Archive for Saturday, August 19, 2006

Neighbor’s plea

August 19, 2006


To the editor:

It was interesting (also depressing) to see that the new Tenants to Homeowners project in East Lawrence has been given "a unique opportunity for neighbors to know what type of housing would be on the site for years to come. Tenants to Homeowners is placing conditions on the property that will ensure that it is never used for rental property" (Journal-World, Aug. 7).

I commend Tenants to Homeowners for their wisdom and foresight but have to wonder why those of us who are long-established as homeowners have been so long ignored in our pleas to give us relief from the debilitating incursion of "rental property" into our once-stable neighborhoods. If those 10 lots can be protected and if the need for such protection is so apparent, why has the city (commission, staff, planning commission) failed to respond meaningfully to us unsubsidized homeowners?

What do I have in mind as appropriate responses by the city? Well, for starters:

l A definition of "family" that is not a mockery - "no more than three unrelated persons" indeed!

l Enforcement of existing codes (and of improved ones).

l An owner-occupied overlay zoning district.

One of the chief functions of zoning being to provide assurance of future land use to nearby landowners, in a city with a brand new zoning ordinance, it should be a source of embarrassment to "planners" that someone finds it necessary to devise independent measures to ensure that neighbors will know (unique in all the city) "what type of housing would be on the site."

Bill Mitchell,



Jamesaust 11 years, 8 months ago

Every person is important and every family counts, sir!

Jackson 11 years, 8 months ago

Bill Williams is right - Lawrence has NO zoning that protects the rights of owner-occupied housing.

Rental housing has ruined ALL of central Lawrence for family-living, and is responsible for the exodus of families to surrounding towns.

Limiting the number of un-related renters to two (2) in SF zoned neighborhoods is the only solution to Lawrence's number one problem - affordable housing, and retaining families.

"SF zoning" is a farce. Central Lawrence is (mostly) rental housing.

Most rental housing will eventually be unfit for habitation. The next step will be to re-zone ALL of central Lawrence to MF, apartment building,and the complete exodus of families to either West of Iowa or (likely) other towns.

This will be the death of downtown.

Wake-up, Chamber of Commerce, City Commissioners, and planners!

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