The Auburn Planning Board has the opportunity to take the time necessary to renew Form Base Planning as an engaged public process that would recognize the city’s identifiable residential neighborhoods.

Initially, FBP focused only on the downtown, essentially from river edge to Goff Hill. The FBP “process” of recognizing, characterizing and naming distinct residential neighborhoods out of the downtown was not pursued. Consequently, we now have codes that have been and should be applied only to the downtown and immediate fringes.

Auburn has awkwardly applied and continues to apply one particular downtown code (T-4.2) to predominately residential neighborhoods. Additional coding needs to be undertaken.

Auburn needs to re-engage in the appropriate FBP “process” that involves significant public participation. Instead of continuing to confusingly amend downtown codes, let’s take the time to develop codes, inclusive of detailed use and dimensional considerations, appropriate and acceptable to residential neighborhoods and Auburn’s citizenry.

Let’s not miss this opportunity, frankly the responsibility, to do such.

Bob Hayes, Auburn

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