The mayor has thrown his citizens a bone — the Design Review Task Force.
An architectural/design review board has been suggested many times before: In 2002 by Sheila Eckman, in 2015 by Keep Auburn Lovely and in 2016 by a task force put together by Susan Hunnicutt that consisted of builders, city planners and real estate professionals. There may even have been others making similar suggestions, only to be told this type of board is not legal.
The public was told again, on April 3, that this board or task force has no authority. Who does have legal authority? The City Council.
Every building developed has followed city zoning laws, ordinances, and regulations/guidelines. The city’s own Planning Commission and Planning Department set these laws/ordinances/guidelines with approval of the majority of the City Council.
If your councilperson has stated that they believe that it is not height, but the design, ask them why they have they not directed the Planning Commission/Planning Department to set “new” guidelines/regulations/ordinances?
The CEOD zone, where height was increased another 10 feet on April 3, has a setback requirement of zero (0) feet. That means the developer can build to the property line. Many on the council have stated setback is a problem; then change it.
Council members have also stated cladding material that must “consist of brick with accents of stucco, limestone, or wood,” imposed on developments needs changing; then change it. Developers must use a “range of colors outline by the color palette.” Change it.
The City Council needs to do its job and direct the Planning Commission/Planning Department to change these and other design regulations by passing a “resolution” in public during a council meeting.
Do not throw us a bone — ACT!