Breaking: City Council unanimously maintains billboard ban
Billboards and City Council: A memorable night's debate

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for August 3, 2010

City Negs Billboard Changes: By an overwhelming 7-0 vote, the City Council voted against a billboard industry-sponsored ordinance change that would have allowed relocation and reconstruction against existing billboards and the conversion of some signs to digital format. As the Indy suggests, the visual juxtaposition of a billboard hawking a Raleigh gun/knife show this weekend hovering right over the new R. Kelly Bryant pedestrian bridge on NC 147 may have put the issue over the top, emotionally at least and perhaps directly for the vote of Howard Clement. More at BCR tonight on this; for now, check out the local press. (Herald-Sun, Indy, N&O, NBC 17)

751 South Proposes Compromise: With a crucial BOCC hearing set for this Monday night, the development team behind the 751 South mixed-use project in south Durham is offering promises on open space and tree save areas along with considering caps on the amounts of impervious surface it would build in the development, and a commitment to have no retail exceeding 75,000 sq. ft. on the site. Affordable housing might also be an element, as developer Alex Mitchell negotiates with project opponents including several People's Alliance members. (Indy)

Saving Whitted: The Whitted School, once Durham's first "full-fledged" high school for African-Americans, could be a linchpin to the renovation of the Rolling Hills and Southside area adjacent to it. The BOCC in a work session yesterday supported moves by County administrators to spend in the $60k range on boarding up and doing some minor repairs to the government-owned structure, which has a leaking roof and is rapidly falling into disrepair. (Herald-Sun)

Warehouse Blues Sans Warehouse: Capitol Broadcasting has stepped in as the new sponsor of the Warehouse Blues Series; the popular seven-year-old summer event was on hiatus to date this year after venue and financial sponsor West Village had to decline due to the economy. The series will now kick off Sept. 12 for a four-week run at Durham Central Park. (Herald-Sun)

Inspire to Brier Creek: Durham-based pharma Inspire, which has 115 employees in its Imperial Center HQ off Page Rd., is moving to Class A space in Brier Creek, nominally taking a corporate HQ to the City of Oaks. Excellent pricing for office space during a recession that's putting tenants in the driver's seat seems to be the key. (N&O)


Doug Roach

I'm stunned at the billboard vote. Cynic that I am, I had presumed that money would win out and at least four of our council members would cave to the pressure. Given this surprising outcome, it will be interesting to watch the results next week.

Rob Gillespie

I am not going to trust any commitment from Southern Durham Development unless it comes in written form. These are the same developers that extended an easement by 41 feet in order to circumvent the public hearing process.

SDD could easily commit to affordable housing through a memorandum of understanding. The only way I will even think about supporting 751 South would be if they signed an MOU setting aside 20% of their housing units for those making 80% or less of the MHI.

Page McCullough

I am a member of the PA Coordinating Committee. I am writing on behalf of the CC to say that no one from the 751 South project has contacted anyone who is authorized to speak for PA on this matter. Individual members of PA are of course free to do whatever they wish on any issue, but the CC speaks for the organization.

Erik Landfried

I'm glad to read about efforts to save the Whitted School. It's such a beautiful building, has a very important history, and is unfortunately a blight in its current state when it could be a great community asset.


I hope the BOCC is swayed by City Council' unanimous vote last night to reject electronic billboards.

And perhaps Michael Paige could take some lessons on how to run a meeting from Bill Bell. Last week's BOCC meeting was a train wreck, and with both 751 and billboards on their next agenda, the BOCC should at the very least have their administrative and meeting protocol ducks in a row.


wow good point. I wonder if every one of the suits K&L Gates employs will show up to speak "as a citizen".


without written commitments officially integrated into the rezoning application it's just more vague and non-binding talk about what SDD intends to do with the 751 Assemblage

The video on the front of the 751 South website, by the way, is the Habersham development near Beaufort, South Carolina. Habersham is a much bigger site than the 751 Assemblage and is developed at a much lower density. In short, it bears almost no resemblance to what would be built on border of Chatham County under the current rezoning application.


I've been out of town for a few days. Just wondering, anyone hear whether or not Lowell Siler has found the missing Ark of the Covenant? Or barring that, whether he's issued his opinion on the validity of 751 easement that NCDOT revoked from SDD 8 days ago?

I believe he said he needed 48 hours to make a determination, and that was 8 days ago. Unless he's working2 hour days, he should be done by now.

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