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@NCCapitol

751 South annexation bill headed for approval

Posted July 8, 2013
Updated July 9, 2013

— A bill that would force the city of Durham to annex and provide services to the 751 South development near Jordan Lake could be on the governor's desk by Wednesday.

The House gave its final approval to the measure Monday night, 76-33. It goes back to the Senate for one final vote on the House's changes.

House Rules Committee Chairman Tim Moore says he's been told the Senate is likely to approve the bill. "I would expect a pretty quick passage," he said.

The proposal could end a five-year battle over the project, but it wouldn't be the resolution city leaders were hoping for.

House Minority Leader Larry Hall said Durham's House delegation is unanimously opposed to it, and he said it would be the first time the House had voted against the wishes of a city's entire delegation. 

Hall, D-Durham, said the Durham City Council has voted against the project twice because of skepticism about developers' promises of job creation.

"You wouldn’t want it in your district if it didn’t have any jobs," Hall said. "You wouldn’t want it in your district if your city council didn’t want it." 

Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, said the proposal follows other bills this session that have taken away cities' authority to govern their own affairs.

"I just don’t understand why you want to interfere in anybody else’s business. You wouldn’t want anyone to come into your community and do the same thing to you," said Michaux.

But Moore, R-Cleveland, said the property owners of the 751 South project have lived in Durham for years and have "a good track record" on development. 

"This is going to be a moneymaker for this city," Moore predicted.

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  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jul 9, 2013

    "Durham cannot sue, unfortunately -- the authority for cities to regulate comes from the state and what the state gives the state can take away." - SeenItAll

    Many of the zillions and zillions of man-hours spent in courtrooms in the history of these United States have been spent parsing questions related to federal vs state vs local vs individual rights. Much of the text in the constitution and amendments relates to those same issues.

    I have no legal expertise to make this suggestion, but it seems to me that it would be well worthwhile (especially given the alternative) to legally challenge the legislature's authority in forcing this financial burden (this unjust TAX, if that helps to visualize it better) upon the citizens of Durham.

    I would also imagine that agencies such as the federal EPA might be interested in the case (Jordan Lake).

    And if nothing else, a legal case would help focus public attention on the hideous effects of Republican political control in this state.

  • floydthebarber Jul 9, 2013

    This is going to trash a beautiful scenic forested gateway in between Durham and Apex/Cary... when a local city council UNANIMOUSLY rejects a proposed development these "small government conservatives" should stay out of the citizen's business and focus on what really matters (hint: Jobs).

    But they aren't for small government. They want to control women's bodies, they want to control local city councils, no matter the cost to the public or the public's land. What a disgrace.

  • SeenItAll Jul 9, 2013

    Terrible bill in overriding local authority over development and over city boundaries. Republicans have also overridden local authority in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, and probably a host of other places, this session. Durham cannot sue, unfortunately -- the authority for cities to regulate comes from the state and what the state gives the state can take away. The only answer is the ballot box. All of us who care need to dig deeply and contribute to good candidates in future years. If we are in "safe" Democratic areas we need to be giving to candidates outside our areas who will respect the rights of local governments to regulate locally, as well as the rights of women to control their own bodies. Enough said .....

  • Mom2two Jul 9, 2013

    I thought the same thing, claytontarheel.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 9, 2013

    Bad bill, not for the great good of NC and is obvious it's only intention is to benefit a few wealthy individuals at tax payers expense.

  • thewayitis Jul 9, 2013

    What the legislature is doing here should be illegal.

    I'm surprised there is not a greater outcry.

    I hope Durham appeals. It is going to be a mess in that part of the county. And a good chance that Jordan Lake will be spoiled in the process.

  • BernsteinIII Jul 9, 2013

    City's don't need to be "moneymakers", they need autonomy.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 9, 2013

    Most poster are correct, this bill set a very bad precedent. Sad it won't get vetoed. This is just plain wrong on so many levels.

  • itsnotmeiswear Jul 9, 2013

    I wonder who's pocket got fat for this one...smh.

  • rushbot Jul 9, 2013

    do the right thing here, lil patty..go ask kingfish pope if you can veto this giant not small government decision!!!

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