Archive for Tuesday, February 6, 2007

New plans for Lawrence

Design consultants make recommendations for city library, retail developments

February 6, 2007

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Ta-dah.

After a nearly a week's worth of work by a $250,000 team of planning consultants, city commissioners on Tuesday night were given the big show of ideas by planners who specialize in creating old-style neighborhoods.

Members of the PlaceMakers consulting group asked city commissioners to imagine a new, ornate city library not in the core of downtown - as has been proposed - but rather northeast of Sixth and Tennessee streets in Constant Park along the banks of the Kansas River.

And when the community looks west, it shouldn't see more of the same typical cul-de-sacs with large, sprawling ranch-style homes. Instead, picture new neighborhoods where most every child would be within a five- or 10-minute walk of three new schools that would be built west of the South Lawrence Trafficway. Plus, their parents would be able to walk to a corner coffee shop or general store and leave their cars in the garages for longer stretches of time.

For downtown, there's a new marketplace that would allow butchers and cheesemakers to set up shop year-round, a new clock tower, new buildings designed specifically for mom-and-pop businesses, and - yes - grand roundabouts that not only move traffic but also serve as gateways into downtown.

Audio Clips
Reactions from the presentation

"Wow. There is a lot of information that we have been provided this evening," Mayor Mike Amyx said after the two-hour presentation at City Hall that attracted about 75 people. "That's a lot to think about."

Several commissioners, though, said they were impressed by the long list of ideas from the group, which arrived in town a week ago.

"It was a night of tremendous vision for the community and showed us some exciting opportunities for the community," City Commissioner Sue Hack said. "I think we'll look back 20 or 30 years from now and be glad we did this."

Now commissioners and community members have to decide which ideas to keep and which ones to file under the thanks-but-no-thanks category.

Consultants stressed to commissioners and the crowd that their ideas - which were complete with color renderings - weren't meant to be taken as set-in-stone proposals.

"What we're showing you is not necessarily what this new code would produce but rather what it could produce," said Bill Dennis, a team leader with PlaceMakers.

Here's a look at several of the ideas.

Dill Dennis, design team leader for MFMFM, shows off designs for the city library among other buildings and residential areas around Lawrence on Tuesday afternoon at Spring Hill Suites, 1 Riverfront Plaza. A team of designers has been working on the plans and sketches for the last week.

Dill Dennis, design team leader for MFMFM, shows off designs for the city library among other buildings and residential areas around Lawrence on Tuesday afternoon at Spring Hill Suites, 1 Riverfront Plaza. A team of designers has been working on the plans and sketches for the last week.

Public library

Consultants challenged commissioners to rethink an idea proposed by private developers with the Fritzel family to build a public library on the site of the exiting post office at Seventh and Vermont streets.

"It seems like that plan and others for a downtown library were going to require a lot of moving of pieces to make something actually happen," Dennis said.

Instead, the city should think about using property it has at Constant Park, which is just north of Sixth Street, directly across the road from Watson Park.

The building would be designed using a classical style that would have an architectural grandeur of the Carnegie Library age. It would include a unique octagonal reading room that at night would light up like a "beacon" for travelers entering downtown from the Kansas River bridge.

View slideshow presentation

Watch the PowerPoint presentation that was shown to city leaders. Enlarge video

Dennis, though, said flooding issues could be a problem on the site, especially for the below-ground parking needed to serve the library. But he said such flooding problems would be limited to the parking garage and could be dealt with through drainage systems.

City commissioners didn't offer any comment on the library proposal or any of the other ideas presented by the group. Instead, Amyx said he wanted to schedule a separate meeting within the next month to receive public comment on the ideas after the community had a chance to digest them.

Downtown

The consultants praised the quality of the city's downtown but said there were several opportunities for redevelopment and enhancement.

Dennis said transportation could be improved by creating an egglike loop to serve the area where Sixth, Massachusetts and Vermont streets converge. In the center of the loop would be a large green space appropriate for community art or another gateway type of feature that would help signify the importance of downtown.

A roundabout also could be built at Ninth and New Hampshire streets. That roundabout would feature a clock tower in its center.

There also are several opportunities for building redevelopment. Dennis showed drawings of how the east side of the 800 block of New Hampshire Street could be redeveloped to include a grocery store or a unique permanent marketplace. The marketplace concept would work like an antique mall, except that it would feature booths of food and produce vendors.

The group also showed drawings of how parts of the 600 and 700 blocks of Vermont Street could be redeveloped with new buildings that would look similar to the old buildings along Massachusetts Street. Those buildings could be marketed as "live-work" units, where entrepreneurs would buy the entire building and use the ground floor for their store or office operations and live on the one or two stories above.

Next steps

The group also provided redevelopment plans for the shopping areas near 19th Street and Haskell Avenue, 23rd and Louisiana streets and 25th and Iowa streets. All of those proposals included adding residential units to the shopping areas and moving retail closer to the street in buildings that have more of a downtown feel.

Consultants lay out a new landscape for downtown Lawrence

A clock tower, two roundabouts and a market hall are part of the vision of a 'new' downtown Lawrence. After a week-long visit, consultants have put together their ideas to improve several parts of Lawrence. Enlarge video

The consultants also studied undeveloped areas west of the trafficway and south of the Wakarusa River. Those plans highlighted more densely developed neighborhoods adjacent to large areas of green space. The neighborhoods west of the trafficway would be built around elementary or junior high schools.

City staff members expect to receive a draft version of a new Smart Code - which would be the actual document giving developers the ability to build the old-style neighborhoods and still be legal under the city's development rules - within two to three weeks. A full report from the PlaceMakers group is expected to be delivered to the city in about six weeks.

If city commissioners want to adopt any of the recommendations, they would require hearings at the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission and City Commission.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

"Has any one actually added up how much this City Commission has spent on studies and consultants?"

Probaly in line with what Hodges,Kennedy,Hack,Henry,Compton,Stephens,Lowe and Amyx previous city commissions have spent. It is a common practice so far as I know and has been going on for decades and will not cease anytime soon I suspect.

Over building real estate in general especially housing has been hell on most everyones' property taxes considering consistent 3%-4% increases annually is about normal in a balanced growth situation.

Retail Impact Studies could have saved a 30% over build in retail.

overthemoon 8 years, 6 months ago

Have to disagree on the direction toward downtown for all retail. While I have always supported a strong downtown, the notion of walkable neighborhoods with small business centers is a strong concept that reduces gas consumption, creates a neighborhood focus, etc. These don't have to be competing with downtown, but wouldn't it be nicer to have a walkable commercial area in neighborhoods rather than the sixth/23rd street drive-or-die model?

Putting the library in the park is ... at best dumb. The traffic there is snarled all the time already. I Think redeveloping the post office makes sens and maintains and improves the density of downtown.

Thanks for pointing out that the funding of studies is nothing new to this commission. Folks forget that this is standard...and sometimes useful.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

Instead of a two week approval process I see 60 days as far more practical under certain rigid specifications.

It has been noted this week that Lawrence is about 30% over built in retail. Any new retail investments should be directed into the downtown/central business districts.

Really the outlying areas only need things like groceries,gas,fast food and drug stores. Office space would also be practical in the outer spaces. Elementary schools.

Sandman 8 years, 6 months ago

$250,000 for this study.

$300,000 for the Wal-Mart attorney (from Overland Park).

$70,000 to find a city manager (and they picked a guy who was right upstairs).

I know we've had consultants for a variety of other projects.

Has any one actually added up how much this City Commission has spent on studies and consultants?

Kookamooka 8 years, 6 months ago

Don't worry about your wallet's yet. I think the city should give the opportunity to donate the glamorous "bits" (ie clocktowers, fountains, greenery) to wealthy residents who want it named after them. There is a growing desire for "status" in Lawrence and wealthy people like seeing their names on plaques.

If a company like, say, Penny Concrete, wanted to donate a fountain and call it the Penny Fountain (dang..that is so cute! Get it? people toss pennies in fountains!) then the city wouldn't have to pay for that and the Penny's benefit because everyone will love them.

bobbie1207 8 years, 6 months ago

Any mention of NORTH Lawrence or has the "ugly" step-child once again been overlooked?

jayheel 8 years, 6 months ago

You all act like you are from Topeka. Continued civic development will turn a great town into great city. Topeka has thought small throughout the years and now it's a crappy city. Growth is inevitable...what you do with it will determine what kind of place Lawrence will be. Lawrence does not want to be another Topeka. Harness the power of progress! Release the KRACKEN!

DaREEKKU 8 years, 6 months ago

I would have to agree that the study focused on downtown, which is something we should maintiain, however I would like to see more development in North and East Lawrence. Although the designs were gorgeous, I question the placement. Let's build a gorgeous library with a great park around it.......in a flood zone. Oh! And lets take a street that is already busy with traffic and just curve it to hopefully make it better! I would like to see a complete overall at 6th and Vermont/Mass but a better plan is needed if they are going to develop this flood zone more.

lunacydetector 8 years, 6 months ago

i'm glad to see this $250,000 spent on saving the downtown. it is the MOST subsidized area in town. how about a cost/benefit analysis regarding these consulting fees for the downtown?

please note: the downtown has survived because lawrence has kept out giant enclosed malls. that'll be $50,000 in cash preferably in smaller denominations.

on another note: i'll take my giant backyard and short driving distance to the store any day over having someone hanging their laundry between my building and their building. sorry folks, i just like my space, as does the majority.

cowboy 8 years, 6 months ago

I like the big ideas , lawrence is such a small minded town when it comes to redevelopment. Tempe arizona made their riverfront into a really nice area , a big idea !

I don't like the idea of these little mini throwbacks out in the rural areas , these are perfect for central and east lawrence redevelopment. Knock down a few square blocks of these dilapidated neighborhoods and put something decent in there. For that matter knock down some of the 10 year old rotting duplexes that were thrown up in the early 90's.

I have a customer who recently got a historic designation on a property that should be bulldozed. This is not appropriate.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 6 months ago

Concur with Sandman. We spent $250,000 for consultants to come up with ideas for the City Communishers. What good are the fab-5 when we have to pay tax money for people to think for them. Why don't we fire the fab-5 and hire the consultants on as their replacements. We'll at least save some cash by cutting dead weight at City Hall.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 6 months ago

Concur with Sandman. Whose running City Hall? Why are we spending $250,000 for consultants to think for the City Communishers. We are better off to fire the fab-5 and hire the consultants as their replacements. Even if the consulting fees stay the same we'll end up with net positive savings by eliminating the dead weight at City Hall.

justthefacts 8 years, 6 months ago

Our elected officials spent $250,000 to pay people to come up with ideas that will cost millions - tens of millions - to bring about. It's no wonder that these overpaid consultants did not consider costs or other neighborhoods. Perhaps they relied upon the size of their payment to think that Lawrence is a vastly wealthy city, with an unlimited purse. . .

Already, the family making an annual salary of $32,000 cannot afford to buy a home in Lawrence. What do we think an increase in taxes will do to their ability to live here? While we make grand plans that can only be realized with huge increases in taxes, our children and grandchildren will simply refuse to foot the bill and move out of town. How long before only the really wealthy can afford to live in Lawrence? Or is that the real (but unspoken) goal; move all the "hired help" to other near by communities? If so, I wish someone would be honest and kind enough to admit to it.

Smart growth? Or guaranteed way to price most people out of living here?

monkeyhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

After the past few years in the Lawrence, the word "smart" has become a dirty word, with a completely different connotation. I'm afraid many of us automatically tune out anything associated with that word.

I would like to thank the plc and their electees for defining what "is" is, and I would like to thank some posters for educating the general public about "smart growth", since that agenda was not clearly explained by those candidates during the previous election. Now that we have all had a good dose of it, do we want anymore? Are we better off than we were?

I have to agree with LD that the expense of this consultation was primarily directed at downtown. Oh, there was the mention of more retail and living quarters above in other areas, but most thinly veiled thought was given to downtown redevelopment.

Can you imagine lugging $100 worth of groceries home on foot (or on the back of your bike) on a day like today? Or, the kids gleefully walking a few blocks to school?

tcs 8 years, 6 months ago

Damn, they left out Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and the replica of Cinderella's palace.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago

Some interesting ideas, but where does the money come from?

Here's an idea - let's impose maximimum rent/sq. ft. allowances for downtown real estate. This would make it more possible for businesses to survive, and possibly charge less money, becoming accessible to a larger part of our population.

No new roundabouts - instead, let's time the lights on 23rd and other busy streets - I read that the cost for doing that on 23rd St. is about $80,000.

Improve the efficiency/environmental impact of the buses, and the routes/schedules so that more people can use them, and charge more/ride so that fares pay more of the total cost of the system.

Start a low-interest loan or grant program for folks who buy older homes and repair/upgrade them - this would encourage the purchase of existing homes, and improve neighborhoods - possibly change some rentals into owner-occupied housing.

Inspect all rental properties in the city and ensure that they are up to code.

Practice energy and resource conservation in all public buildings and encourage it in private businesses.

Do something effective about the rising crime in Lawrence - earlier closing times for bars/clubs, more police on the streets as a preventive measure, etc.

All of these things would improve Lawrence a great deal and not require any "redevelopment" - benefiting the current population and keeping any increase in taxes to a minimum.

Just an idea.

Kat Christian 8 years, 6 months ago

Before we can think about allowing our children to walk to school - first clear out the neighborhoods of the many sex offenders moving into them. I'd like to see an ordaince passed forbidding sex offenders from living 3 miles from any school or day care. We don't need more retail space we need a Roller/ice Rink for family entertainment and sports. North Lawrence would be an excellent place for this.
Stop trying to fix what isn't broken and created what is needed then go back and tweak it. $250,000 for talk - OMG

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

It seemed to me that their designs included prices ranges in their housing. We don't need the natives forced out of town such that took place in Boulder, Aspen,Santa Fe and Taos. That does not call for cheap junk construction either which can be a problem in Lawrence.

This group proposed a very cool design for the 19th& Haskell corner. The owners of that plot have been paying very close attention to the concept proposed. It included new mixed pricing residential townhomes,office and presented a new face to the quik shop. Of course a quality builder would be key for this effort. The cafe and bottle shop would stay

Their multi use neigborhood designs are quite practical which I contend could be used to replace many westside multiple family cardboard dwellings instead of expanding any further out. The sixth and Sierra area would be a good place to start.

They commented the older eastside neighborhoods fit their concepts. Multi-use neighborhoods are not a new idea just forgotten.

The Checkers corner came out using that space quite nicely which would likely be good for business.

Throw in some of JAFS thoughts and Lawrence could be on to something.

Meatwad 8 years, 6 months ago

How sad that, in Lawrence, "Smart" is a bad word. THAT is truly depressing. As for those who are against this growth plan... Now I can see how easily a beautiful vibrant town turns into ugly, concrete parking lot and big box store and mini mall suburbia. It happens because of the uneducated masses. They type of people who run from the word "Smart" without even TRYING to educate themselves. The City Commission is absolutely brilliant for bringing these people in. If the commision can somehow educate the masses so they get on board with this amazing plan, Lawrence will STAY beautiful. If you let certain developers (not all developers) who have ONLY the goal of making money for themselves -- NOT taking into account what they are turning Lawrence into -- take over, Lawrence will turn to crap like most towns do. I really hope that doesn't happen.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 6 months ago

"Start a low-interest loan or grant program for folks who buy older homes and repair/upgrade them - this would encourage the purchase of existing homes, and improve neighborhoods - possibly change some rentals into owner-occupied housing."

(1) Where's the money going to come from? Your talking a minimum of 10 of millions. So, unless the fab-5 disclose their secret money tree...wonka bucks aren't going to cut it.

(2) What virtue justifies subsidizing piece of junk homes near downtown over homes on the outskirts? Why is downtown living so much more virtuous than living in a suburban neighborhood that you have a right to force the rest of Lawrence to subsidize your lifestyle choices?

(3) What would an upgrade be considered? Rainbow paint with junk yard ornaments?

(4) Who gets to pocket the extra market value resulting from the govt. subsidy?

This is a classic proposal by someone who lives downtown or owns property downtown. Thanks for giving us all the chance to pour tax money in your pocket.

Bulldoze the clap board housing dowtown for the blight that it is and build something nice. Then let's talk about making downtown the City's center. Most of downtown looks like a grimmy flea market or the ghetto.

Meatwad 8 years, 6 months ago

The 19th and Haskell idea was stunning! My biggest worry about that plan though is that people are afraid of that area because of some of the surrounding neighborhoods and crime. I would worry that it would become a bad area. Also, I was surprised to learn HOW MUCH undeveloped space there actually is in downtown Lawrence. I would love to see downtown even MORE vibrant and more of a tourist destination for shopping etc. More residential property could be added downtown also. More cool lofts above stores, etc. As long as it fits the landscape!

Meatwad 8 years, 6 months ago

Merrill said, "We don't need the natives forced out of town such that took place in Boulder, Aspen,Santa Fe and Taos."

But Lawrence is a COLLEGE TOWN. Those places are like Beverly Hills. I've been to all of them except Taos. The natives won't be forced out, they'll just have a nicer town and neighborhood to look at.

Meatwad 8 years, 6 months ago

that's weird that Merrill's and Sunshine Noise's comments say they are posted at 11:06 and 11:07. But right now it is 10:48.

Are those guys from the future?

Stephen 8 years, 6 months ago

$250,000.00 Its Official Idoits Rule, run em all out town now!!!!! The key here folks is the fact that this all farts in the wind.

Stephen 8 years, 6 months ago

Can someone guide me to Placemakers consulting groups web site

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 6 months ago

Question: When was the last time any of the Commissioners (and/or their spouses or kids) went to the Library for anything other than a meeting there?

Who goes to the Library, anymore? With all the online resources, school libraries, tv, etc., what DOES the library do for MOST people? Has anyone kept track of the actual number of people who go to the Library - in PERSON, that is? What percentage of the population are we spending all this money on? And, IF our goal is to provide the information services, might the money be better spent on digitizing, digital access and other modern day technologies that greatly expand the library's mission?

I'm NOT saying that there is NOT a need for library SERVICES and RESOURCES - there definitely IS - but the building doesn't seem so important to me anymore. Unless, of course, I need to go to some meeting there.... Of course, there ARE other buildings that were designed for MEETINGS.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 6 months ago

"Start a low-interest loan or grant program for folks who buy older homes and repair/upgrade them - this would encourage the purchase of existing homes, and improve neighborhoods - possibly change some rentals into owner-occupied housing."

Great idea. The older homes have a lot more character than the $250k particleboard & vinyl sided rubbish that's being built these days. Owner-occupied incentives are a brilliant idea for making these old neighborhoods great again.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

So far as downtown is concerned total concentration is at the North end which does help out the small shops north of there. Small shops need walk by traffic so how do we create traffic in order that small shop owners make more money and create more tax revenue up and down Mass?

A chain store in each block would draw traffic to the small shops. Chain stores were part of downtown as I grew up completely surrounded by small retail operations. They fed off of each other. Sears,JC Penney's,Macys' etc were downtown anchors.

How about if Doug Compton would rehab the Granada and bring back movies such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,The Marx Brothers or most all of the old musicals? Mr.Compton how about it?

Hey Chuck how about a mini Free State at the other end of town.....just joking.

Joel Hood 8 years, 6 months ago

Butchers and cheesemakers and roundabouts... oh my.

$250k for this and I wonder why my property taxes have gone up 45% since 2002?!?!?

Bud Stagg 8 years, 6 months ago

Consultants are great, but not practical. They come up with ideas, not proven concepts.

Who wants small lots, houses close together? That is east and old west lawrence. Everyone is moving west to get away from that. Mom and Pop stores? They are dying right and left because they can't compete with volume stores. I don't want a "corner market" down the street that I pay twice what I pay at HyVee.

Be real people.

suesay 8 years, 6 months ago

seriously.

i don't understand why they don't build a library annex somewhere else. i moved to lincoln nebraska 6 months ago, and one of the nice things about their library system is that they have sites all over town. i don't have to drive to the most congested part of the city to go to the library.

i do love the idea of the river front site, though, but not where they're proposing. why can't they do that in north lawrence (across the bridge) along the river? while we're at it, why don't they get a freakin' grocery store there? that's where i lived before i moved to nebraska. don't get me wrong, i truly loved 'dirty' dillons on mass street, but it was so far away!

or why don't they put it in east lawrence to give access to computers and other reasourses that may not be available to residents in that area anyway?

white_mountain 8 years, 6 months ago

the housing / business portion of the plan does seem tailored to the west-enders.. follow the money?

agreed suesay, the red-headed stepchildren in north lawrence could use a bone

white_mountain 8 years, 6 months ago

darn, Dambudzo has seen right though our racist cabal.. looks like we'll need to go back to the drawing board..

Tell those consultants to draw up some new plans!

TruthSeeker 8 years, 6 months ago

"TruthSeeker, The two are not related but how about a link..."

To Merrill on this blog. I know it is not you who has this radio show. You are anything but a pessimist. This refers to "the voice of merrill" http://www.klwn.com/

Rationalanimal 8 years, 6 months ago

ta-dud

""Start a low-interest loan or grant program for folks who buy older homes and repair/upgrade them - this would encourage the purchase of existing homes, and improve neighborhoods - possibly change some rentals into owner-occupied housing."

Great idea. The older homes have a lot more character than the $250k particleboard & vinyl sided rubbish that's being built these days. Owner-occupied incentives are a brilliant idea for making these old neighborhoods great again."

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

Yes, absolutely brilliant. (If it isn't already bad enough the fab-5 burn fist-fuls of cash to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, some on here propose we adopt a City policy of providing government housing for folks living downtown; that in and of itself tells you what economic philosophy drives the fab-5). But, do tell, how is it fiscally responsible at any level to remove the clap board rot from the downtown ghetto homes to put up "particleboard & vinyl sided rubbish" as it has been characterized. That's the same as paying to trade trash for trash. I go back to my original point: bulldoze the majority of the downtown ghetto, start over, and build something nice (try brick for a change). Then, let's talk about making the downtown area the City jewel.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 6 months ago

But, do tell, how is it fiscally responsible at any level to remove the clap board rot from the downtown ghetto homes to put up "particleboard & vinyl sided rubbish" as it has been characterized.

Older homes are constructed better. Many of the beautiful painted ladies in the downtown neighborhoods have been there since the early 1900s and feature original oak flooring and REAL wood...not particle board. They withstood the test of time. Will many of today's new homes be around in 100 years? Of course not. Particle board doesn't hold up that well. Take a drive through Johnson County and look at some of the homes that were built in the 1980's, the siding is already beginning to warp after a mere 20 years. It isn't economically feasible to remove historical homes and replace them with shoddy-built "instant neighborhoods" that will only last a few decades.

TruthSeeker 8 years, 6 months ago

Anybody hear that bozo, Merrill, on 1320 KLWN on am radio? Too bad uneducated pessimists get to bull horn their own unresearched opinions on the radio and not give other relevant opinions to be voiced concerning the planning of Lawrence.

He's taking Lawrence down into his pit.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

TruthSeeker, The two are not related but how about a link...

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 6 months ago

Cracked plaster and lath walls, out-dated wiring, lead pipes, crumbling rock foundations, asbestos, single pane windows, minimal insulation, etc

All the more reason for a program to repair these wonderful historic homes!

Don Zimmer 8 years, 6 months ago

Where are the rides?

You know the Castle, Space Mountain, Small World.

We need these so we can attract millions of tourists to pay for their "Smart Code" developments and Disney World ideas of our "Main Street" with butchers and Cheesemakers and round-abouts with a clock tower.

Disney has developed a "Smart Code" area called Celebration and it is beautiful but quaint houses start at $500,000 and believe it or not people still drive to the grocery store (how dare they). Talk about affordable housing.

Jackson 8 years, 6 months ago

Because thousands of 50's houses in central Lawrence SF zoned neighborhoods are used for student rentals, instead of being torn down for decent family housing, the city will continue losing families to surrounding towns.

Lawrence will forever be a 5th rate town until the problem of a run-down rental image is resolved.

This will take more "guts" than our commissioners can muster.

Kookamooka 8 years, 6 months ago

This place is already a Disneyland for college students with all of the bars and house parties.

bevy 8 years, 6 months ago

The only thing I found really galling about this article (well, aside from the obvious waste of 250K) is that the Commish seems to forget that they are talking about people's PRIVATE PROPERTY!! These homes that you all renovate/remodel or bulldoze so glibly don't belong to you, or to the city. Are they going to accomplish this by applying Eminent Domain for a 2 mile radius?

Also - Chic - I am APPALLED. Who goes to the library? Maybe you should try reading a book sometime and find out. I go there at least once a week, with my spouse and kids. We check out videos (for FREE), books, and music. While we're there we see lots of people from all walks of life - from parents with kids to college students to retirees - enjoying the services. The library also provides an excellent teen area for young people to hang out in a safe environment. Personally, I would have thought the 250K better spent on improving the library.

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 6 months ago

To Bevy - NOT "free" - tax payers (hopefully including you - definitely including me) paid for them - all - even the videos (I know, I know - there ARE some private donations, too).

Nice that you all are able to actually go to the library. Some who have NO vehicle, some who can't afford and/or make the right connections (or can't invest several hours in just the transportation part), or who are working long hours just to keep food on the table, clothes on their backs and roofs over their heads don't have that luxury.

Too bad the more-local libraries in neighborhood schools couldn't be expanded and better utilized. Oh, yah - that's state property, not city. Can't be done. Way too logical.

Also, please re-read what I said. I DO believe the services are needed. I just want more people to be able to access them. A bigger, fancier building does NOT help increase or improve access.

I use many library services - and I do occassionally actuallly have to go to the physical site. But, whether or not it's fancy doesn't precipitate that decision - whether or not they have the resource I need - or not - does.

More and more because individuals' needs are more diverse, it is much more difficult for any one edifice to contain all that. Much more practical and efficient to make all virtually available and improve/increase that access.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago

Rational,

How about the cost to all of the taxpayers which subsidizes new construction - infrastructure creation/maintenance, new water and sewer lines, etc.?

The question is which we prefer to pay for - I for one would rather see existing homes improved.

As far as costs are concerned, 1 $800,000 roundabout would provide 32 $25,000 loan/grants. And, if we improved the efficiency/cost-efficiency of the bus system and practiced conservation in public buildings, we'd save some money.

Did you read the rest of my post?

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