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Durham refuses to extend utilities to controversial development

Posted February 21, 2012

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— 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.


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  • knucklehead Feb 22, 2012

    I do hope they had a really good reason to deny the application. The developer could sue them as a whole and individually to the point they would have to raise taxes to cover the award and legal fees.

  • mmtlash Feb 21, 2012

    Almost any other part of Durham would welcome this project with open arms but unfortunately it seems that in Durham the only areas developers seem interested in are the areas around Southpoint Mall @ I-40 and up and down Fayetteville Rd....go to the other part of Durham (around I-85) and it's like stepping back in time to the '60s through '80s (aside from the Costco anchored North Pointe development off Guess Rd)....maybe one day "the other side" of Durham will get some attention

  • Boogalooboy Feb 21, 2012

    Come on out to Northern Durham, the hot bed of politicians and developers love fest... scratch mine, i'll scratch yours....even the land conservancy swaps with the developers with no regard of bordering properties and how it affects them...$$$$$ talks....doing the right thing...well.....

  • itsnotmeiswear Feb 21, 2012

    I used to live in the Green Level area 10 years ago. I have trouble finding my way through the area now because of the development. There's no need to worry about development from the north of Jordan. It's coming fast from the east, and they know how to get around "issues".

  • gnewsome1 Feb 21, 2012

    Invest your money somewhere that you would be welcome, not Durham.

  • hardycitrus Feb 21, 2012

    1,300 homes and 600,000 sq ft of retail?

    Because each resident needs 12,000 sq ft of retail space?

  • kenshi Feb 21, 2012

    The County wants it because it increases their tax base, the City doesn't care about it because it doesn't increase their tax base and is too far away to annex.

  • readme Feb 21, 2012

    I wasn't aware that if I liked a rural landscape near my house that I could prevent a landowner from developing it just because I liked the view on someone else's propertly. I'm not at all saying we shouldn't conserve green space more, but I think the government should buy the land or pass laws AHEAD of the time so developers don't have to put up with this nonsense.

  • RWS Feb 21, 2012

    How much of the area was originally rural, but people seem to be happy with the mall, etc. I'm sure those residents that are in city off of hwy 751, south of I-40 don't want it but they are ok with their house that was built in what was rural land. Hypocrites.

  • imtoofastforyou2 Feb 21, 2012

    I guess the developer forgot that you have to pay to play. I'm extremely confident that if the right amount of cash was shoved in the right direction, discreetly of course, then there would be little if any resistance to the development, hey, that's just the way it is. Everything else goes on the back burner where cash is concerned. That includes jobs, schools or anything else worthwhile.