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Archive for Thursday, October 29, 2009

Community shelter leaders submit revised plan for new shelter, including renderings

Neighbors want hearing delayed

The architect's drawing shows the proposed new community shelter planned for the site of the former Don's Steakhouse on East 23rd Street.

The architect's drawing shows the proposed new community shelter planned for the site of the former Don's Steakhouse on East 23rd Street.

October 29, 2009

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New look proposed for homeless shelter

A new site plan has been proposed for the potential new homeless shelter on east 23rd Street. The plan calls for a reduction in size although the number of beds available will stay the same. Enlarge video

Related document

Lawrence Community Shelter site plan ( .PDF )

Leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter have filed a revised set of plans that shrink the size of the homeless shelter proposed for the former Don’s Steakhouse location on East 23rd Street.

But new concerns over the project are growing among neighbors who believe the city is trying to ram-rod the plans through the approval process.

The new plans shrink the proposed homeless shelter from a two-story building to a one-story, and eliminate about 25 percent of the square footage of the building. The amount of sleeping space in the shelter remains unchanged, with space for a maximum of 125 beds.

“The cuts really were just based on cost factors,” said Lawrence architect Dan Sabatini, who is designing the project.

The Lawrence Community Shelter is seeking to replace its current shelter at 10th and Kentucky streets because it has become too small, shelter leaders say.

But neighbors are crying foul over the new plans because they believe the plans show how the city is trying to rush the project through the approval process.

The new plans continue to show the project using 1.45 acres of property that is owned by the trust controlling the vacant Farmland Industries fertilizer plant, which is adjacent to the Don’s Steakhouse site. The shelter does not own the Farmland property and does not have the necessarily regulatory approvals to purchase the property in the near future.

Any purchase of the Farmland site has to be approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment because the state agency is responsible for ensuring that the former fertilizer site is properly cleaned up.

Rick Bean, chief of KDHE’s remedial section, said the department will oppose any attempts by the shelter to purchase the 1.45 acres. Bean said KDHE still prefers for a single buyer to purchase the entire 467-acre Farmland site because that will make it easier to ensure the entire site ultimately gets cleaned up.

But the city is allowing the shelter to submit plans that show buildings, parking and stormwater detention on the Farmland property, even though the shelter’s ability to obtain the property is far from certain.

“If I were trying to get a project approved, you can bet the Planning Commission or the City Commission wouldn’t even consider looking at my plans unless I owned all the property outright,” said Mike Hultine, an owner of Cornerstone Construction, which has its offices near the proposed shelter site.

Scott McCullough, director of the city’s planning department, said it is unusual for the city to allow a project to move through the approval process without the applicant owning all the property or at least having it under contract to purchase.

“But the Farmland property is really unique with all of its components,” McCullough said. “We’ve accepted this request because the ownership circumstances are unique.”

A rezoning request and special-use permit application for the shelter are scheduled to be heard by the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission on Nov. 16. If approved there, city commissioners could be ready to give the project a final hearing by early December.

If the shelter’s current plans do win approval, the shelter could not build on the Farmland property unless it owned it. Instead, if it wished to proceed with the project without the Farmland property it would have to file a revised site plan showing how it would fit all the project’s elements on just the Don’s Steakhouse site.

But at that point, the shelter would not be required to go through the entire rezoning and special-use permit process again. The revised site plan, technically, would not need to be reviewed by city commissioners at all but instead could be approved administratively by the planning staff, McCullough said.

Sabatini said the shelter could be successfully built on just the Don’s Steakhouse property but leaders of the shelter want the additional property to construct a small building that would house a jobs program for the shelter.

Neighbors are concerned that the city may approve the rezoning and special-use permit for the shelter based on building and site plans that stand little chance of actually being built.

“We know there is a lot of pressure to speed up the process to get the shelter moved out of downtown,” said Pat Slimmer, who owns an auto repair business that is adjacent to the proposed site. “But that doesn’t mean we should rush it to the point that all parties don’t have the time to make informed decisions.”

Hultine said he believes city leaders already have made up their mind that the site will be approved.

“I definitely have the impression that this site was picked some time ago and steps have been taken to make this site the site before it ever gets to the public hearing,” Hultine said.

City officials, though, deny those allegations. Both McCullough and City Manager David Corliss said the project will be required to meet all the regulations that any other project must meet.

“Whether it is the right site is still a very open question,” Corliss said. “There are a lot questions to be answered yet.”

Comments

Steven Gaudreau 4 years, 5 months ago

Nice looking 1970's structure. I wander if they will play the Brady Bunch 24/7 inside?

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fallingwhilereading 4 years, 5 months ago

puddle I found most of Kansans to be Nazis' heart. Douglas County is supposed to be the progressive county.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 5 months ago

I have not read if the new shelter is going to be wet or dry. I have sympathy for the homeless. Some get their backs up when they feel they are being ordered around. I really don't think there is an answer that covers all the homeless. There are just so many variable and human nature is no volatile and changeable.

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puddleglum 4 years, 5 months ago

wow! it looks like the Konzentrationslager Auschwitz with some windows added!

I like this! if only there were a fenced in area with razor wire on top. like for the smokers or something like that...reallt cool... auf auf.

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fuel_for_the_fire 4 years, 5 months ago

I second that congratulations babboy; and you have class coming out the [insert favorite orifice here] too!

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Satirical 4 years, 5 months ago

If you build it, they will come.

If you build it bigger, more will come.

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parrotuya 4 years, 5 months ago

OPPOSE THIS PROJECT!

The article says it right: the city commission will try to ramrod this thing down the neighbors' throats in order to get it done before an effective opposition can be organized and before anyone can notice. This is exactly what they did to the Centennial neighborhood in building a stadium and other athletic fields at Lawrence High School. Also, many commission members don't plan to run for re-election, so they don't have to care what the people think.

Organize early, get good counsel and make sure to document everything. Make sure to make copies of your petition (a petition forces a super majority on the commission) and who receives it. Get as many supporters as you can to attend the commission meetings, write letters to the editor. Get the word out to fight this thing.

But beware of the "enablers." They are the shills who support the project and are usually connected to the crooked real estate developers who own the city commission.

Good luck!

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bobberboy 4 years, 5 months ago

I hear the republicans think it's way too big. They said "can't we just send them packing ?"

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consumer1 4 years, 5 months ago

Wow congrats Babboy. That is awesome. You must feel very fulfilled, and want for nothing. I bet you do too!! again that is awesome and I congratulate you on your wealth. Con1

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BABBOY 4 years, 5 months ago

Hey, fallingwhilereading, it is my job to make fun of the rednecks and the phony Christians

Consumer1, since you want to go personal, I would bet good money I pay more in taxes in a year then you EARN in a year.

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consumer1 4 years, 5 months ago

Sure this building rendering looks perfect. But, the fact is, it will be an eyesore within a year. The building will deteriorate at a quicker rate because of abuse. This type of building is only the top of the iceberg. Within a few years it will need serious renovation, which cost money. WHo pays for that? We do. It will fill up soon. and need to expand who will pay for that ? We will.
Think about this? How many years did the Salvation army operate in Lawrence without having to increase bed capacity? Decades. How long has loring henderson been in town operating a "wet shelter" maybe 7-9 years? Look at the increase of people who use the "NO RESPONSIBITLITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS" warehouse he operates. This number has increased dramitically since he opened the doors. So, what do you expect the "new shelter" to look like in 5-10 years? It won't be a pretty picture and I guarentee we will see the cost of it continue to rise and rise and rise. What we won't see, is Henderson's salary rise, Because we never ask, How much does he make per year? Now? Probably around 40 grand? Next year the following year his budget is just going to increase and continue to increase. He is padding his own next to his advantage. When are we going to hold people responsible for their actions??? We didn't have this problem before Loring Henderson. Look at it now? it is out of control. Thanks for all you have done to my beloved Lawrence, Loring.

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flux 4 years, 5 months ago

How are they going to get to the shelter. Are we going to give them all free bus passes?

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beawolf 4 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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consumer1 4 years, 5 months ago

Where are all the bums passed out under the trees? Where are all the broken down cars? Where is all the trash that will be scattered around? where is the graffiti that will be all over the building? Where are the broken windows? Where are the cop cars that will be there all the time? where are all the bums having sex around the building? Where are the bums urniating on the trees?

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somedude20 4 years, 5 months ago

Is that person in the cartoon a homeless bum who is drunk and his smoking his crack?

I guess the good news is that the beer store that is closest to this place will be able to see their sales of Hamms/ King Cobra/ Beast increase

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remember_username 4 years, 5 months ago

Can anybody tell us what will happen to the old shelter? Isn't it part of church property? Will it continue as a supplement shelter for an increasing number of homeless? Maybe a rehabilitation facility or adult school? Or just a big warehouse?

Identifying what the plans are for the old shelter may sway public opinion and help raise money for a new shelter - or not.

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fuel_for_the_fire 4 years, 5 months ago

Wow fallingwhilereading! You are calling people redneck hicks? How very Christian of you.

Threw is the irregular past tense of the verb to throw. The word you are looking for is the preposition through. Also your sentence "Maybe he has already has the funds" is grammatically incorrect.

Is there time to get your paper back from your professor? You might want to have someone with greater knowledge of the English language proofread it for you.

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monkeyhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

falling may be on to something ... I could see the wet shelter advocates soliciting (extorting) funding from other cities with a promise to accept all of their downtrodden.

Something does sound fishy with the plans including adjacent property that has not been secured. There has to be more to that scheme. The city has been foaming at the mouth for the Farmland site for years.

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

oh, and then the suggestion of suicide from tanaumaga. classy

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tony88 4 years, 5 months ago

what is all this bitterness? bitterness toward architects, students, homeless people. seems to be based in large part on ignorance.
no knowledge of what "rendering" means... come on, expand your vocabulary.

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Darin Wade 4 years, 5 months ago

our corrupt community backed city goverment-douglas housing authority gave us homeless a voucher for 3 months no apartments were available to rent we couldn't renew our vouchers look at what my tax dollars do for me as a tax-payer they say that homeless people do not pay taxes-that such an ill observation when I pay what you call a sales tax so that the super liberal rich can own a hotel room with an expensive charge for $200 dollars a week for a hotel room.

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tanaumaga 4 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Darin Wade 4 years, 5 months ago

The cost of the building would create housing for dehoused indivduals so that they can have a home to leave instead of the shadow cast look of the late charlie manson ranch.

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Darin Wade 4 years, 5 months ago

"its looks like a concentration camp" familar housing of the late "Charlie Manson" Ranch, why dont the planning commision devise a icon for homeless shelter guest and place on the shirts and make a dress code that identifies all homeless individuals in Lawrence backed by anti-homeless resistance effort to counter-react dehoused troubled citizens who dont want to pay for a hotel room that cost $200 dollars a week.

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consumer1 4 years, 5 months ago

Are those dollar trees out front of the building?

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consumer1 4 years, 5 months ago

Don't be too hard on fallingwhilereading, he is a freshman and really has never lived on his own, payed taxes other than for his "happy meal". And remember he is getting educated by the same people he referrs to as Hicks. And his dad is paying us Hicks to edumukate his kid. har har har....

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fallingwhilereading 4 years, 5 months ago

did_ i Yes I do spend my time on my paper. I see you would fall into the pseudo Christian group. Its easier to tear down than lift up. Isn't that right did_i 50 Henderson needs how much money? Maybe he has already has the funds. I would bet he received most of the 1.5 threw HUD. Thats just a guess. Even though I have heard it from several good sources. The sources being outside of the city, and the shelter.

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bluerain 4 years, 5 months ago

Well if this relocation is approved, the downtown businesses and their patrons will be happy to see the patrons of the Lawrence Community Shelter moved. In any case, I hope they find a good home for the Community Shelter and it's patrons. One that will provide onsite services (i.e., mental health, substance abuse, case management, parenting classes, daycare, etc. Wrap around onsite services will help them get back on their feet. Hmmm, maybe the former steakhouse is too small after all.

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 5 months ago

fallingwhilereading (Anonymous) says… "This what is what I thought Kansas would act like. Pseudo Christians is all I have found in this State. What else should I expect from a bunch of Redneck Hicks. Bigoted and don't even know it."

fallingwhilereading (Anonymous) says… "Sorry was in a hurry This is what I thought Kansas residents would act like. I had a paper to get in before 6"

At least one ignorant student would be another possibility. I hope you did a better job checking the paper that was due.

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sierraclub 4 years, 5 months ago

What a place that nice, I want to be homeless!!

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macon47 4 years, 5 months ago

why worry?????? obama will fund it with taxpayers money it is called hope and change take the change out of the working class pocket and give it to the welfare rats

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50YearResident 4 years, 5 months ago

Before this project is ever built, Henderson needs to talk the residents of Lawrence into donating about $1,500,000.00 US. I think this is not going to happen.

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honestone 4 years, 5 months ago

Ain't nothing about Christians...even Pseudo Christians. It is simply what the wet shelter will do to the housing, shops and businesses that it is next to. Don't you see them pushing it out of downtown? Why do you think that is?

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barrypenders 4 years, 5 months ago

What a wonderful freebie. The grasshoppers will be pleased.

Darwin bless you all

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Dateable_Shelter_Dude 4 years, 5 months ago

"Painted Cement Panels" They should make sure those stay sealed or they are going to smell pretty bad once the surface becomes exposed to the eliminelements.

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fallingwhilereading 4 years, 5 months ago

Sorry was in a hurry This is what I thought Kansas residents would act like. I had a paper to get in before 6

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blue73harley 4 years, 5 months ago

Yep. And we love Nazi Zombies, too.

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fallingwhilereading 4 years, 5 months ago

This what is what I thought Kansas would act like. Pseudo Christians is all I have found in this State. What else should I expect from a bunch of Redneck Hicks. Bigoted and don't even know it.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 5 months ago

Renderings!?!?!?!?

Rofl ! This is KS...land of hog butchering. Are they gonna hire some cuzins and render them homeless out at the Farmland Industry Site?

I knew the commission was all about going green, and promoting local produce, but Soylent is going a bit too far!

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 5 months ago

"Community shelter leaders submit revised plan for new shelter, including renderings"

Did I ever read that headline wrong! I read through the article twice looking for a new program where the homeless would pay for this with a rendering plant.

Then, I realized the headline meant drawings.

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cheeseburger 4 years, 5 months ago

blue73-

Agreed, but when they involve people like Sabatini and Rockhill, that's what we end up with!

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blue73harley 4 years, 5 months ago

I've seen better looking pole barns.

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