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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

No population bounce here

Lawrence loses residents in newest head count

June 21, 2006

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Lawrence officially has joined the ranks of Atchison, Coffeyville and too many cities west of Salina to even mention. It's a Kansas community that's losing population - at least according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In estimates released today, the Census Bureau claims Lawrence from July 2004 to July 2005 lost 26 residents - less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the city's overall population. But the numbers are significant because it is believed to be the first time in at least 30 years the city has recorded an annual decline in population.

The report also marks the fifth year in a row that the Census Bureau has shown the city growing at a rate well below its historical average of 2 percent.

And the report shows that Eudora, Tonganoxie, Baldwin and other communities just outside Lawrence are growing robustly, perhaps at the expense of Lawrence.

"It is very disturbing," City Commissioner Sue Hack said. "I think it is pretty obvious that we have a cost-of-living issue in Lawrence. This just statistically proves that communities that are less expensive to live in are drawing folks who probably would choose to live in Lawrence otherwise."

The census report reveals several findings about the area, including:

¢ Lawrence population dropped to 81,816 people, down from 81,842 in 2004. Since July 2000, the city has added only 1,535 residents, which equates to an annual growth rate of 0.3 percent.


Morgan Thevarajoo, center, 11, and his sister Hannah, 9, bounce around on their backyard trampoline as their mother Kim Thevarajoo, back, cleans their play area. After living in Lawrence for about eight years, the family moved to Eudora in 2003 because houses are more affordable there and the school district is smaller. A new Census Bureau report shows that Eudora's population continues to climb, while the number of people living in Lawrence dropped slightly.

Morgan Thevarajoo, center, 11, and his sister Hannah, 9, bounce around on their backyard trampoline as their mother Kim Thevarajoo, back, cleans their play area. After living in Lawrence for about eight years, the family moved to Eudora in 2003 because houses are more affordable there and the school district is smaller. A new Census Bureau report shows that Eudora's population continues to climb, while the number of people living in Lawrence dropped slightly.

¢ Outlying communities of Eudora, Tonganoxie, Baldwin and De Soto all posted strong growth rates for the year and the five-year period. During the same time period, Tonganoxie grew by 5.9 percent per year, Eudora by 3.5 percent, De Soto by 2.1 percent and Baldwin by 1.3 percent.

'A mystery to me'

Several area residents said they could understand why Lawrence was lagging while other communities were growing.

"It comes down to housing prices," said Tim Metz, who had lived in Lawrence since the early '80s, then briefly moved to Colorado. When he and his wife, Kendra, returned this year to take a job in Lawrence, they chose to live in Eudora.

"We must have looked at 50 homes in Lawrence, and we couldn't find one that we thought was priced where it should be," said Metz, who is a lender at Douglas County Bank. "We just thought there was better value in Eudora. And you're basically still five minutes away from Lawrence. You have all the benefits, but you don't have all the people around you."

Census data

Explore population trends in census data for Lawrence and other Kansas cities from 1900 to 2005. Go »

The report, though, has left some city planners scratching their heads. City planner David Guntert is entering his 30th year tracking population numbers for the city.

"It is a mystery to me," Guntert said. "I have no idea why they would say we actually lost population."

The explanation likely is not something simple, such as a change in how the Census Bureau counts university students who live in the city. Census Bureau officials have said their estimating process is the same as it has been for decades. In other words, it is the same process they were using to come up with the growth rates of 2 percent that generally were accepted by city leaders during the 1980s and 1990s.

Guntert said the number of building permits for new homes and apartments strongly suggested the city still was growing at a significant pace. Using those building permit numbers, Guntert estimates the city has a population of 89,643 people - about 7,800 people more than the census estimates.

"I just can't even begin to believe that we're building all these housing units and they are sitting vacant," Guntert said.

Home market slows

But some members of the real estate industry were giving weight to the Census Bureau estimates.

Eudora seeing growth

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle and Bill and Sheryl Coppinger, Eudora builders, say their city has been seeing rapid population growth in the last few years - which includes many people moving from Lawrence. Enlarge video

"I would not be comfortable in saying that I don't believe them," said Pat Flavin, president of Lawrence Realty Associates. "My gut tells me that we're still growing a little bit, but I'm probably saying that more out of habit than anything else."

Flavin, who also is chair of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said Lawrence homes were taking longer to sell than they once did.

The Lawrence market in 2005 saw the amount of time it takes to sell a home rise to its highest level since 2001 when the 9-11 attacks slowed the real estate market nationwide.

The average in 2005 was 113 days. Thus far in 2006, the average is up, with many newly constructed homes staying on the market more than 200 days.

Flavin said the numbers told him Lawrence needed to work to provide affordable housing and attract new jobs to the city.

"Lawrence has had a reputation of being - I'm not going to say business unfriendly - but kind of a quirky place to try to go into or expand," Flavin said. "We have to figure out a way to be more accommodating without giving up the farm."

Census formula

The Census Bureau estimates populations with a formula that relies on federal records listing people's addresses, such as tax returns, Medicare and Medicaid applications, birth records, death records and other data.

6News reporter Laura McHugh contributed to this report.

Comments

Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.....................

...........Godot!

You got it SO right!

Thanks.

MaRION.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

There should be a third party. Call it the Cannibals. Their platform is to advocate for programs that identify certain industries, or individuals, who are more successful that the rest of the population, and then make laws to stop that organization/person from doing anything in the future that will cause him/her/or it to have more success, and to take as much from the successful person as possible to resdistribute to the losers.

Oh, sorry, that party already exists in Lawrence: it is called the PLC.

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ljreader 7 years, 10 months ago

There aren't many good jobs in Lawrence as it is. The one thing that we had going for us here was jobs in construction because of all the building. Now, the contractors have taken away many of the good jobs in construction from Lawrencians to hire illegal immigrants. It took some doing, but I finally found legal citizens to reroof my house. By the way, the bids from those hiring American citizens were no higher than from those denying Americans jobs in favor of cheap illegal labor. Who is supposed to be able to pay for these overpriced homes when there is very little work here that offers a liveable wage? It's getting too expensive to commute. Add to that, the fact that the City wants to keep tapping us for more property taxes- no wonder people are leaving. In response to "learn": Soon, even engineering jobs will pay squat if the Senate gets it's way and raises the cap on H-1B visas. Since wages are being driven down to be comparable to those of a third world country, maybe the builders in this town should start constructing huts for us to live in. The contractors won't pay Americans to work for them, but they want us to buy the substandard overpriced crap they slap up. Shame on them.

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learn 7 years, 10 months ago

It takes so many years just to let Walmart has what it wanted. People are fighting for their past so vigorously to keep Lawrence it is what it is. Business will not come here and when business doesn't come, population will not grow. No jobs, no people. The only way is to grow Kansas City Metropolitan area and make sure it eats into Lawrence... or Lawrence must become less resistance against business growth and makes sure it gets more supportive of other businesses to make it grow. If not, get KU up the ranking system, to attact even more businesses wanting to get in here to recruit our graduates. Engineering is on the top of my head right now.

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powershopper 7 years, 10 months ago

crimeinitaly: The Lawrence Public school system doesn't even come close to the top 100 in the country.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

godsnewine--

If you want rid of this commission, then you need to come up with better reasons than they don't provide the proper "conservative" warm and fuzzies that you like.

Does this city have problems-- yes, and they have been decades in the making. Has this commission solved all of those problems? Hardly-- but returning to the same ole, same ole of the previous commissions that created them is no answer.

Bitching about non-issues like roundabouts or the smoking ban that a large majority of citizens supports does not provide good campaign issues. Complaining about privately produced library development plans that haven't even been considered by the commission is a non-issue, too.

So if you want a new commission, you need to find candidates who offer something beyond the empty, grade-school level sloganeering that dominates on this forum.

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Teri Griffin-Guntert 7 years, 10 months ago

This city is crumbling from the inside out. Three liberals on the City Commission are making wide turns on this once wonderful community and firing long time faithful city employees who are not as liberal...sound familiar with the way the liberal agendas are moving around the country? Lawrence is way too liberal for it's own good and all the other similar communities in KS are conservative. (Kansas-a conservative state and Lawrence, the liberal community in the state.) Enough for me to entertain moving elsewhere but I will first attempt to change the way the commission currently looks do I have any company? If no change occurs I believe I will have plenty of company who will leave Lawrence even smaller. Please consider a huge change on the commission for starts. I have always believed that everything filters down from the top or the leader(s). Got to go to the top if you are not happy and demand changes. From a 50+ years resident of Lawrence.
P.S. Don't blame the city staff, blame the commissioners. Even the city staff have little to do with the library issue and nothing to do with round-abouts, etc...again directly upon the city commissions shoulders. Don't like it then show up at a few meetings and for heaven sakes find some responsible people to run for city commission.

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ljreader 7 years, 10 months ago

If the Census Bureau is relying on federal records such as tax returns, then it is probably not counting the homeless and illegal aliens. One dwelling of illegals could probably make up for the 26 missing people in some cases.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

I wonder what is REALLY beneath the roundabouts?

Rumours abound!

Thanks.

Marion.

P.S.

Since so many people blamed me for the POSTCARDS last election; the ones that I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH, I am now p* off and WILL send postcards next election.

Your input is sought!

Email me with your ideas at:

RiverCityTalk@aol.com

Thanks.

Marion.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"The city commission could solve the problem of unafordable housing by limiting the number of unrelated renters to two (2) in SF zoned neighborhoods because it would make them 50% less valuable for rental."

Actually, the opposite would be true. Every 3rd (or 4th) person would have to move out of the single unit they currently occupy and find a second unit.

The consequence would be that average rental prices would skyrocket (and probably match the outrageous sales prices for housing). Granted, in some cases the "bidding war" between family and renter would be more equitable. But considering the recent trend of parents "investing" in real estate by buying property in college towns that their childrent then live in with their friends (as renters), single families will still be outbid.

But! Not ONE property would become available for "single family" housing. Indeed, houses would be lost by the hundreds as the demand was artifically spiked while supply (at least in the shortrun) is held constant.

Ultimately, this obsession with multiple unrelated people living together is really an attempt by people to get government to use its power by putting its thumb on the scales in their favor. Its not a subject government has any business intervening in. It should make no difference whether one is outbid by five students or by Donald Trump - you're outbid; life sucks.

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Kline 7 years, 10 months ago

I seen me a long hair carrying a stack of papers today. He look like Charlie without the X brand forehead.

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crimeinitaly 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree that the new housing is shoddy. My husband and I wanted to move up and looked at a house under construction. The framing of the vaulted ceiling didn't even meet at the top. When my husband asked the builder (yes, it was the builder himself) what was holding up the roof he said "prayer." This builder is one of the "premier" builders that has been building in this town for over 20 years. The house was over $250,000. We found similar construction with almost every other builder. Eighteen years ago we bought a two-year-old house in Prairie Meadows. When I lightly scrubbed the wall to remove a handprint the paint came off, along with the sheetrock paper (no primer - one light coat of paint sprayed on). We had to repaint the outside 5 times in ten years. We then replaced the siding ourselves. The back of the siding was raw wood, not even primed, and rotting. Almost everyone else in our neighborhood has had to reside their homes also. We also have to put plastic over our windows in the winter (also no rebar in the front concrete walk that fell off the porch). This was just the beginning. This house is now appraised for over $200,000. We will replace the windows when we move next year to Topeka, where we have decent jobs and have found affordable housing of superior construction. It will make someone a good home as we have had to replace almost everything in the entire house, most things before it was 5 years old. The turnpike billboard was correct.

Also, I won't shop downtown. Neither do any of my friends and neighbors. Prices in the trendy mom and pop stores are outrageous. What is this, Town Centre or the Plaza? Only professors and Leawood kids can afford it. Is it any wonder that every time you go downtown there are practically all new stores?

No new families with children can afford to move here, and it's too bad since I believe we have one of the best public school systems in the country. It is the only reason we have stayed here this long. Next year, when the last kid graduates, we are out of here along with, I am sure, many more than 26 other people. People are getting fed up and gas prices are making it much less appealing to live here when you work elsewhere.

I once asked a realtor why Lawrence prices were so much higher than Topeka. He said "location, location, location." That is where my family and many more will be going - to another location.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

Jackson, I challenge you to find a single $75,000 home in lawrence that is occupied by three or more unrelated people (mostly KU students). Unless, of course, the value is something you fabricate out of your imagination.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

Jackson wrote: "Over 3,000 $75,000 "fixer-upper" houses in single-family (SF) zoned neighborhoods are used for rental to 3 (or more) unrelated people (mostly KU students)."

Where in the world did you get that figure? That is patently absurd. Quit making up stuff about Lawrence and go back to your hometown blog where you have a clue about what is going on.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

Jackson wrote: "The city commission could solve the problem of unafordable housing by limiting the number of unrelated renters to two (2) in SF zoned neighborhoods because it would make them 50% less valuable for rental."

My suggestion of having the Housing Authority help folks buy existing homes, and providing incentives to landlords who sell to people who intend to occupy the homes they buy is a better idea. Carrots work better than sticks in an economic situation.

I believe your facts are wrong, too. Single family homes are restricted from renting to MORE THAN THREE unrelated individuals, not the "three or more" that you cited.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

laura wrote: "Don't kid yourself that Lawrence is an attractive place anymore."

Just returned from downtown. Mass was lined with cars. People walked along the sidewalks, and South Park was filled people sitting in their lawn chairs, resting on blankets, visiting with friends, listening to the fantastic music of the city band.

Now THAT is what makes Lawrence an attractive place.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

logicman wrote: "What's happening to the average age of residents? If it is going up, then a steady decline in population looms."

I think you and the person who said, "people are dying to get away from Lawrence" are right. Aside from the students at KU, Lawrence is starting to resemble Sun City.

By the way, did the census include the residents of the retirement/nursing homes?

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macon47 7 years, 10 months ago

I have no use for booger , whiney rundle and schnauzer. as much as we hate them . the housing prices in this town are supply and demand they have nothing to do with it the realators do.

just like gasoline. quit buying and the prices will drop.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

"WHO MADE THEM GOD?"

Well, they did, with your help. Are you going return control of the city commission to them?

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macon47 7 years, 10 months ago

if i ever had to sell my house i would rather plummet a wood stake in my heart than give a realator 6% commission. like WHO MADE THEM GOD? if you have a real dog to sell 6% is ok but if you have a nice fair priced property you have more of daddys money, than you have of mommies brains. if you are so lazy you use a realator in this town

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bugmenot 7 years, 10 months ago

How is Lawrence overpriced if people are willing to pay those housing prices to live in Lawrence? Doesn't make much sense, though most of you on this board tend to not make sense then blame it on liberals, progressives, or whatever else you idiots can conjure up at the moment.

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nonimbyks 7 years, 10 months ago

This wouldn't have happened if there were more round-a-bouts and the SLT was done!

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macon47 7 years, 10 months ago

lawrence is not a cheap place to live. salaries are low because of a college town and property is high for the same reason! IS THIS LIKE SOMETHING NEW? so go live in oskaloosa or edgerton, and quit whining. what is the problem? if you cannot afford lawrence thier are 50 other states to move to? sorry, maybe mommy and daddy let you have it all, but get with the real world grow up and quite crybabying.

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monkeyhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

gccs14r:

where is that info? Sounds like a good tool.

I have a very good agent and the property was impeccable.

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Posted by gccs14r (anonymous) on June 21, 2006 at 11:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Blame the local contractors for the shoddy construction in the cookie-cutter subdivisions. The older houses are better built and some even have character.

Exactamundo!

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

"For instance, I just sold a property that was on the market 10 days, ..."

The LJW prints time-on-market once a week. I think the shortest interval they've indicated in the last two cycles has been about 22 days. I don't know where they get their data or how current it is.

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monkeyhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

from merrill: "There are a lot of houses for sale in Lawrence in most any neighborhood which are not being sold in that miracle 24 hour period any longer. "

Some houses still sell quickly, but don't let the facts get in the way... For instance, I just sold a property that was on the market 10 days, but the advertising didn't hit the right cycle or it would have been sooner. And I am going to put another property on the market very soon. I expect it will sell quickly, also. BTW, they are both on the west side (since you made a point to clarify that in your proclamation).

"My speculation tells me they would rather hang out downtown and sip a good brew or wine, walk, ride and/or buy bikes, shop GAP or buy recycled clothing."

Most of us know exactly where you are coming from, so I'm sure we all get a good snicker from your pap. Your posts are as pompous as your socialist proposals. I would call you John Kerry, but I saw you on tv once, and you are no John Kerry.

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lawrencechick 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence is a great town for all ages and people need to stop being so negative. There are a lot of "part of the problem's" on these message boards. I also lived here when there were 50,000 people and I have lived in N,S, E, and West Lawrence. There were positives and negatives in EVERY area. The whole East vs West Lawrence thing is so juvenile.
I do agree on improving city codes and banning T-111 siding. It looks terrible, just drive through Prarie Park or the dumpy duplexes that ruined Prarie Meadows neighborhood. As for Eudora, it may be cheaper but it's just as dumpy. Those neighborhoods off K-10 are going to look like shanytowns in 10 years- thrown up cheap with no neighborhood architecture controls.

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Jackson 7 years, 10 months ago

Central Lawrence housing is particularly overpriced because most of it is being used for the rental "business".

Over 3,000 $75,000 "fixer-upper" houses in single-family (SF) zoned neighborhoods are used for rental to 3 (or more) unrelated people (mostly KU students). These houses sell for $125,000 (up) because they are good "business" investments.

Unfortunately, most need $30 - $40 thousand to make them liveable for family use - but would still be surrounded by rentals - poor neighbors for a family with kids.

The city commission could solve the problem of unafordable housing by limiting the number of unrelated renters to two (2) in SF zoned neighborhoods because it would make them 50% less valuable for rental.

Most 60 -70 year old central city rental housing would have been improved or replaced years ago if Lawrence had proper zoning that would protect owner-occupied housing.

Current zoning allows ANY house in Lawrence to be rented to 3 (or more) unrelated renters. A great deal for landlords (soon-to-be slumlords), but bad for owner-occupied neighbors & families.

Does the city commission have the "guts" to pass this ordinance?

Don't bet the farm.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

this must be BIG news. around noon, i tried to buy a newspaper for nostalgia reasons (because i'm sentimental when it comes to the failures of the progressive amigos) and i had to go to 4 different places. one convenience store said they were sold out since 10:00 AM and the manager couldn't figure out why. it was highly unusual.

one thing i like, any city employee interviewed was skeptical of the census. gee, i wonder why? perhaps they don't want to get what wildgen or finger got. at least the census is consistent when they do their studies.

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Laura 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence: 23rd Street. Iowa. The I-70 strip mall. That thing at the north end of Mass that's supposed to be a mini-mall. All Lawrence has going for it is the University and a short strip on Mass. Otherwise, it's like the worst of Olathe & Lenexa combined. Even Mass is starting to look like a strip mall with all its chain stores. Don't kid yourself that Lawrence is an attractive place anymore.

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Arminius 7 years, 10 months ago

Kookamooka:

"Considering Phil Kline, Fred Phelps, and the KSBOE, I can't believe KS is having a hard time attracting people from other parts of the country. I would think Kansas's ultra-conservative lifestyles and homogeneity would be an attraction for people from all walks of life. ..."

I think we need to look closer to home. Forbes magazine used to always rank Lawrence in the top 20 amongst smaller metros to start a business or find a job. We were ranked as high as No. 6. Last year we fell out of the top 20 and were ranked 22nd. This year we were ranked 60th! I think there is much evidence that the policies of the city commissioners associated with the Progressive Lawrence Campaign are really beginning to hurt Lawrence. What city commissioners do matters to those rankings. Phill Kline, the Democrat Fred Phelps, and the KBOE have no effect on those rankings.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

The Lawrence Real Estate industry created a housing boom by participating in surveys done by real estate people ranking Lawrence as one the best areas to live in the USA. This stimulated the same people to inflate prices because they could and some got very rich in the process. It also has increased/inflated property taxes over and above a normal cost of living increase of 2%-3%.

Lawrence is a great place to live and raise a family but it's not the only place on the planet.

The quality of construction has been a subject of discussion for several years. I know of a craftsman who was replacing windows in a $600,000 home only five years of age due to dry rot. When affordable housing is talked about I would say beware. Our children referred to the new housing at about 6th& Sierra/Monterey Way as cardboard houses. At the time our residence was in what is now Stone Canyon. We had a view from the kitchen at plenty of new construction and were amazed at the speed that some houses and multi family dwellings could be constructed. Depending on who is building a new house it may be safer to buy an old home and fix it up.

Unless an older home is purchased Eudrora and Ottawa housing looks very much like the cookie cutter program Lawrence has more or less adopted. There are a lot of houses for sale in Lawrence in most any neighborhood which are not being sold in that miracle 24 hour period any longer. I know of a couple in a west Lawrence neighborhood that pulled their house off the market after 4 months. A neighbor down the street from them had their place on the market for six months before selling.

Eudora,Desoto and Ottawa have tapped into the Lawrence inflated market. I believe Baldwin is high dollar as well.

High dollar leases,expensive ground and inflated property taxes will not attract a gold rush of new employment.

Without inflated property taxes our governing bodies cannot operate because the powers that be from about 1987 -2001 forgot to bring some/enough industry to help pay the taxes and provide higher salaries. Consequently commuters spend some of their dollars elsewhere. There is a reason big names build downsized stores in Lawrence, Kansas...the retail market is not here. A whole lot of people in Lawrence have not adopted the shop till you drop lifestyle. My speculation tells me they would rather hang out downtown and sip a good brew or wine, walk, ride and/or buy bikes, shop GAP or buy recycled clothing.

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born1980 7 years, 10 months ago

That's right, keep bashing Topeka. If only Topekans wouldn't come to Lawrence there would be no crime. Your attitude really is paying off.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 10 months ago

I liked Lawrence when it was 50,000 people...before The Other Lawrence added some 30,000 to it. (But I don't count The Other Lawrence as being part of, or having anything in common with, The Real Lawrence. I still wish it would secede and become it's own conservative soccer Mom town.)

Personally, I don't buy that it's "grow or die" at all costs. Maybe leveling off at a reasonable 75,000 is exactly the best place for us to be.

Also omitted from the article is the unincorporated COUNTY population. If it's growing but Lawrence's is not, who cares that Lawrence isn't? They still drive into Lawrence, use its streets, schools, stores, etc.

Therefore, the total county population is all that matters to me. And I really doubt it is declining.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 10 months ago

All of you ignoramuses talking about how the census count must be wrong because you slam the door in their faces, etc. YOU DIDN'T READ THE ARTICLE. So I will quote it for you:

"The Census Bureau ESTIMATES populations with a formula that relies on federal records listing people's addresses, such as tax returns, Medicare and Medicaid applications, birth records, death records and other data."

They only use live census takers in accordance with the Constitution, which says every 10 years. So, you're saying that the statistical formula they've used for years and years is wrong. OK...so tax returns, birth records and other data are wrong?

GAWD! Why don't you people read what's provided for you before you shove your foot in your mouths?

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LogicMan 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow, interesting story. Basically a flat-line in population for the last five years or so.

Among other things, looks like that urgent need for another sewage treatment plant has gone down the drain!

What's happening to the average age of residents? If it is going up, then a steady decline in population looms.

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

"Did I mention that it takes half the time to get across Topeka (or Wichita) as it does Lawrence? That happens when you ignore the basics. For crying out loud, synchronize those lights!"

You never sat through five light cycles at Kellogg and Rock, did you? Crossing Lawrence is a breeze. Now that we have the crosswalk countdown timers, crossing town is even easier since it's possible to see from several hundred feet back how long the light is going to last.

"WHAT? You don't have a zoo?"

I'd rather a community not have a zoo than have that drab prison of a zoo over in Topeka. Inmates have it better.

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neopolss 7 years, 10 months ago

Posted by gccs14r (anonymous) on June 21, 2006 at 1:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've been to the Topeka zoo. Topekans should be ashamed. The only cool thing to happen in Topeka in the last decade was the Treasures of the Czars exibit (which was in 1995, more than a decade ago) and how Topeka landed that is beyond me.

Oooo, shopping in a big mall. That's culture to you? It sounds like you should be right at home there.

========================================

There we go. Just the attitude I was expecting to see. The problem in Lawrence? They think only they exist. Somehow Lawrence is ABOVE everyone else, and you only really see this attitude fully when you LEAVE Lawrence. I loved that town ten years ago. I hate what it became.

What's wrong with a mall? Does everything have to be unique and special just to get approval? Different strokes for different folks. Here in T-town, there's something for everyone. In Lawrence, it's downtown. And if you don't like downtown? Get the f out. Because that's the ONLY concern.

I'll be ashamed of the Topeka zoo after I see how awesome the Lawrence zoo is. WHAT? You don't have a zoo?

Did I mention that it takes half the time to get across Topeka (or Wichita) as it does Lawrence? That happens when you ignore the basics. For crying out loud, synchronize those lights!

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powershopper 7 years, 10 months ago

kookamooka - I would hope you were able to pick up on my sarcasm in my previous post.

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Shane Garrett 7 years, 10 months ago

Just moved back to Lawrence from Texas. Sold my 1,000 s.f. house for 84,000. Built in 1979. Got Top dollar price for it in Fort Worth. However, for that price I would have to settle for a 500 s.f. house built some where around the turn of the century. Renting for now.

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avoice 7 years, 10 months ago

I moved away from Lawrence almost 15 years ago because of all the influx from the 'burbs. It looks like maybe things are going in the right direction, at last. If the population keeps going down, I might move back.

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rightthinker 7 years, 10 months ago

People are finally realizing that Lawrence is filled to the brim with sniveling lost soul liberals that decent and sane Americans don't really want to be around.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow, Lawrence lost an entire 26 people?? Even accounting for inaccuracies in counting?

We should all start panicking now...run for the hills! The end of the world is near!

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Kookamooka 7 years, 10 months ago

Considering Phil Kline, Fred Phelps, and the KSBOE, I can't believe KS is having a hard time attracting people from other parts of the country. I would think Kansas's ultra-conservative lifestyles and homogeneity would be an attraction for people from all walks of life. ...

This is an interesting point. Considering that most Americans enjoy a good Walmart with their conservative attitudes means Lawrence will be extremely attractive in the near future. Pro development forces will cease control of the commission, overbuild and the city will just keep getting uglier and less fun to live in.

I've just got to find a job in the Netherlands and all wil be well!

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Citizen 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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acg 7 years, 10 months ago

May I suggest Lake Dabinawa to those that are disgruntled with the city. That's where we went. We're 15 minutes away from Lawrence and for $135,900 I got a three story house, on a lake, with a finished basement, 4 bedrooms and an acre of land. Can't get that in Lawrence, no how, no way. There are several houses for sale on the lake, too. I noticed when jogging around our peaceful lake with the dog the other day. Lots of nice places, some inexpensive fixer-uppers and some pricier places ($165,000-$200,000)that only need you to turn the key and move in.

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dex 7 years, 10 months ago

Why move to Lawrence? Is that where all the new jobs are? I didn't think so ... unless you count the new Wal-Mart.

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cutny 7 years, 10 months ago

Regarding the "new" housing. Man...what a bunch of shacks. Could the minimum housing codes get any weaker? Could they build them any cheaper? One strong wind and they'll be litter on the next block. Hey Centrist, don't let the turnpike gate hit you on your way out of town. Marion, put that bottle down and take a walk around the block.

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BROWNIE 7 years, 10 months ago

gccs14r:

You are correct. There's likely no difference in building costs between Lawrence and Wichita. The difference is in the land cost. You might find a lot in Wichita for $35,000-$45,000. You can't buy a residential lot in Lawrence for less than $65,000 right now.

It's because the city has prevented new growth, new competition, so land owners are able to get top dollar.

So the $100,000 house in Wichita might have nicer siding, nicer windows, etc, and actually be priced $10,000-$15,000 less than Lawrence. And right or wrong, the builders in Lawrence have tried to compete price wise by sacrificing some quality.

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

I've been to the Topeka zoo. Topekans should be ashamed. The only cool thing to happen in Topeka in the last decade was the Treasures of the Czars exibit (which was in 1995, more than a decade ago) and how Topeka landed that is beyond me.

Oooo, shopping in a big mall. That's culture to you? It sounds like you should be right at home there.

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neopolss 7 years, 10 months ago

"I just can't even begin to believe that we're building all these housing units and they are sitting vacant," Guntert said.

=========================================

Guntert needs to drive around Lawrence a bit more. I moved for simple reasons. The focus was too visionary. Instead of focusing on the basics, like roads and sewer, the focus was on roundabouts, libraries, and other costly items that were simply fluff. I heard someone say, "There's just NOTHING to do in Topeka." Yes, with our huge strip of large & small businesses, our MALL, our zoo, miniature golf, movies, bowling, museum, parks, sports, and expocenter, there's simply nothing to do at all.

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Confrontation 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm hoping that my family will be counted as part of this loss by the end of the year. The high rent prices on crappy apartments and the incredibly low salaries have us ready to get out ASAP. Plus, the stupid budget decisions being made really have us focusing on our move. The ONLY thing I'll miss is KU men's basketball, but that's at least viewable elsewhere.

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powershopper 7 years, 10 months ago

Considering Phil Kline, Fred Phelps, and the KSBOE, I can't believe KS is having a hard time attracting people from other parts of the country. I would think Kansas's ultra-conservative lifestyles and homogeneity would be an attraction for people from all walks of life. Especially people from large, sophisticated, culturally diverse, affluent coastal cities. Why would somebody want to stay someplace (such as NYC, Washington DC, or LA) where they can make a great wage, enjoy a REAL city of the arts, and cultural diversity.

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Quigebo 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't want Lawrence to grow quickly, so this is good news!

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common_cents 7 years, 10 months ago

I've been predicting some kind of real-estate fall here for about the last 5 years. I wasn't sure when it would happen, and I am still not sure. But, after housing market prices climb at the rate they have here for so many years, the only place they can go is down.

And I welcome that day. Now the question begging to be asked is - What will the commission do when property sales values go down? Will they lowered appraised tax values, or will they continue to tell people "they got a good deal."

It's all about "quality of life!" LMAO

Quality of Life = Roundabouts made from concrete curb sections, all painted yellow in the center of a 4-way stop intersection. (It's the silliest thing I've ever seen and only a couple blocks south of campus)

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Kathleen Christian 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree with the vertical siding in 10 years that new house will look like a slum house unless that siding is painted and maintained on a yearly basis which can get very expensive. Even looking for rental housing is a disappointment. These Landlords can get away with renting a broken down house or duplex for 6-700 a month. It's shameful. No wander people want to move out of Lawrence. I know I plan to in the near future and find a house that is worth buying in a location I can depend on. Lawrence is too conservative, cliquey, and too far from the ocean.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

"I think if Lawrence was able to get some decent contractors building houses, more people would decide to stay. I'd rather have an attractive, well-built 2-bedroom house than an ugly, poorly contructed, 4-bedroom house."

That is an interesting observation. We are in the last few months of the phasing in of the new contractor licensing requirements. There are hoops to jump through, but it is still possible for someone who is fairly new to the business to get in. After January 1, the requirements for obtaining a general contractor's license will be quite stringent, requiring proof of several years of experience, or passing certain education requirements. One can look at that and say, well, maybe the quality of construction in Lawrence will improve, or, on the other hand, maybe the guys who have been building here for years, the big contactors who are so fond of T-111, verticle siding and windows without framing, will be the only GC's left from which to choose.

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and the prices are out of this world. It's not the cost of materials or labor, because the same house is under a hundred thousand in Wichita.

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

Blame the local contractors for the shoddy construction in the cookie-cutter subdivisions. The older houses are better built and some even have character.

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mlemiller 7 years, 10 months ago

"for some godforsaken reason the siding all runs the wrong way (vertical). Yuck!!! "

I agree! That's the first thing I noticed when we moved here from Idaho. It looks terrible.

And I also agree about the construction quality. I lived in a nice, newer neighborhood in west Lawrence, but I always thought the construction left something to be desired. I couldn't get over the fact that our windows weren't even framed. It was like they just cut holes in the walls and stuck the windows in. I am no expert (that's probably obvious), but I can tell a difference when I am in a quality-built home with some attention to detail.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

I have it on good authority from my conspiracy-minded feinds that the roundabouts are actually repositories for the seed pods of aliens and that the "Progressives" have all had their bodies taken over by the evil ones from outer space!

Thanks.

Marion.

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rosben 7 years, 10 months ago

Having just moved here a few months ago, I have found the housing market somewhat unbelievable, and it makes me a little sick to my stomach when I think of buying a house. We're looking to live outside Lawrence now. Even beyond the awfully high prices, the houses are not well-constructed at all, and for some godforsaken reason the siding all runs the wrong way (vertical). Yuck!!! Does anyone know why there is no brick construction around here? Or even non-T1-11 siding?!?! Lawrence sits on an awful lot of clay, so you would think a brick factory wouldn't be such a far-flung idea... I think if Lawrence was able to get some decent contractors building houses, more people would decide to stay. I'd rather have an attractive, well-built 2-bedroom house than an ugly, poorly contructed, 4-bedroom house.

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Eagle_aye 7 years, 10 months ago

They are all fleeing the impending roundabouts for every street!

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billyflay 7 years, 10 months ago

"Once the prices come down, people will find it more desireable and affordable to live in Lawrence."

great, that's just what we need, more diverse people,

we all know what happens when the diverse people move in, the property values plummet,

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BROWNIE 7 years, 10 months ago

We will not have affordable housing in Lawrence, nor will we have affordable commercial property, until the commission allows more building to occur.

The reason no one can afford to live here has been happening for the past several years, as the planning department, city manager and yes, the Kommission has made it more and more difficult to develop new housing and new commercial.

That is why housing prices have escalated past the point of Lawrence's desire. It is a very simple case of supply and demand. If there are 100 three bedroom homes on the market, the price is a lot different than if there are 10.

Vacancies create opportunities, and will bring the prices down. Once the prices come down, people will find it more desireable and affordable to live in Lawrence.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

well, i bet next year will see a bigger decrease. when lawrence should've been booming with the lower interest rates, things fizzled out.

crisis? it depends on how you define crisis.

a precedent has been set since (most likely) the population has decreased for the first time since lawrence was founded - at least the first time in over 100 years - it is easy to surmise the first time in lawrence's history. a legacy of the progressives - a crisis for the progressives. they wanted power, they got it, and now lawrence's population has dropped because of the policies they adopted.

regardless of how many less people live in lawrence, this unprecedented historical milestone will live on with the progressives and lawrence forever.

the progressives have been stigmatized, regardless of how many voices say it isn't a big deal, the majority should be reminded. it is something that will live on in lawrence's illustrious history forever, because it never happened before - at least not in over 100 years.

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KsTwister 7 years, 10 months ago

People are dying to get out of this city so don't forget to include this years obituaries. Building permits should not be used to estimate population-most of those are for people fixing up to take the money and run. And no one commutes to Lawrence for jobs that could not be found elsewhere for more wages and less taxes unless they are well.....sorry I just can't say it again.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

I like Jamesaust's viewpoint.

Suggestion to Lawrence Housing Authority, tenants-to-homeowners and Habitat. Stop trying to build new, affordable housing in an overbuilt market. Subsidize the purchase of existing homes in established neighborhoods for first time homeowners. Give landlords a financial incentive to sell their rental properties to homeowners as opposed to other landlords.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

Well, the population reduction only means that there will be fewer potcards required at election time.

;)

Thanks.

Marion.

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

There are too many people here already. Population decrease is good. It'll limit sprawl and ease the burden on our infrastructure. Who want to live in another cookie-cutter KC suburb?

BTW, I trust no stats coming from BushCo.

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 7 years, 10 months ago

Where do the census takers come from? Topeka? They are probably just trying to make Lawrence look bad to make Topeka look better.

How many people were displaced in the Boardwalk Apartment fire? They probably didn't count all of those people who are living with friends or family now.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

Goodness, what a breathless series of articles!

I was worried briefly until I looked at the attached "map" with the data (a bit blurry).

Lawrence lost 26 people! OMG. Instead of speculating why they moved, why doesn't LJW just ask them to come in for an interview?

Baldwin gained 40, Eudora 150, DeSoto 15. Linwood was 0. Lecompton lost 10, Perry lost 3.

The real winner was Topeka, which gained 250. So, following the LJW logic, Topeka is our new model for growth. (I'd make a snarky remark here about Topeka but that wouldn't be neighborly.)

Before Lawrence does anything too radical, may I suggest a less disruptive (and cheaper) option? Let's just bribe 26 people (plus 1 so we can get a checkmark next to our name too) to move to Lawrence. If we focus on families with lots of kids, this could be accomplished with about 5 households.

Any problem "solved" by adding 5 more households doesn't seem to meet the dictionary definition of "crisis."

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

bozo, you question the US Census facts as dubious and selective?

i thought you libs were all about facts.

here are the facts again, bozo. you need to click the link in order to read the facts. surely you are open minded enough to read the facts. click the link, just in case you missed the facts of the matter:

http://www2.ljworld.com/census/cities/lawrence/

FIRST TIME SINCE 1900 lawrence has had a decrease in population, that's a fact.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

As usual, your "facts" and deductions therefrom are both dubious and selective, luny.

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Kontum1972 7 years, 10 months ago

i moved here 14 years ago with my young son, now he is entering high school once he completes high school i am selling my house and i hope i get what i want for it then i am leaving and heading for central america to retire..larrytown served its purpose.....time for a different view on life....what happens here after i leave town i could care less.....change is good....

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

the FIRST time since 1900 that lawrence has seen its population decrease. quite a legacy from our so-called "progressive" commission.

just the facts bozo: http://www2.ljworld.com/census/cities/lawrence/

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

the housing prices is all about supply and demand. no supply (sewer fiasco the commission passed the buck on to widgen to be the fall guy) = higher prices. added city imposed expenses (2' freeboard, added bicycle lanes etc) = higher prices. the high housing prices are a direct result of the progressive commissioners. they are filberts.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

the FIRST time since 1900 that lawrence has seen its population decrease. quite a legacy from our lunatic fringe elected commission.

the proof is part of the article. click here:

http://www2.ljworld.com/census/cities/lawrence/

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

Real estate appraisal will always be more of an art than a science, and it will always be an exercise in comparing apples and oranges, but neither the city commission nor anyone else in the employ of the city has any input to or control over anything that the county appraiser does, or any appaisers in the employ of lending institutions.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

These articles are setting the stage for the discussion (and implementation) of 1) freezing new residential building permits, 2) imposing some sort of rent control.

Mark my words.

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average 7 years, 10 months ago

A little smaller sounds great to me. "Gotta grow, gotta grow, gotta compete with X", where X is always a little larger, is a neverending cycle. At least until we are bigger than Tokyo and Lagos combined. Cities of 5 or 10 thousand are perfectly self-sustaining and provide most services a person needs. I'm in favor of more and more Kansas towns becoming moderate sized (i.e., Tongie, Baldwin) and new towns being platted on the plains rather than the "Lawrence to a million or we're all horrible failures" model.

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Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

I bought a house last year for less than the county had it appraised; the bank appraised it for the amount I paid; I received a tax valuation for an amount about 3% more than I paid; I appealed; I lost; the appraiser said, "well, you got a good deal. You should have paid more. And, besides, property always increases in value in lawrence, so it will be worth more next year."

That is how property is appraised, for tax purposes, in Lawrence.

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Mike Blur 7 years, 10 months ago

Centrist, you're actually correct. Blaming the "Kommission" for the ills of Lawrence is like blaming Buddy Bell for the Royals sucking so badly. He has to work with what was given him. The "Kommission," as you wingnuts like to call them, have been in "power" what? Three, four years? And how long has Lawrence had a Commission that was not only business-and-developer friendly, business and development interests DOMINATED the commission itself! (Bob Schumm, Marty Kennedy, et.al) Decades upon decades of pro-business, pro-development representation. So now this is the Lawrence we are stuck with. It's gonna take years for the current, more moderate Commission to effect change and right the wrongs of past commissions. It wasn't PLC that allowed curb cuts on 23rd Street every five feet.

Those of you that decry the current commission...be careful of what you wish for in the next election. You might just get it.

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Centrist 7 years, 10 months ago

Sure. We get a notice in the mail telling us what our house is worth. That's it.

They don't "ask" the homeowners what they think ..

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

"Wilbur - the "free market" doesn't decide what your house is worth - the City does ..."

Care to explain exactly how that works?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

"...but the progressives ARE the reason why housing prices are high! gee."

Just say "Filbert!" luny. Your keyboard will last longer with no diminution in content.

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Centrist 7 years, 10 months ago

Wilbur - the "free market" doesn't decide what your house is worth - the City does ...

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Centrist 7 years, 10 months ago

Keep it real folks. Yes, the "Kommission" is pathetic, we all know that. But who says conservatives would do any better? When you all wake up and realize that all politicians are full of it, and that the people need to get more involved in the decisions, then we'll all be better off.

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Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 10 months ago

Now, hold on. If Lawrence truly is overpriced...overhyped...overtaxed...the free market will self-correct. We can't have it both ways (although, we certainly try, Heaven knows). Either the pricing and tax structure are good investments for what Lawrence is, or people will leave Lawrence for places that are better suited to their conditions.

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Centrist 7 years, 10 months ago

So what you're saying is that in "conservative" neighbourhoods, prices are lower.

Yeah right -

Like Overland Park, Leawood or West Lawrence????

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

...but the progressives ARE the reason why housing prices are high! gee.

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mlemiller 7 years, 10 months ago

"I do have to say that I don't think local politics have much to do with this. Even though I have disagreed with a lot of what I have read, it wasn't enough to make me want to leave Lawrence. "

What I should have said was that the local political attitude was not a factor in our decision to move. I understand that local politics play a role in housing prices, but it wasn't the progressive attitude that made us choose to leave.

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Centrist 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence is OVERPRICED, OVERVALUED, UNDERMAINTAINED and over-OBSESSED with crap like college basketball.

THAT is probably why it is not growing. It is about to lose a family of 3 - mine.

However - who says no growth is a bad thing?

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gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

For those of you contemplating moving out of town and commuting here, don't forget to include the cost of gas in your analysis. The last time I did that, I estimated having to spend an extra $250 a month just on gasoline just for work. That'll pay for a lot of house.

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ruskastud 7 years, 10 months ago

Considering Lawrence has no real "attraction" to live there, other than hippies and bums, no wonder people are moving out....

Lawrence free for 2 years and LOVING it!

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moderation 7 years, 10 months ago

that's what we get with Progressive Lawrence Campaign.

Thanks alot Rundle, Boog, Schauner and company.

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johnadavies 7 years, 10 months ago

I say to whoever is responsible: keep up the good work! I've been in Lawrence since 1979 and it's only gotten worse!

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mlemiller 7 years, 10 months ago

As someone who recently moved from Lawrence, I can say that it was definitely because of the housing prices. After renting a home in Lawrence for two years (while my husband commuted to Topeka) we decided it was time to really get settled out here and look for a house. We probably looked at 25 houses in Lawrence and about 15 in Topeka. The difference in what was in our price range was unbelievable. We found a great home in a wonderful neighborhood in Topeka and we're happy with our choice. Say what you will about Topeka, but Lawrence is not so incredible that it can keep or attract new homebuyers when there are much better values so close by. In the last few months three other families my husband and I are very good friends with have left Lawrence to buy homes in Eudora and Topeka. I think all of us would have stayed in Lawrence if the housing prices were more comparable with neighboring towns.

I do have to say that I don't think local politics have much to do with this. Even though I have disagreed with a lot of what I have read, it wasn't enough to make me want to leave Lawrence. But that's just me.

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billyflay 7 years, 10 months ago

white flight,

why do the diverse people keep chasing the white folk around?

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staff04 7 years, 10 months ago

Marion:

You will never get rid of the progressive element in Lawrence. IF your pipe dream comes true and this commission gets the bounce, you don't honestly think the city will vote for a conservative, corporate giveaway-type commission do you? Replacements may be more moderate than the current commission, but they will still be so far left of you that it won't make much difference, right?

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

oops, i mispeled a word.

well, i hope you do educate yourself to the truth. but your fatherless city fathers might not appreciate it.

it's best to go through life with all the facts.

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Mike Blur 7 years, 10 months ago

Real educated thinking, luny, coming from someone who can't even spell "microfiche" correctly.

I think I'm gonna head up to Watson today to peruse those tiny, tiny, 40-50 year old fishies. See ya up there!

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

Smart Growth = NO Growth.

Progressive = Regressive.

Open-minded = Closed-minded.

....It all comes down to being an oxymoron.

Oxymoron = Moron

Mournful Optimists = the Three Amigos

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

Macon47:

Too funny!

I'll bet they also missed the guy who lives in the old walkway between the stores in the 900 block downtown!

And what about the "back to nature" crown who live in thents and yurt-like structures down by the river?

Tsk, tsk!

For the Census Bureau to have completely forgotten such and important segment of the community!

A scandal, I tell you!

Thanks.

Marion.

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blessed3x 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence must stop the bleeding!

BAN MOVING!!!!

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 10 months ago

Sorry FOlks, it is the economy stupid! The State's economic growth simply cannot continue with the State Agencies providing services in conflict with the private businesses. The average Kansas can leave Kansas and double or triple their income while reducing their tax and expense level by moving to another state with a good economy...Texas comes to mind.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 10 months ago

I should hae said "the state's lack of economic growth."

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macon47 7 years, 10 months ago

Anyone believe what the Census Bureau says, is kidding themselves! first the forgot to count the homeless, and they probably missed two apartment complexes

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 10 months ago

tenstring wrote:

"the Progressive leadership in Lawrence is the main reason why I stay here. I'm quite certain that I'm not alone."

Marion writes:

Well, tenstring, after next April and the "Progressives" are given their walking papers, whatever will you do?

Thanks.

Marion.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 10 months ago

this is part of the progressive strategy. their answer is always, if you don't like their policies, move! well, looks like people have heeded their call.

....and this is the first time in at least 40 or probably 50 years+ (not 30 years) that lawrence's population has decreased - i know from reading old microfish files of the journal world from the 1960's. let's see....KU's enrollment has increased yet lawrence's population is decreasing or stagnating.....

i think the progressives are patting themselves on the back.

hey, at least this loss in population won't affect the $30 Million-$70 million (the equivalent price of a sky-scraper) cost for a new library to service 1100 visitors a day.

i guess it's all about priorities.

lawrence, kansas business UNfriendly

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Jayhawk226 7 years, 10 months ago

plumberscrack is accurate in the fact that a census count can never be accurate.

But, I care little about the true accuracy of the census count....and more about what I have been stating on here for a while (including yesterday's posts).

The State of Kansas has continued to shift population to the far Northeastern corner of Kansas--in Douglas, Johnson and probably soon to be Miami counties.

The State of Kansas is hardly growing in overall population at the rate it should, the significant development and growth in those aforementioned counties is from a population shift--leaving smaller towns where people feel less opportunity and quality-of-life, to the counties where ample jobs, better schools and I guess cookie-cutter suburban homes exist.

Lawrence probably should not be alarmed, after all the "accurate" census figures indicate population dropped by a WHOLE 26 residents. And as plumberscrack was getting at, it's probably not even an accurate count.

The real factor here is, as the author opened the story with, is Lawrence falling into the same trend as other central-, western-Kansas small towns that have eroded into virtual ghost towns?

Will a Homestead Act be needed to get residents to actually reside in Lawrence, with tax abatements?

Something tells me Lawrence has little to worry about...but let this be a little indication that Lawrence is not experiencing that overwhelming growth of people "dying to get inside city boundaries." The boom is over, and so too perhaps, is the willingness of people to reside ina town with so many bothersome factors, as they may see it.

Man, "white flight" from Lawrence....who woulda thunk?

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Doug Harvey 7 years, 10 months ago

Personally, I'd rather live around pot smokers than rednecks who have never learned how to live with people unlike themselves. The tolerance level in Lawrence makes it a great place to live -- the Progressive leadership in Lawrence is the main reason why I stay here. I'm quite certain that I'm not alone.

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Sigmund 7 years, 10 months ago

Count me among those people who believes the PLC's zero growth policies are working. Well at least the "wink and nod" pot policy will draw the dopers from Tongie and Eudora to Lawrence.

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old_man 7 years, 10 months ago

Another year of the rising value of my house with the increased price of my personal property tax and I'll be one of those people that has to live somewhere other than Lawrence.

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plumberscrack 7 years, 10 months ago

Anyone believe what the Census Bureau says, is kidding themselves!

I know of several people who either 'won't answer the door' or 'slams the door in there face once they find out who they are' or 'hangs up on them when they call!'

THERE IS NO WAY THEY CAN HAVE AN ACCURATE COUNT OF LAWRENCE POPULATION!

(Must be another slow news day)

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Eybea Opiner 7 years, 10 months ago

"Lawrence has had a reputation of being - I'm not going to say business unfriendly - but kind of a quirky place to try to go into or expand," Flavin said. "We have to figure out a way to be more accommodating without giving up the farm."

I don't know why he wouldn't say "business unfriendly," since that is exactly what Lawrence has become under the so-called "progressive" leadership.

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truthlawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Steve Jacob 7 years, 10 months ago

The Census Bureau report of losing residents generated THREE different stories in todays paper? I did not know it was that big of deal. If you work in other cities, why not live there too?

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