Protect Historic Forest Hills from Rezoning

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We, the residents of the Forest Hills, Long Meadow, Lyon Park, Morehead Hill, Tuscaloosa-Lakewood, and Rockwood neighborhoods of Durham, NC are opposed to Duke-Pinecrest LLC’s plans to rezone a 12.5 acre parcel of the Pinecrest Estate in Forest Hills for the construction of 57 luxury residential units. These plans are against the desires of the vast majority of residents in these neighborhoods.

The proposed development seeks to:

1)     Build ~57 residential units in the parcel, including duplexes, townhouses.

2)     Change the existing zoning laws permitting 2 residential units/acre to zoning allowing as many as 12 units/acre. This would open the door to future developments with densities 3-6 times higher than existing.

Major reasons why the City Planners should not approve a request to re-zone the property for higher density housing:

While the developers say they want to engage the community in their planning process, they and a handful of residents with personal interest in this development worked on their plan behind closed doors for 5 years.  At the recent community meeting that they held as a prerequisite for their rezoning application, it became clear that they have not considered the most basic aspects of how their plan would tremendously and negatively impact the quality of life in our neighborhood. For example,

1)     Infrastructure: increased housing density will significantly worsen traffic on our narrow, winding streets and already congested main thoroughfares, and stress the current water and sewage systems.

2)     Schools: the substantial increase in residents would strain the limited resources of our neighborhood schools.

3)     Environment: deforestation will worsen existing problems with storm water runoff, increase noise and air pollution, and stress the neighborhood ecosystem.

4)     Neighborhood character: the high-density subdivision would destroy the character of Forest Hills, a national historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The developers and current owner of the property have provided no compelling rationale for how the development would benefit the neighborhood.

We believe that a community stands for more than profits.  Please hear the voices of Durham’s residents and voters and help us protect the uniqueness and beauty of Forest Hills for all the residents and many visitors who enjoy it.