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Archive for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Decision on demolition of blighted house delayed

City Commissioners are warned tonight that the next major neighborhood battle may be brewing near KU.

July 16, 2008

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City commissioners Tuesday night balked at issuing a demolition permit for a 105-year-old vacant home near Kansas University after they found themselves in a "showdown" with the property owner.

On a 3-1 vote, commissioners essentially delayed a decision on whether to issue a demolition permit for 1232 La., despite strong objections from Mayor Mike Dever, who said the property was so structurally unsound that it could pose an immediate safety hazard to neighbors or people who illegally enter the vacant home.

"The house was beautiful at one time, but right now it is a death trap for whoever might enter it," Dever said.

But leaders with the Lawrence Preservation Alliance and the Oread Neighborhood Association asked commissioners to delay the demolition at least until the point that the owner of the property submits plans showing what would be built in its place.

Price Banks, a Lawrence attorney representing the property owners, said such plans weren't forthcoming because the property owner did not want to spend money on developing plans until there was certainty that the home would be demolished.

All four city commissioners - Commissioner Mike Amyx was absent - said they thought it was good policy to have some idea of what would replace the torn down home.

"I have a hard time with a property owner saying not now but never will he produce a replacement plan unless he has a demolition permit," City Commissioner Rob Chestnut said. "I kind of feel like we're in a showdown situation here, and I definitely do not like that position."

Oread leaders urged commissioners to stand strong. Speculation in the neighborhood is that the property owner has aspirations to buy several houses on the block, raze them, and do a major redevelopment on the land - which is just east of the Kansas University Alumni Center.

"The concern of the neighborhood is that if we lose that house, we will lose that block," said Carol vonTersch, a member of the neighborhood association.

Banks said he couldn't comment on that speculation because no plans have been developed by the owner. But adding to the intrigue is that Banks said he is not at liberty to disclose who the principal investors are in the ownership group - 1240 Louisiana Street Associates.

According to a 2007 annual report filed with the Kansas Secretary of State, the lone member of the company is R. Dean Wolfe.

Commissioners agreed to hear the issue again at their Aug. 12 meeting after city staff members have done more research on whether the owner could be compelled to present some plans for what would be located on the property.

Comments

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

The city is flooded with single family and multi-family dwellings. As cowboy suggests keep the block single family dwellings and do sit back and take no for an answer. Perhaps the neighborhood should become investors and replace with what is exactly there now.... or restore. Restoring would be a good opportunity for a buyer instead of risking becoming an owner of a new slum house.Otherwise the block will fall victim to the T-111 siding multi family dwelling predator aka new slum housing.

smartmomma 6 years, 5 months ago

I can see that house burning down on "accident"

yellowhouse 6 years, 5 months ago

Racist reporting?Well obviously the owners must be white, since their identity has been kept confidential for this article.That has not been the case when black property owners like Pastor Paul Winn, or Mr. Shephard were on this same chopping block!

flyin_squirrel 6 years, 5 months ago

Chestnut has no backbone. This commission has now put this demo on hold for 9 months. Wake up Commissioners! You have final say in what is built, so let them tear down this unrepairable house. I think we need to change the city slogan to "Paralysis by Analysis".

sjschlag 6 years, 5 months ago

as cool as this house is on the inside, I don't think it can be saved. It would take far too much effort, far too much money, and by the time you were finished "restoring" it, I don't think much would be left of the original home. A property owner on the block has his homes up for sale (again); the name of the firm that owns this property is called "1240 Louisiana Street Associates"- 1240 Louisiana would be somewhere in between my friends house at 1236 Louisiana and the Apartment building right next door....I smell a rat. With a hotel going up nearby, and developers hungry to cash in on those rich Alumni dollars when they go to a football game, this land is ripe for a 13 story condo tower. The reason there are no plans is because the developers don't own all of the properties they need to carry out their plans. In 10 years, that area of Lawrence will be filled with high-end condominiums. Too bad that nobody will live there full time. My speculation says it will be vacation housing for gamedays.

not_dolph 6 years, 5 months ago

Spidersvencool must not be up yet this morning...

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 5 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says: Sven declared yesterday on the Curb Comments LTE that he was leaving the boards.People noted that he did post at least 3 more times after 'leaving'.They dissed him pretty badly on that thread.I wonder if he will return.Of course Sven will return. It will just be up to us to figure out which screen name he is using when he does.

MattressMan 6 years, 5 months ago

I have asked my magic 8-ball and it says..."Perhaps a consultant is in order to study the neighborhood and any proposed changes."Lets see now, a couple of hundred k ought to do nicely in getting a reputable consulting firm hired don't ya think.

Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 5 months ago

"Racist reporting?Well obviously the owners must be white, since their identity has been kept confidential for this article. That has not been the case when black property owners like Pastor Paul Winn, or Mr. Shephard were on this same chopping block!"Huh? I checked out the story about Pastor Paul Winn that you made reference to and there's absolutely no mention of his race in the article.http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/aug...

fu7il3 6 years, 5 months ago

Tear it down. It's an eyesore to look at and drags the whole area down. Who cares what goes in there, as long as it is used.

cowboy 6 years, 5 months ago

Do we now live in Minsk , must ask the Kommittee for permission to do something to our property. seems to me that the city should be encouraging inner city redevelopment .If youre worried about cheezy apts going in just keep the zoning residential. It's not what you knock down that counts but what you approve to go up

twaldaisy 6 years, 5 months ago

MD it was spiderman(aka cool) that said he was leaving the forum. But he has posted on a LTE about the SLT being built just today. Guess he/she couldn't resist.

twaldaisy 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow does he have multiple personality disorder? I could tell spiderman/cool were the same, wasn't sure about sven. Thanks for keeping me up to date.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

spiderham, stop emailing meWorth repeating:"15 July 2008 at 9:09 a.m.spiderman (Anonymous) says::i am withdrawing from the forum and have sent an email to LJW regarding the same kind of complaints about certan forum members often referred to as 'wingnuts' or the 'witches haven' or other names."Guess we know how long that lasted. ;)

KU_Dude 6 years, 5 months ago

I think that the reason that spiderman/cool broke his promise is because LJW wouldn't let him have a new username.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

Worth repeating:"15 July 2008 at 9:09 a.m.spiderman (Anonymous) says:...i am withdrawing from the forum and have sent an email to LJW regarding the same kind of complaints about certan forum members often referred to as 'wingnuts' or the 'witches haven' or other names."Guess we know how long that lasted. ;)

KU_Dude 6 years, 5 months ago

To quote you spiderman/cool. "Please Stay On Topic"This house needs to be torn down...now.

not_dolph 6 years, 5 months ago

Worth repeating:"15 July 2008 at 9:09 a.m.spiderman (Anonymous) says::i am withdrawing from the forum and have sent an email to LJW regarding the same kind of complaints about certan forum members often referred to as 'wingnuts' or the 'witches haven' or other names."Liar, liar, pants on fire!

not_dolph 6 years, 5 months ago

worth repeating...In case anyone thinks I am harassing spiderman, he really invites me and thanks me for such posts:Hello,The user cool sent the following message to you via LJWorld.com:==============================i really hate to but i guess ? that i have to say thanks for keeping the story in the most discussed box ? your posts help to keep it viewed more so i grudgingly say thanks ?==============================You are welcome, Spiderman.

not_dolph 6 years, 5 months ago

another one, worth repeating...Bowhunter99 (Anonymous) says: High end condominiums as opposed to run down houses in the middle of the city:. That's quite the tragedy!merrill, cool, bozo and other are fully opposed to urban sprawl: so here's the other option: Rebuild the existing areas: But that's not possible.. that would cause progress and they want Lawrence to remain stagnant.. kinda like their lives!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

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