Letter to the Editor graphic

I’m confused.

For the better part of five years there has been acrimony between residents in Neighborhood Conservation (NC) Zones and the City of Auburn due to the City’s failure to enforce its own ordinances regarding Short Term Rentals.

In early 2019, Mayor Anders created a Short-Term Rental Task Force to develop a clear regulatory ordinance for enforcement. The Task Force consisted of two Planning Commission members, (Bob Rittenbough and Marcus Marshall), three citizens, and two City Council members (Bob Parsons and Brett Smith). That’s a fact.

The Task Force met 3 times between May and October 2019. The Task Force took citizen input at Public Input Sessions in January and May 2019. The Planning Commission held work sessions December 2019 and January 2020.

After the work session in January, the Planning Commission directed the Planning Department to present an Ordinance which would prevent Short-Term Rentals in any single-family residential zone, such as Neighborhood Conservation (NC). Videos and minutes from that meeting confirm this. That’s a fact.

The Ordinance was drafted by March 2020 and was poised to move forward to the Planning Commission for a vote in April 2020 and to City Council in May 2020. That’s a fact.

Then, at the end of a Planning Commission Meeting in March 2020 a Commissioner requested an additional STR Work Session. Two such work sessions have been held. Each time the Ordinance has changed. No sessions have been held for public input, or Council member input. That’s a fact.

How does this happen? What happened to the initial Task Force recommendations? By what authority does a Commissioner circumvent the Mayor’s Task Force including all stake holders in the STR issue? Do some commissioners have financial interests in this issue or a personal stake in the proceedings?

I’m confused.


Cathey Donald 


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