advocacy

The Eno River Association advocates for parkland and natural area protection, water quality preservation, and community planning that incorporates efficient and environmentally sound land use, water use, and transportation systems. Our goal is to increase public appreciation for the environment and awareness of environmental threats, and to change outcomes that would otherwise threaten important natural areas in the Eno River watershed.

The Association works with local, state and federal government and with other conservation organizations to conserve and protect the environment as a whole and the Eno River basin in particular.  In particular, we work to mobilize our base of friends and members to take action and share their voices to protect the Eno.

Join our Land Use & Advocacy Committee 

The Land Use and Advocacy Committee will:

  • Create policy documents
  • Craft responses/positions for incoming development threats & opportunities
  • Monitor incoming development projects; update and mobilize staff, board, volunteers when needed
  • Write content & select images for communication pieces
  • Build and manage relationships with elected officials in the watershed

Please email us at association@enoriver.org to learn more or join us!

Current Opportunities and Threats

Durham City-County Planning Department Survey: Durham City-County is seeking your input on the annexation and rezoning process; aiming to lift historically marginalized and underrepresented voices. The first step in this exciting initiative is through a survey that is being sent to both the development and residential communities. The survey is an opportunity to provide feedback on how the current process works or does not work, identify what information you have on the process, and which information you need as a community member or applicant. Survey will remain open until May 1, 2021. For further assistance with completing these surveys, or to provide additional input on ways to improve the land use process, please email LandUse@DurhamNC.gov.

Blackmeadow Ridge (Durham City):

The proposed high-density development includes 278 townhomes and 101 single family units on an area just south of the West Point on the Eno City Park. The Association partnered with a group of concerned neighbors to halt the project until the City of Durham conducts a comprehensive development plan review. Flooding is already common in the area, and there are no considerations on affordable housing.

Braggtown Development (Durham City): A major high-density housing community is proposed along Old Oxford Road within the Eno River and Ellerbe Creek watersheds. The proposal does not go far enough to protect these important watersheds, nor the historically black community who live there. There was initial good news this summer as the planning commission pushed pause. The proposal is now before the Durham City Council. We urgently need you to contact your council members and sign the petition.

Latta Park proposal for Latta/Guess Road: This 30 acre parcel currently undeveloped in North Durham, just north of the Eno River. The plan includes 200+ townhomes and commercial space to the tune of 50,000sqft, plus a food truck terrace, a grocery store, and a 10ft wide multi-use path. The project was submitted to the Planning Dept; they recommended changes, and the developer has now resubmitted. There is no date yet for the Planning Commission to hear this project/case. Learn more. Sign the petition.

Threats to Land & Legacy Funds (Orange County): Since 2000 over $8 million in other funding–from grants and landowner donations–has
been raised for land protection due to the Lands Legacy Program and Conservation Easement Program. In the summer & fall of 2020, Orange County Commissioners reviewed amendments to the  County’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that would impact these funds. Members & citizens mobilized to protect these funds for this year, and years 2 & 3 remain under consideration. Learn more and take action.

Research Triangle Logistics Park (Orange County): The Research Triangle Logistics Park (RTLP) is an incoming 161-acre warehouse complex could be built on the headwaters of a tributary to the Eno River, near the intersection of Old 86 and Davis Road in Hillsborough. The Association joined the call in telling the Commissioners that the site plan did not go far enough to protect neighbors from impacts, nor protect the water quality and quantity within Cates Creek and the Eno. The Commissioners approved the slightly amended project in October 2020. We will be looking for ways to support the developer in protecting the nearby natural resources as this project moves forward. Learn more at SaveHillsborough.com

2/5/21 Update: A victory!
Buc-ees project cancelled!

Pressure from citizens and hard questions from our local officials have prompted the Buccee’s developers to withdraw this project, which would have built a very large (100 pump) gas station, retail store, 120 room hotel, a retail/restaurant mini mall, 7 acres of road and 8 acres of parking – all of which would have drained into Sevenmile Creek, a major tributary of the Eno River.
“While development is important to our communities, it must be done in a way that fits with existing uses, current zoning designations, and preserves our natural assets. Efland Station’s plan didn’t fit, and we are satisfied with their decision to withdraw their application,” said Executive Director of the Eno River Association, Jessica Sheffield.
Thank you, Eno Family, for your engagement in this advocacy for our neighbors, our streams, and our community!