Auburn City Council Meeting Sept. 17, 2019

Auburn City Council Meeting Sept. 17, 2019


>>We’ll call to order tonight’s
Committee of the Whole for city council meeting, September 17,
2019. Council should have the minutes
of the Committee of the Whole meeting
from September 3, 2019. Any additions or corrections? If not, do I have a motion to approve? Motion to second. All in favour, please say aye. Any opposed? Minutes are care adfrom September 3, 2019. Industrial development board, mayor Pro Tem Whitten.>>We have two vacancies. I’ll start with the first of Lara
Cooper who served one full term. It is her intent to serve a second term. I nominate Ms Cooper for the
second term for industrial development board.>>Second.>>We have a motion and a second for Ms Cooper. OK.>>Can we go ahead and approve
that and then move to the second?>>Is that OK?>>Absolutely.>>We have a motion
to second for Ms Laura Cooper. Any questions or comments? If not, all in favour, please say aye. Any opposed? We’ll appoint Ms Cooper later in
the agenda.>>Second vacancy, Mr Ted Wilson has served two full terms so
therefore we have an opening and I would
like to nominate William Bill Hamm for
the position.>>Second.>>We have a motion to & a second for Bill Hamm. Do I have any comment s or question s? Seeing none, all in favour of Bill Hamm please say aye.>>AYe.>>Any opposed?>>Nay.>>Two oppositions. We will appoint Mr Hamm later on in the agenda. OK. County youth development center
board of directors.>>Thank you. We have one vacancy, Ms Leith has served one partial
term. She is not staying in that role so therefore we have one vacancy
and I’d like to nominate Steve Pelham
for that position.>>Second.>>We have a motion to and second for Mr Steve
Pelham. Any other nominations?>>I’d like to nominate Stephanie Pollard.>>>>Do I have a second for Ms Pollard?>>Second.>>Motion and second.>>Alright, any other nominations? OK, we’ll take these one at a time. Megan, at this point in time we’ve got two nominations,
make sure I frommo procedure right,
we’ll do this by voice vote?>>Absolutely and if you get a majority on the
first one you vote on then that’s the
end of the process.>>So we’ll take Mr Pelham first as he was first nominated. Mr In favour of Mr Pelham please say aye.>>AYe.>>Let’s get a hand vote. There in favour of Mr Pelham,
please raise your hand. That’s five. So that is majority. We’ll appoint Mr Pelham later on in the agenda. Any questions on tonight’s agenda for
assistant City Manager Ms Crouch?>>Mayor, I have one minor change. Item 8C9, there was a typo, Gaelan has it for you to
revise the front page in the resolution
it had the word 48 and in print the number 36 and it is supposed to
be 36 and 36. It is highlighted for you just
in case you wanted to see the corrected
version. That waupz loaded to the website
but I wanted to make sure you had the
right version in your files. That would be an operator error of myself for not catching that
so – but that’s all the changes I
have for you this evening.>>Any other questions for
assistant City Manager?>>I have a question, I have a comment, I’d like to
everybody to remember the police officer
that lost his life in the line of
duty this week. Last night, tonight, we can
imagine – we know what they’re going through,
we lost one ourselves in the spring. Thoughts and prayers are with him tonight. I know that’s rough. I ask you to always remember
what our police officers do for us. Sometimes it can be a thankless job. I appreciate everything you do,
lieuten andnt all your folks. I know it is painful to relive this but
appreciate what you do and all of y’all do.>>Thank you, Tommy. Any other questions or comments? Do I have a move to adjourn this committee
of the whole?>>So moved.>>Committee of the Whole is adjourned. We’ll begin the city council meeting at 7:00. City council meeting September
17, 2019. Caitlin. Dawson. Here. Dixon. Griswold, Hovey.>>Here. Smith.>>Present.>>Taylor. Here.>>Whit wit.>>Here. Anders.>>Here.>>Would you please rise
for the pledge of allegiance and a
moment of silence. Please remember the city of
Tuscaloosa and the family of the lost
police officer. (Pledge of aliegeance) Please be seated. During the Committee of the
Whole we had a couple of board
appointments to the industrial development
board. We appointed Ms Laura Cooper and Mr
Bill Hamm and to the Leigh county
youth development center board of
directors we appointed Mr Steve Pelham. Any other announcements for
anyone on the council?>>Mayor, I would like to say this morning I had the
honour of meeting with some women from the
DAR and you had signed a
proclamation recognising Constitution Week so
we presented that to them and
they’re very pleased and thankful.>>Thank you Ms Whitten for being there this morning. Any other announcements for anyone on the council ? Seeing none, Auburn university communications.>>Hello, how are all of you will?>>Doing good.>>The Sammium James college of engineer ing
hosted a dedication ceremony on September
13 to celebrate the opening of the
student achievement center which will
provide one of the most comprehensive
active learning environments in the
country. Horden Hargrave hall wassopened
also. The Auburn board of trustees has decided to move forward with a
project to replace the Hill residence
halls and Cambridge residents hall,
the buildings will be replaced over
a series of projects over 5 to 10
years. Safety week is this week and we
are excited to work with the travel
with care program taraise aware ness
about travelling safely along our
roads. We are thrilled the city is
participating and helping make safety week
such a successful event for students. SGA has recently spent the past few
weeks working with officials from
tiger transit to improve key routes. We received feedback through
obabout answers feedback system about
concerns with over crowding on the south Donahue route and long route
times on the north Auburn route. An extra buts is provided in peak times on the
south Donahue route and implemented a
new stop on the north Auburn route, cutting 10 to 15 minutes off the route. We aroic excited to continue to work with tiger transit. Home coming was a huge success,
thank you to all of the community members
that participated in the parade and
entered the festivities. We are thankful for community and university so intertwined. This concludes this week’s report. Thank you.>>Speaking of being so intertwined, last week
we had the ground breaking of the new
east Alabama medical center facility
on campus at Auburn university and
what a fantastic amenity it is going to
be not only for the university but
all the city of Auburn and very
exciting moment last week on campus. At this time it’s citizens
communications for items that are on the agenda. I would ask you to recognise that later
in the agenda there are some things you
might be ininterest ed in that will
have public hearings involved in that
and that will be your time to speak
to that particularly if you look
under resolutions. Also at the very end will be the discussion on the colours
home and we’ll have a public hearing
witht that as well. I’d encourage you to please save your comments for
those topics when that time comes up. If there’s anything else on the
agenda tonight that you’d like to speak
to the council, please come
forward, give you name and address for the
record and you do have 5 minutes. Anything else on the agenda
you’d like to talk about. Seeing none, Ms Crouch?>>Mayor, under city managers communication zeez
the announcement of three vacanies
on the building board of adjustments,
terms begin November 3, 2019 and end November 2, 2023. Three vacanies on the tree commission. Terms begin negative egg, 2019 and end
November 7, 2022. And one vacancy on the education building authority, term begins November 12, 2019, and end
November 11, 2025. All of these appointments will be made at the October 15,
2019 meeting. Mayor, our next item of business is consent agenda. Does any council member wish to remove
the item from the consent agenda and deal
with it individually?>>Yes, item 8. C4. No, no, no. I found my answer to that. Item 8, C9.>>Anything else?>>C9. Anything else?>>OK, if we could go ahead and handle 8C9.>>Let’s get there for a second. Item 89 is raise the authorising
a 12-month extension for Auburn
mall LLC to complete phase 1 and propose partial demolition of former JC
penny building as part of the
agreement for redevelopment area B adopted
September 19, 2017.>>Approval?>>Second.>>We have a motion to ask second. Any questions or comment s?>>Yes.>>OKuric saw when I was reading in the
packet, so do you all know at this time
what’s going on $?>>No , ma’am. What this deal was predicated on
for redevelopment area B is we had
an empty JC Pennies box and the
mall came to the city and said we’re going
to reduce square footage in the
mall. We’re going to put a new mall entrance. They’re formulating small shop space that turns to the
outside, some will be accessible from the inside. They’re asking for a time extension to complete that work. We can see that they’re a high
percentage complete and you have a letter
in your packet about 90% complete. They have tenants they’re not ret-Redy to announce. Some of that going in other space and I have been act 11
working with them because I wear two
hats now still handling commercial for
the city. There are have been a number of tenants looking but I they think
it’s not ready to publicly speak
about those tenants.>>Thank you.>>Welcome.>>Other
question s? OK, we need to have a motion and a
second. All in favour, please say aye.>>AYe.>>Any opposed? The motion carries.>>Do you want to vote on consent agenda? Do I have a motion for remainder of consent agenda. Woo we have a motion and a second. All in favour, please say aye, opposed? Consent agenda is carried.>>In ordinances this evening,
item 9A is amending the no parking zone
on Williams avenue adopted via
ordinance 3173 on August 6, 2019.>>Introduce the ordinance and ask for unanimous consent.>>Second.>>We have a motion and a second. On the council have problems moving forward>>I abstain from voting noochlt seeing none,
do I have any questions? OK, Caitlin.>>Dawson.>>yes
ma’am.>>Dixon.>>Yes.>>Hovey.>>Ye
s ma’am.>>Parpar.>>Yes.>>Smith.>>Yes, ma’am.>>Whitten.>>Yes.>>Anti-depressan
t an.>>Yes.>>Item 9B is request for
annexation for Brett Basquin on behalf of
Holmes for 23 acres immediately southwest
of 8998 hillen dale drive, the planning communication unanimously
recommended approval.>>I’Ll introduce the ordinance and ask for unanimous consent.>>Second.>>Anyone have a problem moving forward with a
vote? Seeing none, any questions?>>This is in our packet meeting on Friday
we discussed that a portion of this
does reside outside of the boundary
but that was – cannia speak to that?>>I’ll let Mr Cotton speak to that.>>Yes, ma’am, just based on principle we recommended denial
of the parcels but there was
recommendation of boundary on the south side. We have rounded off a lot of boundary on
the north side. We may just have over looked
this one. As a practical matter if you review in the staff
report we tried to make it clear to the
planning commission it was acceptable and appropriate to annex.>>Bob.>>Yeah, first, I see in that
recommendation approval for lot 7 yet denial of
lot 8.>>That’s right.>>And you’re comfortable with that even
though you’re saying unanimous – that
you’ve approved it unanimously?>>We do. To be consistent we try to stick
with what’s in the optimal boundary
and what’s outside but in this case
the irregularity is so clear it
makes common sense to bring it in and
we want to make sure we acknowledge that.>>Anyone else have a question?>>I do have one last. If we were to approve this and
that is outside the optimal, it does not
move the optimal boundary?>>What we will do is we typically – I like to say for
lack of a better word we batch things up
for clean up purposes and we will do pyrrhic comp plan adjustments
and at that time bring that proper into
the optimal boundary. We did a very similar assessment
with the planning commission about a year
and a half ago when we did the first 5-year
plan update and cleaned up lot of irregularities on the north
side, but we didn’t pay a lot of attention
to the south side.>>Any other questions? We have a motion and a second
so, Caitlin.>>Dixon.>>Yes.>>Hovey.>>Yes, ma’am.>>Parsons.>>Yes.>>Smith.>>Yes.>>
T aylor>>Yes.>>Dawson.>>Yes.>>Anders.>>Yes.>>Under resolutions this evening, item
10A1 is a request by Parker Lewis on
behalf of C and D slash AA properties L, C
for approval of commercial support
use warehouse for property at in the comprehensive development
district. The planning commission
unanimously recommended approval. A public hearing is required.>>We’ll open the public hearing. If you would like to address the council, please come forward
and give your name and address for the record. Seeing no-one, we’ll close the
public hearing. Any questions or comments from the council?>>If we – if we make a motion to approve
should we ask it be approved with staff comments as noted in the ->>Yes, ma’am, and that’s
typically what the planning commission does. It’s typically what we do is we
assume that all the staff comments are
adopted unless it’s stated otherwise but certainly for purposes of
clarity you can certainly do that.>>Move for approval – sorry.>>You can do that, it is also noted in the planning commission resolution that is
part of your packet you would be
adopting.>>any other questions? Do I have a motion?>>Move for approval with staff comments.>>Second.>>Have a motion and second. All in favour please say aye. Any opposed? Motion carries.>>Request by Lloyd deLatour for
conditional use approval of performance
residential development multifamily for
property located 121 Mitchell avenue in redevelopment district. The planning commission unanimously
recommended approve. A public hearing is required.>>We’ll open the public hearing. If you would like to address the council, please and forward
ask give your name and address for
the record. Seeing no-one , we’ll close the public hearing. Any questions or comments from the douns il? Seeing none, is there a motion?>>Move to approve.>>Second.>>We have a motion and second. All in favour, please say aye. Any opposed? Motion carries.>>Item 10A3, request by Jonathan Davis on behalf of RPM
plaza LLC, use of lounge and event
center for property in the urban core,
the planning commission unan mszly recommended approval. A public hearing is required.>>We’ll open the public hearing if anyone would like to address the council on the
subject, please come forward and give
your name and address for the record.>>Seeing no-one, we’ll close the public hearing. Council, any questions or comments? To this location has been previously zoned as a lounge?>>Yes, ma’am. There have been at least two louchs that have previously
occupied this tenant space.>>It is important to note there has been some
confusion if people don’t check the packet
that this space faces the parking
garage not Magnolia itself. Just to be clear if you were looking in your
packets. It is a back – not quite half of
the building.>>Any other questions? Comments? Seeing none, do I have a motion?>>Move for approval.>>Second.>>I
Have a motion and second. All in favour, please say aye>>Aye.>>Any opposed? Motion carries.>>Request by Parker Ross on behalf of Owens family
partnership LLC for excisional use offence
approval for town homes near the
south-eastern corner of Sug Jordan parkway and
North Donahue drive. Planning commission recommended approval with 6 to 3
vote. Public hearing is required.>>Before we open public hearing I want to
ask a question. Connectivity seems to be a driving concern with this
project. Can we approve the conditional use
without approving the connectivity? How do we ->>I’m going to have the director Cotton direct that further and
give you addition al information but
the short answer is you can do that. You can add conditions but
remember – and he’ll get deeper into this with conditional use approval, the
has to be some sort of public purpose
for the health safety welfare issue.>>You’ve got the beauty of conditional
use is that quite frankly we work a lot
in the grey implanting with black
and white on either side so it’sler discretion and subjectivity
involved. What’s compatible to one person
may not be to another. The valuation of traffic and traffic conditions
and impact on the character of the neighbourhood and in addition to
the public health and safety and
welfare issue that the assistant City
Manager mentioned all come into play so
it’s certainly within this body’s
purview to make a condition that relates
to traffic circulation. If you think the traffic circulation proposed
could be detrimental to the public welfare.>>Thank you. Any other follow up questions
from the council before we open the
public hearing?>>What if you feel like – I have
questions about it because of the safety
of the citizens over there in the neighbourhood. I’d prefer one way in and one way out. Crime is proven to be lower in neighbourhoods that
have one way in and one way out. I understand where you’re coming from but
it-S it a legitimate safety concern I have
under planning laws?>>If it’s a legitimate issue for you, it’s legitimate
for discussion from this body>>I am highly opposed because when you have
one way in and one way out of a
neighbourhood police can police it bet er and
cuts down burglary and for that
reason I would be opposed to kenthivity
snoocht I am trying to figure out the location. It says the corner of – Wal-Mart is on the corner.>>It is directly behind. There’s an area – you can see the Alabama power
transmission lines run through that area and
it’s a currently undeveloped area, I
think council members have inquired
about minor clearing in that area and
they were doing survey work and soil testing. It sits behind the wall marlt neighbourhood market on Donahue
really to access it.>>If you look at your prox map it illustrates the
zoning so you’ll see a DDH buffer that was
at the time of the 84 ordinance
being aopted was prev lbt, a zoning
buffer between neighbourhood
conservation neighbourhoods and CDD zoning so
this has been out there for quite
some time. We have seen prior proposals on it but I think this is the first
time this council has seen it and of
course bane in mind the subject of this review is the townhouse
component only which is alt the front end of
the development.>>Everybody clear with that? OK. At this point in time we’ll open
the public hearing. If you would like to address the
city kouns im, please come dporward and
give your name and address for the record. — address the city council,
please come forward and give your name
and address for the record.>>Hello, my name is Emily, I
live at 778 north Kerry drive. We actually have a petition. May I give you copies of that? I might not have enough for each one of you.>>OK, we’ll share.>>So, we – you were asking about
the location of the cut-through. A good friend of mine who should
be coming here, she’s putting her kids to
bed, just bought a house that’s right
where the cut-through is going to be. My kids and I were just playing
with her and her kids the other day and I
was saying, “It’s so nice, your kids
can learn to bike here,” and I think
what we’re concerned about is safety, as you mentioned. We’ve already seen some increasing speed and volume of
traffic in our neighbourhood. There are lot of people who cut through Shug
Jordan and they can get on to Owens and
they like to zoom up Hickory. My house son Kerry on a curve and a hill so there’s
no visibility and people love to
zoom arpthere and there’s no
sidewalk. But my concern really is safety and
the relation character of our neighbourhood. Personally, I welcome growth and development and I welcome all
people who would love to live in our beautiful city that’s wooded,
that’s quiet and that’s safe. We can walk to campus. We love that about it and we want to be able to do that and
we understand that growth and connectivity are important. We don’t want those to come at the
expense of safety and health. Our neighbourhood has the number one elementary
school in the State, Kerry Woods
Elementary School. We have a park that we love and these are features of this
narnd that make it valuable and
desirable for everyone to visit, for
everyone to use and increased traffic is a
risk to that and a hazard. So when we found out this cut-through road was
going to happen, we started petition on change.org and about three days
later we had 260 signatures, some of
them are not real, there’s someone
with a kind of funny name I think just
did it for a joke but most we can look through and say, “I know which
house they live in, their kid’s in my kindergarten class,” and I think
all of us want to preserve this in
all parts of Auburn. I hope there isn’t a sense that we feel that our neighbourhood is special or privileged. It is because it’s in Auburn but it’s health and
safety that we want for us and for our kids. We want that for everyone in
Auburn. We want that for everyone in our
county. So, I hope that you can look
through these signatures. I have also included the comments section and I hope
that you’ll consider – personally,
I’m not speaking for everyone, I don’t
mind if there’s town homes, you know. We’re growing. I don’t want to see this cut-through. I don’t believe that this residential neighbourhood should
be opened – or easily accessible to through traffic. So people should not be commuting where kids walk and
bike to school. Thank you.>>Next.>>My name is Aaron, I live on Hickory
Lane. I have a small family of four, two
kids under 3 years old.>>Could we get your address, please?>>1235 Hickory Lane.>>My bad. I didn’t stop you.>>I’M also opposed to this
cut-through. I don’t really have opinion on
the town homes at all. It comes down to safety for me, the incresed traffic I
think will happen between Shug and
Donahue by going around – I guess they
don’t really have a turning lane
there. I think people will cut through
the neighbourhood and that worries
me because we have nice park there,
we have two schools that children
walk to. We walk in the neighbourhood. We don’t really have sidewalks. So I see that as a concern. So everybody I’ve spoken to in the neighbourhood,
on social media, were all opposed
to it. I’d like you to consider that. Thank you.>>Who would be next? My name is Kate, I live at 1229 Hickory
Lane. Members of city council, I asked
that yot oppose the Owens road cut
through associate would the town home development of off Donahue road. I am mother of two young children one
of which attends Kerry woods
elementary school and we often walk and
ride our bike to school and home and our walkable neighbourhood and
schools are one of the wonderful parts of
living in Kerry Woods however many of
ous have already had previous
conversations even before this discussion of the proposed Owens Donahue connection about the
needs need for traffic calming
measures and sidewalks due to cars and trucks cutting through and driving much faster than 25 m/ph in our neighbourhood especially during
rush hour. To out more traffic to our neighbourhood would jeopardise
the safety and the – our safety and
the safety of our kids and I believe
that the cut-through from Donahue to
Owens and to Kerry woods would
increase outside traffic and put our kids
and families’ safety at risk. I co there is a lot of us that
are probably going to speak tonight but I
think there are even more people here that maybe
are not comfortable speaking so if
it’s OK, everyone who’s here from
Kerry Woods that opposes this
cut-through, would they stand up? Thank you very much for your consideration.>>Next?>>My name is Margaret, I
live on 1122 Owens Road and like
everyone said standing up to oppose the
cut-through. Thank you.>>Thank you. Who would be next?>>My name is Ryan, I live at 1104 o
Owens Road, close to where the
proposed cut-through would come through. We built our house in Owens Road approximately three years ago. One of the reasons we did was because
of the walkability of the neighbourhood
so my children with play. I believe the cut-through will increase
traffic and decrease the safety especially
if you look on Owens where the
cut-through is coming through. There’s a pretty sharp curve that can be blind
sometimes for people coming through and I
think having a cut-through there would not be
safe for the people in our neighbourhood. Who>>Thank you. Who would be next?>>Kelly Woods, 554 Cary drive. I won’t repeat everything my neighbours have said. I agree and that’s my feelings. I want to say one additional thing. If you don’t live in care air Woods, you can picture
it is as a quiet neighbourhood and
just dismiss it as there’s not that
much traffic. Come 3:30 to 5:30, park your car and go for a walk. Owen a weekday when school is in
session, it’s quite difficult and it’s
stressful when you have children that can’t
quite keep their bike in the bike lane and
here comes the EPS truck and several
people home from Auburn university and
Cary woods elementary and they’re
just dropping through and it is
already crowded and congested. I would love to see speed bumps, not another
cut-through. That’s all.>>Thank you. Who will be next?>>Hi, my name is Ashley, I live at 1203Jinkins drive which is
quite close to where the Owens cut
through will be and I – not only will
maybe some traffic go straight on
Owens, it may, you know, also have
increased traffic on Jenkin which
currentliatise no reason there would really be
any traffic on that but my son rides
his bike every day, he and his
friends without parents, it’s wonderful
and they know to be careful but I
really doworry about the safety. That’s such a valuable piece of our
neighbourhood that we – our kids are safe
enough to ride their bike to school and I
see people who are envious from all
over the State that our children get
to do that. I think it’s going to completely
change the character of our neighbourhood
to have an extra cut-through like that and
increase the traffic. I appreciate you guys considering not allowing this.>>Next.>>>>My name is Susan Youngblood at 729 north Cary
drive. I feel a little underdress ed and misdressed today but I wore my
walking clothes for Cary Woods. My son is not particularly controlled on the bicycle. I won’t even let him go to pick because he’s going up the
rest of Cary, up Hickory and then down
Seeder Brook and right now we have, as
you know, a multipurpose lane and
that lane in some places, not on
Hickory, not on Owens, not on some of the others, that lane is in Lou of a sidewalkturic is a painted
stripe t is reflective, that’s a great
start, but as we walk we find drivers
frequently cut into the multipurpose lane
because they are trying to straighten
the curves. Some of the curves are blind. Some of those curves have mounds
of earth, some of those curves have bushes and my children have
friends that are four houses away, they
can attest to the fact that as they
leave the house I yell at them about clothing. We have an entire – we have drawers full of clothing that’s
bright and what I would describe
everybody wearing up here and in most of
the room today y would describe
their clothing as road coloured
clothing and I yell, “No road coloured
clothing,” because the cars can’t see you. You-Y have already come upon an
accident scene where someone was
straightening the curve and ran into a
telephone pole. Thank goodness it was a telephone pole and not one of my children but it is a safety
issue. I have also been there as cars
have been streaming by, you count one,
two, three, four and you’re up to 20
cars, I guess Google maps perhaps that
they said, oh, there must be a little congestion, I’m going to
reroute. My concern is about the rerouting,
I have no particular concern about the
town homes but I am deeply concerned
about the safety. Thank you very much.>>Who will be next?>>My name is Guy, I live at 1147 Jenkins drive and I urge
you to not approve this cut-through. It strikes me as a uniquely bad
idea. If you look at your map, you’ll
realise Owens is not even a corner, it’s
like a pinball chute where you just go…people are already running
the stop signs at Owens and north
cedar brook because Tates where you
get access down to Hickory, all of
my children bicycle to school and
back every day. This just strike please as an obviously bad idea. Thank you.>>Thank you. Nice Sunday effects. Who will be next>>- nice sound effects.>>My name is mere yf Young blood, 729 north Cary drive, I
live with my mum, drad and brother. Every day when I go to the bus stop, I
have to go past a blind curve. I live on a circle and it’s basically my
house son the other side of the circle
from the bus stop and any way I go I have
to pass a blind curve and I’ve seen
cars that are supposed to be going 25
m/ph and coming into the multipurpose
lane, cutting through at like 40 and
it’s – and it’s concerning me and I
would like to see am speed bumps, more traffic signs to remind people
and some reflective bump stickers on
the multipurpose lane and maybe a sidewalk. Thank you.>>Thank you.>>There’s been a number of
comments about speed bumps and I would like to encourage you, no matter
what the council does tonight – we
have a procedure and process for that,
please contact me, contact your council representative, contact the City Manager’s office and they can
share that information with you. Yes, sir.>>My name is Art Sullivan y live at 204 north cedar brook drive
in Auburn and I’ll echo all the neighbours’ comments. I think they’ve pretty much summed it up. One thing you’ll note that – where I live
is a lot of people wouldn’t care it
Cary Woods even though we consider it
one big neighbourhood. In the history of our area is gar — is Cary Woods
grew and most of the people up here
tonight are in Owens, Jenkins, Hickory
and that area. I live on north cedar brook. We come out to college. You can imagine coming off
college with the traffic, the cut-through we have
now is horrible. My wife is sitting in the back of the room. I wouldn’t want to get her up
here and start talking about some of the times on an
everyday basis we stand coming or going
out of the house and see someone bottom
out off cedar Brook to Hickory, they
come from Cary to Hickory and up to
north Cedar Brook. We felt strongly this cut through would increase that dramatically from what’s already happening. It would just change the cut-through a bit and probably
just triple it, the travel coming
through there. But we can sit on our back deck and listen for the cars coming
down that hill on north Cedar Brook
and when they bottom out because
they’re going 40 or 50 m/ph down the
hill in a residential neighbourhood
already, safety is a huge concern. We’ve seen our neighbours’ dogs get hit by
cars several times. We’ve seen a lot of stuff happen over there. We’ve seen people almost get plastered by a
car and I highly encourage you to
really, really, really consider it. I stood up here many years ago and we had a
crime issue back – it’s probably been
13, 14 years ago we had an extremely
long council meeting as a result and
one of the council members, Mr Daldel, recommended we start a
neighbourhood watch in the area, which we did,
and the mayor is part of that and a
lot of these people up here tonight are
part of that and eave got a real
vocal area. I’ve received – we started the neighbourhood watch so I get a
lot of emails and we blast them out to everybody. We’ve got about 400 people on
the watch and I can’t tell you how many emails
I got today, some I couldn’t even read
because I had so many because we sent the
information out about the council meeting
tonight. I probably got 50 emails from
neighbours that said they were out of town
or had another engagement but they
wanted to be here so I would just echo their
sentiments to that. It’s a real concern and by the
way the crime issue, when Tommy Dawson was the chief, we met with them and we
got all that stuff under control and I
think part of that was kind of shoring
up the neighbourhood and getting
people aware of things and of course
the round-about, I believe that
helped a little bit back on Cary Drive
where the cut-through is from Donahue. So highly encourage you to
really think about it and think about those families because there’s lot of families in our area and lot of concern. So thank you.>>Who will be next?>>Good evening. Maher, council men and women. I live at 747 Davis Court. Let me tell you about the conditions over there
where we live. We have lack of lighting to walk our streets. We have a bus that comes down on our corner that
the kids have to walk three blocks to get
to the bus and the bus routes, they
told me it’s out of the way for these kindergart ners, they have to
walk from the apartments down to the
bus stop in the cold weather. We have no lights where I can walk at night
with my wife in order to exercise and everything else. We have horrible conditions. Please, if you feel it in your heart, check this out at
night. See what we go through. See what conditions we have. It seems like we are forgotten over there. If you have some time to drop in and see
what we go through, we are a retirement community. We have a lot of old people. We have no safe parks for our children. We need that too. We need a place where we can go and sit
down and enjoy ourselves in our community
but we don’t have that.>>I Hate to interrupt you but this
conversation particularly right now is about
a cut-through at Donahue and Owens Drive.>>Mayor, I understand that but Donahue Drive is right over the crossing. That is going to have to deal with us too. We’re right across the street.>>There will be a more
appropriate time for these comments later in the
agenda and we’d love to hear every one of them.>>OK. Thank you.>>Yes, sir. Anyone else?>>1120 Jenkins Drive. I know I sent most of this information to you in an
email but I would like to cover some
so it’s part of the public record. We have lived in this
neighbourhood for 20 years. Great neighbourhood. Obviously, I’m speaking in my
opposition to this agenda item tonight. The project calls for 21 town homes and then
eventually 40 single family homes to be
builtal adjacent to our property, our neighbourhood, also calls for
the connection. I’m opposed to this for two reasons. One, I feel like it’s mixing of zones. The new zone is DDH, basically high density with the
town homes anyhow and then in C18, neighbourhood conservation and
that’s intended to preserve the
character of existing neighbourhoods so I
think by mixing the two, that is
detrimental to our part of the neighbourhood. I believe property owners have the
right to use their land, develop their
land, profit from it. In this case it’s unnecessary mixing apples and
oranges and that development could have
a negative effect on the adjacent property owners so that’s my
first reason. My second reason and really the one I’m most passionate
about is the plans for that connection to
North Donahue, connecting the plan development to Owens Road mixes
high densities, also would connect us
to a high traffic area. Owens and Jenkins road, as you can heard, it’s a
very quiet and low traffic area. Families out walking, many of the
children walk to Cary Woods because we don’t
have a bus service because they live
too close so you’re adding more
traffic into that neighbourhood when you
have all these kids out playing or
walking or families at night walking. I just think it puts them in jeopardy. In the application under section
B, the standard is that the proposal
shall not result in un due adverse
affect on adjacent proper oor affect
traffic condition oerz public health or safety. I think connecting Cary Woods to North Donahue does created a
verse effect on adjacent properties
and also changes the character of the neighbourhood in that it would increase traffic, make the neighbourhood less livable and
also be a public safety risk to our kids
and families. In the application, it was mentioned by staff that
providing connects to Owens road will
provide Cary Woods residents access to
dawn dawn. I’m not sure that anyone Cary Woods was talked to about that
and thank you but no thank you. It’s not a connection that we want. It’s not a connection that we
welcome and it’s not something we agreed to. Cary Woods residents don’t want
this connection, we don’t want the
increased traffic and we do not want to become a cut-through neighbourhood. Can understand the importance of connectivity in the city and can appreciate trying to ease travel
and things like that but I don’t
think this solves that problem. It doesn’t make sense to me connecting an established built-out
neighbourhood. If we had 100 home site in our neighbourhood that still were
going to be built I might understand that
better but I don’t know how many we have but
I would venture it’s maybe less
than a dozen. I’m not really sure. The last thing I want to know is that connecting North Donahue to
Owens road I feel is unnecessary for this
project to move forward. The developer did not want this connection. They did not ask for the connection. They have original drawings that did not show a connection to Cary Woods. It’s already – as Art said it’s kind of a
speedway already. It’s already a problem. The developer has a design for
this development that does not
include connecting Owens to Donahue. The developer and residents of the
area agree by not connecting Owens to Donahue that both the developer
and residents can be happy. It is my request that this council denies
the proposal in its entirety or at
least approve the project with the
condition that the project not connect to
Owens road therefore not having a
negative impact on the ajasabout
properties or Cary Woods neighbourhood. Thank you.>>Who will be next?>>Sorry, can I go? I’ll be real short. (Laughter) I’m Laura Henry y live at 1201
Jenkins Drive right near the
cut-through. I aBree with – I oppose the
cut-thou, I agree with everything that
everybody else has already said.>>Thank you.>>Thank you. (Laughter)>>How do you expect me to
upstage that? (Laughter)>>I’m here basically ->>Name and
address for the record, please.>>Yes, ma’am, sorry. I have been in court all day and
my brain’s fried. Mark Tippens 1157 Jenkins Drive. Mr Wellbomb and I and several
others fought this battle before
council a few years ago. Different texture somewhat. Some of you remember our future efforts to combat
Wal-Mart as they were coming in and didn’t
seem like there was much justice from
City Hall. Now, I’m going to say this. What then council man Anders and
mayor Hamm said about the development has
been true. I want to commend them, I want to honour both Bill Hamm and Councilman Anders – then
Councilmen Anders. Because what they said Wal-Mart were going to do they
have done. They haven’t come out before 6
in the morning with their trucks. They stop about 8 at night. They have been courteous
neighbours. I don’t have anything bad to say
about the Wal-Mart except that my wife spends too much money there. (Laughter) now don’t go home and
tell her that, Ashley. Since I pointed at Ashley, I
want to talk about Henry and George. Henry and George are my two little
buddies. They’re 9 and 3. Y’all, this cut through doesn’t need to happen
for these kids. That ain’t going to bother me. I’ll be honest with you. I’m gone nine hours a day, a lot
of times on the weekend. It’s not going to bother me but it’s going to bother
these young families. I’m not going to get up here and insult your
intelligence. Y’all are capable business
people, smart people, except for Brett
Smith. (Laughter)>>I agree.>>He’s a lawyer and that is automatically a sign
of limited intelligence.>>Second that. (Laughter)>>He knows I love him. Y’all, as I was sitting out in
the easement behind my house last
night I was trying to think about how I
could wax eloquent with you and I
haven’t thought I can’t wax eloquent,
I’m just going to talk bubba to you. There’s a west side and there’s an east
side of the easement and it’s a separate entity. You’ve got head estates and you’ve got this proposed piece
of property. It’s – I think it’s still owned by the Owens family
limited partnership. I don’t have any problem – and
Brett will tell you this as a real
estate lawyer – I don’t have any
problem with anybody developing the real
estate. I want them to make a profit. I a capitalist to the utmost extreme
but in being a capitalist, we have
to balance the equities and you
know what that means. We’ve got to make sure that Henry and George can still
go back in that easement and play
and they can run up and down there
and hoot and holler are me and Laura
can get out there at 5 in the
morning- she’s a nut, she gets out at 5
in the morning with coffee and has her
quiet time. I can’t imagine anybody getting
up at that time of the morning to have coffee but this is a quality of
life issue for so many people. For these kids it’s a safety issue. I want to talk again about balancing the equities. Mayor, you will remember you and
then mayor Hamm sat in my office with
Mr Willbaum and you all said you
would – he, of course, is no longer part
and parcel of this conversation –
but that we would get a buffer of 25
feet, a green buffer, that that was good
for the city and it was good for the people. I would respectfully and politely ask as a condition, if
you seek to approve this matter,
that you put a 25-foot buffer. As I said in my email, I griped, whined,
complained and did a few other things with
Mayor Anders and then mayor Hamm. Neither one of them promised me that. I do ask you do do this, however, put
your thinking cap on – and you are
all very smart people – each of you have
been in business in some capacity or
the other or managed a governmental
agency and been responsible for a
budget. When you go to assess a business project, you have to assess the
risk and the rewards. The risk should be that of the developer. I have heard Forest talk about the 2.4 acre density. Well, that’s a falsity folks and not just because – Forest
didn’t come with — come up with a
falsity, it is a falsity in the numbers. The falsity lies in the density
would not provide for better than that
because of the unbuildable conditions of some
of the property. That’s the truth of the matter
then they want to go and they want to put in town homes
behind attach ed – behind other
people’s houses, not behind mew house, it
won’t bother me but it is wrong. It is just flat wrong for you to approve
the town home situation. If you want to condition the use, do it, but
don’t do the exact zoning as it currently
sits on the books. What’s fair is fair and what
benefits right is right and I think you people
are all good and greige ands honourable
people and I ask you – I don’t have any
problem with the development of the
property as it is certainly zoned but no conditional uses. Thank you very much.>>Who will be next?>>My name is Martin O’Neill, live at 648 Cary Drive. I like to tell people I come
from the eastern part of the State,
Northern Ireland. I have been here about 17 years so I feel like an old
timer in the Cary Woods neighbourhood and actually looking around, I
bumped into this guy quite a lot so it’s
finally nice to know what he does. My dog wants to eat him every
time he gets out of his truck. I’m looking around the room and
there’s a lot of other faces I’m seeing
tonight and I have been very fortunate I have
been the so long y have seen a sort of
generational shift in that neighbourhood. When we moved, we rented first
on I think south cedar brook drive and fell
in love with the fire flies, azaleas, camellias
over the krs of the year, decided we
were staying in town – paperwork’s in order, don’t need to worry about
that – and bought a home? & we’ve been there for quite a long time. About 2008 the economy tanked. When we moved in it was a retirement
community. I referred to it as geriatric
central. Not to be rude but when you
bumped into folks around the
neighbourhood, they were of an age. A lot passed on and were good friends with when
they did and others moved to
retirement homes. For the longest time when the economy tanked a lot of the
homes sat vacant and didn’t sell and it
took a while for them to sell and over
the last five years I’ve watched all
these young people around the room
move in and my dogs like to eat them too
in the morning. The transformation has been
phenomenal and can have been fortunate to live
all over the world and in some phenomenal
places but I have never come across anywhere
quite like Cary Woods in Auburn. Thatsz it’s got character, rirtz got – well,
let’s talk about the beautiful
external environment, it trees, the
shrubs, everything that makes it
original. It’s just a very, very nice
place to live and I deal with the motor speedway every day and my dogs
deal with the motor speedway every
day and the round-about someone spoke to
a little while ago y don’t know
how many times I have been almost wiped
out on the round-about. I know what a round-about is for, I wish
they’d instruct people on how to use
it. Yield means yield. Stop. Let org have right of way. Development is wonderful and I
have seen lot of development in this team town the time I’ve
been in-T and I’d like see more but the
right kind of development. There’s a thing going on and they talk about
don’t hootell in my neighbourhood and
when they’re talking about
development they’re looking at the right type of development. There’s a little thing called ethenticity and that neighbourhood now stands for authenticity in the city. A lot of people have ought baht homz
because it stands for authenticity. I thing if you allow the development as
proposed and allow the cut-through,
you’ll see lot of the young families up
stickses and move right back out and I
would hate to see Cary drive become
what it was in 2008 to 2010. I naturally going through pose it and thank you
for giving me the opportunity to
find out what this guy does. I’ll go knocking on his dure. Door. Thank you very much.>>Thank you.>>Who will be next?>>I don’t know if I’m the last
speaker but – and this – but this is not
the best so ->>Athise at least one more behind you.>>There must be someone else.>>Mayor.>>Name andries for the record.>>I Felt like he was about to get there. Name and address, please. (Laughter)>>Let me just say I am not experienced in ->>That’s OK. We’re a patient group.>>Give and takes of this nature. But I guess my qualification might be that I’m almost ->>Give your name and address.>>Yes. My name. Let me think.>>It’s Jim.>>Jim, yes. Jim, J-I-M. Who am I giving it to?>>Right there.>>OH. My name is Jim Guin, not real common around here. Guin. I already said that. 1211 Owens Road, Auburn, Alabama, 3683.>>Alright, go. (Laughter)>>So anything else I need to
put on the record?>>You’re good.>>Perfect snoochl
good to go. I’ll try to pick up speed as I
go along, if not cut me off. Well, so, we built our house on
Owens road in 1978 and we have lived
there ever since and I did do the
somemath here and I found out that’s over
40 years we’ve lived on Owens road, that’s been a great 40 years and
I’m just so happy to live there. Auburn is a great city, I think you guys
do a great job. I think we’ve got the best government going that I know of
in Alabama and ->>Just one second. Caitlin, did you get all that? (Laughter) continue.>>I’M serious. I’ve looked at some things like
that and, anyway, over the 40-year
period, as you know, it’s always been a
very quiet and nice, family oriented. We raised our daughter there, she
went to Cary Woods school etc. It worked out very well and so I guess I’m
opposed to the cut-through as everyone
else that’s spoken so far has been
and everyone I’ve talked to has
been. And I would like to see the
neighbourhood keep its current quiet
traffic-free, more or less, relaxed area
without a lot of traffic. Now, I will point out that the low traffic level is especially needed in Cary and
Owens because there are absolutely
zero sidewalks except for a small
section of Cary Drive and what this
means is that everyone, including myself,
I walk about 3 miles a day or so
through Cary generally, when I can, and
you have to walk in the street, on
the roadway. Cary is very curvy and there’s lots of blind curves
because over the 40 years I’ve lived
there, the azaleas and other bushes
have grown out almost – maybe a
little bit encroached into the roadway so
you can’t see around that curve or
over the hill and often times I have
come around there and there are
people – when three or four people walk
they don’t tend to walk in single
file, it’s not, I guess the army or something, so they walk side by
side and so they are walking side by
side and that comes out pretty much
almost at least halfway across your
lane of traffic so it’s a somewhat scary proposition. Therefore, increased traffic would be a detriment to
their getting their exercise. Now, my second point is that I read the
rationale for the extension of Owens Road put
forth by the planning commission and
it seems to be founded on a
principle that increased connectivity –
maybe I don’t understand it – but
increased connectivity is always better. That seems to be the principle it’s
based on. Now, to me, I was a professor,
I’m not now but I was, so for 35
years we called that sort of thing an assumption and if we assume that that’s true then obviously you
want the maximum number of
connections for every neighbourhood, if that’s a
true statement. But I would have to question that increased
connectivity for any neighbourhood is always better. I would have to question that, I guess, and so I think while
that might have merit, we can’t
always just blindly invoke that principle
without giving it some serious thought
and consideration so that’s what I
would ask you to do regarding that. I believe that many residents in
Auburn – and I’m not – it sounds like I should be very familiar with
Auburn since I’ve lived in it for about
40 years but I don’t know all of
the outlying areas but I do know
that a lot of them have, as Mr Dawson
said, one entrance and exit but even
if you had one entrance and one exit
that would be not too bad but I don’t
know if too many developers of neighbourhoods say, “Come build
a house in my neighbourhood, my
plot or whatever, because can have 300 entrance s and exits.” That
principle has to be tempered, I believe. I will point out that the Owens
Road neighbourhood already has
several connecting roads. I can think of three off the top of my head that
Owens connects to and we have a direct connection straight down from
where I live one block away to Shug
Jordan Parkway. Which, as you know, is a major
artery and I can go all the way around
town with that.>>We’re really enjoying your comments but could you wrap it
up pretty soon? Sfoo yes, sir, I appreciate your
patience in even listening to me. I think the Donahue traffic will
increase in the future because of what’ going on at
Donahue so if you were to pass this
tonight and connect it, it might work OK
for a little while but then in the
future if you’re – probably, I don’t see
the traffic lessening and so what
you do impacts us for the future and
I’m sorry to take up your time. I guess in closing I’ll close with the old
adage that everybody knows – if it
ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m happy with it now.>>Thank you, Mr Guin. Who will be next? Yes, ma’am.>>My name is Carmen Wilder and I live at 1106
Jenkins Drive. Our house is actually the corner house that’s one house
down from the property that hit the
dead end from my neighbours. I apologise, I was late because my spouse
worked late and we have three children which
yd were love to tell you about
because they’re connected to this so I couldn’t just leave them and he
didn’t want me to bring them here so I
may speak or repeat some things that
some of my neighbours have talked
about. I have some questions – I don’t
expect anybody to answer them right now
but they’re more rhetorical
questions I hope have truly been considered
in a very strategic and thoughtful
way and I echo Mr Jim in my main concern
with all of this is in connectivity,
which I 100% agree with when we’re
looking at developing a city and
becoming a place that people want to move
to but it needs to be thoughtful
connectivity so one of the things is really
truly what is the reason for
connecting Owens road to Donahue? How will this benefit citizens of quality of
life? I live in Cary Woods, I moved to Auburn in March/April, kind of a graduated move, my husband
started a job here in February, I had to
close out my job, so we moved here and
it was 20 here and two other places
we were considering moving to for a
job and we decided on Auburn because
we were told they have excellent
schools and there was – there were the
numbers behind it. We were told they had neighbourhood schools which was amazing. We were told that there was great things to do outdoors. We were told that the city is
progressive. We were told and saw the numbers
behind it that the university was an
amazing place and really supported the community and I have felt and
lived all those things in the past
five or six months and it has been
amazing and then last week we were told
we’re just going to knock out this road,
you know, only two of my neighbours actually got notice of this and
there didn’t seem to be a lot of
thought behind we’re building
townhouses, we’re building this road – I
want to speak on the townhouses for a
minute. I don’t want to stand in the way
of progress. I do question them a little bit
though. I come from a college town that for I recently wered for
and I loved it, Mississippi State, and
I lived in a wonderful old
afternoon and a wonderfulole fixer-upper built
in 1947 that I loved and cried when
we moved and then I moved into a
house as people are mentioning,
supposedly it’s an old neighbourhood built in
’78 and I’m thinking this is brand new,
there are is noto many things to fix
here as there were in the other house. And, I’m thinking to myself “I just
moved from this problem. I lived in an old neighbourhood, there was a
cut-through through our neighbourhood that
was put in. There were promises of
sidewalks, promises of bike lanes and you
can ask me, “Carmen, did it happen?” The answer is, “No, it did not
happen.” Do I believe it will happen now? No. It’s been too long. It will not happen. What happened is that people cut through a road that was
supposed to be 25 m/ph going 45 m/ph and
it was very dangerous and my children,
we could not walk and run and ride
our bikes safely. Here, I have a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old, all boys, and we
ride our bikes to and from school
every day. My husband commutes to work on his bike most days. A lot of my neighbours I see them commuting
to work on their bicycles as well. I get up 5 or 6 in the morning and run
my dog where I see my friendly
other walkers and running walking and running their dogs and for once,
I ask eke out three miles just within
a neighbourhood or run around and
hit college on a sidewalk and go up
and it’s amazing and this road
especially without the promise of traffic
calming measures, sidewalks and bicycle
lanes is not going to provide that. Eeven if those happen, which I have been burned, I don’t – I just – I’m concerned that it won’t happen
if it’s not there first, that they – I
won’t even allow my children to play
in the yard because one of them’s going to kick a ball and run out there
and get knocked over by some college
student going 45 m/ph in a place where
theyhead go 25 because that’s how fast they go
on Cary drive already right now. It’s tempting, I have a lead
foot too. It’s very tempting. A couple of questions – how will
this benefit citizens’ quality of
life? We’re looking to attract people
to move to Auburn to work or go to
school like myself, what is the city’s
goal? How do you want the city to be perceive under if they haven’t
been mentioned, I have a couple of alternative ideas for increased connect tavety because I think
it is important. I think you can increase connectivity to be planned side
by side with increased quality of
life. Road connection dezeess quality
of life for residence because it
deters residents from walking and
biking up and down the street travelling
to work and school. Certainly as mentioned there are no bike lanes – very
little bike lanes and side walks from
too buffer from cars and causes
safety concerns for children playing
outside. Parents are unlikely to let them
lay in the yard because of obvious concerns I just mentioned. I would suggest – this is just one
suggestion – extends the road with a bike
and walking path only. Peep that are moving or already live near
Donahue, how nice would it be for them to
be able to walk and bike into Cary
Woods, pop off to Hickory Dickory Park,
the most amazing park I have
experienced and we go ever day it’s not
90-plus degrees which hasn’t been
lately. Be able to connect, a thoughtful connectivity, people can walk
and bike through to get to down town
easily but they’re not roaring through a thoroughfare so no motorised
vehicle access or make it so that it’s
only access for emergency vehicle
those there’s bollards or some
permanent structures put up to prohibit
actual motorised vehicles to come
through. I don’t know – when you tell me
town houses there are two types of
people at least at Mississippi State
who bought townhouses and if this is
you that’s fine, it’s wonderful, but they’re parents who are
privileged and can afford to buy them a
townhouse so they can live there and they’re
people who buy game day houses. Everybody else doesn’t by buy a townhouse. Maybe if you do, wonderful. I’m thinking are they really going to be a lot of families living back there? A single family home? I don’t know. But anyway, if there’s actually
families there, I don’t know where the
schools are zoned for, if they’re zoned
for Pick and Cary Woods, that would
be fabulous if they have another
way by bike and foot to get easily to
the schools and safely to the
schools. In fact, I would wonder, this
should be a consideration for all
neighbourhoods to increase their quality of life
and connectivity without increasing
traffic and potential dangers, associated with increased
traffic in neighbours. We don’t want traffic in neighbours. People don’t want travel on campuses. Everywhere where I see cities and universities, they’re moving to pedestrian friendly
and this is far from pedestrian friendly. Progressive sit shaez be
thinkish and looking ahead in their planning
and how new zoning and road way
design so where the roads are built,
predicting through actual research how
tlats going through tract traffic
flow, controlling with different
measures, how will it affect all citizens’ quality of life and increase connectivity rather than making
it difficult for people to live comfortably and jamming aneighbourhoods. Several of the people who have lived here for a while
have commented to me this is already
a problem for Richmond elementary because they have a huge busy
road that’s knifing through the neighbourhood and none of the
kids there can walk and bike to
school. That’s really problematic. I would hope that Auburn is a place that
we continue to stay for a while and
some place we see people – more
people biking and walking. A more robust public transit system where
people could – if they live on the
outskirts they could commute to a point
and ride in so that decrease s traffic everywhere, helps with
pollution, it is better for people’s quality
of life. I would like to support my tax dollars for those types of
things rather than thing that in my mind
haven’t been well thought out. Not a city planner but they
haven’t been well thought out so thank you.>>Thank you. (Applause)>>Anyone else?>>my name is Todd shipman 231 south cedar drive. I just wanted to mention, moving here
several years ago, one gentleman spoke
about watching people go on north
cedar brook and my family and my
daughter and I and my wife, we like to
walk south cedar brook, go around and
hit north cedar brook and, yes,
there’s already a lot of traffic
trafficking quickly there. When we first moved there, I was the one getting my daughter on the school bus in
the morning and there is a lot of
buses coming through in the morning
and people are hurrying to work and driving
too fast. I’m bringing this up to say I
knew – I was supportive of adding Pick
elementary but I knew that would give me lot of
concerns because now we had more kids
walking up the street, picking up the street,
we have kids waiting for buses in the
morning and the buses are coming through
so seeing that increase with that
is naturally going to see increases
on – if we open up the connectivity
you’re talking about, the connection,
and I still think it’s not going to be limited to that own the
neighbourhood. I think people will be
connecting over through north and south cedar
brook to hit College as well so having
seen that even with the addition of a school which I support and it’s
a wonderful schoolering being
there, adding extra concern for
children’s safety and for traffic in the
morning, I’d like to add my voice to
speak against add ing the connection
over there. Thank you.>>Thank you. Who will be next?>>Hi. My name is Bay Kelly, 1211 Jenkins drive. I often get Jim’s mail. I just want to throw my voice into the opposition of the
connection. I have a daughter who bikes with
many other people’s children here. We’ve seen that traffic. I know I was told by the planning commission
there’s a sidewalk plan in place. I tried to find that sidewalk plan, I
couldn’t find it. But, something tells me it isn’t going to extend all the
way up into our little wing of the neighbourhood and it’s a really
busy wing of the neighbourhood. So there’s really great ideas, I’m grateful
to everyone in the neighbourhood
who’s shown up and I’m grateful for
your time. Thank you.>>Thank you. Yes, ma’am.>>Hi, my name is Sofia y live at 533 Owens road. I would like to echo the statements of my neighbours. I am also against the connectivity
issue and I – when I looked at the
proposal, the statement – the proposed use
and locations will not result in a substantial or undue adverse
effect on adjacent proper , character of
the neighbour, traffic conditions,
parking et cetera and I saw that and I’m
like, “How do they know?” One of the
things was there’s no data. And we’ve had cut-throughs built in the city
and it has increased traffic. We know that’s going to happen and we don’t
want that. But the other thing is a few years back – I live right there
where that cut-through is going to be
built. It’s right there. We always thought of it as a dead end right where
they want to bill that street and it used
to just – it’s kind of hilly and it
used to be open and one of the
problems that we had was that we had
crime. We had break-ins because people
could very quickly get away. It’s in the woods, it’s an area that maybe
is not as frequently patrolled and we
had a lot of break-ins and we got
together and a gate was put in. There is data after thatidate was put in, our
crime – when there was some kind of
stop measure placed, our crime
decrease sod we have data on the fact that
when that area wassopened up we had
higher crime rates so that was
something that councilman Dawson pointed out at
the beginning and something that I
wanted to bring up. Thank you.>>Yes, ma’am. Thank you.>>My name is Bruno Ullrich, 1518
story circle, I live way across town
from this side. 36 years ago I graduated with a degree in landscape architecture and urban planning. I was hired as a land planner and the
thing I carried with me from school in
the 1960s and on through was
connectivity, connectivity, connectivity. Connect every street you can in a
subdivision regardless of the character or
quality of the housing. Period. (Inaudible) eventually I got called>>the mayor’s office, and the City
Manager’s office, sat down time and time
again. Those were simple times, didn’t
have a sophisticated planning
commission or other commissions. They sat me down and said, “Bruno, you need to
learn a few things about this area. You need to learn a few things about
common sense.” So I worked up through
the ranks and said I need to talk to
the police department, talk to the
fire department and talk to
(inaudible) folks to see whether or not we
need to connect this section of the subdivision or this section of a development to each other. That’s what needs to happen. I don’t see that. We planners can make all the judgments in the world about how
nice it would be to connect. Goes back to the 1950s when
subdivisions first started developing in the suburbanisation of America. People know something needs to be
connect ed by that guy there and others in emergency services, they need to
be contacted.>>Who will be next?>>Gary, 608 Owens road. I am one of the two houses that
are actually dead on the dead end here. There’s actually three houses
when you cross the dead end from Jenkins. I will reiterate what was just mentioned a couple
of speakers ago and what Mr Dawson
said earlier. We did have a krum wave for quite some time when the power
company put the gate up our crime rate
went way down and I do not want to
see a crime rate go back up again. Second of all, the speed, the cut-through
is just going to create problems. One thing the planning commission
says this is going to be our benefit. Well, as someone who’s right there who
– even if I could cut through
there, make a right on Donahue to go to Wal-Mart because of the traffic
on Donahue, I’m going to go down
Owens road, make a left on Shug Jordan
to go to Wal-Mart. Why would I want to get on to two lanes versus four
lanes? Third, all of Owens is going to
get busier but certainly dead end
traffic. If you look at how much traffic
with three houses there, a couple of
times in and out, UPS, mail, Fed Ex, whatever, our traffic at least
on the dead end is going to go sky
high. 10 times, 100 times what it is
today. We already have problems after
football games, people flying up there screeching to a halt before the
dead end because they missed the dead
end sign. If that’s happening now without a cut-through y can only
envision what is going to happen with a
cut-through. If by chance this development
moves forward, quite truthfully, of
the kafrbthd of the
neighbourhooduric don’t prefer the townhouses but
as an additional condition other than
just not allowing the cut-through off Owens, I would present that as somebody who’s going to be
affected most by this, if you allow this
we either need a dense forest,
bushes, whatever or a fence to cut down
the noise just like they put that
fence line behind Wal-Mart when they
built it to cushion the narnd, I think
if the townhouses go through with
or without this cut-through, we definitely have to have some
sord of noise buffer there. As someone else mentioned earlier, if this goes through y would not be opposed
to have the sidewalk connectivity or
bike lane cutting through for the good of
people but certainly we do not need the traffic going through with motor vehicles. There are times tat some of the – as was mentioned, over the
years – I’ve been there 25 years when
I first moved in I saw a map
showing Owens road horse shoeing back to
Shug Jordan. I knew 25 years ago we’d get something going on there. Back then they never proposed a
connection to connect the two neighbours
but now, over time, we’ve had an aging neighbourhoods but now we are
getting a much more younger people in
there. There’s lot of times I come home
in the afternoon or evening or
especially on weekends, there may be kids
riding bikes and tricycles in the edend because there’s three houses
there so it is a good place for kids
learning to ride bikes. Perfectly good spot, they can circle the road and not
have to worry about staying to the
right and not get hit by traffic so
quality of life, the crime, the speed,
for all these reasons I oppose
definitely the connect-through and maybe even – unless we see good conditions on
the townhouses themselves I’m not
really even in favour of the townhouses themselves. Thank you for your time.>>Anyone else?>>Christopher, 1242 Hickory Lane. Opposed to this cut through, opposition. I personally invite you to come down ask see
the increase in traffic that’s there already. You have to make these important
decisions. We have an tune to be pro active tonight and I
hope you’ll consider this. Thank you.>>Who will be next?>>On behalf of Owens family
partnership y wanted to reiterate something
that Mr Cotton said at the beginning
of this meeting. The conditional use request is strictly related to
the town home use and whether that
use is in line with existing uses in
the area. I do appreciate everyone coming out, being passionate about
preserving their neighbourhood and their livelihood in the city. As mentioned by one of the citizens who spoke earlier , the developer does not
have a preference whether this
connection is made or not. The initial site plan presented to city staff did not
show a connection. We are OK with removing that connection. We are just requesting the conditional use
of allowing the town home use and I brought a thumb drive with me
that shows adjacent properties. I don’t know if we can pull that up.>>That’s something the council would like
to see?>>Sure.>>OK. Really all this is, it just shows where our project
is located and some of the adjacent multifamily uses arpthat area. So we have multifamily right there on Donahue, across right there on
Green Tree Terrace. So, kind of the Donahue corridor there, a lot of that
corridor is on top of multifamily or town
home use already so we’re proposing
to basically buffer our single
family residential to the north of that
and maintain a town home use along
that corridor to kind of buffer this
single family from Donahue. I will agree with what the gentleman said earlier,
the property may not allow us to
exceed the 5.5 per acre due to some
areas on there are unbuildable but I
would like to point out we’re currently
proposing approximately 2.5 dwelling units
per acre, well below what the zoning district permits which is up to
5.5 dwelling units per acre. If you look at just the town home portion,
even that portion, if isolated with
that alone, meets the 5.5 dwelling
units per acre. Thank you.>>Thank you. Anyone else like to speak to the public hearing? Anyone?>>(Inaudible)>>No. We’ll close the public hearing. Council, any comments or
questions?>>Like to re-State what I said
at the beginning. I don’t feel it’s necessary to put the cut-through there. I think it will would be detriment tool
the crime rate in that neighbourhood
and I’m opposed to having a
cut-through, for sure.>>I Also say the same thing. I’m just – I was looking at this
map and just trying to understand
and the townhouses are actually going to
be sitting right on Donahue, North Donahue. It’s just like having them to come in and out on Donahue
without the extra cut-through. So the cut-through is really, to me, unnecessary. I agree with the majority. That the cut-through is
unnecessary.>>Knrd like to make a motion
that we approve this conditional use
with the condition that Owens road does
not connect to this development.>>Second that.>>We do have a motion and a second R. There any other comments or thoughts? I think I need to say that this is my neighbourhood. I live on the southern quadrant
of Cary Woods. I’m not sure if where I live is considered legally Cary Woods
but I have always told people I live
in Cary Woods. It is a unique place, maybe Auburn’s oldest planned
neighbourhood. It has winding curves and lots
of trees and Owens Jenkins road
area is a very unique area the people have
come become conditioned to having
wide open spaces and safe roads for their children to live and play on. I believe making the cut-through
through there would be very detrimental particularly to people who live closest to where the cut-through
is and ultimately it would be
difficult, I think, for Cary Woods for more traffic to come into our neighbourhood. I do say very clearly to all of you that this is
personal, that I do think it’s in Auburn’s
best interests for us not to have
this cut-through.>>I Want to ask another question. One of the things that concerned
me – I know this don’t have anything to
do with the cut-through but it concerned me there’s no sidewalks in the area. I have come through Cary Woods a lot and I
have never ever noticed and I guess
it’s typical on north-west side of
Auburn about the sidewalk thing. So, I mean, is it that people don’t want the sidewalks? Have they been asking for sidewalk s? I’m confused.>>A Gentleman spoke earlier, Cary Woods has
really changed in the last 10 years. When my family moved there in the late
’90s it was a neighbourhood full of an
older population, there wasn’t a lot
of children there. That is totally reversed itself especially over
the last decade and there are many children through $and that is a
great school and it’s getting a new
building now and there are lots of kids
that are walking around there so I
think for the new Cary Woods it’s
certainly something to consider. Yeah, but I don’t know ->>I think there’s been a lot of questions tonight about sidewalks in neighbourhoods and
I think one of the important
things was-S there was a shift that was
not popular at the time that it was
made that they required in new
subdivisions and while that does not help our
older subdivisions a lot of strides
have been made over the years especially with connectivity to schools, a
lot have mentioned tonight Pick
elementary and there’s been changes to side
walks on North College and so on. If you have further questions I’ll have
the city engineer address but neighbourhoods for petition for sidewaubs. The city has limited funding where we go back and put sidewalks in neighbourhoods and
make connection but proirt priority
is routes to school and routes that
are most penficial. There has been small sections and, yes, the
neighbours have indicated tonight there’s very
limited side walk in this vicinity. Lot of that has to do with age of subdivision. The very things that make it charm rg the very things that
by its age do not require that that happened and there’s sometimes
some notion in public hearings that
other neighbourhoodses got them and
the city paid for them and I want to be
clear that sometimes the city does pay
for connections or we get grants
that in the newer neighbourhoods where they
exist were paid for as part of the
subdivision construction by the developer
and in the end the home owners who purchased
property there. But there is a manner in which
you can petition the city for sections
and while we couldn’t do the entire
neighbourhood at once, that can be considered and
looked at if the neighbourhood petitions. Same with the traffic calming
items that have been mentioned.>>Thank you. We have a motion and a second. Any other questions or comments from the council?>>I have one. This is an important document
and I appreciate you sharing this petition
because there is lists and lists of
people. People. People who live with us. Thanks a lot. Appreciate that.>>Ms Whitten, would you repeat
your motion?>>I would like to move to
approve this agenda item conditional use for
the town homes with the condition
that it does not connect to Owens Road.>>We do have a second on that. OK. All in favour, please say aye.>>Aye.>>Any opposed? So that motion carries. (Applause) Ladies and gentlemen, we still
have a council meeting we’re continuing
on with. If some of you would like to leave please do that quietly. We do have maybe a little bit
left to go.>>Mayor, would you like me to continue or wait a minute?>>Let’s just wait one minute, please. Ms Crouch.>>Item 10burst rb B is resolution that would authorise execution of a non-binding
letter of intent and lease with orange
Auburn 3LLC and further authorises expenditure of up to $1 million
from the general fund to relocate and renovate the Cullars House. A public hearing is suggested.>>At this time we’ll open the public hearing
and ask you to please come forward and
give your name and address for the
record.>>My name is mar y Norman. I live at 747 Warra Road. I am also President of the Auburn Heritage Association
and I represent 300 members of our
members. Over the last few weeks, we have
a Facebook page and we have
received over 8,000 hits on a Facebook
page primarily in favour of moving
this house. Some people think this is just an old house. Why save it when you don’t save others? For over the century, the Cullars family contributed much to the Auburn community. Many times when the college did not have funds to complete a building, local residents like
the Cullars contributed. There were three brothers involved in the Cullars construction company. Hull, JA – nickname Tobe – and William A. They’re responsible for building
the following buildings in Auburn. Samford Hall, Smith Hall, Coma after it burned
in 1921, the old vet building,
poultry department, theta chi fraternity
which later became dorm 12 and was
torn down, alumni Hall, Ramsay Hall,
Duncan Hall, Ross Chemical, Mary Martin
which was at Carnegie library, texture building, President’s mansion,
women’s quad, dorms 1 through 4, drake infirmary, bank of Auburn and
many houses still standing in Auburn
and Opelika. The barn across from the Cullars
House housed the largest wooden lathe
in the county. Many of the large columns and gingerbread for the buildings
were crafted there. They were involved in
agricultural experimentation as exhibited in the Cullars
rotation. They have already torn down the William A Cullars house on South
Gay. This Cullars house is the second
where Hull Cullars lived. The other is a 2-storey house
behind the President’ mansion which was
built by Tobe and where his nephew lived. For a family that has
contributed so much to a community, it is a
true shame these houses of tremendous historical significance, architecturally, are to be
abolished to the ground. This the gateway to Auburn. This is the first look in Auburn that has a sense of place
as you come into town. And you as city council members have an
opportunity to save this structure. It qualifies for the national register in two
ways – architecturally because of the
way it is built, being an 1893
structure which is totally restored in
1983 – and historically because the
family, who not only built and live in
it, gave so much to the Auburn
community. Many people say, well t should
have been put in a historic district,
that was tried in 2000 and again a
few years ago they tried to put it
in a preservation type zoning area
but the city took it out of the
university services zoning and put it in
new zoning. The 75-foot allowance to go up that many storeys is the why
this property sold. So in essence, the city is responsible for allowing the
sale of this property, making more attractive to out of town
developers. From this point forward, the
city must take stock in what it has done
to make these valuable historical
resources more attractive to developers
and we are to lose every aspect of what
has made Auburn the loveliest
village. We aren’t a village anymore. It’s not that we don’t want to change. We want responsible change. We don’t want to lose our entire identity just
because out of town developers seize the opportunity to make money out of college students. There is going to be a time the city cannot meet the
feeds of all this new development. We need responsible development in
Auburn. As far as this house is concerned,
the city saving it would be a
tremendous statement to the citizens that
you do – that you do care about
Auburn’s history. Thank you.>>Who would be next?>>My name is Abe Connor, 281 greystone Lane. 35 years ago we purchased this property from a
man in Maryland. At the time, it was actually a contingent contract on it to
put a convenience store or guess
station on the property and actually mayor Dempsey is one that brought it
to our attention and she and the
council kept it in abeyance until we could
purchase it and with the idea of
restoring the home and building 20 20
2-bedroom apartments around it, which we
did. And so anyway, personally, I
have a lot of hours into the
restoration part of the project and the building
and we even salvaged some brick from
Brown Hall to use around the
apartmentses and the house, the 1890s house. I have a lot of fondness for it and
really proud we were able to do it and
stay in it for 35 years. Once it was under contract, I
spent lot of time trying to find a location for the house
and brought up the cost of moving
and restoring it and it is very
difficult because the fireplaces that go
from the ground through the roof and because they would have to be
taken down and the mess it would make
inside the homes in particular, doing
that, and the height that the home
would probably require taking the roof
off and then you’re vulnerable to
weather and other things. It is really a difficult thing. I just really am here to say I love to see it saved
but I do recognise the difficulties in
doing so and unless you have a location
and a real purpose or need for it then
it’s kind of hard to see how spending
that kind of money would be in the
best interest of the community but
y’all got a tough decision to make and
I don’t envy you in doing so. I just wanted to give my thoughts on it
as well.>>Thank you, Mr Connor. Who would be next? Yes, ma’am.>>Good evening, my name is Susan Melton, I live
at 1548 Woodley Circle and I would
like to echo the statements made by
Ms Norman about the preservation of
the home in some fashion, if at all possible. It seems to me, as someone who has moved back into the
Auburn area in the past five years, so
much of what I remember of Auburn is
gone, it’s been replaced by high-rise student apartments of a totally
new type of design that is not what
you think of when you think of a
village or a small town like Auburn and
the Cullars home represents one of
the last remaining structures of an
older era that does mean so much to
Auburn. I know it would not be an in
expensive measure to move it however if
there is some way that it could be moved,
I think that it would be worth it
in the long run and I think you have to
think of the long run, he of
preserving history, memories and honouring
the people who put it there and did
so much for this community before
we ever got here. Thank you.>>Yes, ma’am. Who would be next?>>Linda Dean, 474 Scott Street. Tonight, this city council will determine the fate of a
landmark historical house associated with
one of the most important families
in the city’s and the community’s
history. It is pointless to dwell now on
what has led to this dilemma. Instead, consider the following: Some council
members have expressed reservations
about spending taxpayer money to save
this house which can be moved for approximately $200,000. Yet several council members have also told
me that they have received about 80
emails expressing support for saving
the house and only a handful
opposing the expenditure. This message is clear and Ms Norman also mentioned the
support that she had received through
her Facebook page. Every expenditure is taxpayer money. Tonight, you approved an expenditure of nearly
$175,000 of taxpayer money for a flower bed
on South College Street. This was item 8C5, $175,000 for something
temporary because plants die but not
$200,000 for something permanent. The city has the money. Revenue exceeded projected income last year so a lack of
money is not really the obstacle. The building has been well maintained through
its 125-year history. Thank you, Mr Connor. Thank you. To welcome residents and visitors to a key crossroads of university and
town, soon that site will be an empty
scar. The developer, who has spent
about $12 million to assemble propertieses
at that location, has been very tight-lipped about his plans but
there are probably people sitting in
this room who may be aware of what
may replace this historic building. Why is there no excited buzz
about this project? Is it because something so mediocre and ordinary and un
needed is going to replace something significant and cherished? The destruction of this house will
carve a deep wound in the hearts of
alumni and residents alike but moving the
house and using it, for example, as a
space in town park for next month’s
Saturday markets would help heal that
wound. In 2015, a petition signed by over
2000 people was presented to that
city council asking for a slow-down
in the construction of student housing
to truly assess needs. That city council ignored its citizens’ request
and now, although Mayor Anders didn’t,
thank you – now, three years later,
our city is looking at a surplus of
housing as reported by city proper manager,
city wide. The point is to ask you to please pay attention to your
citizens’ request. Mayor Anders was one of the three council members who wanted
the slow-down or moratorium not to
be pulled from the agenda that
night and that vote became part of his
campaign platform. City and press statements and an informal online survey through misleading wording have left the impression that the cost of
moving the house would be a million dollars
with additional cost incurred in
restoring it. There is no doubt in my mind
that this eeroanious impression has
been a factor in some people’s
opposition to moving the house, they have been astonished when I have told them
that the moving costs are estimated
at about $200,000 and not a
million. In light of the considerations
above, as well as Ms Norman’s statements,
many in the community support this
project. It would be an asset in one of
our parks and the city can afford
it. It is indefensible for this council
to vote no on saving this house for public enjoyment for decades to
come. Thank you.>>Who will be next? Anyone?>>Ryan, 801 South Gay Street. I spoke a couple of weeks ago in
opposition to the city using public funds for
this purpose and I’ll say it again
like I did last week, it’s not in
opposition to what these folks are wanting
to do. I respect the fact that that’s something that’s valuable to
them, however y do not feel that it is
in the overall interest to the
community to spend those tax dollars to
move this building. Ms Norman stated it’s the – you know kind of the
entrance to the campus and all that kind of
stuff and I think that’s arguable but
if we take it and move it then it outs
no value as the entrance to the
campus, it serves no purpose. I’ll also say – and please correct me, Brett, if
I’m wrong – that there is no
monument on this building now honouring the significance of this building. That is? Is there anything outside that says, “This is the Cullars
building. This is this great building that
we all revers.”? Is there anything there? It seems like the building’s been hiding in plain sight for
120 years and now there’s some fella
who wants to take it down and
everyone’s scrambling to save this building
that has some new-found importance
and not knowing the Cullars significance
in the community, I think it’s interesting they certainly did
lot of things but if they were alive
today, many of the people that are
supporting honouring them would be in
opposition to a lot of the things they did. They would be saying Samford
Hall is too tall or what have you. So I think it is very ironic that these people
who are always against construction
now want to honour these guys who
were local builders and built a lot
of houses because it’s contrary to
their typical assessment of people who
build for a living. So I would just ask that you guys refrain from using
public funds to do something that a
handful of folks seem to have an
interest in spending a lot of money for and
just refrain from doing so and Mr
Parsons is my council member and I’ve
talked to him many times and I’ve used
the analogy before, you know, we’re
a town of 60,000 people and I’ve heard
from a couple of council people, “50
people have emailed me. 70 people have emailed me.” What that is
telling you – what it is screaming so loud
to you is almost no-one cares. People who don’t have an opinion or don’t
care or don’t want to get behind
something, they don’t let you know. The people that are passionate
about it, those are the ones that come out and
support things vocally and will spend
the time to do so but the overwhelming
silent majority of people, they don’t
want to spend this money for this and
you typically won’t hear from those
folks. Thank you.>>Thank you. You want to be next?>>>>Ray, 1438 Varner Avenue. I was not planning on speaking
tonight. Had no desire to speak. We have been managing the proper for Mr
Conners for quite some time before he sold
it and a little while after that. Just so that the prior speaker
will know there is a marker right by the
front door of the house. The house is dedicated several
years ago by the Auburn preservation league
and there is a plaque on the front of the
House that says the Cullars Connors House
is a historic – doesn’t mean
(inaudible) registered historic side for
Auburn – I think the preservation league
had a huge meeting that night, there
were well over 200 people there that recognised it, that
congratulated Mr Connor for his work and his preservation of the house. Just to set the record so you all know. Thank you.>>Thank you. Anyone else?>>Sirbgs 08 Owens road. I had not originally planned on speaking on this but
having heard of these comments
especially the gentleman who is against it; to
me, if the city were to move this – I
don’t know if you have a place for it
yet – but as the city continues to
grow, the city offices need more spots and
maybe down the line if we moved it somewhere, maybe one or more
city departments could move into it
and therefore it would benefit all citizens not just the hand ful
of people. I think really we should look at this. Yes, I realise spending this much money may slow road
repairs, side walks, whatever else, but I
think in the growth of the city – I have
been here 32 years, came in ’87, I
see going up and down College
Street how many build recession gone and
residential houses torn down, and there’s a way to save this,
whether it is used for a meeting location,
used for a city department or twouric
think we ought to seriously consider
it to keep some of what is Auburn
around. Thank you.>>Anyone else?>>I’m William Dean, 474 Scott
Street. There have been a few comments by several people how
the unimportance of these houses
are. I think I’ve on several
occasions explained to y’all that my dear
cousin Anne Pearson and I restored –
mostly her money – restored Sunday
slope down on South College which was also
a house built or rebuilt by the
Cullars family in 1888. This house – she purchased it and paid nearly
$400,000 for the property back in the end
of 2013. Two years later and $380,000 worth of restoration, it was completely renovated into a
structure which is now – at the time we
really didn’t know what to do with it
so we built it up to institutional
standards and commercial wiring codes and electrical and all that and she eventually donated it to Auburn university who is now using it
as their offices and classrooms. These type of structures do have nee readaptive use and even though
she didn’t move it, she spent nearly $400,000 buying so if you
started out with moving it less than
$400,000, you’re up to a point where you
could restore it. You have Town Creek Park down there with the domination
of a pretty good bit of land there. You could location zone it. There’s got to be good community
use this structure could be rehabilitated
in the half-million-dollar range to be functional and saved. There is no way to save it in its present
location. The only other thick I would say
is that I have a problem with the
city coming and saying, “OK, we need
to spend a million dollars and redo
this intersection up here and put
pretty brick crosswalks where everybody
can say pretty quick crosswalks with lights in them and plug-ins for
the phones and let’s do it at the
next one and the next one,” yet we can’t
come up with a couple of hundred
thousand tlz or half a million dollars
now to move and preserve the house and
work on a plan to do something. We built the tennis center and used our
5mil tax plan to finance that and
then you give the money to the school now
the city is paying over half a
million dollars to pay off the bon issue
on that. There are lot of things in the city budget where we’re just
spending half a million dollars here and
there and not like we’ve got a lot of
half a million dollars to spend but a
few hundred thousand dollars of
money up front with a plan would go a
long way to preserving Auburn’s history. Thank you.>>Who would be next?>>Parker Lewis, 710 east Samford. Who was not planning on standing up either. Just wanted to mention a couple
of things. I’m hearing 200,000 tonight, I’m
a hearing a million in multiple
places. Quite frankly, as a libertarian
I’m seriously concerned about
spending taxpayer dollars on private
sector things like this but if it’s a
million dollars, I’ve been on the board
of several charities locally, I
just jotted down a couple of things. Boys and girls club, Food Bank,
Literacy Coalition, Our House, habitat
for humanity, Lee county humane
society. If breer going to drop a million dollars or half a million
dollars, there’s some things we could
have some life-changing things that we’re spending this money on and not a single house in this community, locally. So, I’m not opposed to historic preservation. A few years ago we were doing –
I was doing the civil design on the Max
credit union over there on Gay, there’s a
blue Victorian house, there was some desire to
save the house. Max was willing to be a participate in saving that house
but the was no plan. There’s a house that’s coming down but nowhere
to take the house. There’s no group organized enough that has any sort of
private funding. We’ve got concerned citizens but we aren’t organized and so
it’s frustrating to me to once again
have an another house – we lost three houses on Gay where that land
owner sold for millions of dollars and didn’t set aside any of that
million dollars worth of revenue to put
it back into historic preservation
so I guess my point is what’s to stop
us six months from now – you
approve this one, what’s to stop us six
months from now for the next time the
private sector tears down a house and we
come to the public sector to say,
“Hey, we need money to save this.” Does
Parkes and Rec even want this house? Is there anyone to put the house? What kind of long-term
maintenance are we going to add into the Parks and
Rec budged to maintain this on a
public land? There’s a ton of questions. I’m not opposed to the Cullars
House, didn’t know anything about the
Cullars House until about two months
ago, I lived down the street from the
Cullars House for 22 years. So, again, I think if we’re
going to spend taxpayers’ money that’s not
budgeted, we could find a ton of places to
spend it in this town that would be life
changing for the future and not just in
honour of the past. Thanks.>>Thank you. Anyone else?>>I live at 814 North College. I have heard lot of different ideas kicked around and in the
past I’ve heard some talk about a
Rosen wall school, I’ve heard some
talk about an African American
museum. We just spent about $750,000 or so
on Boykin recently, about to spend
more money. I heard no-one say anything about the preservation of the
house from the standpoint of possibly
a museum in north-west Auburn. We have lot of history here in Auburn,
we have – as everyone knows that’s lived
in the southern States, 244 years
of people being held in captivity
that has no history in Auburn. Another 100 years of Jim crow and if you
look around today in the New York
Times, there’s been a recent article
placed in there about 1619, the people
that came to America in 16 19, 20
Africans, those were people that looked a
lot like me and as I look around in
Auburn today, I don’t see anything
hardly – Ebenezer Baptist church is the
one historic mark er that’s over on
Thach that I attended as a boy scout
that reflects the history of African Americans. If you’re going to spend a million dollars, spend a million dollars, look around Auburn and
think about if you’re going to spend
that million, give it back to a
community that has gave their lives for
Auburn, building of a university and maintaining of a city.>>Who will be next? Anyone? OK. We’ll close the public hearing. Comments from the council?>>I have a comment. I wrote out a little statement and I walked up and
forgot it but I’m really – I have no
problem with history, none at all, and I
don’t mind saving this Cullars House
but not at the expense of the city. The gentleman – two gentlemen that
talked about the history, the things,
the needs in our community, not just north-west Auburn because there
is other communities that need help
that we could use the million dollars
for and that number did come up. It came up in the city council so the
$200,000 is just to move the house is
what I understood but to restore the
house and get it back in shape and all
this, it comes out to a million dollars-plus. Also, I think there was some money – there was talk
about where the house is sitting now
for rental fees or something and I
don’t think that was included in the
million dollars. I could be wrong but I don’t think so. I have no problem – and I just want to emphasise this – I
don’t have any problem with saving
history. I like at Boykin and it used to
be an elraement school that I went to
and now Boykin is there and I don’t
want nobody to get this wrong but we
put a medical center inside of an
elementary school so that took away some
history from that school where we should
have saved the history and put
educational sources in Boykin. So, saving history is a good
thing to me but not to save a house at a
million dollars. I heard this gentleman say – and
I hope that I didn’t hear him wrong – but he
said there was a fireplace and it’s going
to take up a lot of the structure of the
house on the inside so is it really worth moving the house
instead of just maybe building the
Cullars House? I don’t know. I am opposed to moving the house at the cost of
this city.>>Anyone else on the council?>>Mr Mayor, I’ve got a statement
from council member Griswold who
emailed me.>>Please.>>This is from ward 2 council member Kelly a Griswold. “I wish I was able to deliver my
thoughts in person but I’m unable to be
present tonight. The city council and the
planning commission created the at fear for this
situation. We basically allowed developers
to get anything they want at the
expense of the loveliest village. The apartment moratorium was side tracked, the
down town master plan was changed and building height limits were
juggled. The current council and
commission have further contributed to this atmosphere by allowing
developers to put beach houses in the historic district. I can’t speak for the other council members but I haven’t
had a single person say they are hap y
with what’s happening to our downtown
or the direction the city has
taken. The city council pass past and
present have contributed to this
atmosphere and now we have a chance to
correct our trajectory. It’s going to cost a lot to say that enough is
enough, a million dollars is a large
number. Consider where a million can
come from. A rough estimate of water and sewer connection fees for a
single 750-bed private dorm is about $750,000. Permit fees net several hundred
thousand on top of that. That’s just for a single one of
the many private dorms resulting
from our decision to allow developers to
bill in ourtown. I view an investment to save the Cullars House as a
correction using funds from earlier bad decisions. Besides the money the city accumulated from developers so
far, there are more projects on the
horizon poised to take advantage of our
city. I do not consider tax money as
the source of revenue for the
preservation of the Cullars House but instead monies that developers have
provided to the city for being allowed to
take advantage of existing
conditions. Every big developer signs a development agreement stating
what they’ll do and what the city
will do. They all want something from the
city whether to be road closures, air
space for crane operation, side walk closures or more. We don’t have to acquiesce to all their desires
without demanding things from them such
as funds to offset negative impact
on our city. Make them earn the concessions we give them. In the near term, project will have to be re
prioritised but developer money will
continue to flow into city to counter delays
or deferments. I suggest staff re prioritise planned efforts and
hope they consider parks and
recreation master plan with a $40-plus
million plan. Finding 1 million should not be hard kwlchlt have received over
120 emails, Facebook messages,
messages and letters on this topic, many
more than on any other subject. 88% of those expressing a preference
for favouring the saving of the
Cullars House. The most ardent opponents are those that wish to make money
from the city regardless of impact. We heard from them at the last council
meeting and you likely heard from them
again tonight. If I were present I’d vote for the resolution and I
encourage this council to vote to support
the voices of Auburn people and to
make the most out of the developer’s
money. Say enough is enough. Make those who’ve changed the nature of our
city and those who continue to do so
fun this worthy project. Kelley Griswold, ward 2.>>Thank you, Bob. Anyone else on the council?>>Yes, I received a few – over the past few weeks
I’ve received over 92 emails about
the Cullars home. Of those 92, 78 were supportive of saving the Cullars
home. I’m sorry – yes, 78 were
supportive. Other than that, there was a
small amount of emails compared to the population of our size I think
is a good sample and speaks to what
the residence of Auburn want. The cost of moving and restoring
the property is a lot of money
between 700,000 to a million dollars. People have argued the money could be used for
other things like additions to our
parks, road projects and et cetera,
however I believe that is false thinking
at the end of this discussion if the
decision by the council is not to
allocate the money to move the house, the
council isn’t going to say, well, we
didn’t spend a million dollars on that
so let’s go spend it on something
else. That’s not what’s happening. The argument that the city will not
recoup the money, recoup its money, is
also not the point. Ithinking back over the years, Hickory Dickory Park does
not yield a return. Redoing the street scape at the corner does not
yield a return. Infrastructure project like side walks, bike lanes do not
yield a return. Moving this house is an
opportunity to preserve the history of the
Victorian time period in our town. I care about saving this home
because tearing it down into rubble is wrecking our history. Most of the wreckage will not be salvaged and will go into landfills. I care about saving this home because historic resources
are finite and cannot be replaced,
making them precious commodities. You can never replicate this home. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The woodwork and the craftsmanship of using
hand made nails are something I
value. I care about moving this home
because we are losing our uniqueness in
this town and we need to take a good, hard
look at the development here. This home is more than a historic structure
on the corner of College and Samford t
is part of the cultural heritage of Auburn, cultural heritage
affirms our identity as a people, culture
and its heritage reflect and shape
values, beliefs and aspirations, thereby defining a people’s civic and
national identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage because it maintains our integrity as
people. This home is a part and vital
syllable of Auburn’s history and love and appreciation of Auburn’s past
held not only by residents of the Auburn community but by those who even
no longer live in this commune,
helped to sape the values and character of
sweet Auburn. Loveliest village of the plain. I will be supporting to save the Cullars home.>>Thank you, Steven. Anyone else on the council?>>I’m probably going to have several comments and I may have some
questions and we may have some dialogue or different things like that. I’d like to first off – first off, I’d
like to do away with the pretense or the notion that tonight’s vote is
the end of the decision for the Cullars
home. Based on the calendar that I’m
aware of it’s September 16th or 17th. End of my lease in that office is
September 30. There’s an option from my understanding, I’m not privy to
the contract but I believes there an option if someone takes interest
in the home and moving the home before
the 30th, I believe the gentleman,
Mr Connor that spoke, has the
30-day period that that can be done. There’s an intense amount of
weight and pressure on this council right
now. There’s laws in this country,
there’s laws in the State of Alabama,
there are by-laws that talk about
property rights. I know everyone hates to talk about that and get offended and
upset about it but it’s the truth. There’s lot of people in that area – the
city came in the early 2000s and
multiple times tried to preserve that
area. The land owners that were there said
no, some of the most outspoken
people about the city spending a
million dollars were adamant about it
not being a preservation area. They were adamant about that. They said the city, the government, does not
have the authority to tell me what’s
best for my property. Those are facts, that’s the truth. Now, city council – all of us – Mr Griswold provided
a statement but his seat is empty,
all have the pressure and the burden
of dealing with this house. Here’s the problem: We are not a historic preservation commission. We are city council. We have multiple stakeholders in this community. If our only purview and if our only role or position
was to preserve historic
preservation it would be a no-brainer. The question would be do we have the funds? Is this where we want to
allocate those funds? That would be the question but that’s not our responsibility
only. We answer to every single member of
this community. Every single member. All the stakeholders. If you were at the last meeting,
we had three organisations that were
asking for funds. I am my brother’s keeper was here and asking for $60,000. Not regarding preservation but
about the future of the children, the
future of the children in this area about transportation. I’m not making these comments in opposition to preservation, I think there is a
point and it’s important in a
community to have preservation but you have
to balance it out as Mr Tippen
said, the fine lawyer that he is, there
are equities in our community and we
have to balance out those equities. When we balance out equities we have to
make sure we’re using our resources efficiently. Not wasting our resources. One of the jobs – when I ran for city council and talked
to my constituents I said, “I will be responsible. I take my fiduciary duty of spending your money to the
utmost,” because city council, your Local Government, your State
Government, your Federal Government, are the
only ones that can force you to spent money. Ink about that. We have the authority to spend all your
money. Is it right? Will we be kicked out of office? Will be rebe re-elected? Probably not. But that’s a responsible I carry every single day and in
this decision it’s been the balancing
act because preservation is
important, there is no doubt about that. I’d like to dig into a few facts. I have been – yfb started with this, I have
been involved in this. It is very personal to me. This home is extremely personal to me because that’s where I’ve
had my office for the last five years. I want to be honest, we’ve had
guests there, I’ve had – I probably would have
liked to have more clients there but
we’ve had good clients there. It’s been an honour to be in that home. I’ll tell you just to be
completely candid with you, we’ve not had a lot of
people just coming over to check the
house out and I understand – and I say
that – and I want to appreciate and I
want to say this too, that I am very thankful for everyone that take
s an interest in this, very thankful
for everyone who’s spoken out about
this. Very thankful for the folks who
stand on one side of the argument or
the other and I’m thankful for
voices to be heard. We’ve not had a lot of guests and to me, when I’m think
about this and as I’ve been turning
this overering it’s been – it’s not –
I don’t know it’s about the Cullars
House but I think it’s more about our
image and where we’re going forward and I
want to tell you no mat hour this
vote turns out that yfb heard every
one of your voices and that I want to
do everything that I can to create
the town and I know people will say
it’s not the buildings it’s the
people and the other side will say these
are the buildings I grew up with and
this is what I appreciate and what I
know. I appreciate all of those
positions. You may not agree with every action
I take but I promise you I have heard
the voices. I sound like I hear voices in my head and that could be true
too but never the Les, I hear the
importance of preservation. Now, Ms Dean had a great idea
and she posted on Facebook a while back
about – I think Mr Buston had
mentioned it before – there is – we’ve got a
memo prepared that talks about
expense s up to a million dollars. That doesn’t have anything to dewith
continuing maintenance expenses, that does
not have anything to do with the exorbitant terms that we would
enter into with Orange Auburn about
the short-term period we would have between October 1 and April 30. It doesn’t even mention those,
it looks to be in the neighbourhood
between $25,000 and potentially $50,000
more that we would spend on that relationship alone but – now
I’ve completely lost my train of
thought. Golly, that happens a lot. But my concern with staging, we
spend $200,000 on a relocation, if the
city right now votes to commit to
$200,000, OK New York City now, I have –
with the hopes of private investment. Private investors folks from the community are going to come out
and invest, turn around and raise
the rest of the money. I would love that opportunity but here’s the
problem.. We spend $200 ,000 relocate the
home, now we have a $200,000 asset
we’ve spend your tax dollars on that’s
going to sit with the hopes that we
raise money. Now tell me, and everyone in
this room can answer the question, what
happens when the private sector doesn’t raise
money for the difference? Are we the council, this body, these nine members, are we
going to then say, “You know what? $200,000, whatever? We’ll just let that asset, the Cullars House,
this discussion, the debate we’ve
had, let it go to waste, let that asa
etwaste.” Heck, no, we’re not going to do
that because every perp in this
community going to say, “Are you seriously
going to spend $200,000? One side is going to say did you spend 200,000 and
now you’re going to let this ruin? The other side is going to say if we
can’t raise the money, someone’s got
to deal with it. I’ll tell you tonight andular tell anyone if we utvote for
200,000, vote for 100,000, vote for a
million, we own this proper. No question about it. We will be on the hook for the
entire price and that is my concern. It’s not – this isn’t an issue of funny
money or expenses, this is people’s hard-earned dollars about this
home and I just – I tell you, there
was a question raised earlier about
some information I requested. I put out on my council page y put out a
question that said, “Should the city of
Auburn spend up to $1 million to
relocate the historic Cullars Connors home?”
Up to $1 million. Comment welcome. I had 873 votes, 56 shares, it reached
11,000 people. 58% of the people voted no. That was on Facebook. On the next door app which same question, 107 votes, 38% said
yes, 62% said no. Not only that, we received a
statement from a parks and rec advisory
board because we had proposed moving
the property to Town Creek or Keeser
Park and we received a statement from
the board, from the people whoot
that are citizen we appoint and give us opinions to help guide our
positions and they said it’s not an asset, flartsz something we want to use
it’s not in our budget, not something
we can use. I say this not – I just say these are the facts. I am passionate about this, I have been
passionate about it. I brought the subject up because I hoped and prayed that
the private sector would reach out. I said my own – I set up my own private
Go Fund Me. We’ve not reached the goal. I want to have this question as
a city council member, I want to have
this debate and this discussion about
the future of our community, that’s
a very historic home. But when I balance out the equities and when I look at
all of the individual taxpayers in this community, I cannot commit to
spending that type of money so, in
closing, this is not the end of the road,
this is the weight that’s been put on
us, the council has voluntarily
taken this conversation on so that we can
hear from the community. We voluntarily brought this to the attention. At the beginning of this whole
debate we could have easily said, “That’s
a private transaction. It was sold. They can deal with it. Its thar their proper.” But we didn’t. This council brought this
subject up. From that, I think this
community can take from that and understand
that we are hearing each of your voices
and that whatever happened in the
past, this is a brand new council. We are responsive, we are
transparent and we’re trying to hear from each
and every person. I don’t know how else we could prove that more. We voluntarily brought this position up so that
is my position, that is my long-winded
deal. I am extremely passionate about
this. I just ask if there’s anything
that can be done, we’ve got until
September 30.>>Anyone else on the council
like to make a statement?>>I appreciate Ms Norman’s –
what she said about the house and I
appreciate Ms Dean’s passion for wanting to
save the house and I really
appreciate Mr Conner for keeping the house as
long as he did. He’s always been an asset to Auburn and cares about Auburn
and I appreciate what you did to hold
on to it as long as you did. That said, I can’t in clear
conscience vote to spend a million dollars to
move a house out to keeser park when we
could build lot of low income housing
and change lives with this. We could air condition school buses. A million dollars would probably put air conditioning in every one of
them, I would think, come close to it
we’ve got things I think we could
better spend the money on. More importantly, I don’t know much about building
and all that stuff but I know a
little bit about law enforcement and I’m
going to tell you if you don’t have
enough police officers they won’t show
up tomorrow – it won’t show up
tomorrow but it will show up a year or
two from now. If we’re going to spend a
million dollars I’d rather put more officers on
the street. We’re known as the lovely est
village because of the low crime rate
and to keep that low crime create you’ve got
to keep men and women in blue out there day
and night. While you’re sleeping, they’re
protecting you. If we’re going to spend a
million dollars, do it in the police department or we could
build 30 low income houses and that could change a young kid’s life too,
have a house to live in. The buses too, I have been contacted by a lot of people, probably more contacts
wanting to move the house and city pay
for it. I respect your opinion and I
didn’t know what the Cullars House was
and I have lived in Auburn 54 years
but my dad educated me on that and now
I know for sure who they are. He took care of that when I brought it up. That being said, if we had more
people like Mr Connor who cared enough to
spent his money to hold on to it and money
in the private sector to move it,
I’d donate (inaudible) to move it –
I’d donate my salary from the
council to move it. It ain’t muffin but I’d give you the $five00 I get every
month — it ain’t much. I’m a poor country boy, grew up in Auburn, police chief
for a while y care about the town but
in all good conscience I couldn’t vote
to spend a million dollars to move
it. You’re going to have to cut it
in half, get the big chimneys out
of there. It’s not going to be the same. I’m sorry to say that. Really I’m not. I think I’m doing what’s right. Thank you for giving me a chance
to speak.>>I’Ll follow Tommy. The theme is the corner of brevity but you proved me wrong for a second. I’ll chime in and I too would love to
see the – I would support the
Cullars House restoration but not with
public funds. We will mention Mr Connor again
and his efforts through the years to preserve the house. A great example of what can be done with someone
that owns the house and loves it. It is being offered to anyone that
wants to take the house. Stony slope was mentioned earlier. That again was a wonderful example of a
historical home here in town saved and restored
by private funds. I support that notion. I just can’t – in agreement with Tommy, it is just really, really difficult for me to overlook or exclude so many notions that
over the last few weeks have been
proposed in support of saving this house
with public funds. It’s funny, it really opens up a lot of conversations
the last month orso as we’ve been
rolling this ball around. Everyone has an idea of what to do with a million
dollars in town. (Laughter)>>And as we all can anticipate,
but I think that I would be in
agreement that this particular use would
not be what I would deem in the city’s
best interests.>>Let me add, if I may, I was contacted by a lady who’s
not here tonight but I have the utmost
respect for her and she had good ideas
about moving the house. She’s watching tonight, I’m
sure. To her, I’m sorry. I still respect her opinion and
it was very hard. The decision was hard to make
but, again, she knows who I’m talking about
and I appreciate all her efforts on the house.>>If I may, since I was one of the council members
who brought this to the council as a
point of discussion, I think it’s very important that the reason we did
have this come to the council was so
that we could elevate this
conversation and determine the pulse of what we
are here and charged to do and that
is spending taxpayer dollars and
what is the best and highest use of
those dollars for the benefit of the
good of the whole community. I also had hoped that it would create some –
ignite some passion for the private
sector to come out and want to save this
house and move it so that it could be preserved and countless
individuals did do that and countless
individuals spent countless time, money,
resource s in determining whether or not
this was the best use of their own
personal funds and each one of those
walked away saying, “I can’t make this
work.” The university, to whom many of
the Cullars contributions were made, walked away from this and said,
“This is not something that we want to
be a part of.” And that was their opportunity and their right so I
don’t think that the city should bear
the burden of correcting what many
people say is the history of the last
30-plus years of that piece of property. Property rights, as Mr Smith has stated, are fundamental in this community and this State and
zoning laws are what they are and they
do change and they evolve but at
the end of the day I can promise you
that Orange Auburn would have bought
that property regardless if it was
75-foot or 45 feet and that house would
not be standing Mr Regardless of if it
was university services or not. At the end of the day, we are charged with
making sure that we make the best
decisions, preservation hopefully this
challenges those who still have historic
homes that are not part of the one and
only historic preservation
neighbourhood that we have in Auburn which
resides in wards 2 and 3 to protect your
homes and there are several people in
this audience who have historic homes
that are not protected. So, you know, I challenge you to protect your
homes and your property. If you think that this is the course of action for
the structures that we still have
left, I challenge the Auburn Heritage Association to get active and
start putting aside seed money for the
next house. I mean, we’ve had countless situations. Auburn bank had a home, Max credit union had a home, Gay Street had three homes, this
property is a home. All opportunities missed that were not the responsibility
of this council. They are the responsibility of the private
property owners. And so therefore the reason I felt very compel ed to bring
this to this level was so that we could
have this conversation and I’m glad
we’ve had it and I believe in
preservation but I also believe in proper
rights and preservation starts with
your own self and your own property and
should not be the responsibility of
this government as I was told by a
former council member that – who was
adamant about thought being a part of
historic preservation commission or
district, they know better how to protect
their properties than the government. I think that speaks volumes.>>I appreciate y’all’s position
and I understand and respect it. Chief, Jay. I have a different take on it
and if you’ll indulge me, Mr Mayor,
I’ll read my statement. In my relatively short time as a city council person,
the Cullars House predicament has generated by far the most correspondence. Even as a 2018 candidate, the Cullars House was
a frequent point of discussion. I have been in regular contact
with concerned citizens and
interested parties trying to find a way forward and I was
once optimistic that a solution would emerge from the private sector, however, it seems that such a
solution cannot be found and we’re here
this evening and regardless the
Cullars House remains an historically significant structure and once
it’s gone, it’s gone. This past year has brought about many changes in
Auburn, some of which have been exciting
and beneficial while others have
been disheartening and problematic. As talk about what might happen to the Cullars
House has spread, I’ve been contacted
by many current and former
residents urging me to vote in favour of allocating funds to move it and
I intend to do so, not only
because I think it is the will of majority
of residents in my ward and city
but also because I believe it is the
right thing to do. I ran my campaign on the idea that we can and should
preserve our city’s historic structures
and our neighbourhoods and I feel that
the Cullars House is swuven
structure which should be preserved,
however, it pains a part of me to have to
vote to use city taxpayer monies for
this project because it is expensive
and because the reasons why this
Hail Mary pass has come are in part due to
a lack of clarity and consensus on
how we as a group of citizens
address historic preservation and that
lack of clarity and consensus is not due
to the absence of engagement and
concern, I would venture to guess that returning to old familiar sites strikes a chord in all of us to
some level. To the depot, Samford Hall, they give us a sense of shared experience and shared nostalgia
so ashould from clarity and
consensus what we really lack is a
mechanism by which we address as a municipal
body such concerns. Had the lanunder the Cullars House been rezoned to
urban core with consideration and stipulations for the structures
aural there, the House would arguably
re main where it’s a ulz stood and
there would be no need for its
preservation whether on site or another
location but that’s all water under the
bridge so what should we do going
forward? I would propose that we should
not only vote in favour of allocating
these funds to move and preserve the
Cullars House but that we should also
not stop there. We should bring to a vote the allocation of funds to hire a consultant to identify all of
Auburn’s historically significant
structures as well as to create a
comprehensive preservation plan. We should proactively a move to consider
and create historic districts,
historic overlay district or a
conservation overlays in order to avoid
further minutes to midnight situations
such as the one we’re in now. Preservation does not happen by chance, it
must be intentional. We should expand the purview of our historic
preservation commission to give it a stronger
and more active role in the
continuing development of Auburn. Additionally, we as a city should recognise, celebrate and revel in how
attractive we know Auburn already is and
has always been and we should insist
on terms with prospective
developers that reflect that pride of place, a
place where they were drawn to and
accepted profit from. We should establish a fund or a funding mechanism into
which developers would contribute
because they in the city – and the city recognise that city history and
public arts are just as much a city
services as are sidewalks and street
lights. We have an obligation to imagine
what our town will look like for our grandchildren and beyond. Prosperity, yes, a robust economy, yes,
green space, yes, the celebration of
our history and the arts, yes, a
city where all residents feel secure,
yes. Otherwise we’re being less than average stewards both to our
city and its resources and to the
citizens who call Auburn home. Therefore, I propose that we do
not stop here. We shouldn’t just aview this moment as a single point
solution to a single point property,
there remains a bigger problem, how we
value and preserve our shared vision
of what determines a life of quality. I suggest that as a body we the
city council and you Mr Mayor work to establish four things; funding
for a historic inventory;
comprehensive historic area protections;
expanded missions of existing city boards
to address proactive measures; and
a funding mechanism for public preservation of significant and cherished sfrur those that we as
a council are not faced with more
issues such as this in the future.>>(Applause)>>We brought this subject to
our communitibuse wae felt it was
important to have an open discussion about
it. This could have been decided upon by this body certainly with
less effort and certainly more
decisive at an earlier date but because
we’ve tried to set a tone of
listening, debating, hearing, we’ve brought
it to you. So we’ve come to this point tonight. I think if anything that comes
from tonight, this should be a catalyst that
if this is truly important to our community
moving forward that whether you’re into preservation or heritage or
historic, it is time to come together and
figure this out and put a plan together
that makes sense for the future of
Auburn. This community had a decision to
make on south Gay Street and around
the corner here a few years ago to
create a historic district that was
brought up twice and both times it was
denied and it was denied because most
of the neighbours in that area did not
want it. At the end of the day, the
people have got to determine, I
believe, that if they want their houses to be governed by a body that’s going
to tell them what to do and how to
do it, they’ve gut to have some
ownership in that. We can’t tell them that’s the
right thing to do. Hopefully they’ve been a part of
that. I’m all for that conversation. I’m all for that conversation. I live in an old house. My house was built in 1941. They’re unique, in many ways they’re
built better and denser than today’s
houses. I wouldn’t give anything for the
home I live in. It costs me a lot of money to keep up but it is a grand old
house and these are important parts of
our community. If there’s a districts in this
town that would like to consider being
historic, you’ve got our numbers and
emails and we would be happy to talk to you at
this point in time. We went to the university a
couple of times and asked them to consider
whether they would take this house on and
they made it clear they were not invested. They had all the old houses they
wanted. Maintenance was costly and they
were not interested in adding another
one. Parks and Rec has made it clear
they do not have a program or plan to house
activities inside this home. But we continue to yell as a dog
does at the moon at night trying to get
anybody in the private sector interested to
come forward and take this home from us. We were ready to participate. We were going to bring all the
public safety resources together to get this
house taken down and moved. We would help facilitate
discussions with utilities to try to move things and we couldn’t – at
this point in time no-one has risen
to the level to say I’ll do it, I’m all
in. So here we are, a house that’s
been sold two years ago we’re at the
9th hour and the city has been asked
to tote the freight while moving
it, rebuilding and bringing up to
public standards. I have no happiness in potentially seeing this house be devastated and destroyed. That does not bring any type of content to
me but at the end of the day for
me, the responsibility I have to the
members of this community to spend their
money in the right ways that does the
most for the children in our
community and the most for the people in my
community outweigh the disappointment I
would have if this house is no longer with us. So that’s why I cannot support spending a million
dollars. I can’t do that. I appreciate the debate we’ve had. People are passionate about our community, they care deeply
about things in Auburn which you’ve
heard tonight from a neighbourhood now
to members of our city about
whether it’s a cut-through or whether it’s an
old homuric think speaks to why
Auburn is a great place to live because
people deeply care. I hope that those are the kind of arguments and those are
the kind of deandwats that’s the
kind of passion these council receives
each and every Tuesday night we come
here to meet because invested people
are great citizens. So I thank everybody that took time to send us an
email, everybody that gave up their
entire Tuesday night to come here and
sit in these hard plastic chairs and
listen to what’s going on. All of you are what make Auburn
great and I appreciate it. Thank you. Do I have a motion from council?>>I would like to move to relocate
the Cullars home.>>Second.>>We have a motion and a second. I would – Miss crouch y believe there should be
a monetary – how should we equate
the million dollars.>>The resolution says up to a million dollars so
therefore if wow were to vote in the
affirmative then you’re voting for two
things I think it’s important one is the
letter of in tentment – intentment,
great, it’s late sorry – letter of
intent and then formulation of a lease with orange Auburn 3LLC and the other
would be the expenditure of up to a
million dollars in funds, where those
million dollars in funds would come from
would be discussed at a later date but
you would be saying you want to
proceed with all of these things to move forward.>>Any idea what kind of projects
or what would be cut out of the budget
if we were to approve a million dollars?>>No, as the City Manager’s
indicated before, if we were waiting to
see watt you are action would be on this and
then those will come to you at a later date
for further discussion of what other
programs would change or have budgetary changes
as a result of this if you should move to
approve this.>>From a budgetary standpoint we would approve up to a million
dollars but have no idea where that
money would come from?>>Come out of the general fund and we would shift
some budgeting priorities around
snoochl we don’t know what would be cut and changed?>>Not at this time, no.>>That’s
risky.>>That would be quite a discussion we
would need to have.>>>>Mr Dixon, would his statement, his resolution, his recommendation ->>His prove to approve is what the resolution as
written says before you. I just wanted to make it clear that’s letter of intent
and lease as well.>>OK.>>That’s part of that.>>Megan, I remember during a packet meeting before last, I
believe Jim explained and I’m
paraphrasing so forgive me for that but based on
the time line that we were –
proposed undertaking of this would occur,
we were looking at an immediate – possibly an immediate
expenditure in the area of 200,000 with the
idea that we would secure it on a piece of property and weathersize it to a
point where we could consider
investing further money on an annual basis
over possibly a number of years and
if I recall Mr Buston correctly, he
said that he didn’t anticipate any
large difference to the budget if
we’re taking it incrementally into the future.>>That would be your choice ultimately. I think the statement on the resolution is saying you’re willing to go there and I think
to council person’s Smith’s
comments earlier is it’s up to a million dollars. There are ways to slice the pie but you also have to be very cognisant of the fact we can’t
just pick it up and move it for
$200,000 and there has been confusion
tlafrlt just the movingering that’s best estimate without utilities in
there and then we have to put it on a foundation because what he was
saying earlier about you just move it,
we can’t let it rot in and of
itself. There’s a range therein. I think the council was signal figure you
were to go there you may want to spend
less initially and spread over
multiple years. Those things because we haven’t
known which direction we’re going, the staff’s not been able to realise
for you in full contractual items
and each of those would come before you. It’s not like if you were to approve
this tonight staff has a NRL dollar
cheque to figure it out. Each action over a certain dollar umhas to return
to you for approval every step of the
waway. The immediate expense would be
the $24,500 should we get to that
point with orange Auburn that would be
due and payable in October.>>But I understood him correctly.>>You did. There are incremental ways to
deal with that at your discretion.>>Thank you. So we have a motion and a second on the floor. Correct. OK. This is a voice vote.>>I Move for a roll call.>>OK. We do have a motion and second. Everybody ready to vote? The motion is to approve the
moving of the house and the funding to move
the house, that’s what the motion
and second is for. We will have a voice vote. Vote yes if you’re with.>>I Asked for a roll call.>>That’s fine. Let do a roll call.>>Dawson.>>No.>>Dixon.>>Yes.>>Ho
ef y.>>No.>>Parsons.>>yes.>>Smith.>>No.>>Taylor.>>No
.>>Whi t wit>>no. Anders>>No.>>Those are the to the items for
this evening.>>thank you.>>Any other business from the
council? At this point in time we have a citizens open forum. This is your time to address the
council about anything that might be on your mind.>>We could use the million dollars because
we need help and our kids need
help. Weed would appreciate it. Have kids have to walk a half a mile to get to the
bus stop because the buses don’t
want to go in there. If you can help us out for our children, for our
elderly people to improve our area, that
we need a nice park too. We need sidewalks, we need light. We need everything. Just come over and check us out. Help ous out. Anything you all can do would be more than welcome. Thank you.>>Thank you and thanks for working with us.>>Can we some someone chat with this gentlemen to see exactly why kids are having
trouble getting to the bus?>>Yes, and I also want to know about the lighting
too and what area are you talking
about for the lighting. I want to address issues about lighting.>>pick a street.>>I Don’t know. You tell me.>>That’s what I’m saying. Pick a street because we have – we
might have – we might have six light, seven lights. A lot of dead spots that we can’t even walk in because
there’s no lighting. That’s a public road. We turn Left On Forester, we have a
park there but no lighting. All up and down Forester, no
adequate light. On Drake, no adequate lighting so it’s hard to walk because I
love to walk because I walk three to
five miles a day but I can’t walk at
night. Because there’s no lighting. The elderly can’t even go down the
street because there’s no lighting. But let me say this from my
heart – if you don’t do nothing about the lighting, do something for the
eld lar because they need a place to
live too. It’s a lot of elderly people
over there in that district. Let’s build some affordable housing for
them, affordable apartments. Let’s do something for them because they
have shaped this town like anybody
else, because they need help. They might get (inaudible) if you just give
them the money but I doubt it, might get
$500 or $600 a month but where can
you live in Auburn for 500 or 600 a
month? Nowhere. Mayor, we have a problem. Big problem. Councilmen, coilenwomen, we have a problem. We need help in our own community. Because we still could use that million dollars.>>Thank you.>>Thank you all for listening to
me.>>Who will be next? Mayor Anders, ladies and
gentlemen of the council, Opelika road
apartment 111 and I live in an apartment
complex and would like to oako a lit
olof what the previous speaker said about affordable housing. I can barely afford to pay for where I live
now. I know it is a market issue but if
you could somehow create the
environment for affordable housing that
would be great. I listened to the debate closely tonight on the Cullars
House. I have – I did my masters paper
on the preservation and I saw even then
how controversial it is, how people
have different points of view to what
we should save and what we
shouldn’t. I admire you for the decision
that you made tonight and I know it was
tough for all of you but I hope
tonight we would consider what the future
of Auburn is and if we need to
preserve some of the past in order to
remind people where we have come from,
where we are now and where we are
going, that would be terrific and I
would hope that we can also do some preservation in north-west
Auburn as well so I thank you very much. (Applause)>>Anyone else?>>I commend you
guys for making the
decision to spend that
money wisely, because if you are
going to spend $1 million to
move a house ━ and we
have been begging for something
that our kids can learn from , something that our
elderly can look back on
and say, “Look, my grandparents , that came over 200 years
ago in 1690, can say look at this picture . Look at what

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