[Durham INC] Next Week's Meeting
tom-miller1 at nc.rr.com
Thu Jun 10 20:46:20 EDT 2010
Remember we meet next week on the 15th at 7 pm at First Presbyterian Church.
The big issue is the resolution on the 751 rezoning (sent to you earlier and
posted on the website now). Please come ready to debate and vote.
Monday night, at the City Council meeting, I spoke on INC's behalf on two
issues. One was the budget. I told them about our resolutions for housing
and housing enforcement. I tried to make them realize that the greatest
thing Durham provides its citizens is a real home in a safe and stable
The second issue concerned fees for the planning department. The council
held a public hearing to confirm fees for the year. I told them that INC
adopted a resolution in 2008 saying that planning fees were too high and
tended to make the planning process the province of the rich. I pointed out
that the city's power to regulate land use was the police power and had to
be exercised for the public welfare. The planning department should not be
on an eat-what-you-kill financing system. What if the police department
responded to a 911 call about a break in and the officers said to the
distraught homeowner, "A report will be $125 and fingerprints will run you
another $75. If you want us to canvass the neighborhood, that's going to
run into real money." If this sounds absurd for the police, why do we put
up with it in the planning department? It costs $350 to file a federal
lawsuit. It costs more than $600 to file an appeal with the Durham board of
adjustment! This is backwards, I told them. Their fees shut ordinary
people, the people the rules are supposed to protect, out of the process.
Thanks to you all.
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