WPOA Letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Please click here to view the Wintergreen Property Owners Association's April 2015 letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Below are a few highlights:

The Wintergreen Community consists of over 11,000 acres including over 3,600 individual residences, a four-season resort and approximately 6,000 acres of dedicated open space, including 1,400 acres which are protected by a conservation easement.
For the past 40 years Wintergreen has endeavored to establish and maintain its reputation as environmentally sensitive, utilizinB strong themes of conservation and preservation in its covenants and restrictions and its community policy.
The covenants and restrictions bind the entire Wintergreen Community, being recorded in both Nelson and Augusta Counties. They demonstrate the level of commitment to quality and to the environment that makes Wintergreen a unique and special place.
As a community, Wintergreen is so serious about these restrictions that on several occasions the Wintergreen Property Owners Association lnc. has imposed penalties on owners who have violated them by cutting trees by amounts as high as 550,000.00.
Our ability to preserve this beautiful natural setting is seriously undermined by the prospect of a clear-cut corridor, literally across the entrance to our community. This potential scar at the location of everyone’s first impression of Wintergreen makes it almost impossible to perpetuate the image of preservation and undermines both the value of $1.2 billion dollars in real estate and the operations of the $30-plus million dollars per year Wintergreen Resort that depends in large part on that image
Further, the negative impacts of this route extend well beyond those to our residents and guests and into the surrounding Nelson and Augusta counties. The Wintergreen Resort and broader community are the largest employers in Nelson County. Service providers and vendors from the regions serve us as well, generating revenue for hundreds of businesses. Real estate and other taxes from Wintergreen represents close to 40% of all taxes paid for all of Nelson County.
The value of our image to everything that counts on it, is threatened by the proposed defacing of the natural appearance of our entrance that will be created by the Appalachian Trail South’s alternative to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Furthermore, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline at this location threatens our only entrance which is also our only exit from our mountain community, We have repeatedly petitioned for an emergency exit out to the Blue Ridge Parkway, without success. Any pipeline accident at our entrance/exit would trap as many as 10,000 people on any given day and require them to evacuate on foot from a potential catastrophic pipeline failure. Of further concern is the fact that our central communications and administrations facilities lie within the blast zone should a catastrophic failure occur.
— Russell B. Otis, Executive Director, Wintergreen Property Owners Association