Just when I thought Auburn couldn’t come up with an idea as brilliant as the “Chinese hospital on the banks of Minot Avenue,” Mayor Jason Levesque presents the citizens with another winner.

Any owner of a house lot of 12,000 square feet (a house lot is typically 100 x 100 or 10,000 square feet) will be allowed to build another house to rent or sell to anyone who doesn’t mind being hemmed in. This new zoning law will apply to anywhere in the city: new, pricey developments, old established neighborhoods.

This will mean more taxes for the city. Of course the extra revenue will never cover the need for extra services. We can worry about that later.

Auburn will be a unique landscape dotted with thousands of new  houses all of different sizes and designs. And to think no other city has thought of such a plan — not Portland, Cape Elizabeth, or Falmouth — all cities with a housing shortage.

We are truly innovators.  No doubt Auburn will make it into city planning textbooks, even if for all the wrong reasons.

Levesque says low turnout at the March 31 meeting indicated approval of his plan by Auburn citizens. I think, however, the pandemic had something to do with people not wanting to attend.

People with thoughts about this idea should contact Levesque, or Planning Director Eric Cousens, at Auburn City Hall.  Or contact Holly Lasagna and fellow city councilors at auburn.gov.

This plan will have a public meeting and be voted on April 12.

Pam Larouche, Auburn

 


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