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Olive Branch Road is anything but peaceful as residents battle development

Posted May 13, 2008

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— A proposed development would bring over a thousand new homes to Durham County, but opponents say it would also pollute Raleigh's water supply.

"This is my favorite place I've ever lived,” Tina Motley-Pearson said. "It's just beautiful. I love rural areas."

From Motley-Pearson's perspective, however, the eastern Durham County area that she calls home is changing for the worse.

MacGregor Development is planning to build 1,200 homes near Olive Branch Road.

Motley-Pearson, along with the Neuse River Foundation, is trying to stop 563 of the residences from going up.

"They want to build on Raleigh's water supply watershed,” she said.

The Neuse River Foundation is worried that two creeks that flow into Falls Lake – Lick Creek and Little Lick Creek – will be further contaminated from the development.

"We are going to increase the amount of sediments, storm water, nutrients that are running into Lick Creek and Falls Lake, and Falls Lake is already suffering from pollution,” said Dean Naujoks, of the the Neuse River Foundation.

Naujoks took his concerns to Durham's Planning Commission Tuesday night. The commission must decide whether to allow a zoning request for the 563 homes called into question by the foundation.

"It is not our intention to damage Falls Lake at all,” engineer Ron Horvath said.

Horvath is in charge of the development and said his group complies with state and local requirements to protect streams.

"Our project is very sensitive to the existing streams. The most current devices and technology we know will be utilized to prevent sedimentation and erosion,” he added.

Horvath contends the creek contamination argument is just a tactic to stop the development from proceeding.

The Planning Commission decided Tuesday to put off a decision.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker told WRAL that he is aware of the Olive Branch Road controversy, but is waiting for additional information before deciding if it is an issue he should look into.

16 Comments

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  • veyor May 14, 2008

    enigma - sediment basins 1/10th the size of private roads, no ditch liners whatsoever, check dams constructed exactly in reverse, etc., that's what you find on public road projects.

  • Lougrantstwin May 14, 2008

    How many more house can this side of town take?There are no roads for all these cars or grocery stores.
    I live on the Olive Branch Road area side of town, thanks to developers what use to be a nice area, now looks like gangster heaven.

    We're putting our house on the market and getting our of this area, good luck to those moving in.

  • Raydianse May 14, 2008

    I am so sick and tired of these whining people who want to control what others do with their land. Molly buy the land from them if you want them to make their land worthless by telling them what they can't and can't do on their land.

  • enigma1469 May 14, 2008

    The NCDOT erosion control is twice what most developers use. Veyor you do not have a cluse do you. Alot of the road projects you see at developements are privite, not DOT projects.

  • veyor May 14, 2008

    As Beachnut has pointed out, it's developers who are fined for breaking environmental laws. There is a law on the books that gives DOT charge of their own enviromental oversight, exempting them from jurisdiction from other state agencies, hence the ridiculous erosion you see on the highways. Readme is right, it's a not in my backyard issue. Which is fine, they're just not calling a spade a spade.

  • flashlight May 14, 2008

    I just hope this new development will only be accessible using gasoline-powered cars....

    I wonder how many existing homes in the area are for sale?

  • nhall2040 May 14, 2008

    If Wake County can not find propery to build a middle school in the NW section because of Falls Lake watershed restrictions, how can this developer build so many homes in the same watershed? Shouldn't the same restrictions apply?

  • Beachnut May 14, 2008

    Guess who the developer was in this one:
    "November 9, 1998 - Violation notice letter sent to developers of Summer Pointe subdivision for not being in compliance with the Reservoir Watershed Protection ordinance because of the pipe and junction box being relocated within Lake Pointe subdivision." (from http://www.townofcary.org/agenda/cm121098d.html)

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate May 14, 2008

    People that try to dictate what happens to land that they DON'T OWN are annoying! If you want to decide what happens to the land then but it! Otherwise save the drama.

  • Wake1 May 14, 2008

    It's never their intent to harm the environment - it just happens & the rest of us have to deal with the consequences - not the developers.

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