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Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2003

Goodell favors downtown historic status

City Commission candidate suggests designation would attract funding

March 27, 2003

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Lawrence City Commission candidate Lynn Goodell on Wednesday said he favored pursuit of a National Register of Historic Places designation of downtown.

"It can come with money," Goodell said during a downtown news conference on a variety of topics. "Maybe we can get some state money and federal money."

Pursuit of such a designation worries some downtown-area property owners, who fear they would see new restrictions on building and remodeling as the cost of historic preservation.

"It impacts everything around," Goodell acknowledged. "If the community says, 'It's going to kill us,' then we don't want to do that. But I don't think that will happen."

Other commission candidates also gave cautious support to the idea.

"That maybe would be a real helpful thing for ensuring the long-lived vitality of downtown," candidate Lee Gerhard said. "If this helps downtown, then I support it."

Candidate David Schauner was more leery.

"I think it's a great thing to investigate," he said. "But is the value of the designation worth more than the costs it would incur? We need to have a balance."

Candidate Greg DiVilbiss echoed those comments.

"I'd like to know a little bit more about the ramifications before I wholeheartedly endorse it," he said.

Candidates Mike Rundle and Dennis "Boog" Highberger were unavailable for comment.

The election is Tuesday. The three top vote-getters will take seats on the commission.

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