Auburn Board of Zoning Adjustment tables North College development height request

AUBURN, Ala.- The Auburn Board of Zoning Adjustment decided to table the variance request of the 191 College’ developers to increase the height of the building from 75 to 86 feet until Feb. 1.

The Director of Planning for the city, Forrest Cotten said variances can be tough to get passed since the criteria are very stringent. He added that there must be proof of hardship.

“It’s [height variance] not the most typical variance that you’ll see come before the board of zoning adjustment,” Cotten said. “For various reasons, people will see fit to try and get some relief from the zoning ordinance. Sometimes it’s justified, and sometimes it’s not, but that’s why you’ve got a board of zoning adjustment in place is to consider those requests and deliberate those and adjudicate as they see fit.”

Cotten said if this project were proposed today, it would not be allowed due to zoning ordinance changes back in March 2016 that do not permit private dormitories in the Urban Core and limiting the building height in the College Overlay District to 65 feet.

Cotten added that the 11-foot variance would allow the developers to accomplish several aspects on top of the building such as a rooftop pool, elevator enclosures and more. He added that because the structure is taller than 65 feet, the elevator and stairs can not be excluded from the height maximum, adding that the added height is unable to be excluded from height requirements.

The project is slated to go in the spot of the Chevron on North College Street and the parking lot along Glenn Avenue and Wright Street, and it is slated to be open prior to Fall 2019.


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