Dependable Erection

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'll be there

At the county commissioners meeting tonight to rubber stamp vote on the rezoning application for the 751 Assemblage. Not that i have any conviction that our current crop of County Commissioners is capable of comprehending any argument more complex than "jobs," but it'll be an interesting civics lesson nonetheless.

Inter-Neighborhood Council's current president Tom Miller makes the case in an email being circulated today:
The developer’s fancy tricks and the abysmal handling of this matter by the BOCC have continued unabated. The developer has now granted an easement to the NC DOT to defeat the protest petition declared valid by the planning department. The easement ostensibly makes the road too wide for the property owners on the other side to participate in the protest petition. The problem is, NC DOT has no plans to widen the road and while the easement sits unused by the DOT, the developer may use it as rezoned (if the BOCC goes along with this ploy). The development plan submitted to the county is entirely silent on the easement since it was never part of the developer’s intention to grant right of way to the DOT until the protest petition was declared to be valid. ‘Seems that so significant a change to the plan ought to require a resubmittal of the rezoning application with an appropriately modified development plan. Will the county government require this? Under its current leadership, I doubt it. From the beginning, this developer has wanted to have its cake and to eat it too and at least a majority of the commissioners has shown themselves willing to let them have it. Never mind that the Planning Commission voted overwhelmingly against the project. Never mind that the project violates the County’s own stated policies on growth in the area. And never mind that Durham is facing a financial burden to clean up the pollution of area lakes that will drive property tax rates out of sight.

And what about the DOT? How did they allow themselves to get mixed up in this mess without any notice to the public? Whose side are they on anyway? Who watches over them?

Please turn out for the Board of County Commissioner’s meeting and join the opponents to this rezoning. As ordinary citizens, we are the people the zoning code is supposed to protect, not he people who twist and turn it to their financial advantage. Let the Commissioners know we are watching and that we care!

This may not be in your neighborhood, but the next big planning issue may be. When your neighborhood is facing a planning issue, don’t you want a fair and open process, true to the express policies of the zoning code, and free of tricks? So turn out. We have to stick together when the credibility and value of the planning process is under assault.

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