To the editor:
The Oread Neighborhood Assn. believes that boundaries between the Oread Neighborhood and KU are critical. KU's 1997 Campus Plan defined Oread's Louisiana/Ohio alley as the eastern boundary for KU growth and expansion. The neighborhood supported and relied on this boundary agreement.
The purchase by KU of nearly an entire city block of older historic homes on the 1300 block of Ohio Street violates this agreement. The properties should not have been purchased by KU. The university has other locations to build scholarship halls. KU has already encroached into many historic areas. Further encroachment into the Oread Neighborhood is dishonorable and hurtful to the neighborhood.
This situation causes me to reflect upon the important concept of boundaries in terms of growth, development and safety. As individuals, we need boundaries to clarify personal aspects of our life. We must learn to respect ourselves and to respect others. As a community we need boundaries to make decisions about governing, voting, taxes, schools, law, etc.
As a country, boundaries are also critical. How would we have a sense of nationalism without them! It seems to me that boundaries apply to the survival and well-being of neighborhoods as well. It is difficult to work toward improving and maintaining neighborhoods when there is a constant threat of destabilization by special interest buyouts and takeovers. Home ownership in such areas becomes risky.
Lawrence is a historically rich and unique community in large part because of its dedication to historic preservation. It is critical to save Lawrence's remaining older homes and significant architectural structures. Once these unique structures are gone, they will be lost forever. The Oread Neighborhood is hopeful that a solution will be reached with KU that will honor their commitment to be good neighbors and to respect boundaries. I hope that the historic homes on the 1300 block of Ohio Street will not be destroyed. Perhaps they can be put to a creative use that will be in keeping with the integrity of the neighborhood and beneficial to both KU and Oread.