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Why Say No to Rezone?
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. For updates regarding additional developments that we are aware of and actively participating in, please see the Updates submenu.
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 plan would include:
- 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 pursing this request is that increased dwelling density may be realized over using well and septic.
- A change in zoning. This would allow for an increased number of residential dwellings (units) per acre. The land in question is currently zoned for 1 home per acre, but the developer has requested a 4-fold increase to 4 dwellings per acre. In so doing, they would be able to erect approximately 500 units (60% townhouses and 40% single family homes).
Of all the families that attended the initial public meeting, not a single participant was in favor of the proposal. The overarching theme in our collective opposition was 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 surrounding this proposed development and hope that the current residents be given the deciding vote in how our community is shaped.
Below you will find an aerial view of the proposed impact. 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.