Letters to the Editor

Still too tall

February 15, 2012


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.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

One point of view, not necessarily valid, is that if you do not like the proposed use of someone's private property, you are free to purchase it and construct a structure more to your liking.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

"not necessarily valid,"

Remove the "necessarily," and you have an accurate phrase.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Or maybe she could just buy a 50,000 watt PA system, aimed at the new hotel, and play Metallica 24/7.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 3 months ago

The rights of one property owner should not infringe upon the rights of another. The proposal does not even come close to the city's development code. Some developments happen with no complaints, CVS comes to mind. There are very few, because we waiver in our resolve to follow our code.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the local neighborhood association should buy the land, run a garden hose through it and call it a wetland. That ought to delay improvement for a half century or more.

grimpeur 6 years, 3 months ago

Or Ms. Salazar could open a strip mine. Or start nuclear testing. Or fracking. It's her private property, after all. I wonder: would the hotel appreciate any of these pursuits next door, or would the hotel protest that these activities are detrimental to its property value, let alone its business?

If Ms. Salazar want to start a heavy industry on her property, she is must either pursue these enterprises in an appropriate place (find another location), or engage in activities that are appropriate for the location.

Same for the hotel, which should provide their own underground parking and make 20% of the spaces available for public use 24/7 (not that there's a shortage of parking downtown).

Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

The fact of the matter is the neighborhood is a viable stakeholder for it is the neighborhood that is impacted.

The other concern: Why are developers blowing off respectable advisory bodies that have denied the initial design and the suggested a three story height as the guideline? That is not a no to economic development.

The east Lawrence neighborhood is not known as a no to economic development. In fact over the years this neighborhood has consistently been open to mixed use.... within reason.

If the developers cannot make a profit on a three story building at this location perhaps it is they that should withdraw. To the best of my knowledge the developers have yet to purchase the property.

Not only that two weeks ago the neighborhood asked the City Commission to design an economic plan for the New Hampshire corridor before approving any further new development. This is an excellent suggestion that would in fact remove the no plan policy aka "Helter Skelter Development". The neighborhood recognizes the economic development potential which is why the New Hampshire Corridor Economic Development Plan was requested. Makes big time dollars and sense.

Taxpayers should stand by the East Lawrence residents for bringing the New Hampshire Corridor Economic Development Plan concept to the floor. It is smart thinking and a fiscal responsible approach.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 3 months ago

The neighborhood should not bear the responsibility for code enforcement. This is a city responsibility. If the city continues to waiver in its code enforcement, it will affect other neighborhoods in the future. This is an unstable environment for development and homeowners.

2madre 6 years, 3 months ago

It's been very clear that the Developers have gone to extensive lengths and made great effort to meet with the residents and adjust the design as mush as possible to try and meet them in the middle. I've been following this story and it seems to me that no matter what anyone does, there will always be that contingency that will say, "not in my back yard" to any kind of development or change in the area. Time to wake up and realize that you live near a successful downtown area where change is necessary in order to maintain the survival of the vibrant, active downtown area that I'm sure all of the whiners enjoy. If you don't like living so close to a downtown area, I have a great idea for you. Move. Of course my bet is that all this complaining and whining is based off the goal of getting money from the Developers to pay for your neighborhood improvements. Extortion is always a good way to go, right???

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