Dependable Erection

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yikes! Jordan Lake case gets ugly

Pass the popcorn:
If valid, the petition would have required a 4-1 "super majority" vote to approve the rezoning and amendment. However, the planning department ruled it invalid because the signatories represented less than the necessary 20 percent of affected acreage, and the changes passed 3-2.

After the vote, the SELC reviewed ownership records and claimed the planning department had been mistaken and that the changes failed to win approval.

In an email this morning to County Manager Mike Ruffin, Durham resident Steve Bocckino said Medlin's report "deemed valid" the petition.

"Now that the long-overdue verdict is widely known (and it is!), it is the appropriate time to formally announce the previous error," Bocckino said.

This comedy of errors would be funny if it didn't affect, you know, the entire future of development in Durham County.

How long will it be before Commissioner Bowser tries to fire Steve Medlin?

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  • The subtext to Thursday's closed session of the BOCC goes something like this:

    "The county is going to be sued by whichever party we rule against. One of the primary determinants of the cost of defending a lawsuit is the amount of money and time the plaintiff is willing/able to spend on the lawsuit. Southern Durham Development has already filed suit, and their client has millions of dollars in property development value riding on it. The Haw River Assembly and Southern Environmental Law Center haven't demonstrated that they can or will bring the same firepower to the courtroom. So, the best way to save the county a bunch of money is to deny the protest petition and hunker down."

    I know: it's short-term thinking, bad environmental practice, and will lead to huge unintended costs and consequences. But the silly logic seems inescapable...

    By Blogger Toby, at 10:22 AM  

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