At the Nov. 9 meeting of the Auburn Planning Board, a proposal for strip zoning was the center of testimony and discussion amongst the 60-plus community members in attendance and planning board members.

Every single citizen who spoke, every single one, asked that the planning board refuse to recommend the zoning changes. After more than 90 minutes of testimony and deliberation, the board voted 5-2 not to accept the proposal.

And so, does this mean that the strip zone proposal is a moot point? Not at all — it will now go back to the Auburn City Council for reporting, and ultimately our current city council will make the decision whether to proceed or to allow this issue to become old business.

If housing is the issue, then, let us look for a moderate way forward, not the wholesale rezoning of our rural backroads, forests, woodlands and fields.

Everyone who spoke on Nov. 9 emphasized that.

A special exception amendment to current zoning should be investigated, where on a case-by-case basis a proposal could be presented to the city’s planning and permitting department. Possibly weighty and time consuming, I wonder if this would be any more difficult or costly (i.e. city staffing resources) than the hours of manpower spent putting this proposed zoning package together.

I think not, and urge our city councilors to not allow this strip zoning to move forward.

Kathy Shaw, Auburn

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