Archive for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Douglas County Commission expected to make decision on land annexation at N. 1800 Road

December 1, 2010


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.


Audrey Nagy 7 years, 4 months ago

The land is at the "SW corner of N 1800 road"..."By the Farmer's Turnpike"...what's the crossroad? Where, on N 1800 road, is this SW corner located?

chansirlong 7 years, 4 months ago

The property is located on the south side of N. 1800 and on the west side of E. 1000 Road

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Taxpayers do not need nor can we afford this action. We cannot afford to annex land at the request of a developer!

The bottom line is that new development is costing us money.

Suburban sprawl has been rightly blamed for many things: destroying green space, increasing air and water pollution, fracturing our neighborhoods and forcing us to drive gridlocked roads for every chore. But there is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned - sprawl is draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

Sprawl is the result of over five decades of subsidies paid for by the American taxpayer. These range from the obvious to the obscure and include big projects-like the billions we spend on new roads as well as smaller ones-like the tax-breaks that encourage businesses to move to the edge of town. We've subsidized sprawl at such a basic level for so long, that many people believe the status quo is actually fair and neutral. This is false-what we think of as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of sprawling development.

How we subsidize sprawl:

* building new and wider roads
* building schools on the fringe
* extending sewer and water lines to sprawling development
* extending emergency services to the fringe
* direct pay-outs to developers

How do we subsidize sprawl? Through an array of state, local and federal programs-and through incentives built into the develop-ment process itself. Over the past 50 years, we have built almost 4 million miles of highways. This massive network of roads has done more than speed us from point A to point B - it has reshaped the landscape by opening up rural areas to suburban development and it has reshaped our society by making the car king. Travel by car has become not just another option-in too many places, it has become the only option.

The growth of suburban sprawl, though aided by federal spending, is also the product of decisions at the state and local levels. The corporate enticement game-played by everyone from governor to county supervisor-encourages commercial development far from cities and towns. Over the past few decades, corporations have become increasingly skilled at playing one community against another in an effort to wrest greater perks from state and local governments. Big-box retailers and isolated business parks are unwittingly subsidized by our own tax dollars.

Most new, sprawling development costs more to build and service than the taxes or fees it generates. When a new residential or commercial development is built outside of an existing community, roads, sewer systems and water lines have to be built. As the development expands, it requires schools and emergency services. Where does the money for all this come from? In most cases, neither the developers nor the new residents pay their full, fair share - it is the rest of us who make up the difference. The bottom line is that new development is costing us money.

irvan moore 7 years, 4 months ago

i thought we just aquired the toxic waste dump on the east side of Lawrence to attract industry to Lawrence?

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