INC NEWS - Letter: Neighborhood Advocate needed (Herald-Sun)
bwatu at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 31 10:18:27 EDT 2008
Letter: Neighborhood advocate needed
Herald-Sun, 31 March 2008
Our neighborhood's fight with the city and the
developer of the warehouse on Moreene Road readily
demonstrates Durham's desperate need for a
neighborhood advocate. Under-resourced and under a
serious time crunch, we had to get a crash course in
city government/planning and the complicated UDO,
which no one in city government had the time or
resources to provide.
We realized we were in over our heads when lawyers for
the developer and lawyers for the city -- which our
tax dollars paid for, ironically -- came to the fore
to challenge our appeal. It was "cannons to the right
of us; cannons to the left of us; cannons in front of
us" and we were outgunned.
Having someone to turn to in city government who
represents our interests, and is a voice for our
concerns, would be a dream come true. Even better, had
a neighborhood advocate been a part of the initial
site plan review and asked one or two simple questions
regarding the warehouse, our neighborhood would not be
in the position it's in now.
Our experience is teaching us that the UDO isn't
enough to protect Durham's neighborhoods.
Additionally, the Board of Adjustments (contrary to
its raison d'etre) has been intimidating and virtually
inaccessible to us as ordinary citizens. A
neighborhood advocate would hopefully offer the check
that is needed.
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