To the editor:
City commissioners, Dillons and my landlord decided last Tuesday that the beautiful old building north of Dillons on Massachusetts Street, where I live, will be destroyed and a parking lot put in its place. According to the commissioners, changing the zoning from residential to commercial is excellent analysis and planning by the planning department.
Dillons is currently “out of compliance” with the number of parking spaces the city thinks it should have. Many people walk and bike to the store. The parking lot is rarely, if ever, full. Should we not encourage sustainability in this age of dwindling resources, green space being one of them? Not to mention the fact that the apartment building has a great amount of historical character and is solidly built.
The city will also not recoup the tax revenue lost by destroying a building upon which property tax is paid. This is not a smart decision in a time when all municipalities need money. It will possibly cost the city more in increased toxic runoff, which goes directly to the river. The river from which you and I get our water supply.
This decision is symptomatic of a City Commission that has allowed environmentally unfriendly, unsightly and seemingly unfettered growth to the west of town. I’m not just talking about Wal-Mart. Lawrence’s character and charm have been in decline for many years.
Nothing personal, commissioners, but you won’t get my vote next time around.