Published: Aug 28, 2010 05:00 PM
Modified: Aug 28, 2010 05:02 PM
A suburb-style subdivision in a century-old neighborhood near the heart of town provides the first exercise for Durham's first Neighborhood Protection Overlay.
Father-daughter developers Glen and Britney Wallace have proposed a 10-house cul-de-sac project near the Shoppes at Lakewood shopping center. Their thickly wooded, 6.6-acre site is in the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood, where special zoning protects its tree cover and its mix of house styles, sizes and ages.
That's what attracted the developers, Britney Wallace said.
"The neighborhood itself is very charming and attractive. ... nice neighbors and all that kind of thing."
Those neighbors say they aren't against the project, but they're keeping close watch on it.
"We want this to be something that complements what we have," said Myers Sugg, whose backyard abuts the Bivins Street Subdivision site. "This parcel in particular was in mind when the NPO was created, because it's one of the larger undeveloped parcels we know of."
The City-County Planning Department, though, has already sent the first site plans back for revision, said senior planner Michael Stock, and individual house designs require approval, too.
Tuscaloosa-Lakewood took advantage of the 2006 Unified Development Ordinance allowance for neighborhoods to propose particular building restrictions in the interest of aesthetic and natural preservation. With City Council approval in 2008, its overlay got the force of law. Wallace said the NPO isn't much of a problem.
"The product that we build is a Craftsman bungalow that ... blends well with what's already there," she said.
"Of all the uses they could come up with, what they've planned seems the most compatible" with the neighborhood, said Mike Killam, who also lives next door to the site.
Other neighbors aren't so sure. After a recent meeting with the developers, "People were saying they didn't think cul-de-sac ... really fits right next door to a historic district," said neighborhood association treasurer Susan Sewell. "They suggested ... more diversity of size, more diversity of building materials."
"They were very pleasant," said Wallace. "Had some good ideas."