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Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2011

County OKs parcel annexation by city

July 28, 2011

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Douglas County commissioners Wednesday reached a 2-1 decision to move forward with a plan to annex about 67 acres of property at the northwestern edge of Lawrence into the city.

The issue, which garnered a good deal of public opinion one week ago, was whether the annexation and probable rezoning of the land for industrial use would hinder the proper growth and development of the area. Commissioners Mike Gaughan and Jim Flory both voted in favor of the plan while Commissioner Nancy Thellman was opposed.

“I’m not convinced this property needs to be annexed into the city to be marketable,” Thellman said, visibly disappointed by the decision. “I think these neighbors have reason to be concerned.”

Thellman voiced her own concerns that the move to annex the property may be premature, as an interim plan for land use from the city contains no promises of city services.

The decision follows in the footsteps of others from the past several years, the most recent of which passed 2-1 last year, with Thellman alone in opposition. That decision concerned more than 50 acres directly east of the current property being considered.

Concerns regarding drainage issues and other developmental hurdles were addressed by the commissioners in favor, who said those items were related to pre-development and not pre-annexation. The land, which sits between the Kansas Turnpike and the Farmers’ Turnpike just east of the Kansas Turnpike’s Lecompton interchange, has already been identified for industrial uses in a sector plan in Horizon 2020.

The commission approved drafting a resolution consistent with the commissioners’ majority decision.

Comments

hipper_than_hip 2 years, 9 months ago

Is the annexation of active farm ground to build warehouses on the right thing for Douglas County? Is it proper to annex property that is two miles outside the current city limits and not extend city services to it?

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

merrill would rather people remain unemployed until jobs he approves of appear.

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Getaroom 2 years, 9 months ago

Merrill: have you ever talked to anyone in Ottawa who dislikes American Eagle Outfitters coming into their city? I have not although I am sure there are some, but I bet they did not need a job to feed and clothe a family. Would you kick AMAR out of the city now that they are here? AEO has at least doubled in size since moving to Ottawa and provided hundreds of jobs and yes, many of them at a lower pay scale, but if you have zero jobs you lose population, tax revenue and retail revenue. Of course living wages are better than lower wages, but we need to feed this community no matter what. Are you opposed to growth period or do you require all new businesses to be offering upper scale wages? Really, much of the time you make so much sense and are right on, but today you are on a rant.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

The more annexation the more our taxes increase.

Is annexation expanding our tax base or our tax bills? The city county has been annexing big time for the past 25 years with our taxes and user fees increasing all along the way.

Think of it this way. There is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned - annexation is draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

The next step will be the developers aka tax dollar moochers demanding taxpayer assistance for warehouses = more low wage salaries = never a payback to taxpayers.

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