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Archive for Tuesday, October 16, 2007

City staff give nod to development proposal near airport

October 16, 2007

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Plans for a major industrial park development near the Lawrence Municipal Airport are getting a thumbs ups from the city's planning staff.

But questions still remain about the proposal to convert 144 acres near US Highway 24/40 and North Seventh Street into a new business park. The largest question is money.

The city planning staff has released a new report recommending approval of the project, but planners concede that the amount of money taxpayers may have to spend to make the project a reality is not yet known.

The report details that significant waterline, sewer and road improvements will be needed to convert the property into an industrial park. The development group, led by Lawrence businessman Jes Santaularia, has requested public funding for those infrastructure improvements.

City Manager David Corliss today said cost estimates haven't yet been finalized for the infrastructure improvements. He also said those estimates may not be completed in time for the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission to consider when it debates the project at its Oct. 24 meeting. But Corliss said the estimates would be ready by the time the City Commission considers giving final approval to the project. That is not expected to happen until at least mid-November.

Comments

cool 6 years, 6 months ago

snowWI (Anonymous) says: "The development group, led by Lawrence businessman Jes Santaularia, has requested public funding for those infrastructure improvements."

That is completely inexcusable. The developers should finanace the project themselves if they think it will be so successful. They also seem to ignore the fact that their is plenty of vacancy at the existing business parks.

COMPLETELY CORRECT SNOW !

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cool 6 years, 6 months ago

extra costs in the floodplain - just great Corliss !

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Just because speculators purchase property does not guarantee that construction will be allowed for it is NOT the duty of the taxpayer or local government to maximize profits for speculators.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

merill, I do agree that a tax increase would NOT be received favorably. This is commercial development is speculative gambling, and the developers want the taxpayers to fund it. That is crazy. Also, the development is still on the floodplain and will create more impervious surfaces and a greater heat island effect as well. This greater level of urbanization could impact how cool the temperatures get at night at the Lawrence Municipal Airport because the heat island of the city would be extended further north. The last meeting showed that most north Lawrence residents were not in favor of this project.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

"City Manager David Corliss today said cost estimates haven't yet been finalized for the infrastructure improvements. He also said those estimates may not be completed in time for the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission to consider when it debates the project at its Oct. 24 meeting."

Everyone knows that the infrastructure upgrades will cost a MASSIVE amount of money. Make the developers pay NOT the taxpayers. Also, promote economic development efforts that are not on the floodplain.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

"The development group, led by Lawrence businessman Jes Santaularia, has requested public funding for those infrastructure improvements."

That is completely inexcusable. The developers should finanace the project themselves if they think it will be so successful. They also seem to ignore the fact that their is plenty of vacancy at the existing business parks.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

They SHOULD NOT make the public pay more taxes to fund speculative commercial developments. I also DO NOT support any project on the floodplain. This is just completely ridiculous to be adding more impervious surfaces to a floodplain. Most residents in north Lawrence are against this project. You will see after this week with the potential of more heavy rain how flood prone the area is.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 6 months ago

Hopefully the Planning Commission will look at other alternatives for industrial development in the county. Not all industry has to be in the city limits. Consideration should be given to high profile locations off interstate 70. It is time that this city and county get off their duffs!

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