Open For Play (2005)
13704 Grand Palisades Prkwy
Charlotte, NC 28278 USA
Palisades Country Club Online:
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The Palisades Achieves Gold Signature Certification From Audubon International
July 24, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The first developed phase of The Palisades -- the 1,600-acre, award-winning, master-planned community in Southwest Charlotte on ecologically sensitive Lake Wylie -- has been certified as meeting the rigorous environmental standards of Audubon International's Gold Signature Program.
With this designation, The Palisades is now one of only five master-planned golf communities in the world -- and the first in North Carolina -- to have residential neighborhoods and a golf course certified as a Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary.
The Palisades is the first combined residential, commercial and golf course master-planned community in the world, offering a broad price range of homes from executive to luxury, based on a land plan approved by Audubon International's Gold Signature Program.
With the completion of the commercial component of The Palisades, and approval of that phase by Audubon International, The Palisades expects to be the first combined commercial, residential and golf course community in the world offering a broad price range of homes to earn Audubon International's prestigious Gold Signature designation.
A project of Rhein Palisades, LLC, a Rhein Medall Community, The Palisades certification is the result of intensive planning, implementation of best practices, and careful, innovative development methods designed to preserve wildlife habitats, leave large areas of forest intact, and protect -- and even improve -- the water quality of Lake Wylie. Although zoned for 4,500 homes, Rhein Medall has chosen to develop The Palisades for approximately 2,500 homes. In addition, over 30 percent of the land has been set aside for perpetuity as open space, and most of that has been left in its natural state.
"The Palisades represents our commitment to creating communities while preserving and honoring the environment," said Jim Medall, president of Rhein Medall Communities. "We are proud to be recognized by Audubon International for the time and work we've invested creating The Palisades, and very pleased to be among the five other golf communities in the world to have earned Audubon International's elite Gold designation."
Audubon International's certification of The Palisades was confirmed July 8, following an extensive on-site audit of the community by Audubon International staff. "This is an extraordinary achievement," said Nancy Richardson, director of Audubon International's Signature Program. "Signature certification is awarded only to new developments that are designed, constructed and maintained according to Audubon International's precise planning standards and environmental disciplines." To date, only 11 properties world-wide have achieved the coveted Gold Signature certification, Richardson added.
"We're very excited about the certification and are looking forward to growing our community within the context of the Audubon International program," said Medall. "There is a great deal of interest in building homes in communities that are sensitive to the environment and both building, and living, in harmony with nature."
As new phases of The Palisades are built, Audubon International will conduct new certification audits to ensure that each new section of the community continues to adhere to Audubon's strict principles of environmental sustainability. In addition, Audubon International will conduct annual recertification audits at The Palisades.
Over four years in the making, certification of The Palisades as a Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary began with a $1 million land and water quality plan, followed by rigorous efforts to develop the community with best environmental practices that reduce the fertilizers and pesticides used on home lawns and at the golf course, reduce water velocity, protect ground water, creeks and other watersheds, preserve wildlife corridors, disturb as little of the land as possible during the development process, and protect historic trees and large tree stands. Some specific measures taken include:
-- Hiring of a Natural Resource Manager for the property to oversee water quality monitoring and development practices and implement environmental education programs within and outside the community.
-- Developing no more than 50 acres of land at a time, within each drainage area, to minimize disturbance of the land and development pressure on natural resources.
-- Establishing a Resource Advisory Committee of environmental experts to oversee implementation of The Palisades' plan for sustainable development. The current committee includes Nancy Richardson; Tom Martin, a certified master arborist; Jay Wilson, the erosion control coordinator for the city of Charlotte; Dave Coleman, the superintendent of The Palisades Nicklaus Design golf course; and Matt Bossert, the Natural Resource Manager at The Palisades.
-- Treating storm water in smallest increments possible and installing velocity dissipaters in every storm water outlet to slow down the speed of rain water flowing through forested buffers during storms, thus reducing erosion and removing pollutants in the watershed.
-- Creating buffer zones near all creeks that feed into Lake Wylie, and leaving 100-foot natural buffers between homes or golf course and the perimeters of the lake (local regulations require a 50-foot buffer).
-- Implementation of Best Management Practices at wetlands, water bodies, and environmentally sensitive areas during construction. This included building more than 80 temporary erosion basins around the property lined with riprap and wash stone, some of which were converted into ponds.
-- Protecting the watershed for Lake Wylie by developing landscaping guidelines for the golf course, public areas and home lawns related to the types of fertilizers, herbicides, and plants that can and can't be used in landscaping.
-- Providing each Palisades homeowner with a guide to help them make lawn and garden choices that are healthy for the environment.
-- Requiring that all home lawns at The Palisades and the golf course fairway be planted with Bermuda grass, a hardy grass that requires less irrigation, fertilizers and herbicides than fescue lawns.
-- Limiting the amount of managed turf on the 180-acre golf course to less than 60 acres to conserve water and further reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides.
-- Requiring that The Palisades' residents minimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, and dangerous nutrients that can be transported via irrigation or storm water run-off into the creeks, and then into Lake Wylie.
-- Requiring all builders and their subcontractors to go through an extensive water quality training program, and educating them in the specific development rules and regulations required at The Palisades.
-- Setting aside mandatory 35-foot tree protection areas in the rear yards of every lot which prohibit mechanized tree clearing (chainsaws).
-- Ensuring that natural drainage patterns are followed whenever possible.
Certification of The Palisades Phase One residential neighborhoods and the Nicklaus Design golf course as a Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary is the most recent in a long list of awards, accolades and achievements earned by The Palisades and the developer.
Rhein Medall Communities was recently recognized by the Homebuilder's Association of Charlotte as Charlotte's Developer of the Year for 2006, and The Palisades won several sales and marketing awards in 2005 and 2006 from the Homebuilder's Association. The Palisades also won several national awards in January 2006 from the National Homebuilder's Association, including a National Sales and Marketing Gold Award -- the building industry's top accolade.
The Palisades was selected as the site for Charlotte's 2005 HomeArama. And in April 2004, The Palisades was singled out by Voices and Choices, a study group dedicated to monitoring the impact of growth on metropolitan Charlotte, in their 2004 State of the Region Report, as an example of environmentally-responsible development.
Audubon International is a not-for-profit environmental education organization dedicated to educating, assisting, and inspiring millions of people from all walks of life to protect and sustain the land, water, wildlife, and natural resources around them. By helping people make sound environmental decisions and take environmentally responsible actions, Audubon International seeks to foster more sustainable human and natural communities. The organization works with more than 3,000 properties and communities in 26 different countries.
The Palisades will be comprised of many neighborhoods woven together by several miles of rustic nature trails designed to accommodate horseback riding, cyclists and hikers. In addition, The Palisades offers a wider array of lifestyle amenities than any other new community in the Charlotte region. This includes The Palisades Episcopal School, a soccer training facility, an equestrian center, The Palisades Country Club, with its private Nicklaus Design golf course, and the Tim Wilkison Signature Club, which offers a wide array of family-focused tennis, swimming and fitness programs. This September, The Palisades will host The Championships at The Palisades, an annual championship pro tennis tournament featuring legendary tennis players over the age of 30, including Jim Courier and John McEnroe.
Rhein Medall Communities is known for environmentally sensitive land planning that includes working with the natural topography of the land, respecting the natural beauty of the landscape and weaving open space into each community design. Rhein Interests was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Robert C. Rhein. Mr. Rhein has had operations in the Carolinas for over 20 years as Rhein Interests, and in that time has earned a reputation as the region's premier residential land developer. In 2006, Rhein Interests' operations in the Carolinas were renamed Rhein Medall Communities, to reflect the hard work and dedication of the company's president, Jim Medall, who is now a co-owner of a new company with Robert C. Rhein, Rhein Medall Interests, LLC.
Known for developing carefully thought-out, innovative projects, both Rhein Interests and Rhein Medall Communities are dedicated to setting the standard for the industry by creating communities in all price categories that consistently offer superior value, designed to surpass the test of time.