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Ninth Street Plan draft on City web site

The Durham City-County Planning Department has released a draft of the Ninth Street Plan on its web site.  Although originally ordered in response to the TTA regional rail plan that would (could?) add a station at the corner of Ninth/Erwin and Main Streets, the Plan still provides a useful instrument to address concerns that development pressures could impact the beloved historic feel and streetscape of the old shopping district -- particularly given the huge (developable) open space between Ninth Street and the Wachovia tower.

Among the suggestions in the plan, which emerged out of a series of neighborhood meetings that culminated in a public design charette in the fall of 2006:

  • Add a form-based code to control building height and setbacks in order to maintain the scale and feel of Ninth Street
  • Create a local historic district for Ninth Street, creating protections against that could help preserve "the historic character of buildings" against external modification or teardown
  • Re-route US 70 Business from Hillsborough/Ninth Sts. to Main Street, and resolve the challenges at the Hillsborough/Ninth St. intersection (removing the stub road between Markham Ave and Vin Rouge -- who knew it was called Safeway St., anyway?)
  • 9thcomm An eight-story limit on new "tower" buildings in the zone, with buildings in commercial blocks (a la today's Ninth Street district - see image at right) limited to four stories

A neighborhood meeting on the plan is scheduled for Thursday, March 22 at 6pm at the Asbury United Methodist Church (Clarendon & Markham).


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