Letter: Planning optional?

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.