The Auburn City Council postponed a vote to Dec. 3, on a resolution for conditional use approval to construct a private dormitory on Armstrong Street.
A private dormitory is like an apartment but is generally a building not owned by the University that is intended to house students. Council approval of the project is required because City zoning laws require approval of private dormitories in the Urban Neighborhood–South zone, which is where this development lies.
The Council originally tabled this resolution at its Oct. 15 meeting so that Council members would have more time to learn about the project.
Since that October meeting, developers of the private dormitory agreed to go through the voluntary Downtown Design Review process. The Downtown Design Review Board will now host meetings to discuss the private project.
Council members tabled the vote to December to allow for the project to go through the Downtown Design Review process.
During the Committee of the Whole meeting, which preceeds each City Council meeting, the City Council voted to ask City staff to begin research on impact fees and what implementing them would mean for Auburn. Impact fees are fees the City would impose on a new or proposed development to cover the expenses of providing public services to that development.
Mayor Ron Anders said that he personally doesn’t support impact fees, saying the fees, “send the wrong message to developers.”
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
The Council voted 5 to 4 in favor to ask City staff to research impact fees and provide the Council with information on what those would look like in Auburn.
Ward 8 Council member Tommy Dawson also pitched the idea of conducting a feasibility study to determine the practicality of building a new police precinct on South College Street.
“I think we’re getting big enough that we need a full-time presence of police down there,” Dawson said. “I would like the city manager to look into it with staff and see how much it would cost.”
The Council voted to discuss commissioning a feasibility study at a later meeting.
According to the Council ePacket, a contract will provide aerial photography which produces elevation models, hydrography, building footprints and street layouts for the municipalities involved.
“The aerial photography is used extensively to locate, identify and measure City assets and to aid in the City’s growth, infrastructure, and Public Safety planning efforts,” the ePacket states.
The City of Auburn, Lee County, the City of Opelika and Auburn University will contribute to the total $504,716 price tag of the project.
The Council also approved the purchase of fire reporting software, fire alerting equipment and two new trucks for the Public Safety Department’s Fire Division.
This equipment, along with the new breathing apparatus and bunker gear that were approved in October, will go toward updating the Fire Division’s equipment.
The Council also approved local sales tax exemption for specified items for 2020’s Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday. The holiday, which will begin Friday, Feb. 21, and last through Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. The tax holiday will serve to encourage citizens to purchase emergency gear and equipment for use during severe weather situations.
Anders said as a community that isn’t even a year removed from the tornadoes that tore through the Auburn area, it is important for people to be mindful of the items they might need in an emergency.
“When you need a flashlight, usually you’re in a position where you can’t go find one,” Anders said. “It’s just an opportunity to be mindful that we live in a part of the country that our weather can be dramatic.”
The holiday covers a wide array of items, from flashlights to radios to first-aid kits, as long as each item is $60 or less.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman