Opposition statement submitted to the Durham City Council Meeting, November 1, 2021

By Riverdave Owen, current resident of Lochaven Hills Neighborhood at 509 Wanda Ridge Drive

     According to the Latta Park Development Plan, two ponds on the southeastern corner are to be expanded for storm water retention.  Wanda Creek drains these ponds and then flows southeast through the neighborhood of Lochaven Hills. Once it flows under Wanda Ridge Drive it tumbles down a steep rocky ravine into West Point Park, passes under the stone bridge of the North Carolina Mountains to Sea Trail and finally merges with the Eno River.

     From the ponds to the Eno River, Wanda Creek is one half mile long with an elevation drop of 120 feet. In recent years sections of this creek have been piped underground or channelized with riprap by the municipality due to neighborhood flooding as it winds its way through Lochaven Hills.  Erosion at the mouth of Wanda Creek where it empties into the Eno River has also become evident in recent years.  

      In addition, on the northeastern corner of the proposed Latta Park development, a second half mile long stream arises known as Lochaven Creek. It flows east into Lochaven Hills dropping sixty feet in elevation, passing under Womak Drive and feeding two ponds in the neighborhood before flowing under Latta Road and merging with Crooked Creek. Latta Road's serious flooding event on June 10, 2020 was a result of overflow from Lochaven Creek.

     The concern I highlight before this city council is that the development plan for Latta Park allows inevitable stormwater overflow to be directed east into the long established neighborhood of Lochaven Hills where managing stormwater runoff along both Wanda and Lochaven Creeks is already a challenge. As a resident of Lochaven Hills, I object to this inconsiderate and flawed design plan and I request this city council not to approve this rezoning application. 

Below: Topographic map with Guess Road on the left running north to south and Latta Road at the top running west to east.  The Latta Park development is proposed to occupy the southeast corner at the intersection of Guess and Latta Roads, bounded on the south by Easley Elementary School and Lebanon Circle and on the east by Lochaven Hills neighborhood in red. The Eno River flows west to east at the bottom of this page. Wanda and Lochaven Creeks are partially shown as intermittent streams.