To the editor:
A front-page news item in the Feb. 2 Journal-World was titled optimistically “Developers revise plans for Ninth and New Hampshire hotel to respond to neighbors’ concerns.” The piece gave the developers plenty of opportunity to “look good,” as if they were being responsive to neighborhood concerns. As a resident on the 900 block of Rhode Island Street, I disagree.
The neighbors have made clear that the proposed building is far too massive to be next to our smaller-scaled residential neighborhood. Anything higher than three stories on the New Hampshire Street side or two stories on the back is too big in our view. We have made these concerns clear to the developers in several meetings, but we have seen no evolution of the design in response to our requests. The proposed building is still just too huge.
The Historical Resources Commission denied the initial request of the developers, because the design would impinge on the historical integrity of the adjacent National Historical District. The commission gave the developers clear instructions to use the height of the Lawrence Arts Center as their size standard, but the “revisions” cited in Journal-World left the design still almost TWICE as high as the arts center. We assume that the Historical Resources Commission, at its Feb. 16 meeting, will thus act appropriately and deny the developers’ revised proposal.