Archive for Friday, September 7, 2012

More planning

September 7, 2012


To the editor:

I just returned from an East Lawrence Neighborhood Association meeting, where I heard about another Compton-Treanor plan to remake the east side of downtown Lawrence. It is a huge seven-story building. The project is designed simply to guarantee maximum return to investors. All over again, the project is aimed at the well-to-do, and pays little attention to the desires of the local neighborhood.

During negotiations about the previous New Hampshire Street monster, many voices asked the City Commission to carry out a “district study,” which would represent the desires and needs of the downtown merchants, the east side and downtown residents, and the developers as well. Such a study would plan an effective and appropriate future for the New Hampshire Street corridor from 11th Street north all the way to the river. Such a plan would be much better than the current situation, in which Compton’s money drives each “next step,” rather than careful and intelligent planning. Needless to say, this request was ignored.

The new monster does not generate new markets or new constituents for Lawrence. Rather, it only creates more retail and apartment space that will further dilute rental rates elsewhere in Lawrence. It alienates the residents of east Lawrence, and destroys the historical integrity of the surrounding areas. Residents of Lawrence, can’t we say to Compton and his friends, “WAIT! We want to plan this out carefully, and find development solutions that are best for all involved”? Please, raise your voice and speak your mind.

Town Peterson,



Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Well said...

And SAY NO to further tax incentives on these new projects. If the projects cannot produce a profit on their own then don't build. The Free Market cannot work if tax incentives are giving new business a leg up over the competition. Taxpayers cannot afford tax dollar give aways in spite of what local politicians insist on doing.

When tax incentives are requested taxpayers should always be allowed to approve such incentives through the ballot process. It's time to bring on a Taxpayers Bill of Rights to protect our tax dollars.

East Lawrence is not saying no to new development necessarily they are asking for existing guidelines to be enforced instead of ignored. East Lawrence has long history of supporting new economic growth in the hood.

Planning and sticking to guidelines is the fiscally responsible approach. Let's be reasonable.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

This offers up some outstanding food for thought that taxpayers should keep in mind regarding local tax incentives and how they can impact our quality of life.

About local development Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston explains how tax incentives can impact the quality of life for local families.

"Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)." David Cay Johnston reveals how government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the local poor and the local middle class to the rich politically connected.

Excellent food for thought.

no_thanks 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes, centrally planned economies have fared well recently. A better solution would be for you to buy the ground and you can determine its future rather than trying to dictate to others what would be the best use of the ground. Compton and Treanors investments are great for downtown. Their investments have broughtb employees and residents to downtown, which will lead to further investments, including retail diversity, to serve the population. And, It is not Compton's job to maintain Rental rates. Besides, I would think this town would be all about more affordable rental units.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Yes, centrally planned economies have fared well recently."

So your solution is to turn central planning over to Compton and a few wealthy developers? That really makes a lot of sense.

no_thanks 5 years, 7 months ago

No, planning should be more about determining where we want indutrial, commercial, and, residential development to occur. It should not be a means for limiting competition. And The historical environs being impacted is a stretch. The hotel is on a vacant piece of ground, and the other building will replace an existing building with no residential neighbors behind them. You may not like a multistory building or the use of incentives (which I don't like either, but at least these incentives are paid by the developer not the City and recouped over time with a higher sales tax), but to make the other arguments are disingenuous.

Getaroom 5 years, 7 months ago

Compton/Treanor for President/Vice President of Lawrence!! They must reading tips from Willard Romneys Q cards on how to get rich quick, sure worked out well for him.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 years, 7 months ago

I do not know how it got started, but why are many streets now corridors? Why is something popular now viral?

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