Archive for Thursday, June 29, 1995


June 29, 1995


The local planning commission unanimously voted to deny downzoning in a northwest Lawrence neighborhood.

Several neighbors in the Westgate Subdivision in northwest Lawrence said they bought their homes with the idea that they were moving into a single-family development.

And they supported plans brought before the Lawrence Douglas County Planning Commission Wednesday to downzone their neighborhood to keep out apartments and duplexes.

"We strongly want this change in zoning," Susan Gibbs, one of the homeowners, told the commission.

But after hearing from the adjacent property owner, the commission unanimously voted to deny a request to downzone the neighborhood and adjacent property.

The area, which is zoned for multiple-family residences, is north of Harvard Road, south of West Sixth Street and about one-fourth mile east of Wakarusa Drive.

The commission was asked last month by neighbors to downzone 11 of the 32 lots to single-family residence zoning.

At that time, the planning staff had said it wouldn't recommend a "checkerboard" downzoning, so the commission initiated rezoning this month for 10 other adjacent lots zoned for single and multiple family residences.

Jane Eldredge, an attorney who represented Westgate Partners, which owns most of the adjacent undeveloped property, said Westgate was "vehemently opposed" to the commission initiating downzoning.

Eldredge said the homeowners had information about how the area was zoned before they bought their homes.

In voting to deny the downzoning, commissioners said they didn't think Westgate should be penalized.

The matter will go to the Lawrence City Commission on July 18. The commission can accept or reject the recommendation.

In other action, a plan to turn a 10-acre area on West Sixth Street into an "upscale gated community" was put on hold until next month.

The plan would create Tuckaway Subdivision on the north side of West Sixth Street east of Schwarz Road.

Bob Schulte, vice president of Gene Fritzel Construction Co., who represented the property owner, Beryl Hobbs, made the request to defer action after it was clear that the commission wasn't prepared to consider a rezoning compromise plan that Schulte presented at the meeting.

Schulte said the apartment complex would have a maximum density of 147 units, which would contain about 328 bedrooms and one parking space a bedroom.

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