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Archive for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Letter: Planning optional?

March 20, 2013

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To the editor:

Do Lawrence taxpayers want a helter skelter planning document as the plan for the future of this fine community?

On March 25, item TA-12-00206 will come before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission: “Consider Text Amendments to the City of Lawrence Land Development Code, Chapter 20, various articles, to change the requirement that development projects be required to comply with Horizon 2020. Initiated by City Commission on 8/21/12.”

This is a concern for myself and I would think for all taxpayers as stakeholders. Every community needs development guidelines for sake of continuity and fiscally responsible management of our tax dollars.

The quality of life in our neighborhoods and the downtown business district are important factors as well. More than half all Americans live in areas where the air is unsafe to breathe. Is this what Lawrence wants for Lawrence?

Helter skelter development wastes tax dollars. It pulls tax dollars away from existing neighborhoods and spreads them out over new developments that increase demand on services. Taxpayers want to make sure we tie increased fees/taxes to when the demand is being generated — NOT cart before the horse.

Historically the revenues generated by new residential housing do not pay for the many services they require from a municipality. This leads to degradation of our older neighborhoods and, contrary to popular belief, leads to higher taxes.

Residential taxes on the east side of town should not be subsidizing development on the west side of town. East-side taxes should be revitalizing the east side, with extremely few exceptions.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year ago

Do Lawrence taxpayers want a Laissez Faire planning document as the plan for the future of this fine community? I think not.

This is but one request to eliminate guidelines. Where or when will it stop? Is eliminating guidelines a precedent Taxpayers want on the books that can come back to haunt us at the next request?

This is a concern for myself and I would think for all taxpayers as stakeholders. Every community needs development guidelines with teeth in them for sake of continuity and fiscally responsible management of our tax dollars.

The quality of life in our neighborhoods and the downtown business district are important factors as well. Those two factors would also be at stake under any Laissez Faire policy. Let’s not pretend

Laissez Faire development wastes tax dollars. It pulls tax dollars away from neighborhood concerns and spreads them out into new development that may or may not be necessary anytime soon.

Taxpayers would likely prefer to have a clear cut guideline in place rather than leave the future of our fine city in the hands of who? This is not streamlining this is shirking responsibility

Failure to follow a clear and concise planning document might well promote degradation of our older neighborhoods, the family style downtown and contrary to popular belief lead to higher taxes.

Again this is but one request to eliminate guidelines. Where or when will it stop? Is eliminating guidelines a precedent Taxpayers want on the books that can come back to haunt us at the next request?

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Richard Heckler 1 year ago

A good vote took place March 25th at the Planning Commission out of respect for predictability,out of respect for those many who spent many many hours developing Horizon 20/20 and out of respect for what the process is there for. In essence it was agreed upon to not change a process that is not broken.

Not only that some information came out of the meeting regarding the unfriendliness of Lawrence toward developers. It's a myth. According to a member of the Planning Commission who has been researching this issue Lawrence is considered quite a friendly community towards the building industry. This commissioner is an owner of residential and commercial properties who believes in Horizon 20/20 and believes Lawrence needs a planning document such as Horizon 20/20.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the request.

Lawrence,Kansas cannot be unfriendly toward the building industry which is documented by the fact none have left town in search of that elusive " more friendly " environment.

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Katara 1 year ago

"Residential taxes on the east side of town should not be subsidizing development on the west side of town. East-side taxes should be revitalizing the east side, with extremely few exceptions."

Really?

Just more of the us v. them politics. You are no different than the current Kansas Republican Party.

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