Archive for Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Environmental Chapter of Horizon 2020 approved by City Commission on 3-2 vote

June 8, 2011


The stage is set for new environmental regulations in Lawrence and Douglas County.

City commissioners on a 3-2 vote approved the Environmental Chapter of Horizon 2020 despite a deeply divided crowd that filled City Hall on Tuesday.

“The sky is not falling here,” Mayor Aron Cromwell told the crowd. “This isn’t going to be the end of business in Lawrence, Kansas.”

But the new chapter sparked multiple concerns from members of the Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence Board of Realtors, the Lawrence-Douglas County Home Builders Association and several area farmers.

“This chapter is perilously close to telling us what plants we have to plant,” said Mary Ross, who is part of a farming family in the Kansas River Valley north of Lawrence. “There are some real property rights issues here, and the agriculture community was left out of the planning process of this chapter.”

But city commissioners sought to calm fears that the chapter would create a multitude of new environmental regulations that would be stricter than existing federal and state laws. In fact, they said, the chapter doesn’t create any new regulations but rather lays out the specific areas where new regulations should be drafted in the future. All of those new regulations will have to receive approval either by city commissioners, county commissioners or both, depending on the regulations.

“I believe this whole chapter is just a goal and it sets out our aspirations for the future,” City Commissioner Bob Schumm said. “But it is important for the city to get on with this.”

Cromwell, Schumm and Commissioner Mike Dever voted to approve the chapter. Commissioners Mike Amyx and Hugh Carter voted against approval, saying they supported the idea of an Environmental Chapter but wanted to give stakeholders more time to comment on the proposal.

County commissioners previously approved the chapter on a 2-1 vote. Now the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department will begin creating a work list of new regulations that need to be developed as called for in the chapter. No timeline for the new regulations to be drafted and brought to commissioners was set. Instead, the regulations will be developed as funding and staff time allows.

Among some of the major new regulations expected to be drafted as a result of the new chapter are:

• Codes that would limit what type of development could occur near streams.

• Local protections for wetlands that would be in addition to the state and federal protections.

• Regulations aimed to protect woodlands and urban forests.

• Ordinances that would protect undisturbed and undeveloped pieces of plant and wildlife habitat.

• Codes that would protect prime agricultural soils from development.

• Regulations that would reduce the amount of mercury emitted by industrial producers.


lookandsee 6 years, 11 months ago

In August 2007 Lawrence joined the ICLEI which is an international association of local governments whose goal is to implement Agenda 21, a United Nations blueprint to advance Sustainable Development. Lawrence has gradually been implementing these rules where we gain sustainable development at the cost of the loss of individual rights and freedom. As ICLEI rapidly spreads across America and the world I urge everyone to research the ICLEI, what it truly represents and it's extreme cost of the loss of liberty.

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 11 months ago

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA here we all are four years later carrying around the balls and chains of gomerment tyranny and restrictions on our libertah.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh my God!

Sustainable development - the horror!

quimby 6 years, 11 months ago

Wow - you're so uninformed about ICLEI. I think YOU should do some research, sir or ma'm.

nativeson 6 years, 11 months ago

Horizon 2020 has become a parallel and restrictive development code. Written in 1996, it is no longer relevant as a document defining the aspirations of the community. Interpreting the document is impossible given its conflicting chapters due to 35+ amendments passed by multiple governing bodies over the last 15 years. It is time for a new plan.

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

Horizon 2020 was outdated the very day it rolled off the presses because it never took into account the huge growth experienced in the 1990's.

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

Smart Growth got a bad stigma about it so they changed the name to "Sustainable Development"

very crafty these left wing nut cases.

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

Isn't it time to have a city wide petition to change the way our city government is set up? Enough of the nuts running the asylum, you think? Ignorant amateurs trying to be professionals.

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

I agree. What we need are some real professional ignoramuses.

Random56 6 years, 11 months ago

I just love how liberals think they are they are gifted with an open mind. In my view anybody that pulls the rope for just one party and one view, is small minded and truely ignorant.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 11 months ago

Your saying we need a petition to get rid of the people we just elected? So we need protection from ourselves?

LivedinLawrence4Life 6 years, 11 months ago

You have got to be kidding me! Additional regulations are going to push the Lawrence area into further decline while Wyandotte takes our takes dollars due to all the retail growth they have encouraged.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget the little shopping area in Topeka. Great joints to eat, and a anchor Macys and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Hit I-70 zoom zoom zoom, you be there. Oh every once in a while we will hit the McHippy Fish shack and candle emporium types here in Lawrence. Hint local joints, turn down the A/C a bit, a stuffy 78 is not cool for business.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Jack, I would rather shop for sporting goods at a place having outboard motors, quality fishing gear, camping equipment, extreme clothing lines, and my spouse likes Macys. Apparently many others too.

Did you read that Jack, she likes Macys. She does not like Kohls. Repeat ?

If Lawrence had a few of these stores on 23rd st. I'd be happy to spend my money here. A small city the size of Lawrence with no full line sporting goods store. My my.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Where do you find places that are not cooled sufficiently?

In my experience, places routinely overcool in summer and overheat in winter.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

you birds do know retail tax revenue is falling and lagging behind other progressive cities around the state.

Hey, did you read where the new waterpark at the Legends received a top 5 rating?

No? I guess should be happy driving by the Army Corp Clinton Lake marveling at all the restrictive signage. Or wishing I knew somebody rich enough to own a boat there.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

I do not wish to name names, but think of a breakfast place downtown, Asian place on 23rd (even asked them to turn on ceiling fans last time in) I've witnessed managers turning down A.C. when lunch crowd comes in. A bit late mi amigo.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

That's 2 places - if you're telling the truth.

In my experience, places overwhelmingly overcool and heat, not the opposite.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Jack, they are running to JO-CO, the Legends and Topeka.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

True. Everyone complains about taxes in Lawrence, and high price of living, and not much big box shopping. Why live here? Do you know when you shop at the Legends you are paying a higher, special sales tax that doesn't go to the schools in Wyandotte county. It goes to the developers. So you thinking you are getting a really good deal on that sofa, but in the end you pay the same, because of the "special" tax district.

Andrew Reeves 6 years, 11 months ago

So, Wissmo, you think that your freedumbs and liberties are being violently stripped away because you can't find satisfactory places to shop? Boo - freakin'- Hoo!

conservative 6 years, 11 months ago

@jackripper. You obviously have more money than brains. Yes people drive to topeka and kc to do their shopping. Much larger selection and better prices are the reasons. Lawrence is no longer a "small" town, we are more than large enough to have a much larger retail base. If we would stop saying no to the opportunities presented and stop implementing unneeded new regulations to new businesses we could improve our tax base. The grand idea of becoming a bedroom community that was in vogue when horizon 2020 was created has been shown to be an economic loser. We have among the highest tax rates in the state as a result and that is continuing to make Lawrence a hard sell for new residents. And the new holy grail of these same nutjobs that have led us down the path is marketing us as a retirement community. With soaring property and sales tax rates we will not be attractive to those on fixed incomes. Now is the time to become more attractive to business (both industrial and retail) not less attractive.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 11 months ago

Today's forecast calls for moderate to intense pontification on this thread due to the presence of a high-pressure jackie-storm.

Kontum1972 6 years, 11 months ago

i likes the word............. WETTLANDS

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

Questions to all the people who are against sustainable growth: Do you really think it's ok to pollute waterways? Do you want a landfill in your back yard? Do you want mercury next door to your house? Who do you think will really protect you from businesses who want to pollute your air and water? Businesses only care about their profit, not about your health or the health of your children. Which of you is willing to house a toxic waste dump in your front yard?

It's not about hugging trees or saving the planet. Unless we find a way to blow up the entire planet; it's about saving the human race. Do you want a future for your grandchildren. I can't want until 2013, when the world has not ended, and the religious radicals will fade into the background, and we can start planning for the future. This crud about "the world is going to end soon, so what does it matter" is turning these times into another Middle Ages.

itwasthedukes 6 years, 11 months ago

Call it "sustainable" and the libs believe in it like a religion.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

And the "cons" think it's the work of the Devil.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

Answer my question above, itwasthedukes. Explain why companies should be allowed to pollute anywhere they want. Defend your position against this. Why is pollution a good thing? And would you be ok if mercury is poured into your waters? Would it be ok if a chemical plant moved next door to you? Is it ok if they just throw their waste in their back yard right across from yours?

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Jack, It's 2011, not 1955. You are not Billy Jack

There are so many environmental laws, redundant laws, and laws built on laws which are redundant. I think it's against the law to break wind near nesting migratory birds. The nation has more wildlife, more trees, more clean water than when we bad Europeans came a knocking.

Man o man have you got the head trip anger bad. Do you daydream about shutting down a nuke plant? Knock knock, 1965 calling they want angry environmental protester back.

Which would have you serving more time in jail. Dumping 5 gallons of battery acid in a river, or punching a cop? Somebody is going to dump what where nowadays? No way, business suicide now.

go ahead and help a neighbor, go ahead and help a friend, one tin soldier.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

You are dense, explains why you torture yourself in a town that doesn't live up

Can't afford to live like I do in Jo-co, I actually do get to see real nature up close everyday. Great neighbors too, none.

I love this area and absolutely believe the area is going downhill quickly. We have more than our share of pseudo do gooders filled with false science.

We are on the verge of setting laws based on Global Warming/Nuclear Winter/Climate Change/United Nations guidelines. This on top of Lawrence fame of being anti business in the first place.

Anybody, anybody anybody who takes a good honest look at Lawrence realizes how far we slipped. Do you remember how quaint the East side was? Mass Street was for shopping not glugging booze.

2011 economic times the way there are and we are doing our best to chase Olive Gardens and Lowes out of town. Everyday though, we have unemployed dependent on state local aide moving into our section 8 housing which increases the need for more tax revenue.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

This is perhaps the most unclear post I've seen yet from you.

The nature in Lawrence exists because we haven't overdeveloped it completely, but your attitude is to oppose regulations on development.

Also, while I agree that Lawrence has lost some of what I loved about it when I first moved here, most of that change is due to development and growth, which you support.

You can't have it both ways - if you value Lawrence for what it's managed to not become, then support the policies that keep it that way.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely not, for instance Mass Street has lost it's appeal. Hey, it maybe just me, but I do read where others feel the same way.

Used to love hanging there. Not a fan of gutbusting burgers, nor cheez wiz themed Mexican joints. Yes, I can understand it is a college town. Yet, we lost a cool bookstore recently. Not a fan of Target, nor Walmart, and not because they wish to take over the world.

Done this dance before explaining my views. Don't mind so here goes. Weavers is cool, but so isolated down there. Spouse can burn an hour or two there, I find little to do and wander over to the antique mall.

Great real life example, gonna happen next 48 hours.

Sadly, (for Lawrence) I am picking up a MLB Jersey gift in the next few days. 100 -150 bucks, and will probably pick up something else. My spawn wants St. Louis Pujols. (one of the top sellers nationwide) Called, and our downtown store Kansas Sampler and doesn't have it in his size. Nor was sure it was a replica or not. The store in O.P. does.

I will turn the leisurely back road drive into a stop at a meat market in De Soto after grabbing whatever catches my eye for lunch. Fun. Used to do stuff like that here all the time. Wish I could now.

Places like Rex have not been replaced. Used to stop in 3-4 times a month. Best Buy doesn't do it for me. The upscale audio store is cool, but very limited. One big ticket +- 3K, Rex blew them out of the water set up and delivered. For instance still using some cool Rex outdoor audio speakers purchased on sale, one day only for 70 bucks.

Will always cruise a K-Mart and loved the discount sporting goods. I enjoyed the Chinese place on 23rd for years before it began to go downhill. Even had a piano player on Friday. Cool beans, Lawrence at it's best.

Hated the prices, but Hereford House was excellent. Do like Biemers and some other newer joints, but feel Lawrence has lost the destination feel to me. Biemers for instance is a tough get to drive certain times a day. Iowa is perfect for shopping, well done Lawrence. Now we need to attract some destination places there.

Andrew Reeves 6 years, 11 months ago

Waaaaaaaah! My shopping experiences are ruining my life!!! What are you, a teenage girl from the '80's?

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Nope, but if you care about Lawrence you better pay attention, for from all reports more people like me are spending money other places.

There is only so much Lawrence can gain by sticking property owners with giant real estate taxes.

People begin to flee.

nativeson 6 years, 11 months ago

Pollution is not a good thing. However, it is assumed that this chapter of the comprehensive plan will have impact on sustainable development. It will not have the desired effect.

Our development code addresses almost all of the issues in Chapter 16 along with other federal and state law. What this chapter does is create another layer of confusion for City staff as well as give some in the community an ability to drive off interested parties.

Ironically, the primary driver of this chapter on the County commission approved the construction of the largest building ever to be built in Douglas County (Berry Plastics) with a set of County development regulations much less stringent than those in the City of Lawrence.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 11 months ago

tomatogrower (anonymous) replies… "Answer my question above, itwasthedukes. Explain why companies should be allowed to pollute anywhere they want. Defend your position against this. Why is pollution a good thing?" ========= TG: The answer is, "rules are bad for biddness." Just ask the Koch brothers, or visit Texas and check out some of the scenes down there that development has wrought. As this discussion suggests, there are no easy answers. We will pay for development one way or the other. Just one example:

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

I once had a discussion with a libertarian about pollution. He told me that the proper way to deal with it is to allow those people whose water and air is polluted to sue the company doing the pollution. This would make them think twice about pollution, because of all the money it would cost them. Naive, at best, deceptive at worse.

We already have that right to sue these companies, but these companies have boatloads more money than they need, so they can hire the lawyers, keeping the issue in courts for years, and pay the settlements. Money that could be spent on finding cleaner ways to do their business. I personally think if someone dies from polluted water or air, all of the executives should be charged with murder. Fines mean nothing to them. Jail time might make them think.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I've also had that conversation.

But, no answer when I asked who owned the air.

pace 6 years, 11 months ago

I am tired of supporting business cost out of my pocket. I sure don't want to donate clean water, clean air to their cause. It only drives medical care costs up.

2002 6 years, 11 months ago

This is the result that we get when those against these overbearing regulations have in their agenda to do nothing. After spending a lot of time in California seeing the impact of over reaching regulation, I have seen the impact of regulations run amok. But until the opposition stops responding with" there are no problems," "let's do nothing," there is no proof," "this will end business as we know it" and a general head in the sand response, the crazies will rule.

The real impact of costly over regulation is oppression of the poor. For example, if you raise gas tax and to fund the air quality bureaucracy (gestapo), the impact is to reduce the mobility of the poorer citizens; the fringe that barely make it. The left refuses to acknowledge this and the right seems to have no alternative other than business as usual.

2002 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, it is common for ideological elitists to express the evils of fossil fuels and how all problems would be solved if the world wasn't addicted to oil. I am 100% behind alternative energy. But the reality is that higher fuel prices limit the mobility of the poor in the United States and therefore limits their freedom and is oppressive.

The problem with the ideological elitists is that they want subsidies to oil to end but want subsidies for alternative energy sources to remain. Yes, there is oil subsidy but if nothing was subsidized oil would still reign supreme. It is an efficiency question. Lowering mobility will not increase the market for "sustainable energy." Furthermore, elitists are rarely the poor who will be stranded and isolated with increased gas prices.

There should be common ground for liberals and conservatives on energy policy. It should be to move towards the cheapest form of energy, move towards the cleanest form of energy reasonable and taking steps to reduce the dependency on foreign oil.

If you want to calculate in the cost of 'meddling" in other countries, fine. You also should calculate the cost of limiting oil exploration and production in the US and the cost of the environmental regulations that impact domestic production.

As a 70's environmental whacko, I think that this local policy seems like a pretty good idea. I ma concerned about the ICLEI approach as I believe it may be based in assumptions that are tied to flawed data. But I am ashamed by the environmental movement nationwide. Energy should be produced closest to the source. The main oil producer for the US should the the US. We should also look for other sources, but it is an absolute fact that environmental regulation is better in the US than in other Countries. A real environmentalist should be advocating for energy and most other manufacturing to be done in the US so the negative impact of ocean transport is reduced. Too many contemporary environmentalists are more concerned that things aren't done in their backyard.

2002 6 years, 11 months ago

You remind me of a some from my slam dancing days:

"Kill The Poor"

Efficiency and progress is ours once more Now that we have the Neutron bomb It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done Away with excess enemy But no less value to property No sense in war but perfect sense at home:

The sun beams down on a brand new day No more welfare tax to pay Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light Jobless millions whisked away At last we have more room to play All systems go to kill the poor tonight

Gonna Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight

Behold the sparkle of champagne The crime rate's gone Feel free again O' life's a dream with you, Miss Lily White Jane Fonda on the screen today Convinced the liberals it's okay So let's get dressed and dance away the night

While they: Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"The problem with the ideological elitists"

Translation-- Attention!! Strawman arguments to follow.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Well put 02. Logical thought in times like these is working poorer people must cut back, maybe the trip to Silver Dollar City will be moved to next year. This line of thought is not logical.

"the impact is to reduce the mobility of the poorer citizens; the fringe that barely make it"

The following incident has stuck in my memory.

In reality lower middle class folks are the group hit hardest. . The cold winter did the working poor group severe damage. More subtly, I ran into a fellow last year while filling my vehicle up.

Obviously a carpenter he moaned as the fuel went into his large pickup truck. He was moaning, there goes ?????'s birthday. We chatted.... between the large heating propane bill and having to drive to KC for work he was pouring any "extras" for his young family into the fuel tank that horrible cold morning.

As 2002 hinted, the guy was trapped like the majority. No extras, just trying to keep warm and work.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Jack, you should be placed in a museum. You are the Green Movement, you are the New World Order which is the same thing. Jack, my example alluded to the fact the poor carpenter had no choices, he was caught in a survival mode. If the poor man could walk to work my belief he would.

Why live in Lawrence? Probably no different than many here. One, I care for this little burg and wish to see Lawrence flourish. Can statistically confirm facts the Smart Growth chickens are coming home to roost. This town and subsequently the university are hurting.

Why Lawrence?

I have family roots in this area going way way way back. Why Lawrence? Perhaps the duty and honor of taking care of older relatives for one. We would never ever think government had a responsibility to care for our older generation. Would you Jack? Would you turn to welfare and make personal responsibility the job of government?

Unfortunately, this type of thinking, the 1960s JFK ask not what this country can do...........Is being replaced by gimme, gimme, gimme generations.

What if the carpenter simply said, enough is enough, claimed he had a bad back, filed for free heating, disability, food stamps, free health care, daycare, Section 8 housing, and all the other "free" services.

TANSTAAFL There aint no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody gonna pay or turn off the lights.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Bingo, More tax revenue from "big box" stores make it viable for people like you.

Or, make Lawrence a bedroom community and get it over with. Or, as some think Lawrence is some sort of social haven, then find a way to fund besides taxing the living hell out of those who do work, those who do own real estate.

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

Exactly what did this chapter do to restrict my freedom?? At most it provides for the generation of codes that still have to be individually approved. I suppose that if I had invested in growth in the area I might feel otherwise but do not the rest of us have some say in activity that certainly will affect us?

Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

We should start developing our next comprehensive plan, assessing our situation and defining a new direction for the community. 2020 will be here soon, and it takes a few years to develop a new plan. The chapters to Horizon 2020 are revisited every 5 years. It takes a year or two just to update one of those chapters. Bickering accomplishes nothing.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

Comprehensive plans are developed by community task forces working with the city/county planning department. If you want to make a difference, volunteer. Call the mayor, the city manager's office, or the planning department. See .

Commenting has been disabled for this item.