News

Win: Lick Creek proposal denied by Durham City Council

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on January 19th, 2023

Durham City Council voted down a development proposal Tuesday night — a win for an impaired creek already impacted by other developments currently under construction.

For months, Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop has worked with local residents concerned about how Lick Creek runs “tomato soup” red after a rain, the result of erosion from sites clear-cut to make way for housing. Lick Creek is a tributary of Falls Lake — a major source of drinking water — which is in turn a tributary of the Neuse River.

Sam was one of several speakers urging the council to put a pause on development until ordinances are put in place to prevent erosion and sedimentation in local waterways. Sedimentation can negatively impact waterways in a variety of ways, from smothering aquatic species to particles binding to heavy metals, keeping them in the water, rather than settling.

“The council denied the Kemp Road development; the vote was 4-2. There was lots of fantastic testimony. Council members talked extensively about water-quality impacts, and one of the members called for an environmental analysis of impacts to area before they approve more development (in the Lick Creek watershed),” Sam said.

While it’s a win for Lick Creek, Sam said there’s still work to be done.

“Council members are not agreed on saying no to new proposals until the sediment and erosion amendments are in place, so it’s still likely a long road ahead. They also approved a much smaller development that was already annexed into the city, at the very headwaters of Lick Creek — called the Copper Run proposal. Still, big win on the Kemp Road piece,” Sam said.

Read environmental reporter Lisa Sorg’s article on the Kemp Road project at NC Policy Watch for more information about the project and the vote.

Read what Sam had to say in the News & Observer article here.

Thank you, to all of you who took the time to reach out to Durham City Council members through our Action Alert. Your voices make a difference! 

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