Dependable Erection

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

East Durham

I hope everyone who stops by here has taken the opportunity to read Gary's photo essay on East Durham, and the continuing loss of historically significant properties there. Especially check out the comments section for insight into why Durham is such a remarkable place to live in the early 21st century.

Gary's post and the ensuing comments provoke a couple of thoughts. First, i'm fascinated by the revelation that the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association has contested elections for its Board of Directors. In my neighborhood, we're lucky if we can get a quorum on election night so that our unopposed slate is considered duly elected.

Second, though, is the revelation that the problem with Neighborhood Improvement Services in East Durham is that they're too active. My experience in trying to get NIS to deal with absentee and negligent landlords has been exactly the opposite. Pit bull breeders, auto repair shops, committers of domestic violence, have all been my neighbors over the past couple of years. And i can say in all honesty that the landlords of these properties, despite numerous attempts at dialog, don't give a shit about what happens on them, so long as the rent is paid.

Fortunately, this class of tenant tends to move out fairly quickly. Unfortunately, there seems to be a nearly endless supply of them. And one of the results of allowing this kind of behavior is that good neighbors disappear, and more houses become vacant. And this can happen anywhere, not just East Durham. Take a walk through the 1600 and 1700 block of Avondale Drive and you'll see what i mean.

I'd be happy to see a little bit of proactive enforcement from NIS, as well as the Planning Department which also has some responsibilities in this area, before we reach the point of deciding what to do with a host of condemned buildings.

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2 Comments:

  • Barry

    Much thanks for mentioning this post; perhaps it is self-evident that I'm passionate about East Durham. I often feel like, in the world of skewed perceptions, East Durham is to Durham as Durham is to the Triangle.

    Thanks again

    Gary

    By Blogger Gary, at 9:20 PM  

  • gary - combining this with your recent post on Durham's deadbeat property owners gives one pause for thought.

    Lots of people tout Durham as the hot new place to live, and the center of the creative class, and all that jazz.

    It seems to me that there are needs and opportunities just around the corner from each other. It shouldn't be that hard to bring them together.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 9:44 AM  

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