751 South - City Council to Take Action June 27th

After previously deciding not to vote on annexation of the 751 Assemblage until the pending superior court case over the county’s rezoning is heard, the city council has now scheduled a meeting on June 27th to consider providing water and sewer to the project without annexation. (Update: They will also discuss voluntary annexation).

Recall how the developer bought up several low-priced properties within the watershed, zoned for low density housing specifically to protect our region’s drinking water. The developer then privately surveyed one arm of the publicly owned Jordan Lake to move their new property outside the watershed boundary, and had a former county Planning Director quietly approve it. A majority of our County Commissioners then obliged the developer by not performing an independent survey, and even rejected a citizen-paid survey! Suddenly the developer’s property allowed high densities and skyrocketed in value.

Rezoning the property for ultrahigh density demanded several tricks using the County Commission, the Department of Transportation, and the denial of citizens’ protest petition rights. That issue now sits before a Superior Court judge.

Meanwhile, the developers require several actions from Durham’s City Council. The first of many steps was shifting the Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundary where the city provides services. Once again Durham’s elected representatives could have said no, but with Council members Woodard and Catotti dissenting, the City Council favored the developer.

Sustainable development means protecting our drinking water and other needs, not just for the next 20 years, but for the next 200 years. People of this region will always drink the water from our reservoirs, including Jordan Lake, and increasingly that water carries many pollutants after running off paved surfaces or through sewage systems. Preserving the critical watershed protects our water resources from pollutants flushed from our clothes, bodies, and pavements.

The City Council can stop the damage this project will bring our region by refusing to supply water and sewer. The area’s soils can’t handle any more septic systems than the site’s original zoning allowed, and without municipal sewage treatment, density will be limited. That limitation will lessen the damage to our region’s water supply.

Please write Mayor Bell and the city council TODAY and ask that they vote NO on providing utilities without annexation. We ask that they postpone this vote until the Superior Court Case regarding the County’s rezoning has been concluded. [email protected], [email protected]

City council is scheduled to vote on this matter is at 3PM on June 27 in the Committee Room (2nd floor of City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza). Please mark your calendar and attend to speak against this if you are able.

The city should not provide water and sewer to an area that it is not guaranteed to annex. A thorough analysis of this project has concluded it will be a higher cost to the city than the money it will provide. This fact, in addition to it being an environmentally sensitive area and major water source for the Triangle, calls for a “NO” vote from City Council.

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