Board gives thumbs down to low-cost apartments proposed for southern Durham

jwise@newsobserver.comApril 9, 2013 

— A low-cost apartment complex proposed for suburban southern Durham got a rough response Tuesday night from neighbors and the Durham Planning Commission.

The City Council had given developer Jim Yamin a fast-track review for his Vermillion project on Cook Road, in order to meet a deadline for low-income housing tax credits.

Haste, though, became a primary objection leading the commissioners to a 13-0 recommendation that the city deny the zoning request Yamin needs to build the 80-unit complex.

Nearby residents had had “no time to have any meaningful conversation with the developer,” said Sara Sampson, speaking for the Hope Valley Farms North Homeowners Association.

The 10-acre Vermillion site is near the corner of Cook Road and Martin Luther King Parkway. Sampson and some other neighbors had concerns about traffic congestion and environmental effects in an area that already has drainage problems.

Planning commissioners objected that Yamin had no site plan to go with his zoning request, so they had no firm idea of what they were being asked to endorse.

“If you want to develop the property do away with the time sensitivity and let’s to it properly,” said Commissioner David Harris.

Final decision on Vermillion’s zoning is up to the City Council, which is scheduled to hear the case May 6.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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