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Archive for Saturday, August 9, 2003

In good faith

August 9, 2003

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To the editor:

Although a district court judge ruled that a violation of policy occurred (Journal-World, Aug. 1), I feel the Lawrence City Commission acted in good faith when it declared a moratorium on building at the intersection of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Unless I've misunderstood many recent news stories, don't the neighborhood residents near that intersection and parents of Free State High students object to a Wal-Mart store getting built there, due to traffic safety and urban blight concerns? And isn't there concern that many locally owned businesses would fail if a north/south Wal-Mart pincer envelops downtown Lawrence?

However many city tax dollars go to legal fees in this matter, I'm not embarrassed; I'm happy to contribute. Our new commissioners did what we elected them to do; they tried to protect us from an unwanted development.

Still, two things about this incident embarrass me. One is that Kansas lacks a "development predator law" that lets cities jail developers who repeatedly attempt to degrade a neighborhood's quality of life, or repeatedly menace a city's overall economic health.

The second embarrassment -- specific to this case -- is that the developers of record think Lawrence citizens are so stupid that we don't think Wal-Mart is a department store.

Joe Hyde,

Lawrence

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