City planners in Auburn looking to bring new development near Harper Ave.

City planners in Auburn looking to bring new development near Harper Ave.
Updated: Aug. 22, 2018 at 9:39 PM EDT
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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Developers are putting pens to paper and moving into new areas in Auburn.

City planners said they are focusing on accommodating growth by potentially bringing in new rules.

The city of Auburn's rapid growth has led to city officials thinking outside the downtown area for new development. Harper Avenue is around the corner from the police department and is a spot city planners are focusing on.

"We are already seeing quite a bit of redevelopment in the study area," said Auburn Planning Director Forrest Cotton. "The housing stock up until recently had been pretty static. There really hadn't been any activity as far as development in the area."

City planners in Auburn are doing a study on about 80 acres of land on Harper Avenue.

The area right now has some student housing, some dilapidated homes,  and businesses running out of older homes.  Now, ideas are on the table to revamp the avenue.

A flexible plan to encourage creative development is what officials said they are working on.

This area is currently known as a Redevelopment District, which limits what can be developed. Planners said they are working on a new zoning district called "Medium Density DDG." t The district is to bridge density gaps and encourage developers by offering new zoning rules so there will be more to capitalize on as far as the number of units per housing complexes.

"A little more specifics, to make sure we can predict better development outcomes, and to ensure we are getting the size, scale, and compatibility of future developments is what I think the community demands," said Cotton.

Carson Keeney lives in one of the newer developments that's been a forefront of the project. She said new development would help cover up some eyesores.

"I think new development would be great," said Keeney. "My friend was trying to move in over here and her parents were like I don't know, it looks sketchy over here."

Growth is what city planners said they are seeing and predicting.

"I think we are going to continue to see it because the location is so unbelievably good," Cotton said.

City planners said this area is projected to have mix-use--- some new business and housing. They also have plans to look at other areas for redevelopment after the Harper Avenue plan is complete, potentially in October.

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