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Durant Road Fence Draws Angry Reaction From Neighbors

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A group of angry homeowners complained about what they call a major eyesore. Now, Raleigh inspectors have gotten involved in an issue being discussed from both sides of the fence.

Raleigh taxpayers spent millions improving Durant Road. Brand new trees were planted. Pretty green sod was laid on perfectly landscaped slopes.

Then crews started to build the fence.

"It is pretty cheap looking and ugly," resident Kelly Huffman said. "It is just a nuisance."

The fence starts right across the street from Durant Nature Park. A worker said the fence will stretch 3,300 feet down Durant Road. It is a basic chain link set-up, except up top, where workers are putting in barbed wire.

The Mallincrodt Plant is putting up the fence to keep people off its property. Homeowners say they are the ones who feel fenced in.

Huffman sees the fence every time he walks out of his Windsor Forest home.

"I mean, what do we have, a prison over there or what?" Huffman said. "They could have put up some kind of wood thing. I don't think anyone's waiting to break in over there or anything. I don't see the sense in having a prison fence up at all."

Neighbors called Raleigh city councilman John Odom to complain. Odom sent a city inspector to the worksite.

"They actually do have the right to put up a fence," Odom said. "But they need a permit to do that, and they did not get that."

A spokesperson from Mallincrodt's home office in St. Louis admitted that the company did not apply for a fence permit. The company will re-submit its plans and reportedly is willing to put the fence farther back from Durant Road.

"We've put a stop-order in, and they will stop building it," Odom said, "and we'll go talk to them to help them decide what kind of fence and what we're going to do."

Homeowner Lori Murray said she is not opposed to any fence, just the fence that is there now.

"If they need a fence, I completely understand," Murray said. But something with a little more thought behind it then the prison option."

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