By The Horns | Resource Guide

This resource guide will be a living document to help assist you in understanding the various items referenced in city council meetings and By The Horns.



Here are the rules and guidelines for how city council operates.


The Consent Agenda consists of items that the council has previously considered in a work session. All items on the Consent Agenda may be approved by a single vote of the council. Items may be removed from the Consent Agenda by a council member or a member of the public. Those items will be considered separately at the end of the meeting.

For more, check out page 4-6 of the Rules of Procedure document.


Adopted in 2006, the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) lays out the rules for the physical development of property. The UDO designates zoning of properties in Durham, and is crafted to result in a built environment that meets the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The UDO superseded the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.


City of Durham Organizational Chart

This chart breaks down how the City Council and City of Durham staff work together, and who is responsible for which departments within city government.



“Open Durham is a highly interlinked archive/inventory of information about people, places, and history in Durham, NC.”

This is an amazing resource for understanding how Durham has changed over the years, going back decades. Think of it almost like a Wikipedia for Durham.


“Forever Home, Durham is an ongoing program creating affordable opportunities for renters and homeowners. Through new construction, property repairs, and essential housing services, we are building a more inclusive and livable community.”

Essentially, FHD is tracking what’s happening with private/public funds around affordable housing. It was created as a way to be more transparent after the affordable housing bond was passed.


Dataworks NC

“Our mission is to democratize data to facilitate an empowered, productive, and equitable community.”

They are a valuable resource for people trying to wrap their head around trends in housing and other aspects of Durham living. Dataworks presented on affordable housing at the October 6 work session (and was covered in By The Horns).

Durham Maps

“Durham's Geographic Information System (GIS) dedicated to providing the community with access to computerized information such as tables, maps, plans and other graphic documents through expert implementation of the principles of geography, cartography and geospatial analysis. City and county departments work side by side to develop applications which include land records information, street centerlines, hydrology, digital aerial photography and more.”

Real Property Records

“The Real Property Records Search allows the user to obtain ownership information as of January 1, value of improvements and land, photo of improvement, sales information for the last three (3) years, view the tax bill and GIS Mapping information associated with a parcel.”


Here's a list of articles and podcasts referenced in By The Horns newsletters.


In effort to boost housing supply, lawmakers propose loosening rules for builders
Recent bills deal with different ways to address the same basic issue: Delays in getting permits from local governments. Two aim to loosen restrictions on inspections, zoning.
Where are all the apartments for families?
Cities are finally starting to build more housing — but not for people with kids.


How to go car-free — or car-light — in Middle America
A guide to going without four wheels, even if you don’t live in NYC.


Your disdain for Durham is embarrassing
When we Duke students leave our big cities and subdivisions behind and then complain about Durham, we reek of the entitlement and prejudice that has soured our relationship with this city and earned Duke names such as New Jersey University.