Auburn residents discuss possibility of a moratorium at public hearing

Auburn residents discuss possibility of a moratorium at public hearing

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - It was standing room only at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce building Monday,  as residents voiced their opinions about the status of multi-family housing in Auburn.

"What do we want this community to look like in 20, 40, 50, 100 years from now revolving around the multi-family question," asks Auburn Mayor Bill Ham.

In a college town like Auburn, it is common to watch construction of new apartment complexes around the city.

However, most residents are frustrated and believe there are enough, especially with the new units being built on the corner of Ross Street and Glenn Avenue.

"If we allocated some areas like where that huge apartment complex just went up, that could have been a very nice shopping area for upper class stuff which we lack," says resident, Tee Kearns.

Mayor Ham says there has been no substantial growth in Auburn University's enrollment numbers in last 20 years and the new complexes constructed are leaving older units empty.

"There are some people who are really upset in the community," says Ham.

The council is continuing the research the possibility of a moratorium and what it would involve.

University service zones areas currently permit 34 units per acre.

"You got to find a way to separate student housing versus multi-family housing," explains resident, Ray Huff.

Those against the moratorium say students aren't the only ones occupying these apartments and young adults and their families will continue to need a more affordable option to live.

"This is not New York, this is not Detroit, it is still Auburn, and it is just a little bit bigger than it was before. Don't get too scared it's all going to take care of itself in the long run," says resident, Chris Kearns.

Officials say this is just the beginning of the discussion and more research and public input will be needed before coming to a decision.

If you are an Auburn residents and have any questions or concerns you are urged to contact your city council member.

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