What happened in Auburn last week was an embarrassment. The City Council couldn't figure out if their referral of the building height issue to the Planning Commission was proper, improper, or inadvertent.
Unfortunately for the Planning Commission, they had to listen to citizens vent about something they've already addressed numerous times.
They were truly thrown under the bus.
It was a predetermined outcome. The commission, supported by the Planning Department, fell back on their previous analysis and reaffirmed their support of a 75-foot height limit.
Interesting to note, however, that they stated the need to rely on engineering and development standards and not public emotion. That begs the question, why did they bother to host numerous public work groups if they were simply relying on data?
Regardless, the City Council will now have to decide if they'll renege on their earlier height compromise.
A representative of the Whatley building development said she asked several council members to bring this issue up. At least we finally know who will potentially benefit from this astounding series of events.
Thanks to the Planning Commission for enduring last Thursday's public hearing and for being the council's designated flak catcher.
The ball is now back in the council's court to restore some level of public confidence.