To the editor:
Tonight, the city commission has a chance to save the city-county planning commission from its own poor judgment. At 6:30 p.m., the city commission meets to vote on the planning commission's disastrous recommendation that a 25-acre "big box" store development be built next to Free State High School at Sixth and Wakarusa.
The planning commission made its recommendation in the absence of any public input whatsoever, and without a traffic study about the impact of 15,000 automobiles driving to the store daily. Furthermore, it explicitly ignored KDOT's warning that such a development might overwhelm traffic in the area, and by disregarding Horizon 2020's guidelines that this corner should be used for small, community retail, and not a regional superstore.
Even worse, the planning commission apparently made its recommendation without considering what it means to drop such a large, traffic-intensive, and ugly development right next to the Free State High School and new indoor natatorium. Once built, these hulking structures are part of the landscape for many, many years, even if the business fails. I urge Lawrence residents to attend the city commission's meeting and make known their opposition.