INC NEWS - Letter of notification to Fairfield re. Herndon Road rezoning
mmr121570 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 13 17:14:12 EST 2007
Thank you for your prompt response, Mr. Duke. I
believe that the planning department does their job
very well. And I did not mean to imply otherwise. You
guys are also very approachable and responsive. I do
understand that once the property has been mass
graded, there is nothing that can be done. It just
seems that, many times, it is this physical
manifestation that is the first indication to a nearby
neighborhood that the property has been rezoned at
It is my understanding that developers/landowners
applying for rezoning applications are required to
notify the adjacent neighbors ONLY 1) when the
proposed development will generate enough traffic to
bother the neighbors (and that developers often come
in with one less dwelling than will trigger the
requirement) OR 2) it takes a change in the
Comprehensive Planning Map.
>From the Website, the UDO states:
> > Neighborhood Meeting
> > A. All applicants shall hold a neighborhood
meeting prior to submitting an application, but after
a pre-application conference, for the following
> > 1. Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan; and
> > 2. Zoning map changes that require a TIA pursuant
to Sec. 3.3, Traffic Impact Analysis [which I have
been told means that traffic will increase by more
than 150 trips]; and
> > 3. Other applications as may be specified
elsewhere in this Ordinance.
In the case that neighborhoods aren't notified in this
manner, according to the UDO, planning/gov't doesn't
have to contact nearby neighborhoods for every public
hearing (except via the local newspaper), just the
ones listed in the UDO (quoted below from the
>> b. For amendments to the Comprehensive Plan,
Zoning Map Changes, Site Plans that require mailed
notice pursuant to Sec. 3.2.5A, Summary of Notice
Required, and Major Special Use Permits, mailed notice
shall also be provided to any organization located
within 1,000 feet of the site under consideration
which is registered to receive notice pursuant to Sec.
3.2.5D, Registration to Receive Notice by Mail.
>>d. The notice shall be mailed at least 14 but not
more than 25 days prior the date of the public
If I am interpreting these sections of othe UDO
correctly, it just seems to me that many applications
for rezoning can fall through the cracks. As
illustrated at the public hearing for the Scott Mill
Rezoning case last night, even if it DID explicitly
comply with the pertinent ordinances, the manner in
which Mr. Ripley dealt with the neighbors appeared
dishonest and serious issues beyond those explicity
stated in the UDO were also discussed.
Fairfield has had the correct contact person with
Planning since I joined the INC 3 years ago, so
it is not a question of whether a rezoning
notification (or public hearing notice) were sent to
Again, I mean no offense, whatsoever, to the planning
department. I think you all do your jobs very well and
with sincerity. It's just that after attending the
board of commissioner's meeting last night, it
appeared that there was room for improvement in
neighborhood notification and participation. I would
not have even known about this rezoning public hearing
if not for a chance email forward from a member of my
neighborhood listserv. And others who attended the
board meeting last night were in a similar situation.
Thanks again for your consideration of my concerns
here. And thanks, too, for providing me with the
information you already have.
mmr121570 at yahoo.com
--- "Duke, Frank" <Frank.Duke at durhamnc.gov> wrote:
> Durham's notification procedures vastly exceed those
> required by State
> law. We provide mailed notice far in excess of what
> is required and
> provide notice well in advance of what the State
> requires. We do provide
> notice to all property owners within 600 feet of a
> proposed zoning map
> change and to all neighborhood organizations within
> 1,000 feet of the
> site that are registered with us. If the
> neighborhood is not registered
> or does not provide a current address, however, we
> cannot send any
> notice out to them. No other local government in
> North Carolina comes
> anywhere close to ensuring this extent of notice.
> You also need to realize that by the time grading on
> any site occurs, it
> is too late to have any public input. The last step
> in the process where
> the public can raise their voice is the zoning
> stage; potentially years
> before any site work is done. Once the zoning is
> established, North
> Carolina law requires that the process be
> administrative only
> considering only ordinance requirements.
> Frank Duke, AICP
> City-County Planning Director
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melissa Rooney [mailto:mmr121570 at yahoo.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 1:45 PM
> To: Duke, Frank
> Cc: inc-list at rtpnet.org; rcyoung4 at verizon.net
> Subject: RE: Letter of notification to Fairfield re.
> Herndon Road
> Thank you, Mr. Duke. I realize that the Herald-Sun
> Durham's newspaper, and I went with them until it
> too expensive (I can get the N&O for ~$90/year).
> At any rate, it doesn't seem fair that the normal
> citizen/neighbor of Durham often can ONLY get their
> information (regarding rezoning and public hearings)
> via the newspaper. A good number of my neighbors
> read ANY newspaper -- sad but true. And it seems
> the county/city spends a good deal of
> time/paper/postage getting appropriate information
> the landowners/developers who apply for rezoning.
> is it that such information is not, by default, also
> sent to the nearby Durham homeowners? Rather, the
> impetus is on us to go looking for it. And while
> developers and landowners have a monetary incentive
> do their research, we normal citizens do not and
> make unpaid, voluntary use of our time to fish out
> such information. Oftentimes, neighbors don't know
> be concerned until they see mass grading occuring in
> their neck of the woods, and then it's clearly too
> late in the process to do anything about it.
> It seems that the system is set up such that it
> unfairly communicates with one side (the
> developer/landowners) over the other (the durham
> I realize that, for many rezonings and public
> hearings, legislation/ordinance only requires
> advertisement of the event in the local newspaper.
> that doesn't make it fair.
> I hope that planning and local gov't will consider
> directly informing neighborhoods of ALL rezoning
> issues near them, at least in so far as it is done
> the developers/landowners applying for the rezoning.
> Thanks for hearing/reading my concerns with an open
> --- "Duke, Frank" <Frank.Duke at durhamnc.gov> wrote:
> > I have no way to confirm whether a notice was sent
> > out on a case that
> > long ago. Sorry.
> > As for the legal notice, the Herald-Sun is
> > considered the newspaper of
> > general circulation in Durham so it is the one
> > reaches the majority
> > of the citizens in Durham, not the N&O.
> > Frank Duke, AICP
> > City-County Planning Director
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Melissa Rooney [mailto:mmr121570 at yahoo.com]
> > Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 1:49 PM
> > To: Duke, Frank
> > Subject: Letter of notification to Fairfield re.
> > Herndon Road rezoning
> > Dear Mr. Duke,
> > Hi again. I am also trying to assess whether Bill
> > Ripley sent a letter notifying Fairfield
> > Neighborhood
> > of the rezoning application for the property
> > the Herndon Road from us (now being developed by
> > South
> > Hampton). A friend from INC told me that the
> > planning
> > department should have a record of this.
> > The contact person/address should have been:
> > Fairfield Homeowners Associaton
> > c/o Kelly Decker (ext 29)
> > Talis Management Group
> > 570 New Waverly Place, Suite 240 Cary, NC 27511
> > 919 319 3450
> > ksdecker at talismgmt.com
> > I believe this was Rezoning Case P01-77
> > In addition, I noticed that the public hearing was
> > advertised in the Durham Herald Sun. I (and many
> > my
> > neighbors) get the News and Observer so would not
> > have
> > seen this advertisement. Many do not even receive
> > the
> > newspaper and could certainly have missed this
> > advertisement. Is there any way that you would
> > consider emailing or snail-mailing notification of
> > such public hearings to the neighborhoods within
> > 1000
> > feet of the development and those homes within 600
> > feet (as required by the UDO for those rezonings
> > that
> > require neighborhood meetings).
> > Thanks for your help, input and consideration of
> > this.
> > Sincerely,
> > Melissa
> > Melissa Rooney
> > Fairfield Community Watch
> > Fairfield Communications
> > Fairfield INC representative
> > ____________
> > Get your own web address.
> > Have a HUGE year through Yahoo! Small Business.
> > http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/domains/?p=BESTDEAL
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