The saga of 751 South took a twist through Raleigh today. A House committee approved a provision added onto a Senate bill that would require cities to provide water and sewer service to any area within its urban growth boundary.
In February, the City Council unanimously rejected Southern Durham Development's application for connection to the city system. In 2011, though, the council had expanded the urban growth boundary to include the 167-acre 751 South site, on N.C. 751 near the Chatham County line and Jordan Lake.
The provision was added to Senate Bill 382, "Required Withholding for Nonresidents," and approved in the House rules committee with backing from committee Chairman Tim Moore (R-Cleveland). The committee vote to approve was 15-4, Durham City Councilman Mike Woodard said.
The amended bill goes now to the full House. A vote could come Tuesday.
State Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham), a member of the Rules Committee, told Durham city administrators that he will will try to remove the Durham section of SB 382 when it comes to the House floor.
Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield was in Raleigh Monday to oppose the provision. If the House approves it, the provision with the amended bill will have to win approval in the Senate before taking effect, he said.
If it does pass the House, the bill could reach the state Senate by the end of this week, Woodard said.
Along with Bonfield and Luebke, Rules Committee memberJoe Hackney (D-Orange) spoke against the provision, which Hackney called "sneaky and underhanded."
Attorney Cal Cunningham, who successfully defended Southern Durham Development in a lawsuit over a rezoning for 751 South, spoke in favor of the provision making particular references to the Southern Durham Development project.
As planned, 751 South would include up to 1,300 homes and 600,000 square feet of commercial space. Opponents claim it would threaten water quality in already polluted Jordan Lake.