751 South developer ready to move past controversy
Posted July 26, 2013 6:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2013 7:27 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — If all goes as planned, construction will begin a year from now on a plot of land in South Durham that will become the 751 South project.
The project was in limbo for more than five years as developers tried to find sewer and water service. The city of Durham turned them down. But early Friday morning the North Carolina General Assembly approved a bill forcing the annexation of the development into the city.
"I still don’t support the fact that the General Assembly is forcing the City of Durham to extend water and sewer to this project," Durham Mayor Bill Bell said.
He said given the circumstances, he doesn't have a problem with the bill because it holds the developer to certain requirements. Those include allowing the city to wait 10 years before annexing the project and requiring the developer to pay to widen southbound N.C. Highway 751.
The developer has also agreed to abide by a set of environmental rules to protect Jordan Lake.
Developer Alex Mitchell says he is ready to move past the controversy that has surrounded the project and improve the relationship with those in opposition.
"You put your best foot forward in the community. What’s left to do is execute," he said. "A lot of people are opposed to change, but hopefully when the change occurs, they’ll see the reality is not the disaster they thought it was going to be."
The developer would build the sewer and water lines, and those living there would pay twice the normal rates for those services.
After 10 years, 751 South would be annexed and residents would start paying taxes to the city.