The Boulevard

The Boulevard is one of a number of housing developments built off of Harper Avenue in the past few years. The Planning Commission will review proposed zoning ordinance and land-use changes for the area at its work session on Tuesday

The  Auburn City Council will consider the zoning ordinance text and map amendments that arose out of the Harper Avenue Focus Area Study at its meeting on Tuesday. 

The Harper Avenue Study is the first of five focus areas identified in the five year update to the City's land-use plan, CompPlan 2030, that the city will look at in the coming years.

Planning Department staff briefed the council on the proposed changes at a work session earlier this week. 

The most significant changes to the zoning ordinance would be the creation of two new districts — Corridor Redevelopment District – East (CRD-E) and the Medium Density Residential District (MDRD). 

Both new districts would replace parcels currently zoned Redevelopment District (RDD), which the city is phasing out with districts more prescriptive to the contexts of the areas under consideration.

MDRD would replace RDD along Harper Avenue, roughly from Ross Street to Summerhill  Road and to Old Stage Road to the north. MDRD is designed to promote more housing diversity than Development District Housing (DDH), with town houses, duplexes and cottage housing developments permitted by-right instead of conditionally.

If the council also approves regulations for a proposed student-housing type, academic detached dwelling units, at its meeting Tuesday, the use would be permitted conditionally in MDRD, which would allow a maximum density of 12 units per acre.

CRD-E would replace RDD in the areas generally fronting East Glenn Avenue and along the south of Old Stage Road east of Summerhill Road. The district would also permit by-right the range of uses allowed in MDRD, but allow a much larger range of mostly conditional retail uses, like restaurants, lounges, clothing stores, small grocery stores, etc. 

The permitted density in CRD-E would be set at 10 units per acre, and ADDUs would not be permitted. Private dormitories would not be permitted in either MDRD or CRD-E. CRD-E would allow first-floor residential, require new buildings along Glenn and Harper avenues front the street, and not allow parking lots in front of building facades.

"We're looking at making this area more walkable, so we don't want things like drive-thru restaurants, drive-thru banks, big box stores that are going to bring a lot of road traffic," said Tom Weintraut, principal planner for the city.

The other significant change is shifting areas currently zoned Neighborhood Conservation (NC) to DDH. Those areas are roughly between Old Stage Road and Harper Avenue east of Summerhill Road.

DDH will retain NC's two-unrelated individual occupancy regulation, and allow single-family residential by-right. Duplexes, town homes, and multiple family developments would be conditional. ADDUs, private dormitories and cottage housing developments would be prohibited.

The City Council will consider the zoning text and map amendments at its meeting on Tuesday in City Council Chambers on Ross Street.

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