Raleigh, N.C. — 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.