Archive for Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Planning commission recommends approval of rec center zoning

A rendering provided by the city of Lawrence of what a recreation center northwest of town might look like.

A rendering provided by the city of Lawrence of what a recreation center northwest of town might look like.

May 22, 2012


A proposal to build a major recreation complex at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway has cleared another hurdle.

Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioners at their Monday meeting recommended approval of a request to rezone the property to a heavier commercial zoning category, which is a requirement for a new recreation complex.

The rezoning issue now will go to the Lawrence City Commission in the next couple of weeks for final consideration.

Monday’s vote by the Planning Commission involved creating a new commercial zoning designation to accommodate the proposed public-private recreation complex. The designation calls for the entire intersection of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway to become a CC 600 commercial center. The designation would allow a total of 600,000 square feet of commercial space to be built at the intersection. Under the current zoning, only 400,000 square feet of commercial space can be built at the intersection.

Specific plans for the proposed recreation complex haven’t yet been submitted, but concept plans have included a 180,000-square-foot center to house multiple gyms and other amenities. The complex also would include an outdoor track and field complex that could possibly host the Kansas Relays.

The city will host a public meeting on the project at 6:30 p.m. June 6 at Free State High School.


COjayrocks 6 years ago

Any chance we can see the uncropped rendering? Would be nice to see how that actually fits on the parcel--hard to tell without seeing beyond their rendered edges.

repaste 6 years ago

Outdoor concerts. Ouch. Late night noise. The Wak was 3 miles away and still thumped into the night. This would seem to need more than one entrance to US40.

softsun 6 years ago

Go Lawrence - Best Set of County and City elected officials Lawrence may ever harness! Doing all 3 projects and more - Tournament Center, a City owned recreation center for all of Lawrence; Downtown long term stay hotel and apartments providing their own parking; now City owned east side clean up transforming into progressive development sites. No longer the sleepy town of the 1950 where you couldn't find a hamburger, now giving the skyline something beyond a grain elevator and micro wave tower - preserving both depots and focusing on history of how we arrived at this point. Today it is too late to ignore the progress in Lawrence AND the KU Olympic Village is coming to life as we "Town and Gown" all work together! It is easy to get behind these great projects! Lawrence, an E ticket ride - Come along - GO Lawrence!! "Bright Before Us Like a Flame."

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

This project likely has many other hurdles beyond the politicians. Tax dollars are being being spent as if this is the KCMO/JoCo tax base. How is this city going to get paid back on this project and the $20 million USD 497 sports project?

As it was explained taxpayers are not getting 50 acres of usable property. More like 25 acres. This is more about selling real estate in Northwest Lawrence than a gift to taxpayers.

While developers pay for some water, sewer and road infrastructure, it is still costly to pay for offsite upgrades needed such as roads,intersections,traffic signals, sidewalks etc etc etc.

And maintenance for all of it.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Face it we on the east side of town have been subsidizing the growth caused by the development in the west part of town. This mini indoor stadium is a long way from east Lawrence.

The western part of town is where the greatest residential growth is being seen. There has been so much growth in recent years that the city has to inflate property values to cover the cost of mismanagement. That is a direct result of helter skelter growth.

Lawrence needs smarter and larger impact fees which are legal to protect taxpayers across the board in an effort eliminate pork barrel spending of our tax dollars. Most builders understand impact fees are for a purpose that improves their development.

In order for the city to have orderly growth, developers need to be responsible for the cost of infrastructure as a result of their profiteering. Most builders understand impact fees are for a purpose that improves their development = worth way more money.

mdlund0 6 years ago

Bullsh!t. New development on the west side of town ends up paying special assessment taxes on their property for years to decades to compensate the city for the additional expense incurred adding infrastructure.

Jayhawk1958 6 years ago

You're building something that the majority can't use. Most of it will be for tournaments, scheduled programs and acitivities, and other money making events as the existing recreation facilities currently do. Will be interesting to see the schedule on how much time individuals get to use the facility on a drop-in basis. And no one has mentioned anything about user fees, which pretty much eliminates lower income and poor from using it. Its based entirely for a select minority and special interest groups. Who wants or can travel clear out from east Lawrence to there?

Matt Schwartz 6 years ago

Why can't you travel from the west side to the nature center?

Vaildini 6 years ago

This is probably true but that should free up the gyms at the schools in our neighborhoods. Those are the gyms that our kids can get to easiest.

Andrew Boyd 6 years ago

finally west lawrence will get something. maybe the divide between east and west will finally go away.... oh wait who am i kidding this is lawrence the east side feels so screwed over all the time that they forget the west side of this town is even here. this town cannot continue to operate as two separate sides we must come together and share our resources west lawrence needs the same types of things that east lawrence already has. perhaps a library should be built with this complex??? would be a great way to balance the complex and give west lawrence access to a library.

pizzapete 6 years ago

I think we'd do better making anything West of Iowa part of East Topeka.

LadyJ 6 years ago

Curious as to what the body of water is, just for decoration?

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years ago

I am guessing some type of run off retention to offset all of that asphalt for the parking lots.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Any Oregon Trail set-asides; the trail crossed this property and the Elkin Prairie to the East!

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

This is a great project in the worst possible location. Here is why.

1) these community/public facilities are proposed for a site not on a current public transit route. 2) this site promotes sprawl by further extending utilities west of k10/SLT. 3) since some KU fields are proposed for this development and both KU and the city want to build a new interchange at K10 and Bob Billings to serve as a new gateway to KU it would make sense to locate this off Bob Billings. 4) there are no schools proposed for this site that could colocate near this site which I think may be in the Perry Lecompton, not Lawrence school district. 5) the site plan calls for more retail off US 40. This is what we did with free state high school and Bauer farm which ain't exactly working out as planned. 6) we don't need more retail here. There is enough vacant retail space in town now. 7) etc...

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

Did I mention the difficulty of walking to this site from the rest of town?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

How about north of 6th and east of k10. There are thousands of undeveloped acres there.

How about north of bob billings and east of k10.

How about on land already owned by KU east of Kasold.

Should I go on?

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