Local News

Durham residents complain of late-night parties

Posted March 20, 2009 10:20 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2009 6:16 p.m. EDT

— The Trinity Heights area, across from Duke University’s east campus, has tree-lined streets and a mix of historic homes. Though the area may appear peaceful, some residents say late night parties are disrupting the area.

“They’re all talking on their cell phones. It’s 2 in the morning,” said Duke music professor Phil Rupprecht, who lives on Clarendon Street in the middle of Trinity Heights.

Rupprecht has lived in the area for three years and says he’s had enough of the late night parties.

“It’s complete thoughtlessness and lack of consideration that never seems to change,” Rupprecht said.

Rupprecht is part of a task force that includes Duke officials and city representatives. In the past six months, they have held seven meetings to discuss the problems at Trinity Heights. They have suggested the university increase campus police patrols.

While Duke maintains progress is being made, city council members are frustrated.

“I’ve seen this movie before. I’ve seen the reruns and I don’t want to see it anymore,” Councilman Eugene Brown said.

Kate Hinson, a first year graduate student at Duke, is among the 800 students that live in Trinity Heights. She considers herself “lucky” to live on Berkeley Street.

“I haven’t had any experiences that were negative. I haven’t heard late parties. I’m not sure it’s a big problem; some people might think so, but not on this street,” Hinson said.

At Rupprecht’s home two streets away, late parties are a persistent problem. The former Brooklyn College professor said he never thought he would have more noise problems in Durham than in New York City, where he lived for 13 years.

Residents and the city council are trying to schedule a meeting with Duke President Richard Brodhead to discuss the issue.

Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield is working on a letter to Brodhead that will include renewed complaints about the Trinity Heights neighborhood.

Duke spokesman Michael Shoenfeld says the university has been working closely with Trinity Heights residents about their concerns and will continue to do so.