There have been many developments in the Scott Mill rezoning struggle since July, and below is breaking news. Basically, negotiations between community members and the developer resulted in a list of committed elements that are acceptable to the community. There are still ambiguities and new issues, so the Commissioners rightly decided that they should not vote on it now. One big problem is that an updates site plan, including the new committed elements, has not been received and reviewed by the planning department yet.
Several community members (including the president of the Lyon's Farm homeowners' association) and representatives of the developer (and one pro-development speaker) spoke at the public hearing. NE Creek Stream Watch was represented. Also, the group now has a website, www.necreek.org, soon to be added to the links section of this site.
I heard Sunday evening from a second person that Commissioner Becky Heron planned to vote no on the rezoning because of the methods used by the developer. Chairwoman Ellen Reckhow has gotten more involved in this and also seems to be on the side of the community. Commissioner Philip Cousin seems most favorable to the developer, saying that there are two sides and that this is taking too long to be settled. Cheek was concerned with streamlining the process by making rules to prevent future problems. Page might be supportive of development. Some would like the site to be preserved as green space, but the community is resigned to development, but wants it to be more in harmony with the site and neighbors. The committed elements go as far as possible for environmental concerns, although the plan still isn't very green or innovative.
There is lots to say, but this is a quick note. This is an important issue because of the environmental concerns and as a case study of how development occurs in Durham, which is an issue of interest to progressives, as I said before. Another issue I might highlight in the future is sedimentation and threats to three rare plants and a rare salamander species in the area around Hobson Rd, Alston Avenue, and Highway 55, at the crossroads of Genlee, on the edge of RTP.
I thought two more rezonings were up for discussion, but either I missed those (I doubt they were settled before 7:15) or one was in the brief discussion with a Chapel Hill town council member and Durham resident about walkability around the new Creekside Elementary School by Epheus Church.