Plans to build a Target store in southwest Lawrence have prompted calls for changes in the city's current long-range development plan.
During an hourlong meeting Monday night, a group of 30 downtown business owners, neighborhood leaders and historic preservationists decided to ask the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission to amend Plan '95, which guides local development.
Myles Schachter, owner of Connecting Point Computer Center, 813 Mass., said everyone at the meeting agreed on one thing: Plan first, then zone.
"Let's step back and take a look at the whole issue of commercialization," he said.
The planning commission has scheduled a public comment session for 6:30 p.m. Monday to help decide whether changes need to be made to Plan '95 as it relates to commercial development.
Residents of the Nieder Acres subdivision have asked the city to annex their land, rezone it commercial and allow a Target Store to locate across from the new Wal-Mart on South Iowa Street.
Schachter, who helped write Plan '95, said the Target proposal didn't fit the plan's guidelines.
If the Target development is needed, he said, the plan itself should be changed.
"Let's look at the plan, and check our plan first," Schachter said. "No one's against Target. It's not a competition issue. It's a growth versus managed growth issue."
Marsha Goff, 3200 Nieder Rd., said the Target proposal might be outside the areas that the plan shows for commercial development, but so are plenty of other commercial developments in town.
All residents want to do, Goff said, is escape 20 years of nearby commercial growth by selling their homes.
"I do not think what we're doing will injure downtown," she said.