Letter to the Editor graphic

Many, many thanks to Mayor Ron Anders and to Auburn City Council for their approval on March 16 of an ordinance that will permit short-term rentals (STRs) in 13 zones throughout the City while protecting single-family neighborhoods such as Neighborhood Conservation. 

In recent years, the disruptive presence of STRs within single-family residential neighborhoods has elicited numerous complaints from homeowners in proximity. Short-term rentals have been particularly problematic in older neighborhoods close to campus and downtown.

Shortly after his election in 2018, Mayor Anders commendably appointed an STR Task force charged with collecting research and citizen input to provide recommendations for an STR ordinance governing these businesses. 

The Planning Department’s drafted ordinance, based on the Task Force’s findings and input from the Planning Commission, passed through six iterations incorporating several compromises. The Planning Commission approved the final version with a 7-2 vote on Jan. 25, 2021. Over 1,100 citizens expressed their support of the Ordinance approved by the Planning Commission and their opposition to an amendment added on Feb. 16 that would have allowed short-term-rental Homestays city-wide.  

Prior to the final deliberation process, Mayor Anders reviewed the history of the Auburn City Councils’ decades-long commitment to conservation of single-family neighborhoods. He noted the City’s creation of zoning, which established strict limitations of activities permitted in those areas zoned Neighborhood Conservation (NC) plus protection for other zones that had major elements of single-family housing. 

We agree with Mayor Anders that this history has been a major asset to the Auburn community as a whole, and we appreciate the Council’s decision to continue that commitment through its final vote to limit short-term-rentals in the same zones delineated by the Planning Commission’s ordinance. 

With deep appreciation to Mayor Anders and the Council members who supported the Ordinance,

 Linda H. Dean 

and other Auburn neighborhood residents

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