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Few Gardens, Durham Residents Want Input In Renovation Plans

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DURHAM — Few Gardens, one of Durham's oldest public housing complexes, is set to be torn down next year. The plans also include rebuilding other parts of the neighborhood. However, residents are concerned about the process.

The northeast central Durham neighborhood is on the verge of change. A $75 million revitalization project would reroute streets, add sidewalks and parks, and rebuild a neighborhood many people say desperately needs help.

"I want it rebuilt," said resident Steve Hopkins."We'd like a safe and secure neighborhood, a pedestrian and transit-oriented neighborhood -- have it connected and have it be a high-quality neighborhood of choice."

In recent weeks, many neighbors have lashed out at housing authority officials over unanswered questions.

A public hearing held Thursday night was tame in comparision to past gatherings, but some people said that the residents do not have enough input in the process.

"They invite us to these [meetings], we make comments, they come back with pretty pictures and none of our ideas are incorporated," said William Taylor.

At this stage, the renovations are only a proposal, but a lot of people hope it becomes a reality.

"When I first moved in here 31 years ago, it was a beautiful neighborhood. I have high hopes it can be again," said Hopkins.

Project developers plan to bring the proposal before the city council in a few weeks. They hope to start buying out houses in the area in about a month.


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