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Judge tosses protest over proposed Durham County development

Posted January 13, 2012

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— A controversial Durham County development will move forward after a Superior Court judge on Friday dismissed a protest against it.

The 751 South project would bring about 1,300 homes and up to 600,000 square feet of commercial and retail space to 167 acres along N.C. Highway 751 near the Durham-Chatham county line.

The battle over the project has gone on for more than three years. Developers and supporters say it will bring jobs to the area, expand the county's tax base and allow for two new schools to be built, while opponents feared it would harm nearby Jordan Lake and the rural landscape.

The Durham County Board of Commissioners approved the project in August 2010, but some neighbors said the vote shouldn't count. They filed suit, claiming a petition they filed should have required four of five commissioners to vote in favor of the development for it to proceed.

Although local planning officials said the protest petition was valid, the county ruled it invalid, saying the neighbors didn't live close enough to the development to protest it.

Judge Henry Hight ruled Friday that the petition wasn't valid and dismissed the lawsuit.

“We are pleased that the litigation process has come to a conclusion," Assistant County Attorney Bryan Wardell said in a statement. “We look forward to moving ahead with the development in the best interest of the citizens of Durham County.”

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  • caroexc Jan 13, 2012

    my dad used ta always say "if ya wanna know what the economys gonna do ------watch rich people ------"

  • rand321 Jan 13, 2012

    its a about time they start building.

  • no contest Jan 13, 2012

    I am so very happy this is going through. The environmental crowd needs to learn that their radical views aren't held by everyone. The environmental crowd does not seem to think there is any other opinion that matters besides theirs. This project will bring more jobs, tax revenue and business to the area. People need work and this will help.

  • Bartmeister Jan 13, 2012

    Why on Earth would you build more supply until demand evens out?

    My guess from the details on the story that the developer has been tied up in litigation for 3+ years and needs to start processing cash flow. No building and developing, no cash flow. Gotta build it first then worry about filling the space. It's called building on speculation, a practice done for years and years. Of course the county wants the new tax base.

  • davisgw Jan 13, 2012

    Does the judge have AN INTREST IN THE DEVELOPMENT?

  • Pseudonym Jan 13, 2012

    Wasn't there a story a couple days ago about real estate prices decreasing 3% in this area? Why on Earth would you build more supply until demand evens out?