Douglas County commissioners will vote on a 51-acre land annexation request at their meeting today.
The land in question is located at the southwest corner of N. 1800 Road. Because the plot is not adjacent to the city, it is an island annexation, which requires county approval before the Lawrence City Commission can move forward to approve or deny annexation.
The plot is surrounded by residential dwellings. Many homeowners with nearby properties are not pleased, largely because of the proposed use of the land. The plot is slated for general industrial, which allows for intense industrial development.
“We think the annexation is inappropriate for a number of issues,” said Ron Schneider, the attorney representing Scenic Riverway Community Association. “Proposed use is a major concern, but it is not the only one.”
However, the city’s Planning and Development Division encourages approval, saying many of the industrial-zoned areas in Lawrence are not ready for site development.
Tom Kern, president of Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said Lawrence doesn’t have enough land to attract businesses or industries that are looking for property.
The pocket of land by Farmers Turnpike is ideal for industrial development: it has class-two soils, minimal slope, and access to the highway.
The location of the site is one reason the Douglas County Kaw District opposes the annexation. Price Banks has suggested that the county issue a study that would gauge the impact of land development on local flooding.
Until such a study is executed, the Kaw District will oppose annexation.
Study or no study, county commissioners have pledged to come to a decision at tonight’s meeting, 6:35 p.m. at Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.