with the Chatham County Sheriff's Department. Residents of the Bynum Mill village on the north side of the Haw River spoke positively of their Community Watch.

7. Stakeholders will be pre-notified of all work actions at the site via e-mail addresses (taken from the meeting attendees list). Additionally, the Environmental Resources Division will place up-dated information on its website. Please see:

Note: All efforts will be made to install the new foot path prior to May 9, 2009 (Haw River Festival). If necessary a future meeting will be held to finalize the flora and site management plans.

A Bynum Beach River Access Plan will be created and will consist of the above detailed items, GIS maps, photographs, associated technical documents and other useful information. The plan will be reviewed and approved by BoC and placed on the county website for public use.

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