Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

City’s growth at 0.8 percent

Lawrence population rises by 742

Growth in Lawrence has slowed to roughly the state average while growth in the Kansas City suburbs continues at a more brisk pace.

Growth in Lawrence has slowed to roughly the state average while growth in the Kansas City suburbs continues at a more brisk pace.

July 10, 2008


Lawrence growing -- slowly

New census numbers released today show Lawrence's population is growing, but not nearly as fast as it used to. Enlarge video

We've fallen out of the magic circle.

Population numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau reinforced an emerging trend: Lawrence is no longer part of a group of Kansas City suburbs that consistently grow faster than the statewide average.

Lawrence's population grew by 0.8 percent from July 2006 to July 2007. That represented an increase of 742 people for a total of 89,852.

"Given the current economic conditions, I feel pretty good that we have at least shown some growth," Mayor Mike Dever said.

Lawrence's growth rate of 0.8 percent was slightly above the statewide average of 0.7 percent. In terms of actual people, the 742-person increase was the eighth highest total in the state.

Lawrence continues to be the sixth most populous city in Kansas.

But Lawrence's latest growth rate is significantly less than the community's historical average of about 2 percent. During the 1980s and 1990s, it was typical for Lawrence's growth rate to be more than double that of the state's. In that regard, Lawrence was much like a host of Kansas City suburbs.

In Kansas City suburbia, the beat goes on. K.C. suburban growth rates have slowed from the heady days of the 1990s, but the traditional hotspots remain hot. On average, Olathe, Overland Park, Lenexa, Gardner, Spring Hill, Louisburg, Tonganoxie, Basehor and De Soto had a population growth rate nearly six times higher than the statewide average.

Dever said higher fuel prices and Johnson County's more aggressive expansion to the south instead of to the west has made Lawrence less desirable to some commuters who previously would have made a home in Lawrence.

Fred Sherman, a former Lawrence planner who is now Gardner's community development director, said some people also think they can get a better housing value in parts of southern Johnson County or Miami County.

"I think some people feel like they are still paying a little bit of a paradise tax to live in Lawrence," Sherman said.

Dever said Lawrence's long-term solution is to bring more jobs to the city so people can live closer to where they work.


average 7 years ago

Gotta grow. Gotta grow. Can't stop growing. Wolves will eat us! Gotta grow. Million or bust. Million and can't stop then. Gotta grow. Can't stop growing. Kansas growth slowing down? Gotta grow. US growth slowing down? Gotta grow. World growth slowing down? Someone, somewhere, growing faster than us? Gotta grow. Grow or die. Can't stop growing.

Greg Yother 7 years ago

Hilary said "- I'm so glad I don't live in Lawrence now that it has 700 more people. That's just 700 more Mass st. musicians who beg for money."Ahem, the proper term is "busking" : )

music_luvr 7 years ago

As a post-script, on the other end, please please please shut up about the SLT. Build the dang thing already. The traffic we alleviate now will save tons of traffic down the road. I moved here from a city that was too afraid to build major highways early on, and it's paying the price 40 years later.I'm on the left with most issues, but sometimes, you have to think about the future, not just today.

geniusmannumber1 7 years ago

Okay. Please read this slowly.Unless you are convinced ... that the LJW commenter named "hilary" ... is actually Hillary Clinton ... and that she intentionally misspelled her own name ... you are wrong. In any event ... criticizing the spelling of others ... and calling it "bad form" ... is ... lame ... particularly when the critic ... has trouble expressing himself ... in what is presumably ... his native language. (Or, really, even if it's not.)On a similar note, I do not know what you mean by "the land thing." You may be confusing me with someone else.

gccs14r 7 years ago

Europe seems to do just fine with cities that have been the same size for centuries. It's called stability, not stagnation. Unbridled growth is the model of the cancer cell, or the virus.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years ago

no doubt about it... this is good news...

repaste 7 years ago

Tried to by car in Lawrence, $15,000 made a easy call. Little unreasonable on a couple dealers part. We have a furniture store here?

music_luvr 7 years ago

You know, this argument, like most on this web site, has moved into watching-paint-dry territory. Do you all even remember the original topic.On the up-side, at least nobody has succumbed to Godwin's Law:'s_law

RKLOG 7 years ago

Lawrence may be growing but we still wear the same pair of Hulk-torn pants.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Baker owns the VAST majority of the land."For those with zero respect for Haskell, its property and its history, this is a bit legal chicanery that supports a convenient fiction.

Trobs 7 years ago

Two of the "newcomers" are myself and my wife. I lived around Lawrence as I grew up, but never in Lawrence. I love the town and I am frankly sick of the growth. The west side of town use look so wonderful, now it's full of terrible looking cookie cutter houses and apartments. On top of that, so many people live here now it's impossible to get around quickly. I drive daily to Overland Park for my job, I don't mind the commute. What I do mind is attempting to make my way down 23rd at 5pm. It's a joke. Hopefully the City Council will find a way to bring real jobs to town, maybe then we can focus on fixing the 89,000 potholes in the road with the new tax money. More then likely though, we've have to ban something new instead.

monkeyspunk 7 years ago

Hahahaha, thank you music_luvr for that bit of information, I have learned something today!Godwin's Law, I love it...

Trobs 7 years ago

I won't deny my horrible grasp on the English language. However, misspelling the name of someone who has been in the news continuously for the past year is bad form. As for the land thing, you keep overlooking what I am saying and choosing to select only partial quotes. "I am legally able to do what I wish with it" Legally able. Forgot that part of my previous post? I hear CNN and FOX are always looking for good news analysts.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

It wasn't as simple as "conquering the Indians," Trobs. The US Government took over Indian lands through treaties, which included certain obligations, one of which was to provide for Indian education. At first, it was just a sham, with schools such as Haskell, run by the Methodists that max1 refers to, where they primarily just put kids in concentration camps and tried to beat the Indian out of the Indians.But just as that sorry chapter of history was passing, and Indians actually got to run their own affairs and provide real educational opportunities to their people, half of Haskell's campus got "surplussed" away from them. This included the wetlands, which had always been a refuge from the abuse of the Methodists in the dark early years. That's why the wetlands are still seen as sacred ground much like Gettysburg or Arlington National Cemetery is for other Americans.

coolmarv 7 years ago

"Lawrence is no longer part of a group of Kansas City suburbs that consistently grow faster than the statewide average."Good, I say. I never liked being considered part of KC anyway and if were not growing that's just fine with me.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Ownership is nine tenths of the law"Actually, I believe it's "Possession is nine tenths of the law."

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago

Spiderman"i don't think many would agree that the SLT has much to do with our overall economy in Douglas County:."I am afraid you are wrong Spiderman. Transportation is a big deal when deciding where to locate a business. This is a logistics issue which we have flunked so far as a community. The other one is a Public Relations issue as this SLT fiasco has contributed to our image as anti-business.

Puff_Dragon 7 years ago

I think those 742 all came from Wyandotte and are all living in section 8 housing. Seems like a lot of riff-raff moving to town.....don't know why tho'.

Bud Stagg 7 years ago

Cool town or not, if people move away it just means we have to pick up their share of the taxes. If they move, we still have to pay their share of the roads, parks, services, etc. You people just don't get it. If you drive away the jobs and people, who will pay the taxes? Soon you will have services cut, the T will have to go (may go anyway), but with that so will other services. If you want things like the T or more sports stadiums or whatever, get some people and Jobs in here to pay the taxes. It's simple economics. You all want it for free, let the other guy pay. You are not willing to sacrifice anything. You are not willing to give or take, you are not willing to let the other guy win so that you can win too.I employ over 30 people, I'm about to move if things don't change. I can take my jobs to a town heading in the right direction.

repaste 7 years ago

31 st will make a nice backdrop to their campu, 4 lanes soon, heavy traffic. Seems like a little comprimise was in order. I think I little of "we have been screwed enough already" drives their policy - not that I blame them!

Trobs 7 years ago

Monkeyhawk, you apparently neglected my remark about growing up around the town. I spent as much in town as out of it during my childhood, I just never lived in the city limits. So, I was never a citizen of Lawrence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"There is no justification for not building the SLT. "For those with zero respect for Haskell, its property and its history, likely not.

sourpuss 7 years ago

I don't give a whiff if someone moves to Lawrence or not. I don't care if Lawrence grows. Frankly, Lawrence was a nicer place when we had a smaller tax base. There were a lot fewer murders, I can tell you that.

Lars Larson 7 years ago

Is there a better map for this article?

BigPrune 7 years ago

Bad things happen when a vocal minority gets their way. Isn't it time for City Hall to stop listening to the creepy old hippies? This handful has had an unjustifiably large voice over the majority of Lawrencians for 8 years now. Can there be a grooming/dress code enforced at City Commission meetings? That might do the trick.

nekansan 7 years ago

Is there a key or some sort of explanation of the illustration? I have n idea what the differing sizes and colors of the circles mean.....

jumpin_catfish 7 years ago

I will not shut up and you can't make me!

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago

I guess we should kick out anyone who has caused this community to "grow".Should we start with anyone not born here. Or maybe anyone not living here prior to WWII.Why not make your right to live here based upon how much money you have. Level of education? Popularity? Musical talents?How about those other Kansans whose tax dollars have contributed to Kansas University over the years but were not born here? Maybe we should send their money back.But I guess we can't do that because we are used to living with our hands out and looking for more grant money.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

Great news for Lawrence maintaining some semblence of livability for those who currently reside here. The constant, ever-expanding growth demanded by the "developers" has been ruinous to the quality of life available in Lawrence. Even more encouraging are the reports off people leaving Lawrence to live closer to jobs in KC & Topeka. Please, let's see more of that!! If there is enough of a drain, we certainly won't need the SLT and there will be less support for it. Great news!!

geniusmannumber1 7 years ago

Well, I think 70+ comments later, it is clear that hilary wins.

trvlronda 7 years ago

Whoo Hoo, population growth is headed in the right direction! Now, hopefully, the JOCO wannnabes will head to/back to JOCO. They can take their SUVs and strip malls with them. Lawrence should be a town NOT a city. We have the infrastructre for just that--and no more. Suburban sprawl is a failing model.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Cool town or not, if people move away it just means we have to pick up their share of the taxes. If they move, we still have to pay their share of the roads, parks, services, etc."True enough, Joehawk, but that's a very different scenario from a population level that is basically stable. And while bringing in new residents increases the tax base, it also increases the need for more tax money to be collected-- in other words, at best it's a wash, and if the costs for new infrastructure expanded services aren't borne primarily by those who will use it, or if it's skimmed off the top by development interests, all that the average taxpayer gets from growth is higher taxes, more congestion, and deteriorating services and infrastructure-- sounds a lot like Lawrence, doesn't it?

monkeyhawk 7 years ago

"Two of the "newcomers" are myself and my wife.""I love the town and I am frankly sick of the growth." Isn't that rich? A "newcomer" complaining about growth. And, takes the opportunity of the "newcomer's" first post to remark about the appearance of houses that offend the sensibilities of the author, too many people, 23rd St., no jobs, potholes and bans.Apparently Trobs did not do adequate homework before gracing our community.

Mangino_saurus 7 years ago

Deciphera - now that would have brought in some good, well paid professionals to our community, but the hippies got in an uproar and ruined that! I'm all for growth! Bring on the Wal-Mart, I'm sure Lowes will follow soon after! Man let's develope this town to the west! Mass St will never lose its charm and neither will the City.

Trobs 7 years ago

You haven't heard the phrase "Ownership is nine tenths of the law" I take.If I own 570 acres of a tract of land, I am legally able to do what I wish with it, despite the cries of everyone else. Baker is in the same situation and everyone else is happily willing to say we are tromping over Haskell land, when in reality Haskell owns a small portion of the land. If you wish to nit-pick, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and KU also own small tracts of the wetlands. I guess calling it the Baker, Haskell, KU, KDWP Wetlands is too big. Haskell definitely sounds better.

kujayhawk 7 years ago

Yep, Lawrence taxes kept me away.

jumpin_catfish 7 years ago

Toe is right, for those of us who see Lawrence for what it is and don't look at it through little round rose colored glasses, we can see that larryville is in serious, I mean serious trouble but our leaders will just float along like there is some magic cure coming from the future. Turn out the lights when you leave.

ronwell_dobbs 7 years ago

Interesting that we focus on growth numbers as a measure of a municipality's success. Surely in this day and age of energy shortages, food price inflation, and economic woes that we could find some other measures to claim a city is succeeding? Maybe things like walkability, easy access to needed/wanted goods and services? Show me where any of the high growth municipalities on the color map address these issues?

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago

"For those with zero respect for Haskell, its property and its history, likely not"A completely unjustified comment, however, this is one of the techniques that has been used by the anti SLT group.

ilovelucy 7 years ago

Hawk: why don't you call the census people at KU? Maybe that can help you find what evidence you need.

Chris Ogle 7 years ago

Fred sherman said" some may think they are paying a paridise tax to live in Lawrence" Well.... it is not a paridise tax... it is simply that Lawrence has priced most of us out of the market. Pure and Simple

classclown 7 years ago

Trobs (Anonymous) says:Two of the "newcomers" are myself and my wife. I lived around Lawrence as I grew up, but never in Lawrence. I love the town and I am frankly sick of the growth.=======================Sick of the growth that you contributed to.Since you are so sick of the growth that you are a part of, does that mean you hate yourself?

Michael Stanclift 7 years ago

We left Lawrence for Overland Park for one reason: jobs. Lawrence doesn't have any serious ones worth having (and I mean professional jobs, IT, accounting, etc, not working at Target or at the Budweiser plant.) -- It's not worth driving 40 miles to live there anymore either.

music_luvr 7 years ago

Please please please shut up about it being expensive to live here. Overland Park costs now what I paid in California. But the jobs aren't paying what I made then. Lawrence has plenty of problems, but you people just love to get on here and complain. on both sides of the aisle.Everyone needs to quit complaining about the fact that it takes a whole 20 minutes to get across town. Just shut up about it. Move some with real road problems and real traffic, then come back.Everyone needs to quit complaining about their taxes and how bad the city commission is. They're not the best, but we need to be more concerned with our kids getting a good education than we do with 1 more mill.This town loves to whine. I love living here. LOVE it. But it's never going to be this perfect place you've built up in your minds. And you know what? If there was a Web back in the "good-ol days," you would be complaining then, too. "man, our stupid city commission can't lure businesses here, so I have to drive to Topeka to go to Sears. Let's oust them! Taxes are too high. blah blah blah."I swear to god, I get so tired of hearing about good ol days. How about instead of whining and complaining and hating each other, we work to make THESE the good ol days?Here endeth the rant.

Chris Ogle 7 years ago

xbusguy (Anonymous) says: For several yrs Lawrence has been on an over-spending spree. Like any other 'addiction", it is tough to recover. However, to remain healthy, it is a must. Time to bite the bullet.... No more Taxes!

music_luvr 7 years ago

No, I can't, nor would I really want to. But both sides in this town are just so closed off and myopic. both sides. just quit blaming everyone else for everything... on both sides. this site is almost never a discussion. it's a scream-fest, and I got sucked in. so shame on me.

geniusmannumber1 7 years ago

I would also add that if you do have information that hilary = Hillary Clinton, please share it with the rest of us. Because that would be weird.

Trobs 7 years ago

"That's what we get from allowing slave-owning Methodist missionaries to come here in 1830 for the purpose of passing out bibles and stealing Indian land."Maybe I have history wrong, but didn't the US take the land? We fought Europe and the Natives and forged a country. I haven't heard us apologize to Mexico, Spain, or England for tanking their land.

Trobs 7 years ago

I'm not condoning what happened, but I've never read about a country apologizing to the people it's taking over.

Hilary Morton 7 years ago

Here we go....I'll save you all some time:- Lawrence is too big. It's not like the olden days when we ate at Sandy's!- Lawrence is way too big. All you stupid Liberals who think it's an Urban utopia are just fooling yourselves. Move out while you still can.- With these numbers, they're gonna want to build a new high school, and that will destroy this city (and the football teams).- With a town this big, it's going to turn into Topeka or Kansas City, and our homicides will go up! Bring back Last Call!!- I'm so glad I don't live in Lawrence now that it has 700 more people. That's just 700 more Mass st. musicians who beg for money.Ok, I hope you feel somewhat relieved that it was all covered in one post. Now you can spend some more time with your children, or even really working at your jobs today.:)

taucetiman 7 years ago

don't worry, more people are coming soon. There is a 300+ apartment complex about to break ground east of kohl's along 31st st. and another with nearly 200 units planned for clinton parkway/inverness area

Trobs 7 years ago

I believe the word is "right." As long as my actions are not illegal.

average 7 years ago

I am not deeply opposed to growth. Or, it's a problem from a global perspective, but if the country is growing at 1%, I'm not shocked or especially bothered by Lawrence growing at 1%.The problem is that the powers that be, including this newspaper, go into hyperventilation freakout when growth isn't happening. They think we need to do anything and everything possible to encourage it. Because it's "magic" in the words of the article. I don't.

Trobs 7 years ago

A waste dump is within my rights as the owner of the land. You have to realize we don't live in a utopia where everything is perfect. We live in a republic run by laws and money. Those who have the money, make the laws. As sad as it is. You cannot stop things like the SLT from happening. It will happen, it's only a matter of time. It's not what anyone wants to hear, but it's like every other thing in this world that someone wants to happen. If they have the money and the power it happens. The SLT is the same.

Trobs 7 years ago

As I said, I don't condone how it was done, but all the same we conquered the people. I'm well versed in history and as I said before we have a strange situation in America with how we deal with the Natives. I won't start that argument, but the fact remains the victor holds the cards and can't play them.

Trobs 7 years ago

My bad, for some reason I thought it was sly political jab. And I was attempting to answer the previous threads.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Some of us have just chosen not to be as complacent as you, I guess, Trobs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

So, your recommendation to Haskell is just to lie back and learn to enjoy it, Trobs?

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago

I think there are a lot of people in this town with overwhelming debt and who are just hanging on right now.There are too many people in this town who prefer to provide homes for frogs and spiders than for people. There is no justification for not building the SLT. All the hype about protecting the wetlands was just that, hype and people got sucked into it. We could have worked out a deal by now that would have provided a much nicer area along with a nature center, but we have a bunch of giant egos who made it bad for everyone else. Shame on them.

Trobs 7 years ago

The FACT is legally Baker owns the property.

geniusmannumber1 7 years ago

Trobs--Your snarky remark regarding my spelling would make a lot more sense if you weren't, you know, wrong. I would refer you to the first comment on this thread. I would also point out that in less than two minutes spent scanning your posts on this thread, I found 2 errors with comma placement, 3 additional instances in which your meaning would be clearer with better comma placements, 1 instance of incorrect pronoun usage, a sentence fragment, the use of an incorrect contraction, the use of an adverb where an adjective would have been correct, 1 incorrect citation of a colloquialism, and 1 incorrect/inapplicable citation to the historical record.And two spelling errors. Just sayin'.

zzgoeb 7 years ago

Bigprune is a real sourpuss! Yeah, those "filthy hippies" kept us from having a covered mall on Mass St, 6 or 7 Walmarts, and real progress!!! This is why Lawrence is paradise! And we vote Blue in every election! Peace man!!!

inatux 7 years ago

Good heavens people, learn the difference between lose and loose.

Trobs 7 years ago

Baker owns the VAST majority of the land. Haskell only owns 27 acres compared to Baker's 573. If you are going to argue about the SLT at least check your facts. They are not the Haskell wetlands, they are jointly owned with Baker holding the majority. As it were, Baker has approved the construction.

Janet Lowther 7 years ago

Lawrence has been very anti-business, and even mere anti-industry for decades.Come on people, Lawrence is going to shrink a LOT when gas gets to $7.00/gallon (it'll take a couple of years, but. . .) If we don't have jobs here. Lots of 'em, and not just driving forklifts and flipping burgers. If there aren't good jobs in Lawrence an awful lot of those commuters who have been driving from Lawrence to KC, Topeka and Leavenworth are going to move. And housing prices in Lawrence will crash.Maybe commuter rail service to KC and Topeka or a decent commuter bus service like the Jo going into other parts of the KC metro area and to Topeka might help, but Lawrence needs jobs. Bad.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

How convenient for you, Trobs. That's all you need to know in order to tell Haskell to go scr*w themselves.

MrMister 7 years ago

Sorry hilary, but I belive that cds now wins the prize for best post. That was just plain funny!!

Satirical 7 years ago

One significant reason for the low growth rate is the difficulting in traversing the city. From Johnson County, the only way through is K-10 / 23rd street, with it's gazillion lights and it's bottleneck east of th city. There are too few through streets in the city because of the University and growth will only follow from easy access. Besides it's proximity to Kansas City, Johnson County has grown so rapidly because of (1) good city planning and (2) lots of highways and through streets. Even though Johnson County is much larger than Lawrence, you can get anywhere in about 15 minutes.

br0318 7 years ago

Okay, the chart at the top of the story is misleading. Topeka is showing no growth. On the contray, Topeka grew by 455 people, or .4% growth, and Shawnee County grew by 1000, or .7% growth. Where's the love LJ World.

Meatwad 7 years ago

Mass Street WILL lose it's charm if it gets taken over by winos and drunks who yell and bother people trying to go out for a walk or shopping. Please can't something be done about this? It's getting worse.

deskboy04 7 years ago

It is impossible to get around town. The traffic, even in the summer, is awful. The SLT would help with the situation and make the city much more liveable. But it will never happen. Too bad...

cds 7 years ago

music_luvr (Anonymous) says: No, I can't, nor would I really want to. But both sides in this town are just so closed off and myopic. both sides. just quit blaming everyone else for everything: on both sides. this site is almost never a discussion. it's a scream-fest, and I got sucked in. so shame on me.__If you would follow me, on the left we have the Howler monkeys, on the right we have the Baboons, please, please refrain from mentioning the SLT, religion, and politics while walking thru, as it excites both and you will most likely end up covered in feces.

TopJayhawk 7 years ago

Propety values get a lot more reasonable if you move one foot across the county line into Shawnee Co. Topeka had "no growth" this yr because our fine citizens keep going to Lawrence and getting themselves shot. LOL.

Mike Blur 7 years ago

I can get through Lawrence, even during rush hour, in less than 20 minutes. Try waiting in traffic in Atlanta, DC, Honolulu, or Seattle for comparison.Trobs, the BIA is guilty of the Haskell land giveaway, and Baker University should be prosecuted for receiving stolen property. The white man hasn't conquered; there is a litany of broken treaties when Indians attempted to curtail bloodshed. The wetlands belong rightfully to Haskell and its native population.Google Cobell v. Kempthorne. It's already on record as the biggest legal action in history; and settlement ain't gonna come anytime soon.

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Talk about jobs and you find the city government focus on warehouses. Bedrooms and warehouses is all the Chamber thinkers can come up with. The chamber thinkers of the past 25 years have screwed the Lawrence economy. Too many of the new bedrooms are enclosed within the walls of new slums and word gets around. Crappy new construction does not work.When poiiticians begin discussing lower property taxes other fees are about to increase in order to make up that loss to the cookie jar.Developers and their commissioner sidekicks have developed economic pollution whereby the cost of their developments is shifted to residential taxpayers. After 22 years of expanding the tax base with tons of new housing one would have thought that that property tax increases would have stabilized at about 4% without further talk of tax increases or fee increases. That did not happen. Why?Housing does not pay for itself in any community. Commissioners were being advised of this over the course of this bedroom community boom....again they discounted each and every source.The new Wal-Mart will create more economic displacement as additional over growth in the retail marketmarches forward. Commissioners do not believe consultants who tell them Lawrence is over built in residential and retail after paying these people big bucks to examine the city. Remember the commissioners always state during campaigns they will never increase taxes..... Over growth in retail and residential = increased taxes.

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