New Auburn development causes controversy among residents

New Auburn development causes controversy among residents

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - A new restaurant and bar with an outdoor entertainment space will soon be located on Opelika Road, but residents in neighboring areas are speaking up and saying that they weren't properly notified.

James Ryan, president of the Burke Place Neighborhood Home Owners Association, said he represents 63 homes in the area and that they're very concerned about the interests of the city.

"The residents of the neighborhood were not fully notified of the commercial development that has been proposed," said Ryan. "Only a few of us whose property is right next door to this development property were told that anything was going to be put in place."

City officials say that notification wasn't necessary.

"It is a commercial corridor," explained Auburn City Manager James Buston. "We aren't going to put out notices for anything that happens on a commercial corridor that is allowed by right to happen on a commercial corridor. The only reason that this went to council is that the developer wanted to have games outside. The closest property is a football field away."

Noise is also a concern of nearby residents.

"The potential noise disruption of this development was not explained to the neighborhood. The lack of a noise ordinance in Auburn is a very significant problem," Ryan added.

Auburn has a nuisance ordinance, but Buston said an additional noise ordinance is not expected to be needed for the new property.

"The property backs up to the railroad right-of-way so all times of the day and night trains come through there with their whistles blowing," the city manager explained. "I don't anticipate any level of noise even coming close to what the trains have been doing for years."

Property developers are trying to ensure that the venue is as neighborhood-friendly as possible. City officials say that no live music will be played outdoors after 10 p.m. and a sound wall will be located at the back of the entertainment area.

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