Why Say No to Rezone?
The proposal to rezone and annex 146 wooded acres between Guess and Bivins road has been voided! See our latest UPDATE. However, we will continue using this website to share information in case a new proposal to develop this land is submitted. We also hope the resources here will be helpful to other community groups and our neighbors. Finally, we plan to keep sharing what we learn about how we can permanently protect North Durham from over-development and urban sprawl.
North Durham and the surrounding area is expanding at an ever increasing rate. As a result, more and more people are looking for homes. Our original mission, outlined below, was to challenge one particular proposal; however our cause has expanded to include additional proposals within North Durham.
In February 2021, homeowners in the legally-mandated minimum contact area (600’) of a proposed 146 acre development in North Durham received a letter alerting them that a developer (Ashton Woods), with the assistance of Morningstar Law Group, were in the process of submitting an application to the Durham planning office. This proposal is case number Z2100010 and you can find status updates from the planning department here. This plan includes:
- A request for annexation. This means incorporating land currently falling outside Durham City limits into the city limits so that water, sewer and other services would be provided to that area. The benefit to developers in pursuing this request is increased housing density over using well and septic.
- A change in zoning. The land is currently zoned for 1 home per acre, but the developer has requested a 4-fold increase to 4 dwellings per acre. In doing so, they would be able to erect approximately 517 units (60% townhouses and 40% single family homes).
The overarching theme in our collective opposition is that the scale and design of the project is out of character with our peaceful and nature-rich area. Over the years, we have seen the natural habitat of South Durham and Cary increasingly cleared out to build homes. This rapid development has several negative effects. It impacts wildlife and tranquility, overburdens roadways, infrastructure, and schools, increases the severity of flooding, and pollutes our waterways through additional runoff. The rural feel of North Durham is the primary reason so many of us moved out here in the first place; sustaining that character is our top priority.
We the residents of North Durham hope to have constructive and meaningful conversations with the developers, City Council and the Planning Commission. We hope that the current residents will be given the deciding vote in how our community is shaped.
Below is a map of the proposed development. As you can see, the project area is massive and encroaches on several water elements (streams/ponds/etc.)
Please see Get Involved to find out how you can help to fight this high density development.
The pin is in the pond that is show in the videos and photos on the virtual tour page. I have not been able to create an overlay with the property boundaries, but it includes nearly all of the open land bounded by Willow Hill on the north, Guess Rd on the east, Bivins Rd/Autumn Ridge on the south and Russell Rd on the west. Please note that the surrounding developments are about 1-2 houses per acre and the developer is requesting nearly 4 units (town homes and houses) per acre.