To the editor:
I was shocked to read in the Saturday, June 23, newspaper of plans for commercial development of some of the best agricultural land in all of Kansas. Please, people of Douglas County, don't let developers delude you into thinking that this "business park" near the airport is a good move for our area. It may be an excellent move for the developers' pocketbooks, but it will only hurt the county's and city's long-term interests.
This land lies in floodplain. Taxpayers and adjacent landowners will pay a heavy burden to deal with increased flooding woes that come with paving over floodplain. The proposed development, which in addition to industry is to include gas stations, restaurants - undoubtedly fast food - and similar businesses, will wreak havoc in this area. Longtime homeowners will be forced off their lands, our food security will be reduced and the quiet, peaceful nature of North Lawrence and Grant Township will be forever changed.
In addition, the development will encroach upon the ecologically sensitive Kansas University nature reserves. Roger Pine was quoted as saying that he wants to have a choice in how this area is developed. Well, so do the people of Grant Township, North Lawrence and the rest of Douglas County. Do you want to see another 23rd Street strip leading into North Seventh Street? Is paving over fertile farmland in a floodplain a good use of your tax dollars? If you think not, please join me in speaking out against this extremely misguided plan.