Given the quiet agenda for Monday night's City Council meeting, you might expect the same ordinary and slow order of business for tomorrow's work session, right?
Twenty-nine Durhamites comprising a new group called "New Hope for Durham" plan otherwise. And just when you thought this week's political fireworks ended with the election.
This group formed and galvanized in opposition to a planned 308-unit residential development on part of the old Garrett Farm, after an earlier proposal to build 235 single-family homes on the site was rejected. As part of their appearance at Council tomorrow, they plan to advocate for what spokesperson Claire Jentsch calls "[o]ur hope ... to encourage a moratorium on development until the schools, traffic, water, economy can be assessed and addressed. We think that growth is happening too fast to be beneficial for the future welfare of the Durham."
Interestingly, Durham is one of the only municipalities in North Carolina where constant growth vs. slowing growth was not on this year's election agenda; it dominated the Wake County elections, for example. I wouldn't imagine that given the omnipresent tax base concerns in Durham that there'll be much receptivity to an outright moratorium on development in the Bull City -- but New Hope for Durham both reflects the strains and concerns over development that so many North Carolinians feel, and also brings us back to the root issue of how, if we do have growth, we grow our infrastructure in turn to support it.
More on the Garrett Farms development and the moratorium proposal tomorrow at BCR.