Archive for Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Editorial: Village vision

Plans for a large “retirement” or “intergenerational” village in Lawrence deserve more discussion before the city makes any financial commitment.

February 12, 2013


A request for city funds to get the ball rolling on a proposed retirement village deserves to be pulled off the consent agenda for tonight’s Lawrence City Commission meeting.

The city is being asked to spend up to $12,500 to help draw up the paperwork for a new nonprofit organization intended to develop a plan for a “retirement village” in Lawrence or Douglas County. It isn’t a huge amount of money — at least at this point — but city approval of the funding would at least imply an endorsement of a project that city taxpayers know very little about. The proposed project deserves more discussion and public input before the city approves even a small investment in moving it forward.

The project apparently has grown out of the vision of City Commissioner Hugh Carter and Kansas University Professor Dennis Domer to create an intergenerational village that would attract KU alumni to retire in Lawrence. According to documents that accompany tonight’s agenda, Carter and Domer envision a village that would be 20 to 60 acres and be a partnership of a number of entities, including the city, the county, KU and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. About 50 to 60 percent of the project would be a not-for-profit “continuing care retirement community” for people 62 and older and would include facilities for independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and memory care.

The initiative is being presented as part of an overall strategy to try to address the city’s goal of attracting more retirees to the community, but it raises a number of questions that should at least be discussed before the city agrees to invest. What will the city’s involvement be in the development or ongoing operation of this project? The “continuing care” part of the development seems in direct competition with other private and nonprofit facilities that already operate in Lawrence. Is that something the city should do? There also is some question whether a large development of this kind is what the community had in mind when city officials agreed to an effort to attract retirees.

We understand that the city funding up for approval tonight represents only a small step, but it looks like the first step in something that could become a very large project. City officials and taxpayers need more details about where this train is headed before jumping on board.


William McCauley 5 years, 4 months ago

After watching Judy Bellome in the public forum state at least 5 times of not more, that she is a collaborator..... nice use of code words to say she will sign off on what ever BS comes down the pike on this project or any other of the little insider chamber driven pet project that wastes tax payer monies.

Those pushing this lame brain idea are a bunch of clowns... if this is such a good idea let them go find the needed seed money in the private sector! Hey Hugh get clue and get your money grubbing hands off the tax payer pocket book for your lame agenda and find your own money to fund this crap.

That place out in front of FS high school is not even full, I bet Brandon woods in not full as well, if there are so many old folks wanting to come here for the golden years, then why are the current compounds half empty? Because old people like to go south to the warm weather, those that can afford it.

Catalano 5 years, 4 months ago

OMG! You caught the COLLABORATE message, too! I feel so very validated. Thank you.

bring_JOHN_BROWN_back 5 years, 4 months ago

Is this commission meeting open to the public? If so, where?

Carol Bowen 5 years, 4 months ago

Tuesday's, 6:30 pm, City Hall, 6th and Mass. You can request the item be pulled from the consent agenda.

bevy 5 years, 4 months ago

Take the above editorial, substitute "new sports complex" for "retirement village" and re-print it. There, J-W, just saved you some work.

Fact is, older folks on fixed incomes often can't afford to retire in high-priced Lawrence. Why can't the city go back to doing what they are supposed to do - you know, fixing the sewers, water lines, and giving out lots and lots of pretty yellow parking tickets?

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