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Why rush to build when there’s a glut?

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Bravo! to the editors of the Auburn Journal for the “Our View” editorial (Feb. 23). I, and many other concerned citizens showed up to the Planning Commission meeting that evening only to find that there were more commissioners there to vote on the color of paint for a historical building in Old Town than on which access route to use for the Baltimore Ravine proposed development. To me this shows a lack of respect for the people who did show up, the City Council, that asked them for this review, and the entire population of South Auburn, who this decision will directly affect. When the City Council sent this project back to the Planning Commission to have alternate routes explored, I’m sure they were, and are, expecting some viable alternatives. Instead we were shown access roads that they would never even allow to be built. What was the purpose of that “exercise” as city staff and the developer kept referring to it? Staff members were asked to provide alternative accesses. Why didn’t they show alternatives that they would allow to be built? It appears that they have already made up their minds that the Herdal Street route is the only way to go. As I said in the meeting, I don’t like the project. We already have too many homes for sale, too many unfinished developments and too many empty commercial spaces in the city limits. Why in the world do we need more? Are we going to be building a bridge to nowhere? Who do they think will want to buy a home or open a business in a development with trains running through it? Let’s leave the space as an urban reserve until we actually need to build on it. Now is not that time. Margie Koltun, Auburn