To the editor:
The most recent proposed change to the Bauer Farms project (replacing the currently approved residences with a big box store at Sixth Street and Folks Road) would be a gross violation of Horizon 2020 and should be rejected by the City Commission.
At the time the Bauer Farms proposal was originally approved, more retail space had already been allocated to Sixth and Wakarusa than allowed under Horizon 2020. The original Bauer Farms proposal was consistent with that allocation — but the amount of retail square footage was later significantly increased at the request of the developer.
The original Bauer Farms plan had commercial buildings located close to the street to create a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape — but this was subsequently changed at the request of the developer. The original Bauer Farm proposal included a residential neighborhood with front porches and a mix of housing types, within walking distance of the commercial part of the development — but now it looks like this, too, is mostly about to be eliminated.
Bauer Farms started out as a moderately progressive project, but is well on its way to becoming more of the same old suburban sprawl. If the new change is approved, it will secure Bauer Farms’ place as the most outrageous bait-and-switch development plan in this city’s recent history.