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Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Planners identify development sites

ECO2 to examine industrial park possibilities

July 28, 2004

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Planning officials have identified six areas in Douglas County as possible sites for major industrial developments.

Four of the areas are just outside Lawrence city limits: one to the west, one to the east and two to the north. The other two areas are east of Eudora and west of Baldwin.

Lawrence-Douglas County planner Brad Hauschild said Tuesday it would be the job of ECO2, a county organization charged with fostering development of industrial land and preservation of open space in the county, to identify specific tracts of land within those areas for possible industrial use.

RoxAnne Miller, ECO2's chairwoman, said her group first must decide whether the areas were compatible for open-space use before deciding whether they would pass muster.

"We have not completed our process to give any comment on them," she said Tuesday. "We are looking at them, but ECO2 is looking at two kinds of lands, so we will be looking at the interaction between the two."

The areas identified by the planners had to meet several criteria:

  • They include parcels of land larger than 40 acres that can be developed.
  • They sit outside the floodplain.
  • They're close to city sewer, water and other services.
  • They're close to major highways.

Miller said ECO2 should produce its own map identifying potential open space and industrial sites in November.

Economic development advocates, who want to set aside 1,000 acres of land for industrial use, are keeping a close eye on the process.

"I would say ECO2 industrial subcommittee is certainly doing their due diligence," said Lynn Parman, vice president of economic development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. "We're pleased with the direction it's heading."

ECO2's next meeting will be at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 5 in the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.

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