To the editor:
The proposed ordinance called "Retail Market Impact Analysis" is considered a tool to protect downtown and other areas by controlling retail projects of 50,000 square feet or more. There are those in town who think they can legislate behavior! They think by limiting the amount and location of certain retail choices this will work to the benefit of other retail stores.
This ignores personal preference. Just because you restrict a certain type of retail in one part of town does not mean a person will shop in another part of town. We bemoan the loss of sales tax revenue to neighboring cities. This ordinance will exacerbate this problem. Why do some in Lawrence take a negative approach when solving perceived problems?
Why not take a positive approach to protecting downtown? To truly protect downtown it must become a major destination for shopping and entertainment for families in its own right. We need an action plan for convenience, family shopping, living, entertainment, cultural venues and business that makes downtown so strong other areas need protecting.
Residents are finally complaining about their residential property taxes. This is very good! These taxes are rising because Lawrence officials continue to find ways to say no to retail and other business wishing to relocate here. Lawrence does not have enough, nor the right kind, of retail and business to reduce the tax burden on residences.
This ordinance will continue the burdensome reliance on raising residential property taxes for revenue. Reject this unjustified ordinance!