The Durham City Council voted unanimously last week to delay its decision as to the extension of water and sewer services to the 167 acres until a City report is completed on the financial impact of the development. This is a departure from the developer’s expectation that the City would address water and sewer extension at its January 3, 2011 meeting.
Wait. It gets worse for the developers of 751 South, who are already facing opposition at the County level.
It’s been reported that the members’ comments in this regard — not all of whom expressed this sentiment, by the way — echo the perspective of the project opponents.
Once more, the lesson is to tread wisely when developing amidst controversy or even buzzing disdain. Seems the developers could have, and should have, given the Durham City Council the opportunity to effect the politically expedient approach: wait and see. Instead, the court case pends, the opposition has a new (or at least a more public) voice, and the City Council’s first taste is a bad one.
We’ll continue to follow.
Mike Thelen is a lawyer in Womble Carlyle’s Real Estate Litigation practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients in land use and land development issues, from local governments to businesses, in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.