Durham City Council discusses recent crime and the outdoor dining ordinance

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham City Council on Thursday discussed recent crime in the city as well as the outdoor dining ordinance.

Council was in closed session for the portion of the meeting about crime.

Mayor Steve Schewel said the purpose of the meeting was: "to hear reports concerning ongoing investigations."

Those included:
  • A drive-by shooting on Fayetteville Street at Linwood Avenue on May 27
  • A double homicide at 1600 Holloway Street on June 17
  • A drive-by shooting and homicide at 900 East Main Street on August 12
  • And a homicide and drive-by shooting in McDougald Terrace on August 18


Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson said the exact details are confidential.

"I can generally say crime continues to be a top of mind for us as an administration certainly, it's been top of mind for me as I talk to you guys almost weekly about what's going on in our city," Councilmember Mark-Anthony Middleton told ABC11. "So while I can't get into specifics, what we discussed. It was important that we as a council be able to have frank and candid conversations, sometimes that involves some sensitive information about what's going on in our city."

Council also discussed expanding the outdoor seating ordinance.

Outdoor dining has been popular during the pandemic.

The latest proposal would apply to all of Durham, not just downtown.

It would allow outdoor seating up to 50 percent of the indoor capacity instead of 25 percent.

"If we want people to continue to come here and visit for DPAC shows or Carolina Theater shows, or hopefully, eventually, in another year or so, maybe conventions or such that we need the streets to feel more alive and there's nothing that does that better than like outdoor dining, where people can see people having fun in a safe environment," said Shannon Healy, owner of Alley Twenty Six.

There are still questions about parking -- for example, whether there's enough parking in situations where outdoor dining extends into a parking area.
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