HELP US PROTECT LUTHERIDGE

7/31/2015

Dear Friend of Lutheridge and NovusWay Ministries,

Lutheridge faces a serious threat from an electric transmission line running through the site.  Your help is urgently needed to divert Duke Energy from running the transmission line through Lutheridge.  Let me tell you more about the situation and how you can help.

Duke Energy is seeking to run an electric transmission line approx. 45 miles from Campobello, SC to the Lake Julian power plant in south Asheville.  Three possible routes have been identified, with Lutheridge in the path of the easternmost route.  The line would enter the site near the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Airport Road, pass by Whisnant Chapel and the outdoor worship area by the chapel and exit between the gatehouse and Trinity View.  The transmission lines are supported by 100’ steel towers and a 150’ easement is cleared.  It goes without saying this would severely and negatively impact the ministry of Lutheridge.

Here is what you can do to help

NovusWay successfully diverted an electric transmission line away from Lutherock when Mountain Electric sought to run a transmission line through the “saddle area” near the Alpine Tower in 2012.  We can be successful again, but we need your help.

Please personally complete a questionnaire to offer your input.  You can receive more information by going to http://dukeenergyfoothillsproject.power-viz.com/ and study the potential route through Lutheridge on an interactive map.  When you view the map you will be able to submit a comment to Duke Energy until August 14 by following the following steps:

1.     Scroll down and click on Interactive Map

2.     Click on “Enter”

3.     Click on “Submit a Comment”

4.     Register – you will need to give your name and create a username and password

5.     Login – using your newly created username and password

6.     Select a Location for Comment – 2511 Hendersonville Road, Arden, NC 28704.  Complete the questionnaire and type your comment in the text box provided  - then submit.

We also encourage your congregational council to pass a resolution encouraging Duke Energy to select a route that does not run through Lutheridge. Please stress the following points as you complete the questionnaire and your council considers a resolution.  

1.     State if you or your congregation is a customer of Duke Energy.

2.     Lutheridge is a Christian Retreat Center and designated as a Caring for Creation Retreat Center by the North Carolina Synod.  15,000 guests come to Lutheridge each year to experience a time and place apart.

3.     Lutheridge consists of 172 acres that features natural and naturalized areas, and is the largest tract of such land in Arden, which is a crucial part of its outdoor activities and programs on a year-round basis.  The loss of trees from the 150’ easement area would severely reduce the forest, which is an “oasis” in the midst of area development and a loss of natural habitat for bears, wild turkeys and other animals.

4.     Lutheridge serves 2,000 children every summer, 4,000 children year-round as part of 15,000 annual guests.  The electric transmission line would negatively impact the visual and scenic beauty, ecological integrity of ecosystems and animal and plant species, and would endanger the outdoor environment and religious program areas, which depend on protected green open space.

5.     The proposed route of the electric transmission line would run very close to Whisnant Chapel where congregations worship six months each year and adjacent to the outdoor chapel, which is the site where dozens of families have scattered cremains of loved ones over the years.

6.     The proposed route would pass over the only large playfield at Lutheridge where thousands of children and youth play.

7.     The proposed route would pass over the new swimming pool and play area that was just completed May 2015 at a cost of $500,000.

8.     Lutheridge provides Christian summer camp and year round programs for youth and adults of all denominations, including programs for mentally challenged, low income and other special needs youth.  Environmental education is also offered to area schools.

Please go to the Duke Energy website today and voice your concern over the route running through Lutheridge.  Encourage your congregational council to pass a resolution in support of Duke Energy running the electric transmission line outside of Lutheridge (A sample resolution will be forwarded next week).  And if you know of any legislators from the State of North Carolina or members of the Public Utilities Commission, please share this concern with them and pass on their contact information to Keith Johnson at kjohnson@NovusWay.com.

I will keep you informed of developments and additional information as it becomes available.  An environmental biologist and ecologist is coming to Lutheridge next week to supply information that can assist our case. A landscape architect is plotting the specific route on a map.  If you need help completing the Duke Energy “Submit a Comment” send your question to volunteer@Lutheridge.com.  Please pray that God will bless our efforts and we will be successful at preserving the integrity and mission of Lutheridge “providing places set apart to inspire and empower all in Christ’s love.”

Follow this link to see the news coverage on Channel 13.