Local News

Planning director: 751 South protest petition valid

Posted July 13, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A protest petition opposing the 751 South development in Durham was ruled valid Tuesday by City/County Planning Director Steve Medlin.

The subdivision project off N.C. Highway 751, near the Durham/Chatham County line, would include 1,300 homes and up to 600,000 sq. ft. of commercial and retail space.

The petition protesting the project was submitted on May 24 by area residents.

“After extensive review and consultation from the county attorney, I found that the protest petition submitted in late May is valid as it meets all statutory and local ordinance conditions for validity,” Medlin said in a statement. “The validity of the protest petition was based on the number of valid signatures on the petition from neighbors of the proposed project.”

Alex Mitchell, president of Southern Durham Development, expressed disappointment in the ruling.

"751 South is designed to be an innovative and exciting place to live, work and shop. We believe that it will join the ranks of Southpoint Mall, DPAC, and the American Tobacco Historic District in affirming that "Good things are happening in Durham."

As unfortunate as today's announcement may seem, it in no way diminishes our enthusiasm for the future of our project," Mitchell said in a statement.

North Carolina state law enables the county to accept a protest petition from neighbors who object to proposed zoning map changes.

Due to Medlin's ruling, four of the five county commissioners must now vote in favor of the project before rezoning can be approved.

A public hearing before the commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Commissioners also plan to discuss the 751 South development during their regular session meeting on Monday, July 26, at 7 p.m.

14 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • hemerocallis Jul 14, 2010

    The Durham/Chatham line is close to For Gardens Sake on 751 - not even close to Jean's Berry Patch.

  • KevInApex Jul 14, 2010

    "Both through taxes"

    I'd like to hear of an example where additional the additonal tax revenues that come from rampant and sprawling growth even cover the added infastructure needs.

    " and the fact that new people need new houses, new infrastructure, new shopping facilities etc. What is unneeded by one person, is anothers life-blood."

    I don't dissagree with this part. I think the argument is that at this moment in time we are already saturated with new homes, office and retail space. Building more just compounds the problem.

  • KevInApex Jul 14, 2010

    "Hmm...is this the portion of 751 near Jean's Berry Patch and the small white church (don't know the name)."

    I think(hope) this is not that far down 751. Seems as if the Durham/Chatham line is not in this aeea.

  • KevInApex Jul 14, 2010

    "So, these guys come in and build more unneeded development. How is that helpful in the long run?"

    It isn't unless the economy picks up. It will provide some short term jobs and make some money for some whether it works out or not. Longer term it might create some retail jobs.

    "Unneeded developement?
    Yes, unneeded.

    A short drive just about anywhere in this area reveals plenty of empty office and retail space, and unsold new homes.
    In RTP alone I could direct you to massive modern buildings that are empty. The building I work in is only 50% full and attempts to sell or rent the empty space have been fruitless.

    I am sure that is what people said about your neighborhood when it was being built!"

    Probably not. My neighborhood was built during a time when demand for new homes was strong and was in an area already developed. I am not anti-development, I just believe that the latest economic crisis shows that an enconomy built on real estate speculation is bound to fail.

  • Not a fan of roses Jul 14, 2010

    From the Herald-Sun article

    Byker and fellow lawyer Craigie Sanders, both from the RTP-based K&L Gates law firm, argued that Southern Durham's proposal would mean jobs and increase the tax base.

    Sanders said the developers believe the project would generate $2.4 million in annual tax revenue for the city government and $3.2 million for the county.

    It also would create 3,700 construction jobs over a 10-year build-out and 2,900 permanent jobs, he said.

    Byker added that the road and intersection upgrades state and local regulators are demanding would cost Southern Durham Development $6 million.

  • Thhhbbbppppttt..... Jul 14, 2010

    In a city where 15% of the male employees work in some sector of the construction industry, Growth is very necessary for a self sustaining economy. If all construction and growth stops here, you will find it very difficult indeed to sell your suddenly unneeded property. Raleigh (as well as North Carolina in general)is a city based on drawing in new buisnesses with attractive corporate tax incentives, then reaping the benefits of the influx of the new employees. Both through taxes, and the fact that new people need new houses, new infrastructure, new shopping facilities etc.
    What is unneeded by one person, is anothers life-blood.

  • Frank Downtown Jul 14, 2010

    Unneeded developement? I am sure that is what people said about your neighborhood when it was being built!

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Jul 14, 2010

    Thhhbbbppppttt....

    So, these guys come in and build more unneeded development. How is that helpful in the long run?

  • Not a fan of roses Jul 14, 2010

    Hmm...is this the portion of 751 near Jean's Berry Patch and the small white church (don't know the name). If this is the area in question there isn't a a region filled with vacant and unfinished projects. The only subdivsion in the area is called Lexington...I believe there are 8 housing plots in this subdivision yet to be sold. Well, none of the plots have sold b/c of the high land price the builder is asking and the lack of a conventional sewage system. Something about how the land doesn't 'perk'.

    Hope there were plans to widen 751 with this new development b/c 751 is currently a two lane road. If there are plans to widen the road they should also include some bike lanes. Very popular road with the local bicycle gangs.

  • KevInApex Jul 14, 2010

    They will review the petition, "consider it" and proceed with approving the project. These kinds of things are just irritaions to developers and a formality to planning boards. The projects are almost always built as planned with a few token delays.

    I am sort of surprised they are proposing such a mega project in the current economy. Is not this region filled with vacant and unfinished development projects both residential and commercial? Can't we fill some of those before bulldozing more fields and forests?

More...