Winter On The Mountain
Make No Mistake About It...
Fairview Forest experiences winter and chances are, if you’re a newcomer, you’ll find winter can be more vigorous than you expected. While realtors emphasize the importance of “location, location, location”, residents of Fairview Forest know that when it comes to winter weather, there’s nothing more critical than “elevation, elevation, elevation”.
A vertical ascent of 1,000 feet usually brings a temperature drop of 5 degrees. That means, among other things, that 38 degrees and rain in Asheville might very well be 28 degrees and snow on the Mountain.
And that’s the story told by the area’s winter weather statistics: Asheville receives about 15 inches of snow in an average winter, but much of Fairview Forest receives twice that much. The seasonal average above 4,000 feet — along White Oak Forest Road, for example — is 35 inches. The winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 each produced snowfall totals exceeding 50 inches.
Below are snowfall amounts
recorded at a mid-elevation point on the Mountain in past winter seasons. (The recording station was closed at the end of May 2014 and weather statistics are no longer being compiled on the Mountain.)
Lower temperatures and more snow can surprise unprepared residents on the Mountain, but for motorists they can mean unexpected trouble. Our roads are mountain roads — they twist and turn, and in places the roads are steep. An inch of slushy snow and merely wet roads at the entrance can be five inches of snow and ice only a mile up Fairview Forest Drive.
Make Sure Your Vehicle Is in a Safe Spot
Winter often necessitates following the exceptions outlined in the Roads Regulations – Parking on Roads and Other Common Areas.
Parking on the sides of the main road and at the entrance to side roads is sometimes necessary during winter weather. Property owners should use good judgment so as not to put their vehicles in a position dangerous to others. This means the vehicle should be completely off the roadway as far as possible. Before leaving your vehicle, take a careful look to make certain your vehicle is not a possible hazard to traffic on the road. If your vehicle is stranded, make every attempt to have it removed as quickly as possible.
Many residents park their vehicles in the expanded parking area by the Clubhouse during inclement weather.
The Winter Roads Plan
Legal requirements regarding snow removal: The Restrictive Covenants state that among the purposes of the Association is to “repair, maintain and improve” our roads. However, there is no duty under the Restrictive Covenants and By-laws to conduct snow removal activities. Snow removal is not maintenance nor is it repair. Snow removal is thus a service provided solely within the limits of the Association’s budget. This policy defines the parameters of snow removal the Association will undertake. During snow/ice events, all roads shall be deemed “travel at your own risk.”
The logistics and expense of snow removal make it very difficult for the community to plow its roads. Each winter season is different and each winter storm event really has to be judged and decisions made at that time.
Snow removal plan guidelines:
➤ The Association will not attempt snow removal until more than six inches of snow has accumulated.
➤ Measurements will be taken generally at mid-elevations (tops of Maple Forest Road/Chestnut Forest Road and at the junctions of Poplar Forest Road and at higher elevations on White Oak Forest Road at Fairview Forest Drive.
➤ Other important factors include the pending weather forecast and the proximity of warmer weather.
➤ The decision to remove snow accumulation will be made by the Roads Committee Chair with consensus of the President and at least one other Board member.
➤ No clearing will take place until the snow storm is over.
➤ The Association will not de-ice or sand the roads. Homeowners are requested to not use rock salt (sodium chloride) on surfaces to melt ice. We need to protect our wells and our ground water source.
Revised February 2011