The only thing worse than a "tax and spend liberal" is a "don't tax and spend conservative" (i.e. deficit spending).
Can't Durham get a better lawyer than some rinky dink, 4th tier NCCU grad? It's obvious this guy doesn't have the intellect or training to do anything more than get college kids out of DUIs.
If they create this satellite annexation and extend utility lines to this property, every piece of land between this property and Durham will become a subdivision. Then developers will then seek to extend the lines, and it will create more subdivisions further south on 751. This is an anchor, baby.
Section 3.5 of the Durham City-County UDO is titled "Zoning Map Change." The term "development plan" is explicitly used in concert with zoning, and as a specific subset of the regulation of rezoning requests. Subsection 3.5.6(G)(2) states "Minor modifications may be made to a development plan after the Planning Commission recommendation and before the governing body hearing. Such modifications become additional commitments and shall supersede existing commitments, if conflicts exist, to the extent they are MORE stringent."
The commission's vote seems to be invalid. The "minor modifications" incorporated by the applicant's land dedication should have not superseded "existing commitments and conflicts" because in doing so, it made them LESS stringent. The rezoning application was held to a less stringent standard because (1) the proposal modification reduced the number of valid adjacent properties (2) this undermined the protest petition (3) which reduces the threshold for final passage from four commissioners to three. Any changes to the rezoning application brought on by the rezoning are to be in addition to existing requirements, not in lieu of them.
In layman's terms, the ordinance states that modifications to an application can only make the standard on which a rezoning is judged more stringent, not less.
I might add this is an appalling deprivation of the citizen's procedural due process, and perhaps denial of constitutional equal protection under the law. I seriously doubt that Durham County could legally demonstrate any compelling public interest that would be served by arbitrarily undermining a lawful, valid protest petition by adjacent land owners.
Indy Week • 302 E. Pettigrew St., Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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