Durham refuses to extend utilities to controversial development
Posted February 21, 2012
Durham, N.C. — The City Council delivered another blow Monday to a controversial development in southern Durham County.
The council voted 6-0 against extending utility lines to 751 South, which developers say 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. 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. A judge ruled last month that the petition wasn't valid and dismissed the lawsuit.
Developers said Tuesday that they were disappointed by the City Council's vote and were trying to determine their next step.