To the editor:
I am perplexed and disappointed at the latest attempt to control retail development by this "no growth" faction of the Lawrence City Commission. This group, by a 3-2 vote, decided to defer the approval of a proposed shopping center on the northeast corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.
This project had already been approved by a 9-1 vote by the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission. Property owners and developers were ready to begin construction, and many proposed tenants were committed to opening new retail businesses and offices there.
Normally, if property is properly zoned and tenants conform to building codes, usage codes and accepted business practices, they can open for business, while depending upon their potential customers to choose them often enough to sustain their cash-flow requirements.
I have personally owned and operated more than 150 retail businesses in 14 states, plus Canada and Mexico, and at no time was this "protectionist" attitude ever encountered.
Our capitalistic system assumes developers and entrepreneurs are willing to risk their assets to open or expand businesses. If they are willing to proceed with this project, why would politicians have veto power over what should have been strictly a business decision?
We deserve to have a continuing choice of new, innovative products, which the proposed merchants were prepared to risk their time and money to furnish us choices in our purchases.
Let the free market rule, not Big Brother.
Richard M. Hassur,