Panel declares Durham neighborhood blighted – Politics –

For those of you interested in gentrification, here is one to watch in Durham. The ‘Blighted’ designation opens up opportunities for tax credits, financial aid, new design standards, etc.  Sound great, right?  But it also opens up opportunities for the city to claim eminent domain, raze entire neighborhoods, and increase development interest in an area very close to the bustling Tobacco District.  I suspect it will be unlikely that any of the original residents will be able to afford their improved neighborhood.  With the community at stake, you would think the residents would show up at public meetings and take a stand.  But most haven’t.  So then you have to ask, “Who cares if property value shoots up?  The neighbors don’t.”

-Begin N&O Article

The citys community development department asked the commission to agree that the 125-acre Rolling Hills/Southside project area is “blighted” under criteria specified in North Carolina law, and certify it as a “redevelopment area.”Such designation authorizes the city to create a formal redevelopment plan which, if adopted by the City Council, improves Durhams chances of getting tax credits and other financial aid for the project; and allows the city to impose design and quality standards for future private development higher and stricter than those of its general ordinances.

via Panel declares Durham neighborhood blighted – Politics –