The Clinton City Council tabled a contractor’s request to construct a duplex at the corner of Byrd and Layton streets, during a public hearing Tuesday night.
The Council’s decision followed opposition from residents who live in the vicinity of the proposed parcel of land, as well as Councilwoman Maxine Harris. The conditional use permit request came from Randell Coye Durham of Durham Building & Electric, Inc.
According to Durham, the duplex is just one of many maintained by his company in the Clinton area. The one-story duplex, which would measure approximately 2,400 square feet, would be situated on approximately 11,000 square feet of land. The property would serve as rental space, which would be available for around $650-$700 per month.
Harris, who lives in the area and serves the district that encompasses Byrd and Layton streets, said she already has a number of concerns about activity that takes place in her district.
“I want to make sure what ever goes over there, there isn’t any rift raft,” Harris stated. “As long as it is straight, I don’t have a problem with it.”
The councilwoman wasn’t the only person to express concerns.
Clinton resident Ron Coleman, who lives in the proposed area, said he is concerned with the track record of the residents who occupy homes owned and operated by Durham and his partner.
“My concern is the track record the landlord has of continuing what goes on there,” Coleman said, referring to a home maintained by Durham.
According to Coleman, the rental property that already exists has seen several families living in it in the years Coleman and his wife have lived in their home. The property, he added, appears to be a revolving door. In one occasion, Coleman said he thought the property had been raided.
“He doesn’t seem to have a very high standard of who lives there,” Coleman added.
Part of Durham’s new role is to go into rental properties and clean up the homes, all while keeping a check on who is living in their houses.
“If we have a problem, we are getting rid of them,” Durham attested.
Annie Brooks, another resident from District 5, spoke during the public hearing. Much like Coleman expressed, Brooks said she is already concerned with what is happening in her neighborhood, but her main concern was the development of a 2,400 square foot property in the vacant lot.
“I don’t feel this property can support a duplex,” Brooks said. “That is too much congestion for that area. I am opposed to a duplex being built on that property.”
Harris, who says she already has concern about the safety, expressed her feeling on how bringing in new rental property will only add to the “foot-traffic” already making its way around the neighborhood.
“A lot of the original property owners are gone and don’t live in the area,” Harris said. “We already have a lot of foot traffic and this will only bring more.”
Durham, who is serving as general contractor on the project, said his company doesn’t just build properties and leave without maintenance.
“We don’t build it and leave it,” Durham expressed. “I keep an eye on everything. Our renters sign an agreement when they move in and we will keep the property checked.”
Clinton Mayor Lew Starling seemed to agree with Durham’s tactics.
“We want to be sure we know what we are getting,” Starling said.
Once the public hearing was closed, Harris made her thoughts clear when she voiced her opposition of the project.
“I am totally against this,” Harris said.
Saying the board needs to do more research on the house and property specifications, Councilman Steve Stefanovich made a motion to table the request, allowing the board time to investigate the community’s concerns and do justice to Durham’s request.
The public hearing was continued until the Council’s next meeting on Sept. 1.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.