Letters to the Editor

Not opposed

February 12, 2011


To the editor:

There’s been no neighbor opposition to a new store on Dillons' Massachusetts Street property. Everyone wants a new store yesterday. Neighbors also are not responsible for the pace of the approval process. It’s been slow because Dillons proposed site plan was complicated and required three individual boards/commissions to approve features outside city code.

While the Barker Neighborhood completely supports a new Dillons store, many of us do have concerns about the proposed site plan and believe it’s best to address them while we can. The property was developed in the early ’60s, before Lawrence created development codes. It’s lasted 50 years and, for too many of those years, has been a liability to Barker’s environment, street safety and property values. The new store must reverse that. It’s not only time for a new day for Dillons. Barker must have a new day, too.

Those of us working on these issues understand we will not get our dream — which would be a different plan, with a store facing Massachusetts Street, the drive-through pharmacy contained within the parking lot and no loading dock on Massachusetts Street. Thankfully, the slower process has allowed for several meetings between Dillons, neighbors and city staff, and we’re beginning to see positive results.

The new Dillons’ impact will reach far beyond new food, jobs, walls and landscaping. We hope Dillons/Kroger’s will demonstrate real commitment to the success of Lawrence’s in-town communities by continuing to work with neighbors toward a win-win for all.


Liberty_One 7 years ago

What gives you any right to tell Dillons how to build their store?

VTHawk 7 years ago

Lack of an understanding of "free enterprise"?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I agree-- just let them build whatever they want, and then sue them if you don't like it.

Isn't that how it's supposed work, LO?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

According to your the only "right" any of us has is to sue each other continuously.

grimpeur 7 years ago

First time in the city, then? Maybe you can find someone to show you how things work.

Seriously, though: false premise, apparently intentionally so. Nobody is telling them how to build their store.

But you knew that.

Neighbors are making their concerns known and Dillon's is listening. It's called being a good neighbor, which is the point of the process and of the codes of any city.

After all, why should I be restricted from strip mining or nuclear testing in my backyard?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

According to LO, you should be able to do those things-- and anything else you want. The only thing that would stop you is the fear that your neighbors will sue you if it hurts them (and he'd be one of the attorneys hired to sort it all out.)

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

"We, the people, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure Domestic Tranquility.....promote the general Welfare....."

You could start there.

It is, after all, not: "I, me, in order to realize each of my own desires and promote my interests above any other...."

verity 7 years ago

Doesn't sound to me like they're telling Dillons how to build their store. They're addressing issues they have and Dillons seems to be listening and they're working towards compromises. Isn't that how it's supposed to work? Don't the neighbors have the right to try to address issues which may harm them?

pace 7 years ago

Good letter, puts the situation into perspective. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Taxpayers are always legitimate stakeholders no matter what. Taxpayers are also neighbors and customers.

pace 7 years ago

I wish they LJW hadn't put their trash and dock on our main street. It was pretty weird.

Thunderdome 7 years ago

The problem is LibertyOne, you are not a taxpayer. As I have pointed out previously, since you don't live here, your opinion doesn't matter. Pay taxes here, then you can weigh in. I am not trolling East coast papers telling you how to live your life...stop telling us how to live ours.

irvan moore 7 years ago

i think a vast majority of the area residents like the plan the way it is, huge improvment for the neighborhood. it will be impossible to please everyone but i think Dillons has made the effort to be a good neighbor.

Bill Getz 7 years ago

A good balanced letter. It appears that Dillons has consulted with the neighborhood enough to satisfy some of their concerns, while standing their ground on others. The absence or obsolescence of a grocery store serving the east side of town would contribute to the deterioration of a neighborhood which already faces blight and is losing businesses.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Sheesh, somebody find where Liberty_One lives and build a hog farm next door.

Jimo 7 years ago

MMMMmmmm... smells like mo ney!!!

Sorry, but in Lib's mind, sin entered the world when God formed the first government (it was a dictatorship) and told Adam and Eve they couldn't do whatever the hell they wanted. It's been downhill ever since.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

"If your hog farm becomes a nuisance, then you are violating my rights. "

And you get to define nuisance? I don't think so, hog boy.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Really, a third party arbitrator? You mean like what is happening with Dillons and its neighbors right now?

Yeah, I'm the dumb one. Seriously, tell us where you live so we can set that hog farm up next door.

windex 7 years ago

But why not try to hammer out a win-win situation FIRST, before winding up unhappy and in arbitration? Wouldn't you rather Bob Keeshan approach you about the hog farm first and try to do it in a way that doesn't negatively impact you instead of him doing it in an inconsiderate manner and then you taking him to court over it? Or do you not talk to real, living people; just their anonymous avatars?

spiderd 7 years ago

Isn't that what's going on here?

notajayhawk 7 years ago

"I wonder if you are just being a jerk or are genuinely that ignorant"

In the case of our dear Captain, the two are most definitely not mutually exclusive.

"Are you drunk?"

And neither was that.

Tony Kisner 7 years ago

"Those of us working on these issues understand we will not get our dream" - Your dream is possible. Buy the location from Dillions and build your dream.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

So when it doubt, take it to a third party such as the governing board charged with approving the project.

So it sounds like Libery_One has come around from the original post and now clearly is arguing the neighbors have the right to work with Dillons on this project.

Lest, of course, someone build an unfettered hog farm next to Liberty_One's kitchen.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Nobody is making up the words that you post. Just because you don't see an invasion of property rights doesn't make it so.

What right do you have to define what the invasion of property rights is? As you said above, you have no right to determine if the hog farm I built next to your kitchen is a nuisance.

According to your post, you do have a right to go to a third party. Do these neighbors not have the same rights you have, simply because you disagree that their property rights are being invaded?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

I don't have to name one. The neighbors feel their rights are being invaded. They have the right to go to a third party.

My opinion on this matter has nothing to do with their rights as property owners.

Your opinion has nothing to do with it, either.

jafs 7 years ago

I really don't see the neighbors "telling" Dillon's what to do here.

They're expressing their concerns, as part of a process that Dillon's initiated by arranging for a meeting with them.

They have valid concerns about the impact of certain decisions Dillon's may make, and Dillon's (if they want people to shop there and have a good relationship with the neighborhood) has a reason to take them into account if it's not a hardship for them.

This seems exactly like the sort of mutual consideration designed to avoid problems down the road.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

And that is Liberty_One's problem, a complete failure to recognize that the neighbors have the right to express their concerns, and nobody else has the right to tell them they can't.

Just as Liberty_One would have the right to express concerns about my hog farm, and no one would have the right to say he can't.

The merit or substance of the concerns is moot.

The right of the property owner to express them is the issue, and continuously Liberty_One has said these property owners have no rights, despite continued protestations that he has the right to dispute the hog farm I built next to his kitchen.

Rights for Liberty_One but not for those he disagrees with. That pretty much sums it up.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

And you get to determine that. All hail the powerful Liberty_One.

Enjoy that hog farm.

verity 7 years ago

The problem with the scenario of my right to build a hog farm and then have arbitration when the neighbor doesn't like it is that by the time the neighbor complains and the project goes to arbitration, I may have invested a large amount of money in said project and already have polluted the ground water. I grew up around this sort of thing.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

I don't know why you insist on being insulting. These neighbors are exercising their rights under hundreds of years of property law, but you continue to insist they don't have that right.

You disagree with their claims, that's fine. That's doesn't mean they don't have the right to state their case, as you continue to insist.

Much like you would have the right to claim the hog farm outside your kitchen was a nuisance. Same rights the property owners are exercising.

It is shocking you can't comprehend that. Why on earth do you continue to insist these property owners don't have rights?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

In what way are the neighbors commanding Dillon's what to do? They are merely making their case to a third party.

jafs 7 years ago

If everybody were smart and considerate, things would be a lot better.

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

The problem is, people with enough money can run roughshod over people who don't have as much. A big corporation can make changes near my property that will have negative impacts on me and my neighbors, but we don't have the financial or legal resources to counter them. Therefore, we form neighborhood collectives and petition government zoning authorities as well as direct communication with the corporation to come to resolutions that will allow development with minimal negative impact.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

"So on the one hand we have the real property rights of Dillons to use their property as they see fit with and on the other a fictional, undefined property right that Bob is alluding to, but refusing to name because then he would out himself as a fraud."

This is why analogies are useful. So, to repeat:

On the one hand, we have the real property rights of Liberty_One's neighbor to build a hog farm next to Liberty_One's kitchen as they see fit.

On the other, we have Liberty_One's correct assertion that he and his hog farm building neighbor can go to a third party to resolve Liberty_One's concerns about how his neighbor is utilizing his property, i.e. to build a hog farm.

Then we have Liberty_One's continued insistence that those who live next to Dillon's don't have the same rights Liberty_One has when dealing with his neighbor's hog farm.

And insults, lots of insults, about how everybody else is stupid.

Unanswered question - why does Liberty_One insist these neighbors of Dillons' don't have the same property rights he has as the neighbor of a hog farm?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Lookit pal, here's your problem:

Liberty_One (anonymous) replies… "No one's rights are being violated here by the design of the store. Just because someone wants the store built a certain way doesn't give them the right to do anything about it. Only when their rights are violated can they put a stop to anything, morally."

It isn't for you to decide if their rights will be violated by the design of the store, you are not the third party arbiter. Here is your misunderstanding of property rights -- over hundreds of years in this nation, our society has decided it is better to work out differences over property in advance than to try and make changes after the fact.

These neighbors feel their property is being, in your term, violated. In their eyes, the design of the store is, in your terms regarding the hog farm, a nuisance.

As you posited in this thread, the sensible thing to do is to seek agreement BEFORE construction. These people are, in your words, working out their differences in advance. Look carefully -- these are your words, not anyone else's, and they are exercising their rights to work out differences in advance.

They have the right, as you posited yourself, to go to a third party to resolve their differences with Dillon's. Again, these are your words -- to go to a third party and resolve differences.

You have successfully argued in this thread for the neighborhood's right to act to protect their property, yet you continue to say they don't have the right.

Why? Why can't they act on the various points you have said are a right? You clearly state you have the right to do all the things these neighbors are doing. Why don't they have the same rights you have claimed for yourself in this thread?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Still can't answer a simple question? At least you have your insults to fall back on, even when you're insulting your own words.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

You have an odd way of admitting you were wrong.

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