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Housing the Homeless in Auburn

The Auburn City Council ran late Monday evening with a close look at a full agenda. The Council Chambers were also full as many in the audience were anxious to hear the council’s take on properties to be considered for a homeless shelter designation.

During public comment citizens supported a property designation but did not support properties suggested, namely Wall Street was denied as the property owners of the building where the Radio Shack store is located were concerned the they would lose this long-term tenant if a homeless shelter was near the location. The other location was across the street from the theaters on Nevada Street. Property owners were concerned about the close proximity to residential housing.

Ultimately, council members decided to take a closer look at the city. City council member Keith Nesbitt suggested they get in their cars and drive around.

Click to hear the Councilman

The council has a state mandated SB2 deadline of October 31st to designate specific properties in a property overlay of the city or they can designate a zone such as light industrial within the city where a potential future homeless shelter could be constructed.

One important change to the Planning Commission decision was to grandfather in the activities of the Gathering Inn. The Inn, on occasions of inclement weather, will house upwards of 60 or 70 in various local churches throughout the city. The decision from the the Planning Commission was to limit the activities of the Gathering inn to only 20 beds as would be the city’s amended ordinance. The topic of Housing the Homeless will be back on the next council agenda.

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