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www.owdna.org
mail@owdna.org


Awards and recognition received by OWDNA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old West Durham is a community of accomplishment

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A neighborhood woven strong through our diversity

Community Leaders with Sign
Summary of efforts, Old West Durham Neighborhood Association (OWDNA):

* OWDNA joined many others in successfully advocating for a state marker for activist, scholar and poet Pauli Murray -- a leader in the civil rights, labor and women's movements.

* Working with Stormwater Services, OWDNA saved the granite curbs, traffic circle and street trees along the route of new water main going through the heart of the neighborhood.

* OWDNA provided early support for Sustain-A-Bull, a buy local campaign.

* Working with Planning staff, OWDNA added acorn-shaped street lights as the preferred model in the new Ninth Street District regulations. Replacing the street lights along Ninth complements our successful efforts to get similar lights at Station Nine, Ninth Street North (I&II), Broad St BP, Ninth Street Commons, new projects at Erwin Square, etc.

* Following a loud late-night student party near the fire station that disturbed several neighbors, OWDNA contacted the property manager who quietly handled the matter in one day.

* Working with City Forestry, nearby merchants and Blacknall Church, OWDNA got seven street trees planted along Perry (between Ninth and Iredell).

* After a concerned neighbor found a child's headstone behind Grey Stone Church, OWNDA reunited the old headstone with its family.

* OWDNA helped lead the effort to stop the billboard industry from overturning Durham's sign ordinance so they could erect big, bright, blinking billboards along our roadways -- 50 ft in the air -- flashing 10,000 ads per day.

* Duke agreed to OWDNA's request to open its Maxwell Street parking lots for North Carolina Pride parade (9000 participants from across the state).

* Asked real estate agent to stop calling an OWD house a "great tear down" in her MLS listing. New description included positive language about the neighborhood and featured our website.

* Developers of new duplexes on Ninth Street must conform to UDO requirements advocated by OWDNA (ie. no triplexes in the middle of the block).

* Organized a Neighborhood Hop, Sip and Ride with DATA's "Get Up & Go" program to familiarize neighbors with Bus Route #11 (Hillsborough Rd to Durham Station, downtown).

* Worked with Ninth Street merchants and NCSSM students to paint trash can lids on Ninth -- and murals in stairway up to Cosmic Cantina.

* Worked with Urban Forestry to increase the number of neighbors getting street trees.

* Organized a successful Old West Durham Home Tour of ten houses in the neighborhood. Fun afternoon. Sold out of tickets. 

* Hosts "First Thursday" happy hours at Dain's Place on Ninth Street, a monthly opportunity for neighbors to gather socially.

* Worked with City staff to ensure a new house at Lawndale and Alabama was compatible with the surrounding bungalows.

* Strongly supported Broad Street Cafe successful effort to get a permit to play live music.

* Worked with Durham-DOT to get ped-heads (Walk/Don't Walk) signs at both ends of 15th Street.

* OWDNA hosts three social events each year to help build community. Spring and Fall block parties where we close the street and gather with neighbors to listen to neighborhood bands; Night of Lights is an annual neighborhood holiday gathering celebrating good cheer.

* The NCSSM administration agrees to OWDNA's proposal to install T-median at mouth of new parking lot entrance on West Club (at head of Iredell). This measure will help reduce traffic to/from NCSSM on Iredell.

* OWDNA creates self-guided walking tour of East Campus and surrounding streets to entice Duke students and others to explore Durham's history and neighborhoods.

* Worked with local transportation officials to make sure new Hillsborough Road sidewalk (federal stimulus project) has no gaps between Broad St and 15-501.

* Worked with friends in Watts-Hillandale on weekend backpack program (and food pantry) for EK Powe students.

* Early and vocal supporter of fare-free "Connector" from Duke Hospital, past Ninth Street, to downtown and Golden Belt (continuing to Fayetteville Street when NCCU is able to contribute funds).

* Hosted a home energy savings workshop in old house in the neighborhood. Participants learned several ways to save energy and lower bills.

* Worked with Durham-DOT to place three-hour parking signs in front of Blu Seafood and Vin Rouge -- opening up eleven spaces for customers (that were being taken by Duke employees all day).

* Led the successful effort asking City Council not to charge local fees for sidewalk tables (to allow a reasonable number of sidewalk tables on Ninth Street and encourage a stronger sense of community in our "living room").

* Worked with the News & Observer to stop delivering free weeklies to vacant houses (piles of old copies let burglars know which homes to target).

* Worked with Animal Control and property manager to erect a fence for dogs living on chains.

* OWDNA was an early supporter of the successful campaign seeking State recognition of the Royal Ice Cream Sit-in (three years before the Greensboro sit-in).

* A thoughtful neighbor found $60 cash in the street and, after checking if anyone lost money on the neighborhood listserv, donated the funds to OWDNA. 

* Successfully got Duke to close its new entrance to East Campus, across from Whole Foods. University was ignoring the committed element we got on the books to only allow emergency vehicles. Intersection of Broad & Perry is now safer for pedestrians.

* Duke senior tells Chronicle that one of her best college memories was OWDNA community service project, cleaning up South Ellerbe Creek.

* Worked with Planning staff to make sure new duplexes on Ninth conform to Durham's Unified Development Ordinance.

* Sponsor yearly yard sales to build community and help reduce waste in landfills.

* Exposed and then helped stop Duke from building a Barnes & Noble down the street. (Campus location would have allowed Duke to avoid paying property taxes). Duke's move would have killed The Regulator Bookshop, a Durham landmark.

* After reading the tea leaves, Duke officials finally commit to University/College zoning for Central Campus, thereby limiting campus retail to that which supports the academic mission of the university. OWDNA plays a leadership role in this victory for common sense.

* Worked with City to stop auto shop from discharging chemicals directly into creek near Iredell.

* OWD neighbor and artist Karl Pfister donated public art to our neighborhood. OWDNA hosted the ceremony where dozens of participants cheered as Congressman David Price helped unveil two iron bird sculptures at the corner of Ninth and Hillsborough.

* Following a Chronicle editorial about pedestrian safety, worked with City transportation officials to establish two crosswalks on Anderson St, in the middle of Central Campus.

* OWDNA hosted an informal, hands-on workshop showing how to lay down an automatic drip irrigation system and explored the beauty of NC native plants. More than 70 participants first viewed a garden with a working automatic soaker hose system on Carolina Ave and then went to an adjacent yard to observe how to get a drought-resistant watering system started.

* Organized several community service projects with Duke student volunteers in the neighborhood: placing mulch on traffic circles and on EK Powe campus; picking up trash along railroad tracks, Hillsborough Road, and along South Ellerbe; clearing ice storm debris from cemetery; painting benches at EK Powe; planting spring bulbs along Edith Street; cleaning out Blackman House on Lawndale, etc.

* Responding to a neighbor's concerns, got the City to unclog a large drain in the South Ellerbe green space. (Flooding was eroding the creek banks.)

* Helped stop Duke from getting a sweetheart deal when buying Erwin Field.
   
* Led efforts to push Duke to include more sidewalks and connectivity in its campus pedestrian plan.

* In response to concerns from neighbors, worked with City officials to restrict sidewalk parking (so pedestrians don't have to go into the street) and at busy corners near West Main and Hicks (to improve visibility).

* Stopped Duke Medical Center from building a new parking lot on Hillsborough Rd. (after Duke tore down an old independent record store without a permit).
   
* Led seven urban hikes with Sierra Club through OWD and nearby neighborhoods.

* To promote the vitality and well-being of Durham neighborhoods, OWDNA created criteria to identify good property managers in Old West Durham. Other neighborhood associations have expressed an interest in starting similar efforts.

* OWDNA presented resolution asking the City to require property managers to list their rental properties by address in a public registry. The Citywide Partners Against Crime group and the Inter-Neighborhood Council adopt the resolution.

* OWDNA works with art teachers at EK Powe to design four colorful banners on school's Ninth St facade. Two-story panels reflect neighborhood's credo of Diversity, Harmony and Community.

* OWDNA, Toxic-Free NC, EK Powe PTA, People's Alliance, Durham Farmers' Market, Durham Community Environmental Coalition, Precinct 4 Democrats, and the Museum of Life & Science successfully campaigned Durham Public Schools to use least-toxic alternatives to pesticides on school campuses (including EK Powe). Schools will also notify in advance when pesticides are applied.

* OWDNA led the local effort to include open space provisions to Durham's new high-density ordinance. Our input also resulted in a requirement linking high-density projects to regional rail stations and the creation of a middle-ground density category.

* Worked hard with developers and the Planning Department to ensure high-density Station 9 apartments project proposed for Erwin Square is livable (functional open space, pedestrian access, etc) and reflects the historic Erwin Mills nearby.

* To support business districts near Duke, OWDNA asked the university to reform the DukeCard. By reducing the 18% commission and high set-up costs, and by expanding the card to be used off-campus, local merchants will see more business and students will have more options.

* Responding to OWDNA requests for the university to expand it DukeCard off-campus, Duke initiates $50 gift certificates for meals at 18 restaurants in the Ninth Street district. A first step.

* OWDNA works with PAC2 members, housing officials and police to evict drug dealer from house near Englewood.

* Played leadership role in working closely with Duke and the other partnership neighborhoods to create 250-foot buffer around East Campus and include a written commitment from the university (in the rezoning documents) not to build a new parking deck on East Campus.
   
* OWDNA and concerned neighborhood parents successfully sought changes from Durham Parks & Rec to eliminate the application of fertilizer pellets on playground equipment and in areas where children play.

* OWDNA is asked to lead workshop on bringing back mill village neighborhoods at Southwide Cotton Mill Reunion in Kannapolis. Backed successful resolution to establish "Southern Textile Mill Village Corridor" extending down Interstate 85 from Durham to Alabama..
   
* City Council and County Commissioners voted to approve two OWDNA requests for Durham's Comprehensive Plan. Neighborhood land-use designations were altered from high-medium density to medium density and greenspace listed in local open space plans must be taken into account for future development projects. Changes will help protect open space on Green St and decrease risk of developers tearing down old mill houses.

* Successfully lobbied the City to add administrative staff support for Partners Against Crime.

* OWDNA organizes annual canned food drives during the holidays for the NC Food Bank.

* Worked with City to remove 30 abandoned cars from the neighborhood.

* Worked with Duke Student Government president and Durham officials to secure improved traffic calming measures for popular crosswalk at Broad & Perry (East Campus).

* City agreed to our request to add short sidewalk connecting existing sidewalks at Green and Edith streets.

* Dedicated "Old West Durham: Diversity, Harmony, Community" sign in the middle of the neighborhood at Ninth and Hillsborough.

* At our request, City Council and NCDOT approve sidewalk along Hillandale Road (from Durham Freeway to West Club Blvd). Enlisted support from Crest Street and Watts-Hillandale to make it safer for pedestrians to walk to Duke (and for Crest Street neighbors to walk to the Food Lion). New sidewalk dedicated on New Year's Day, 2008.

* Helped organize 55 volunteers to rehab old mill house on Edith Street and take chain saws to our walking trail in Erwin Mill cemetery. Exposed Capitol Broadcasting for trying to recruit Magnolia Grill and Whole Foods from OWD to the American Tobacco Campus (justification for $43 million in taxpayer subsidies to Capitol was economic development and job creation).
     
* Worked hard with InterNeighborhood Council of Durham to support the proposed university-college ordinance for Duke's Central Campus (with limited campus retail).

* Organized successful homebuying workshop at Ooh La Latte Cafe to answer questions about buying and financing a home.

* Durham Mayor Bill Bell, Police Chief Steve Chalmers, Self-Help president Martin Eakes and others are guest speakers at OWDNA's annual meetings.

* Two OWDNA board members receive InterNeighborhood Council "Neighborhood Hero Awards" from mayor -- for planting gardens in our traffic circles and for creating public art on Ninth Street.

* OWDNA helps organize creation of edible gardens at EK Powe Elementary. Broccoli, cabbage, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and cherry, fig, apple and pecan trees are planted on 9th Street side of school.

* Neighborhood association works with Bull City Market to place another bike rack near Whole Foods.

* US House of Representatives website features Congressman David Price getting a tour of OWD and listening to concerns of residents.

* OWDNA is commended by El Centro Hispano for raising $800 in donations for the Morales family, after their house on Alabama Avenue caught fire.

* OWDNA board member and sculptor joins dedication of his work in Durham Central Park.

* Built a broad coalition of supporters and succeeded in getting the City Council to commit funds for the "South Ellerbe Creek Natural Area" -- making the creation of this community green space part of the long-range plans for the City of Durham.

* Led by the strong backing of the Historic Preservation Society of Durham and OWDNA, the County Commissioners voted to move the Blackman House to a vacant lot on Lawndale. As a focal point at the western gateway to OWD, this old home will help stop commercial creep from extending into the residential area behind the Sock Shop.

* OWDNA joined a diverse coalition of community groups fighting the asphalt industry's efforts to build asphalt plants closer to homes in the Bull City. The proposal to locate nine sites in East Durham and one near Hillsborough & LaSalle failed.

* Responding to our request, Duke Police agree to establish foot and bike patrols in Ninth Street shopping district (Thursday thru Saturday nights).

* One World Market (neighborhood non-profit helping artisans in developing countries) hosted a holiday shopping night for the neighborhood where a portion of all sales went to support Old West Durham's greenspace efforts.

* Held 75 meetings and phone calls with the developers and the City on the exciting Ninth Street North project. Later, successful negotiations for Phase 2 result some 18 committed elements (or binding agreements) to help make the project more compatible with the surrounding area.

* Nominated by OWDNA, Ninth Street North wins city's Golden Leaf Award for commercial properties.

* Accomplishments you can't see: no 450-space parking lot at Erwin Square; no asphalt plant near Hillsborough & LaSalle; no small parking lot across from EK Powe; no new, large retail center on Duke's Central Campus; no large "interstate-style" gas station at Broad and Markham; no commercial creep up Lawndale Ave; no Barnes & Noble at the end of Ninth Street.

* Concerned about harming retail on Ninth Street, OWDNA worked with twelve Duke-Durham partnership neighborhoods to limit on-campus retail in Durham's new University-College zoning district. This new district will also establish a "compatibility zone" around the perimeter of campus that will require new campus buildings to reflect the size and style of the buildings across the street.

* Working with community stakeholders, led successful effort to work out 12 binding agreements with Duke on the Central Campus re-development. As a result, campus retail will be capped, building heights along Erwin Road will be limited, more greenspace will be protected, twelve remaining mill houses will be saved, Duke will plant larger shade trees, Swift Ave will retain its residential character and twice the area along the three stream hollows will be protected.

* Slowed down and then stopped efforts to build a 5.2 acre, 450-space parking lot on Hillsborough Road (to lease to Duke for more off-campus parking).

* Worked with officials to require that automatic notifications are sent to community groups whenever an amendment to the local zoning ordinance is proposed (i.e. allowing asphalt plants closer to homes, cell phone towers, etc).
   
* OWDNA officer Pam Spaulding was named Duke University community service employee of the year (for her volunteer efforts and accomplishments with OWD and PAC2).

* The association was an early advocate to create a Neighborhood College -- where communities can send representatives to take a free class to learn about the zoning and planning process in Durham. Newly-elected County Commissioner chair, Ellen Reckhow, is leading this initiative.

* With early support from OWDNA, an alumnus of EK Powe raised money to build five benches and erect a historic marker about Old West Durham. You can read about the history of the neighborhood in front of the cafeteria doors on Ninth Street.

* Working with several different stakeholders to get acorn-shaped street lights in the 700-block of Ninth -- to help visually pull together the Ninth Street area. Asked new developments to use the acorn lights including: Ninth Street Commons, Ninth Street North, Erwin Square Apartments, and BP on Broad.

* OWD and Watts-Hillandale spoke in front of the Durham Planning Commission and reached an agreement with the owner of the vacant building at Broad and Markham for protections and a development plan to the re-zoning for the property. The protections included a list of restricted uses (to make sure the building couldn't be torn down and replaced with a gas station, etc). Watts-Hillandale played a critical role in helping us secure an agreement with the applicant and favorable votes from the Planning Commission, the Zoning Committee and, eventually, the City Council.

* Working with OWDNA, White Star submitted a revised site plan to the City-County Planning Department (with a small office building closer to Ninth Street and parking in the back).

* Created a narrow footpath into the back of the Erwin Mills cemetery on West Pettigrew. Duke volunteer groups have removed underbrush and litter several times in this corner of OWD. It's now easier for family members to get to the headstones on the backside of the graveyard.

* Showcasing traditional blues music of the Carolinas, Roots on Ninth featured three stages of music, including performances by Durham Piedmont blues guitarist John Dee Holman, Cootie Stark and many others. OWDNA helped with communications for the festival in Old West Durham. Later, festival organizer is profiled as "Person of the Week" on ABC World News Tonight.

* Worked hard to get traffic circles on our busiest streets. More recently, we asked the City to paint yellow lane-splitters at the round-abouts -- to give motorists speeding through our neighborhood an earlier indication that they should start steering to the right as they approach the traffic circles.

* Worked with the City to improve pedestrian safety by getting four-way stop signs at our busiest intersections. Worked with neighborhood church, day care center and the City to paint a pedestrian cross walk so, elderly parishioners can cross to the parking lot in a safer manner.

* Asked City to build traffic island at the mouth of Lawndale Avenue -- to slow cars zipping off Hillsborough.

* Made every residential street 25 MPH.

* The association was an early and vocal advocate to build the East End Connector to help alleviate north-south traffic in Durham's core neighborhoods. As a result, OWDNA played a leadership role in pushing the controversial Eno Drive farther into the future.

* Organized several walking tours to introduce the neighborhood to Congressman David Price, Durham mayors, City Council, County Commissioners and many others.

* Worked with surrounding neighborhoods to convince the owner of the Broad Street BP gas station to change his "spaceship" design to the award-winning, smaller pitched-roof design you see today.
   
* Worked with Planning Department to lower McDonald's sign and to remove illegal banners from a pay-day lending outfit on Hillsborough Road.

* Sponsored a board member to take a planning and zoning class at Duke University.

* Continue to keep a watchful eye on the Ninth Street station area plan and future developments at Erwin Square.

* Successfully lobbied Duke University to use the historically accurate name for the "Erwin Mill" building on all its websites, pamphlets, press releases, and campus maps -- thus helping to preserve an important chapter of Old West Durham's history.

* Secured funding for a new sidewalk connecting Edith Street with Ninth (next to elementary school).

* Added 100 new street lights.

* Working with landlords to protect housing rights.

* Organized ten clean-ups of our green space, 15 clean-ups of the Erwin Mills cemetery, and worked with a number of Duke fraternities to pick up litter along the length of Hillsborough Road, railroad tracks and several vacant lots in the neighborhood.

* Ongoing involvement with Partners Against Crime. An OWDNA board member served as PAC co-chair, created the PAC website and established Durham's most active community listserv. OWDNA received a $2000 Partners Against Crime grant for flood lights, deadbolt locks as well as neighborhood t-shirts and bumper stickers (to help build community).

* Working with other neighborhoods and community groups on revising Durham's Unified Development Ordinance as well as the Ninth Street small area plan.

* Ongoing involvement with the InterNeighborhood Council.

* Created a neighborhood website with an online history of West Durham, photographs, links for residents and summary of neighborhood news and doings.

* OWDNA joined many others in successfully advocating for a state marker for activist, scholar and poet Pauli Murray -- a leader in the civil rights, labor and women's movements.

* Working with Stormwater Services, OWDNA saved the granite curbs, traffic circle and street trees along the route of new water main going through the heart of the neighborhood.

* OWDNA provided early support for Sustain-A-Bull, a buy local campaign.

* Working with Planning staff, OWDNA added acorn-shaped street lights as the preferred model in the new Ninth Street District regulations. Replacing the street lights along Ninth complements our successful efforts to get similar lights at Station Nine, Ninth Street North (I&II), Broad St BP, Ninth Street Commons, new projects at Erwin Square, etc.

* Following a loud late-night student party near the fire station that disturbed several neighbors, OWDNA contacted the property manager who quietly handled the matter in one day.


Along the way, our neighborhood association was honored by the Historic Preservation Society of Durham, Preservation North Carolina, the Library of Congress, The History Channel, the Herald-Sun's "Durham Grit" award, MuniNet Guide's best "community" website in the nation, and the Independent Weekly's "Citizen Award" (for "tireless dedication to making our community a better place to live").

Rev. 3/2011