The Auburn Planning Commission gave its approval Thursday night to add the U.S. Highway 280 Corridor Focus Area Study to CompPlan 2030, the city’s guiding growth and development document.
The Commission unanimously recommended for subsequent Auburn City Council approval text and map amendments related to the recently completed U.S. Highway 280 Corridor Focus Area Study at its Thursday night meeting.
CompPlan 2030 is the comprehensive plan for the City of Auburn. Since the plan’s adoption in 2011, the document has been amended nine times, including most recently to include text and Future Land Use Map updates from the Cox and Wire Road Corridor Focus Area Study in March 2020.
CompPlan 2030 is a recommending document, which is not the same thing as the zoning of the property. Most of the land is currently designated as Highway 280 Corridor reserve, a placeholder made in 2011.
The U.S. Highway 280 Corridor Focus Area Study, completed this spring, included a total of 450 parcels and 2,472 acres, according to a presentation made by principal planner Logan Kipp at the meeting. A majority of the acreage was 87 parcels, or 1,537.3 acres, in unincorporated Lee County, and 299 parcels, or 936.4 acres, within the City of Auburn.
The majority of land area – 1,517 acres – is currently undeveloped, with Auburn University owning 389 acres of that. The majority of developable land – 1,262 acres – is outside of city limits, which “highlights the need to have a plan in place as infrastructure become available,” according to the planning department’s staff summary included in the commission’s ePacket.
As a result, staff have recommended “reviewing the possibility of creating a ‘Corridor Protection Zone’ along University-owned lands to protect the corridor should the university sell the land to private ownership,” per the ePacket.
“The city has no ability to regulate university-owned property, but we can put this protection zone there to let potential buyers of land know that we would be looking at it more in depth if it’s owned privately,” Kipp said.
According to the staff summary, several notable properties may become ready for development or redevelopment in the near future, including 56.66 acres for Asheton Glenn, LLC, and 339.43 acres for Perryman Hill, LLC, among others listed.
Staff developed a web-based survey to distribute to all property owners within the study area, mailing out 310 postcards using the Lee County Tax Assessor parcel data for ownership. The website and survey received 348 “hits” with 30 responses, according to staff, and an August Zoom open house was attended by 30 residents and staff.
Feedback from citizens included more recreational opportunities in the area, maintaining Shelton Cove area as low‐density single‐family development, encouraging new commercial and mixed‐use development at the intersection of North College Street and U.S. 280, beautification along the highway and keeping university land agricultural in nature.