To the editor:
My wife and I live in the Prairie Park Neighborhood off O’Connell Road and across from the existing Farmland facility. I read in last Sunday’s newspaper that Douglas County Commissioner Charles Jones expressed, “developing new residences on that site is not a plan the county could endorse.”
He reflected that if homes were placed into that area, new residents would reject plans to turn most of the acreage into industrial use. Shouldn’t the existing residents of the area be asked their opinions? I, along with other members of the Prairie Park Neighborhood Assn., would welcome more quality residences in the old Farmland acreage rather than industry.
I also understand that there may be a plan for the city of Lawrence and/or Douglas County to purchase that 487-acre facility. I hope that our local government is not going into the development business with our tax dollars. Perhaps the public should know a few things about this area and the speculation.
1. What is the cost of the property?
2. What are the remedial costs associated with bringing the site to a usable state?
3. What would be the return on this investment for the city or the county?
Perhaps a mix of residential, commercial, industrial and some open space would work best for all concerned. The Prairie Park Neighborhood Assn. is willing to discuss all proposed uses of the Farmland acreage and is anxious to be engaged in the process.