Auburn City Council met in person again to approve townhomes

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By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com 

The Auburn City Council met in person for the first time in almost a year Tuesday night in the new council chambers.

Each council member was present, along with members of the public, socially-distanced. 

The new council chambers are located in the Public Safety Building at 141 N Ross Street Suite B. 

Townhome Subdivision: 

The council granted conditional use approval for a townhome subdivision at 456 Martin Avenue. 

The resolution was postponed from March 16 — Ward 6 Council Member Bob Parsons asked for the item to be postponed so anyone who wanted a chance to voice opinions in the community could do so.

The subdivision, Martin Avenue Townhomes, will be located in a redevelopment district zone (RDD). The planning commission recommended denial of the property. 

“The proposed density of 8.7 is slightly above the recommended density of 8 dwelling units per acre but remains well below the maximum density permitted in the RDD zoning district of 16 dwelling units per acre,” the planning commission comments said. “Townhome uses are a conditional use in the RDD. No open space is required for townhome lots of four or less.”

However, the council approved the townhome proposal. 

The proposal will include three units, the end townhomes with three bedrooms each and the middle unit with 4 bedrooms, for a total of ten bedrooms. 

Ward 3 Council Member Beth Witten expressed concern over the parking situation for the townhomes. 

“Was there any consideration of putting the the ability to park in the rear?” she asked.

Ledge Nettles, who was available to answer questions for the council on the property, said that the owner would prefer to leave the area in the back grassier, to have a backyard type space for those in the townhomes. 

Additionally, with the width, parking in the front would be difficult, he said. 

“I don’t love this,” Witten said. “And it’s in my ward, but I don’t like the other options either. And so it’s like the lesser of all the options. I don’t want to say evil because housing’s not evil … As the developer, I wish ya’ll would reconsider the intensity of that lot.”

Contributed by the city of Auburn

Other Business: 

  • – The council approved a tax abatement for CNJ, Inc. in the Auburn Industrial Park. 
  • – The council approved a contract with the Alabama Department of Transportation for a traffic signal operation and maintenance agreement for a traffic signal at the intersection of Alabama Highway 14 and Richland Road Connector. 
  • – The council approved a contract with Hydro Engineering Solutions for the Hamilton Road Improvements Project for over $45,000. 
  • – The council approved a contract for five stop signs and a 25 mph stop sign in the Bridgewater Subdivision. 
  • – The council approved a stop sign in Longleaf Crossing. 
  • – The council approved a lease agreement between The Water Works Board and the city and Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC for a temporary construction letdown and trailer lot next door to the Bailey – Alexander Complex. 
  • – The council approved an alcohol beverage license for Dumps Like A Truck – Irritable Bao. 

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