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Archive for Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Taxing district for ‘new urbanism’ development on tonight’s city agenda

February 19, 2008

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City to examine Bauer Farm development

City commissioners will debate taxes and traffic as part of a proposed shopping center development in northwest Lawrence. Enlarge video

City commissioners will debate taxes and traffic tonight as part of a proposed shopping center development at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Commissioners previously have given many of the approvals needed for the Bauer Farm development at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. But now, developers want commissioners to consider creating a special taxing district for the project.

The development group, which includes local architect Michael Treanor, is seeking a Transportation Development District, which would allow retailers in the shopping center to charge an extra 1 percent sales tax. The proceeds from the extra sales tax - estimated to be $4.6 million during a 22-year period - would be used to pay for public infrastructure improvements, such as streets and sidewalks. If approved, it could potentially be the second area in the city where shoppers would pay a higher-than-normal sales tax. Developers with the Oread Inn hotel project also have requested a Transportation Development District.

Bauer Farm developers propose 72,000 square feet of retail space - including a pharmacy, an auto service business, and several restaurants. The project also includes 71,000 square feet of office space; a 20,000-square-foot performance space potentially for the Lawrence Community Theatre; 96,000 square feet of apartments and other rental units; and about 75 single-family homes. The project is designed in "new urbanism" style aimed to mimic an old-style neighborhood.

Commissioners also will discuss access issues for the project. The project was approved with a right-in only lane off Sixth Street. Developers now want it to become a right-in, right-out lane. The Kansas Department of Transportation has opposed the change, saying it goes against the overall traffic flow plan created for the street and for the Sixth and Wakarusa intersection.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 tonight at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

Comments

cool 6 years, 2 months ago

received this IM from a forum member regarding the proposed oread inn, www.oreadinn.com

>

One thing you can be sure of concerning the commission - if it's reasonable and prudent it will not be done.

TIF's for blighted areas ?

Cheers

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Pilgrim 6 years, 2 months ago

Meatwad (Anonymous) says:

New Urbanism is good, and better for the environment. I wish it didn't have to also be sprawl on the edge of the city. Too bad it can't be in-fill.


We have a couple of those, too. Oread Inn and Hobbs-Taylor Lofts. All most folks around here managed to do was bitch and moan about those, as well.

Welcome to Lawrence. The answer is NO!

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Meatwad 6 years, 2 months ago

New Urbanism is good, and better for the environment. I wish it didn't have to also be sprawl on the edge of the city. Too bad it can't be in-fill. But I suppose if we have to sprawl, let's at least let the new suburb dwellers have places to walk. They can have a nice walk to Wal-Mart. Nah, they'll probably still get in their cars to drive a block or so. Do we really need another chain pharmacy though? Oh well, we can't choose what goes in there unfortunately.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 2 months ago

Changing the subject a bit folks, but this would be a good item for the commission.

Item: If the owner of the building is being sued in which Last Call operates from, why then isn't the owner of the building the Drop In Center being sued.

The Drop In Center has fights, police/ambulance calls daily 24/7, is a blight and a public nuisance.

So, Sue,isn't if fair to sue this owner? The Drop In Center is a public nuisance if ever there was one downtown.

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solsken66 6 years, 2 months ago

Build, build, build...... Is the population of Lawrence sufficient to sustain this building frenzy?

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alfie 6 years, 2 months ago

are you kidding me, just what they need" there" are more restaurants, and the 3rd pharmacy in two blocks

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

New York's bond costs rise as bond auctions fail.... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a._AHo3V_zzA

City commissioners should consider the impact this might have on their budget before they approve a tax increase for the purpose of new development.

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average 6 years, 2 months ago

Merrill lives down the street from me. Our neighborhood was originally built up by the private-industry Lawrence streetcar corporation who were paying a concession fee to the city to run their streetcars in public right-of-way, not getting tax breaks. Most of the houses were rebuilt after the '52 flood, so we (and most of Lawrence) have benefited from the flood control projects since then.

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Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

JW, would you do a story on the bond situation with the city, county, hospital, school district, and state? Let us know whether they are auction rate securities, or if they are fixed. Also find out if the bonds are insured, and, if so, what is happening to the cost of the insurance.

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

please go to you tube and view a search for

tax increment financing candidates debate !

view for yourself !

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

sorry above link has a problem

disadvantage of TIF for school districts !

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

i meant to say

wake up and smell the TIF ?

www.oreadcoffee.com

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

see www.oreadcoffee.com

>

wake up and smell the coffee ?

ask the school board to VETO TIF financing of private projects

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

should not this Mayor 'Deciphera Sue' and this commission simply change the name of the commission to

TAX FAVOR REVIEW and ZONING CHANGE authority ?

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 2 months ago

If it wasn't because Merrill wrote a letter to the paper with the same gibberish he posted online a week earlier, we would be wondering if he was even a real person.

Regarding him typing all day? he doesn't. He's pasted the same 3-4 posts on every article published online. He must have alzehimeirs because he can't remember what he's pasted a day earlier.

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jrlii 6 years, 2 months ago

An extra percent of sales tax for doing business there? An extra percent of sales tax for living there on goods delivered to that area?

There would have to be a business with stuff that I REALLY want and and is hard to come by to get me to buy where there is that much extra tax.

The legislature really needs to cap the sales tax.

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newsreader 6 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone wonder if Merrill has a job or if he just sits around and types up pages of comments all day...

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Mkh 6 years, 2 months ago

The idea that this is a "new urbanism" developement is a fallacy...because a true "new urbanism" development would never be centered around a Walmart, which clearly will draw auto traffic from all directions and thus defeat the entire point of "new urbanism".

I believe this is really the problem here, more so than where in town "new urbanism" developements are located. Look at a city like Boston, they have these developements in all sorts of different areas...they don't have to be centrally located in a "downtown", they just have to serve the needs of a certain neighborhood and reduce overall traffic influx from others, this is not being accomplished here.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 2 months ago

merrill lives in a neighborhood that has been prostituted by the city to get federal funds to improve other parts of town. it is too bad, that merrill and the other members of the prostituted neighborhood groups havent put their foot down and demanded that the CDBG money go into the target neighborhoods to upgrade those 50 year old streets and crapped out sidewalks. but the likes of merrill and the other neighborhood groups have allowed themselves to be pimped out so that homes in Alvamar can be rehabbed. Dollpawpaw, the cleaning up would really take place if the Neighborhood Revitaliztion ACt were in place. Infill, go up, change zoning.

What's wrong with a city that has one of the nastiest streets in town leading to the cemetery. A cemetery filled with history. The dead, who were leaders. The dead that Destination Management wants to promote> Merrills neighborhood group and the other 4 target groups continue to allow themselves to be pawns of the city, put the CDBG money into the five target neighborhoods in infratstructure, and not social programs which further the poverty pimp programs. Lawrence should have a goal to NOT have target neighborhoods.

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

"In fact, the leading proponents of New Urbanism believe that infill development should be given priority over new development in order to revitalize city centers and limit sprawl. Unfortunately, many of the current social, political and economic realities in the U.S. favor development at the metropolitan edge = new suburban sprawl."

Exactly.

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Dollypawpaw 6 years, 2 months ago

The city may be loosing money in the short term with new developements, but they are cleaning up in areas that have been around for 50 years.

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 2 months ago

great point dollypawpaw....

Merril seems to believe his house was built on a street that was 100% paid by him and others. He believes the city didn't spend a dime extending the city to Prospect ave and/or building Prospect Ave.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 2 months ago

As I understand it, the state dictates the 1%,at least that is what David Corliss claimed. I saygo for 3% additional and have it apply to Downtown, wonderful subsiidized downtown, Look if a person can pay $650,000 for a building to operate from (in the newspaper today!!) then his customers can pay an extra 3% sales tax or the price of the jewelry can be lowered to accomodate the 3%. Teats up or teats down? Which way will Lawrence go?

Use the state designed program i.e. Neighborhood Revitaliztion Act. Bring in the bulldozers and build up or stay the way we are, with sagging teats. Botox for Lawrence. Teats up!

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MCwzMC 6 years, 2 months ago

Building a relatively high density development on the edge of town is a terrible idea. Most of those who want to move west want yards, space, and privacy. I may be wrong, but it seems like they are also more likely to have kids. That said, why would they want to live in a crowed area with more traffic and higher sales taxes. There is no way this development will appeal to young people. So who is going to live there?

Though it is not an ideal comparison, this development sounds like Edwards, CO in Vail Valley. Edwards was made to look like a quaint old development, but it is merely an upscale strip mall. Overall, the people I spoke with thought Edwards was pretty lame compared to towns like Breckenridge that concentrate development in one downtown area. A That being said, I can only imagine how lame this area will be in Lawrence (a town that doesn't have much of the natural beauty Edwards has to boast).

The commission better not approve ANY tax incentives for this place because they won't pay off. I'm sure some consulting firm will disagree, but it they give the green light to almost every development.

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Dollypawpaw 6 years, 2 months ago

merrill lives in a neighborhood that was developed by developers with tax subsidies and sweetheart deals.

Of course merrill doesn't realize this because the neighborhood was developed in the 50's long before merrill was around.

merrill enjoys his old nostalgic home.

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grimpeur 6 years, 2 months ago

Excellent idea out at Bauer! And since this retail complex will have:

"...72,000 square feet of retail space - including a pharmacy, an auto service business, and several restaurants...71,000 square feet of office space; a 20,000-square-foot performance space potentially for the Lawrence Community Theatre; 96,000 square feet of apartments and other rental units; and about 75 single-family homes...designed in "new urbanism" style aimed to mimic an old-style neighborhood..."

we can rest assured that there will be no need to have another 1,000 parking spaces at that intersection, right? Because we're interested in making sure that people can get to the store without being burdened by their cars (or by burdening the rest of us with the expenses those cars incur), right?

That's good news, because paying for all that drainage mitigation would cost a lot more than any 1% tax will cover.

However, some parking will be required. I propose that a per-space tax be implemented for new parking lots in developments like this. The funds will be used to help the city recover some of the costs of subsidizing motor traffic.

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OnlyTheOne 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, of course, they'll approve it - they shouldn't but they will.

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

can WAL MART reapply for TDD or TIF before it is built ?

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seriouscat 6 years, 2 months ago

hawk perched and merrill are correct. Downtown and and the existing urban areas in Lawrence are what need to be focused on and fostered. Look at other cities around the country...the future is in areas that are walk/bike to everything urban centers. Build up, not out!

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

kind of gives them an advantage over competing nearby developements that had to include the same costs in their rent / doesn't it ?

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hawkperchedatriverfront 6 years, 2 months ago

I like this idea of an additional 1% sales tax in these newly developed areas. It is too bad ,that this isnt implemented downtown. You see, if the bars, restauarants downtown were charging the extra 1%not to mentionthe retailers, the taxpayers at large would get some relief from continued expense for Law Enforcement aka, bar babysitting and downtown cleanup after the bars close. Change the way Lawrence thinks! Teats up or teats down? Bar licensing or !% additional sales tax. Sue, start thinking business.

AND why isn';t the city implementling the Neighborhood Revitalization Act across the board for the five Target neighborhoods. The five neighborhoods that have been prostituted for over a 1/4 of a century. Now it is time to turn those areas around and let the owners reap some tax relief for new properties or upgrades.

Teats up or teats down? Which way will Lawrence go?

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 2 months ago

Excellent points, merrill...

the developers are too much, eh?

"Let us build! Let us build! LET US BUILD!!!"

"oh... and by the way... can you help us pay for it...?"

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 2 months ago

"Write" is giving merrill too much credit. Other than copy and paste, he doesn't have any other skills.

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Michael Capra 6 years, 2 months ago

you must be sitting on the crapper when you write the stuff you are told to write

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Pilgrim 6 years, 2 months ago

Way to go, Richard. Somehow we knew you would find something to bitch about here. These taxes are the next best thing to the impact fees you've been clamoring about lately. But you have to find another reason for more obsessive-compulsive cut-n-paste anyway.

Pathetic.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Isn't this truly New (Sub)urbanism?

In fact, the leading proponents of New Urbanism believe that infill development should be given priority over new development in order to revitalize city centers and limit sprawl. Unfortunately, many of the current social, political and economic realities in the U.S. favor development at the metropolitan edge = new suburban sprawl.

The major principles of New Urbanism are:

*All development should be in the form of compact, walkable neighborhoods and/or districts. Such places should have clearly defined centers and edges. The center should include a public space - such as a square, green or an important street intersection - and public buildings - such a library, church or community center, a transit stop(The T) and retail businesses.

*Neighborhoods and districts should be compact (typically no more than one quarter mile from center to edge) and detailed to encourage pedestrian activity without excluding automobiles altogether.

*Streets should be laid out as an interconnected network (usually in a grid or modified grid pattern), forming coherent blocks where building entrances front the street rather than parking lots.

*Public transit(The T) should connect neighborhoods to each other, and the surrounding region. A diverse mix of activities (residences, shops, schools, workplaces and parks, etc.) should occur in proximity.

*Also, a wide spectrum of housing options should enable people of a broad range of incomes, ages, and family types to live within a single neighborhood/district.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

  • water and sewer lines
  • streets and repairs houses public schools
  • fire stations
  • law enforcement manpower *sidewalks
  • snow removal
  • bike trails and cross walks
  • Traffic signals
  • Traffic calming
  • Strip Malls
  • Expensive Flood Control

*In general increases the cost of community services to all taxpayers..... whether existing taxpayers support growth that does not pay for itself or not.

Who's moving in to this location is the question? Lawrence cannot afford another Tanger Mall. Lawrence is still over built in retail = economic displacement.

The city's current budget crunch could be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new housing developments.

If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by single-family housing does not pay for the services they require from a municipality.

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