Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2008

Industrial park proposal sweetened

Developer says he will drop request for city to pay $1 million to extend utility lines

Developers for the proposed business park near the Lawrence Municipal Airport are sweetening the deal for City Commissioners.

August 16, 2008


Developers who are proposing a new industrial park near Lawrence Municipal Airport are sweetening their offer to city commissioners, who thus far have failed to approve the project.

At Tuesday's City Commission meeting, Lawrence developer Jes Santaularia will drop his request for $1 million in city funding to extend sewer and water lines to the property, which is near the intersection of North Seventh Street and U.S. Highway 24-40. Santaularia said his company now will pay for those costs.

"I think it is a fantastic deal for the city," Santaularia said Friday afternoon.

Santaularia also said he's considering reducing the size of the proposed industrial park from 144 acres to 65 acres in an attempt to quiet concerns from neighbors. The new plan, which Santaularia said he could not yet commit to, would eliminate all the business park property that is proposed for north of the highway.

Neighborhood leaders who have opposed the project said they were not swayed by the new plans. Ted Boyle, president of the North Lawrence Improvement Association, said his group remains convinced that the development will increase drainage and traffic problems in the area.

"This is a Hail Mary deal," Boyle said of the new plans. "We still don't want it at all."

City commissioners, who have the final say, will consider rezoning requests for the property at their 6:35 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.

Mayor Mike Dever said the new plans have made the project more intriguing. He said removing the $1 million request was important to the city's finances, and reducing the size of the project should lessen concerns about how the project will affect the environment and the nearby Lawrence Municipal Airport.

"When I evaluated it the first time, there were a lot more concerns associated with the project," Dever said. "He's removed at least several of the barriers."

City Commissioner Mike Amyx, though, said he still has concerns about whether the project will worsen stormwater drainage issues in the area. He said he's concerned the project could increase the amount of money the city will have to spend in the near term on drainage projects for the area.

"We just came through a budget where money woes were very real," Amyx said.

Santaularia, though, argues that's why the city should approve the project. He said the area is well-suited to attract new tax-paying, job-producing businesses because of its proximity to Interstate 70.

The project faces a steeper-than-normal hill to climb at City Hall. Because neighbors filed a valid petition protesting the rezonings, the project can move forward only if four of the five commissioners approve the project.


Richard Heckler 9 years, 4 months ago

Is this one of the new infrastructure projects included in the new sales tax proposal? All is quiet at City Hall.Where is the money?

candlelight 9 years, 4 months ago

NO -- "Just say no" to this poorly drained project. This developer says the water drainage is not a problem for HIS development. How selfish. The water that runs off his project becomes a problem for everyone else. Even with a smaller project, the water drainage issue remains. Please do not be hoodwinked by his foot in the door approach. Is this just Phase One? Will he then want to develop the remainder at a later date? With the I-70 construction in that area over the next 5 years, drainage issues may get worse and where are they going to get the fill dirt for the bridge over the river? There are a number of alternate sites for industrial development. I hope our elected officials will just say no to this developer's latest attempt to get his foot in the door. There are other good locations. For the good of Lawrence, please move on to the other good locations. Thanks you for this opportunity to be heard.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 4 months ago

That still leaves $40 million for taxpayers to pick up. No way jose'! The property is more valuable as farm land for the future. Taxpayers cannot afford to have this property on their tax bill waiting for who knows how long,if ever, to pay back $41,803,000(41 million). The Airport Industrial Park Project could easily cost citizens more to own their homes. In order for that property to be utilized for a profit making developer venture that property needs:$477,000 bridge@East 1600rd$326,000 culvert @ 24/40Furthermore a North Lawrence Drainage Study indicated:$16,200,000 in reconstruction projects$ 24,800,000 in flood control--------------------$41,803,000(41 million)Leaving it as agriculture cost taxpayers nothing and the property owners continue to be responsible for taxes etc.I as a taxpayer cannot afford this development! If the property owners want to develope this property then they and/or the developer should fund the $41,803,000 if this project is such a great money maker. NOT THE TAXPAYERS! This is on the City Commission agenda this Tuesday. Vote NO!

KsTwister 9 years, 4 months ago

AustinTexas could teach Lawrence much about overdeveloping and in the wrong places. The area here is on a flood plane, having to "go around" due to standing water could mean people who would work in this area may have to go to Eudora or Lecompton to get to work. We have industrial areas already, utilize those. They tout home grown and then sell our prime farmland to put $$ in just a few individuals pockets. No different then the oil moguls and just as greedy. Once it's gone it is gone forever.

not_dolph 9 years, 4 months ago

While we are at it online moderator, I receive a plethora of those harrassing emails that Sven sends. All the one's from when he was "cool" to the one's where he is not-so-cool as spiderman. I would gladly post no more, if I thought Sven and his multiple personalities would cease cluttering up this website. But since that won't happen, I will go ahead and stick around. It's nice to see that others are also bothered by his antics. I think the funniest part of the whole thing is the fact that it would appear that a couple of posters (myself included) simply mimmic his behavior(s), and he doesn't even get that is funny stuff.Keep posting spidercoolmettasvenman.

classclown 9 years, 4 months ago

Not to mention all the harassing emails he sends lots of people.

gccs14r 9 years, 4 months ago

North Lawrence shouldn't be there. That's Kaw river valley land. Midland Junction shouldn't be there, nor should Billtown, Perry, or Grantville. Building in a river valley is never a good idea. The river will win, eventually.

not_dolph 9 years, 4 months ago

beobachter (Anonymous) says: spiderman, try posting something besides youtube for once. don't you have the ability to think for yourself?----------------Rhetorical question???

gonewiththewind 9 years, 4 months ago

The Scarlet Letter "S" must stand for stupid or swamp. No matter how small this starts, it will be a water drainage problem. You should go out and look at where the current North Lawrence run off goes - There is a sign on the small building - "City of Lawrence PUMP Station" located North of the Harley-Davidson Dealership near Johnny;s Tavern. All run off is then PUMPED back into the river. The Chamber should have a switch taken to it for supporting such a DUMB proposal. Vote it down and tell these people to quit wasting time. The City of Lawrence needs to move on to a realistic site.

jonas 9 years, 4 months ago

"The rest of the state would give their left arm and leg to have a developer and some land which actually has capability for development."Perhaps, and perhaps after that fictitious development went through, they too could realize that all the development you could ask for doesn't always make businesses or jobs naturally gravitate to your area.

gccs14r 9 years, 3 months ago

Gold is not edible. When we can no longer afford to import food from overseas, we'll need every square inch of arable land and every spare gallon of water to feed ourselves. Paving farmland for the dubious pleasure of temporarily storing cheap Chinese goods for transport elsewhere will bite us later.

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