On Nov. 9 the Auburn Planning Board held a public hearing regarding a proposal to expand rural residential strips by 300 feet, from 450 feet to 750 feet, along many Auburn roads.

This would add 1,200 acres of strip development land to our so-called rural roads.

Although the term “rural” is used, this would involve areas throughout most of Auburn. This is not a “not in my backyard” issue. I believe this proposal would affect all of us who live in Auburn.

At the public hearing many citizens spoke against this idea. No one spoke in favor. The planning board voted to recommend “ought not to pass” to the City Council. Still, there are some officials who are pushing this concept, perhaps with ulterior motives.

Of course, Auburn needs to progress in a well-planned manner, but not without the involvement of a fully-informed citizenry. People need to know that this concept may have widespread effects in Auburn, including significant increased property taxes.

The plan involves more land for upscale residential development, which might affect our schools, traffic and other city services, even our water source. Lake Auburn could be polluted and require a very expensive water treatment plant. The pleasant, convenient rural atmosphere of Auburn is at stake.

I feel more public involvement, as well as considered careful long-range planning, is needed before such extensive changes are implemented. This is a quality of life in Auburn issue. Let’s proceed carefully, pay attention and talk to our city councilors.

Fred Holler, Auburn

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