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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Wal-Mart proposal hits another roadblock

Planning Commission divided, but city could still OK Sixth St. plan

September 1, 2006

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And you thought this was a done deal.

Despite a legal agreement between the city and developers wanting to build a new Wal-Mart in northwest Lawrence, it became clear Wednesday that the project is anything but settled.

Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commissioners early Wednesday morning failed to give plans for a new Wal-Mart at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive a positive recommendation. Commissioners split 5-5 on the plan after debating the project for about five hours Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

"I think we're losing sight of how much traffic will be generated by this project," said Planning Commissioner John Haase, who said he sided with neighbors who were concerned that the project would cause traffic to begin cutting through their neighborhoods. "This is a major automobile magnet."

The split vote by planning commissioners, though, doesn't kill the controversial project. It just adds an extra dose of uncertainty, and perhaps time, to the project.

City commissioners still have final authority to approve the project, but because it didn't receive a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission, it must receive four votes from the five-member City Commission to receive immediate approval. If the project only receives three votes, then it must be sent back to the Planning Commission to be debated again. Following that debate, regardless of the Planning Commission's action, the City Commission can approve the development with three votes.

Whether city commissioners will support the project - which proposes a 99,985-square-foot Wal-Mart and four other commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive - is an open question. City commissioners largely said Thursday that they were waiting to read the Planning Commission minutes and receive other information about the development. The project likely will be debated by city commissioners in the next several weeks.

City commissioners have a long history with the project. The development was the subject of a series of lawsuits in Douglas County District Court. The developers claimed the city illegally denied a building permit for a 132,100-square-foot Wal-Mart store, but the city countered that there were conditions on the zoning of the property that disallowed the discount retailer.

A resolution appeared to be near, though, in April when the two sides signed a legal agreement putting the lawsuits on hold while Wal-Mart submitted its plans for a smaller store. City attorneys have long stressed the agreement was not a "settlement." Instead, the agreement only put the lawsuits on hold while the new project sought approval.

City attorneys reminded planning commissioners of that point Tuesday.

"I want to make it clear that the fact we have entered into an agreement does not mean this project comes with an endorsement from the City Commission," said interim City Manager David Corliss, who also is the city's director of legal services. "The applicants are here and must follow the same procedure as everyone else."

The settlement, however, does state that the city agrees to the size of the new Wal-Mart store and the surrounding buildings.

If the project ultimately is not approved by the City Commission, Wal-Mart won't need to file any new lawsuits. Instead, they'll be able to simply ask the court to restart the existing suits, which were just days from trial when the agreement was reached in April.

If Wal-Mart were to win those suits, the company would be free to build a much larger store on the site and add more additional retail businesses around the store. The current plan Wal-Mart seeks approval for includes 128,000 square feet of retail space on the corner. The plan that is part of the lawsuit that Wal-Mart could choose to restart would allow for 154,000 square feet of retail space.

Angie Stoner, a spokeswoman with Wal-Mart, said it was premature to comment on what Wal-Mart might do if its current plan is denied. She said the retailer was focusing on winning approval from city commissioners for its new plan.

Comments

Tychoman 7 years, 7 months ago

Pilgrim just loves to play with everybody.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

So this is where I'm supposed to say I'm rubber and you're glue, so everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

Gee, Pil, I just love that game. Thanks for playing with me.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on September 2, 2006 at 5:20 p.m.

(boo f-ing hoo),


Well, at least you got that part right.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) on September 2, 2006 at 4:47 p.m.

That was really sweet of them to wrong a song to you, Pilgrim.


That's funny. I figured you had to know Don Henley personally, since he described you to a tee:

"Complain about the present and blame it on the past "

Then knew exactly the reaction everybody has to you:

"I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass...

"It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit Get over it, get over it"

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Tychoman 7 years, 7 months ago

Aw that's cute. Pilgrim likes The Eagles. Yet another message. It's so nice to get messages from people in my own hometown that if I don't like it I should leave, that people like myself aren't welcome. But no I just feel sorry for them when they actually WANT their town to turn into a bedroom community that doesn't put out money of its own, to depend solely on its wealthier residents. To those of you who want another WalMart because you don't want to drive 10 miles (boo f-ing hoo), move to JoCo. Stop turning our town into your little idea of West Overland Park because that's exactly what it's turning into.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

That was really sweet of them to wrong a song to you, Pilgrim.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 7 months ago

Get Over it Eagles

From the album Hell Freezes Over (1994)

I turn on the tube and what do I see A whole lotta people cryin' 'Don't blame me' They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves Victim of this, victim of that Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it Get over it All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash But you might feel better if I gave you some cash The more I think about it, Old Billy was right Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight You don't want to work, you want to live like a king But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it Get over it If you don't want to play, then you might as well split Get over it, Get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak You're makin' the most of your losin' streak Some call it sick, but I call it weak

You drag it around like a ball and chain You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down Complain about the present and blame it on the past I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

Get over it Get over it All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit Get over it, get over it

Get over it Get over it It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit Get over it, get over it

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"Wal-Mart isn't going away, and neither am I. Get over it."

Get over it? Not likely-- we'll just learn to live with it like any other incurable chronic affliction.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on September 1, 2006 at 5:07 p.m.

Pilgrim you are without a doubt one of the rudest, unprofessional, cold posters on this forum.

Shut up. Don't bother putting up anymore. Just shut up.


One more time for those with comprehension problems:

Wal-Mart isn't going away, and neither am I. Get over it.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) on September 1, 2006 at 5:13 p.m.

"Put up or shut up, clown. Name names and specific charges."

It would not have been approved without a vote, so I refer specifically to those who voted for it, knowing full well that it violated both the letter and the spirit of H2020.

I suppose I could look up the names, but at this point it's moot, unless they intend to run again, or they are nominated for a position on the planning commission.


As expected, completely unresponsive. Pathetic.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 7 months ago

is that why they gave speeches at the 6th & Wak location proclaiming to fight walmart during their campaign, or am i misinformed?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Given that neither of those commissioners has any demonstrable anti-Wal-Mart bias in their actions on the commission, the whole thing is nothing more than a distraction from the real conflicts of interest that characterized the commission for decades. The fact that this issue confronts us today is a prime (and let's hope vestigial) example.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 7 months ago

the only people complaining about walmart are the people who weren't smart enough to check and see what kind of zoning was near their homes, and of course, the downtown weirdos.

horizon 2020 was outdated the day it was printed.

...and bozo, doesn't one commissioner work at the merc, while another is or was recently on the board of directors? is being a paid member considered a shareholder? just curious.

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plumberscrack 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on September 1, 2006 at 1:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Where's truthlawrence from?


Overbrook

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"the two PLC Kommissioners who work at the Merc"

Only one commissioner works at the Merc, but don't let the facts get in the way of your mindless ranting.

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Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Start up the Lawsuit! After the PLC loses and has to pay legal fees this time it will be great to see the two PLC Kommissioners who work at the Merc explain their participation and CONFLICT OF INTEREST to the electorate. Also, I really want to hear what Wilgren would have to say!

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logicsound04 7 years, 7 months ago

Isn't the area where they want to put the Wal-Mart the same area where not 6 months ago, developers were being told they couldn't build because of severe deficiencies in the sewage system (from lack of maintenence)?

So my question is, when did that issue go away? If it didn't, then how the hell can we put a stadium-sized Wal-Mart in that same area?


Also, just for thought, why is it that right-wing free-market, business-can-build-whatever-whenever-whereever-they-want-advocates can't seem to see that a completely unrestricted market CANNOT succeed.

Therefore, it is not only reasonable, but vital to the continued success of our capitalist system at both local and national levels to ask hard questions and have stringent requirements to businesses wanting to expand/develop.

Especially when it comes to requirements like worker pay and benefits--the economic cycle breaks down if your consumers don't have the ability to consume. Even Chicago has now placed special requirements (a living wage and minimum health care requirements) on "big box stores" wanting to locate in the city of Chicago. A giant economic hub like Chicago understands that submission to Wal-Mart is not a pre-requisite for being a capitalist and they happen to have the money to tell Wal-Mart 'NO'.

Lawrence needs development--but Wal-Mart is NOT the kind of development that will prevent Lawrence from becoming a "bedroom community" with no viable economic output of its own. We need to make conditions favorable to recruiting the RIGHT businesses, not just business in general...

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Here is the planning commission agenda wherein the development was approved, FYI.

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walleye9898 7 years, 7 months ago

Just what we don't need -- another Walmart! Just drive out to the monstrosity at 33rd & Iowa.

What we do need is a Dick's Sporting Goods or better yet a Bass Pro Shops.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"Put up or shut up, clown. Name names and specific charges."

It would not have been approved without a vote, so I refer specifically to those who voted for it, knowing full well that it violated both the letter and the spirit of H2020.

I suppose I could look up the names, but at this point it's moot, unless they intend to run again, or they are nominated for a position on the planning commission.

Candidates for city commission next time around most certainly should be asked what their position is on the vote that led to this debacle.

But I'm sure that you will likely vote for any candidate who says they will ignore the primary planning documents created by the city and county if it gets in the way of the movers' and shakers' moving and shaking.

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Tychoman 7 years, 7 months ago

Pilgrim you are without a doubt one of the rudest, unprofessional, cold posters on this forum.

Shut up. Don't bother putting up anymore. Just shut up.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (anonymous) on September 1, 2006 at 7:59 a.m.

Yes, corrupt former city and planning commissioners ignored H2020 provisions to approve the building of a store there, which is the loophole that Wal-Mart and its developer allies are using to bludgeon this city with to get its way.


Put up or shut up, clown. Name names and specific charges. Which city and planning commissioners were corrupt, and what specific acts of corruption did they engage in?

And none of this, "Look it up yourself," or "Everybody knows who they were and what they did," horse hockey. Name names and specific acts of corruption or shut up. Time for somebody to finally call BS on your unfounded libel.

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Herynkmom 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, small correction:

Free country, free speech.

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Herynkmom 7 years, 7 months ago

Hey, Kontum, can't you feel the love in this community? No worries!

Free world, free speech.

Sue

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Kontum1972 7 years, 7 months ago

LoL...Sue..let us know know many flaming bags of dog p**p end up on your front porch....?

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Wal-Mart does not always win. Lawrence will not die without two Wal-Mart stores. Some of the small stores around the site would probaly have a better chance of survival without Wally world which is something to consider since they put their money,employees and effort on the line.

The more Wally World's the fewer choices for consumers cuz all there is what Wally World thinks you should buy in low end merchandise. The same choices in every store. Of course that is the consumers perrogative.

Is low end merchandise the best dollar value?

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plumberscrack 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by Reality_Check (anonymous) on September 1, 2006 at 7:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sure the Usual Suspects will blame "progressives" on the City Commission for the Planning Commission actions (or lack thereof). Makes no sense.

Marion: "The only questions are how many of us and how much of Lawrence will they take with them."

Well, since you DON'T LIVE HERE, who is "us" and why on earth should we care what your opinion is?

GOOD POINT REALITY CHECK!

The two biggest whiners about the city commission, don't live in Lawrence!

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Posted by truthlawrence (anonymous) on September 1, 2006 at 5:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

FIRE UP THE LAWSUIT I WANT THE PUBLIC TO HEAR HOW SCHAUNER SCREAMED AT LINDA FINGER TILL SHE CRIED BECAUSE HE WANTED HIS WAY,,LITTLE BITTER MAN

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Posted by Marion (Marion Lynn) on September 1, 2006 at 6:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, one thing that can be said about "Progressives" is that they do go down in flames!

The only questions are how many of us and how much of Lawrence will they take with them!

Thanks.

Marion.

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Herynkmom 7 years, 7 months ago

Ok, checking to see if I am no longer ANONYMOUS. Does anyone else agree with me about these posts: what we say should carry our names. Obviously people care about these issues but don't seem willing to identify themselves with their opinions. Pro or con (Wal-Mart), I respect people who take a stance and sign their name. What good does it do to send out opinions in a "virtual" world? These are real issues in real time in the real world.

Sue Herynk

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Herynkmom 7 years, 7 months ago

Couln't agree with you more, logrithmic.

Sue

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Kontum1972 7 years, 7 months ago

HEY....DID ANYONE READ THE 23RD STREET SAGA THIS MORNING?

come on people.....LoL.... then the city will hire some cronie to try to solve the traffic problem in that area....

speaking waste of money...ever figure out why the city water department sticks those mulit-colored flyers in your water bill?.....anyone in the printing business want to take a shot as to how much a project like that costs the city...figure everyone gets a water bill in the city....they are printed front and back....this not cheap,... "keemo sabee".... whose bright idea was this?.....i wanna see a show of hands as to who has read the flyer....? I know this is not produced for free or a perk from the city.

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tony88 7 years, 7 months ago

of course you do, wbob, especially if you are pro-evil

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wbob 7 years, 7 months ago

Log, while you're "caring for one's neighbor," please stop caring for me. I certainly don't need you looking out for me, telling me how I should live.

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offtotheright 7 years, 7 months ago

Too bad Target didn't think of this!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

While I wouldn't be "tickled" to see a the mega-sized Wal-Mart built in a location that is unsuitable for any department strore, I agree that the neighborhood activists would better serve their interests by concentrating on next year's city commission elections.

They need to make sure that corrupt commissioners whose only allegience is to developers are not returned to control of the commission. Hack and Amyx would only need one more vote to be allowed to reveal their true allegiences.

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Fatty_McButterpants 7 years, 7 months ago

Man, it would tickle me silly if all of these neighborhood "activists" (see: pain in the rear) were to fight this smaller Wal-Mart and then, they restart their lawsuits, win, and then get to build a friggin' Wal-Mart metropolis there. Keep it up guys!

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logrithmic 7 years, 7 months ago

Shop till you drop should be renamed - shop till your community dies. Actually, that would make a great tagline on WalMart's ads....

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conservative 7 years, 7 months ago

Momma, I've never seen 98,000 but might have just missed it in one of the articles. The agreement to halt the lawsuits was that it needed to be under 100,000 square feet, and the number I've seen was 99,985 in several articles.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 7 months ago

Wal-Mart won't give up, it's done this in many, many other towns in other states, and it seems they usually win.

Personally, if I owned a business and I got that much flak about building in a particular city, I'd just go somewhere else to build.

Wal-Mart just doesn't like to be told no, and it will tie this issue up in litigation until your grandchildren are paying for the court costs, if it has to. They won't stop until they get their own way.

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GardenMomma 7 years, 7 months ago

I thought the new plan put this Wal-Mart at 98,000 square feet and now I'm reading 99,000 sq.ft. Was there some error in how big this Wal-Mart will be? Granted, 1,000 sq.ft. really isn't much in the scale of this Wal-Mart, but .... let's be truthful, is it 98 or 99 thousand square feet or maybe, by the time all's said and done, 135,000 square feet????

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staff04 7 years, 7 months ago

My hometown had six local, family owned grocery stores and a thriving historic downtown shopping district when I was growing up.

Now, it has a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

I would hate to see Wal-Mart do that to the finest city in the Midwest.

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logrithmic 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah. Supposedly they're going to rent rooms in the back to make it easier for those who want to shop. Can't drive over to 31st street you know....

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 7 months ago

A new Wal-Mart is coming to town? I hadn't heard anything about it.

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logrithmic 7 years, 7 months ago

Why don't we move it to Shawnee County? That way those who like to drive to shop can go over there and shop and see the scenery to boot.

Perhaps they'll even see a wonderful house to buy and live over there instead of whining and complaining over here about sound careful planning and caring for one's neighbor.

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Tychoman 7 years, 7 months ago

Amen, bozo, on both your points. You too, logrithmic.

truthlawrence: you are the epitome of a troll.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"Why don't they just move the proposed Wal-Mart out to the intersection of 6th and the bypass... I think it'd be a lot more accepted there."

Probably because Doug Compton doesn't own it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"It'll be approved because whether you agree with it or not, Wal-Mart was granted a permit to build there."

Yes, corrupt former city and planning commissioners ignored H2020 provisions to approve the building of a store there, which is the loophole that Wal-Mart and its developer allies are using to bludgeon this city with to get its way.

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Jake Esau 7 years, 7 months ago

Why don't they just move the proposed Wal-Mart out to the intersection of 6th and the bypass... I think it'd be a lot more accepted there.

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Jay_Z 7 years, 7 months ago

It'll be approved because whether you agree with it or not, Wal-Mart was granted a permit to build there.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

This proposed store will be approved by the city commission, but its approval will have nothing to do with the appropriateness of the design or the ability of the intersection to handle the traffic that is generated, which in a sane world would be the major considerations for both the planning and city commissions.

It'll be approved because of the endless deep pockets of Wal-Mart that they will continue to use to bludgeon the city with extortionist legal tactics until they get their way.

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logrithmic 7 years, 7 months ago

Walmart sucks and we don't need another one in our great city. If they want to build it, Shawnee County would be a great place. Since most of you "conservatives" like driving to KC to shop, maybe a trip the other way will provide a different scenery. HA HA.

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biggunz 7 years, 7 months ago

just let em build the damn thing. if they weren't fighting wal-mart, they'd be fighting some other entity over something else.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

Bowhunter nailed it correctly.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure the Usual Suspects will blame "progressives" on the City Commission for the Planning Commission actions (or lack thereof). Makes no sense.

Marion: "The only questions are how many of us and how much of Lawrence will they take with them."

Well, since you DON'T LIVE HERE, who is "us" and why on earth should we care what your opinion is?

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, one thing that can be said about "Progressives" is that they do go down in flames!

The only questions are how many of us and how much of Lawrence will they take with them!

Thanks.

Marion.

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Bowhunter99 7 years, 7 months ago

You have two choices:

  1. A 99K sqft Walmart without additional legal expenses.

  2. A 150-200K sqft Walmart after spending tons of money on legal expenses.

Either way, there WILL be a Walmart on that corner.

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truthlawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

FIRE UP THE LAWSUIT I WANT THE PUBLIC TO HEAR HOW SCHAUNER SCREAMED AT LINDA FINGER TILL SHE CRIED BECAUSE HE WANTED HIS WAY,,LITTLE BITTER MAN

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KS 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, I would not use the word "hate", but I don't and won't shop there. I don't like Dillons either and their "two price" system, so I just drive on by to Hy-Vee.

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cruxpitch 7 years, 7 months ago

God I hate Wal-Mart, DIE WAL-MART DIE

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