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Breaking: 751 South protest petition ruled valid

Jim Wise at the N&O notes that the 751 South protest petition has been ruled valid, meaning that four of the five county commissioners must give approval to the project's proposed rezoning at their July 26 meeting.

One caveat, however, is that signatories may choose to remove their name from the protest petition before the July 26 meeting; if enough names are removed, the petition will be ruled invalid.  No names may be added to the petition, however.

Read the full story at the News & Observer.  You can read more about the protest petition in this earlier BCR story.

Update #1: The H-S' Ray Gronberg does the new math thing in this morning's paper, looking at the impact of recently-passed standards aligning Durham County protest petition requirements with the standards for municipalities.

At least one project supporter in the Chancellor's Ridge neighborhood to get his HOA to back away from signing the protest -- and there've been questions out there as to whether a protest petition would be valid if their signature fails.

According to Gronberg's calculation, the new standards would allow the protest petition to hang in there even if the HOA's support was dropped, something not true under the old standards:

Under the new standard, participation by the Chancellor's Ridge association wouldn't be a make-or-break issue. Without it, opponents would still have signatures representing 5.52 percent of the land in the 100-foot-wide buffer surrounding the 751 South site, Medlin said.

As the paper notes, the next logical path for the development team would be to work with petition signers to try to persuade them to change their mind and support the development.

Update #2: The development team issued the following statement to BCR and other media outlets late Tuesday:

751 South is designed to be an innovative and exciting place to live, work and shop. We believe that it will join the ranks of Southpoint Mall, DPAC, and the American Tobacco Historic District in affirming that "Good things are happening in Durham."
As unfortunate as today's announcement may seem, it in no way diminishes our enthusiasm for the future of our project. We are hopeful that when all of the relevant information is presented, 751 South will have earned the support of the Board of County Commissioners, moving it closer to becoming a reality.


Steve Bocckino

The crucial meeting is on July 26, not the 28th. On July 28, I intend to be still celebrating.

Rob Gillespie

You are correct. In my haste, I mis-typed the date.


So i guess that gives Patrick Byker and Craigie Sanders 2 weeks to find a few people to pull their names off the petition, right?

Tar Heelz

It may take a while to get to a vote.


"As the paper notes, the next logical path for the development team would be to work with petition signers to try to persuade them to change their mind and support the development."

I think the logical path would be to address the issues. It seems to me that those who offer smart development don't seem to worry so much about the vote.

Also, I have yet to see the argument that might persuade neighboring communities to "support" the development. A friend in Chancellors Ridge explained their indifference to me: They see no reason to support the development but they're afraid to oppose because of the unknown alternative.

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