To the editor:
A recent editorial by the Lawrence Journal-World took aim at the decision-making process involving the proposed Rock Chalk Park & Bliss Concession endeavors out on the sprawling edge of town to the west.
A few years ago, a “state of vagueness” began to creep into the approval process regarding The Oread hotel, when a previous neighborhood commercial and residential multifamily-zoned parcel was converted into a high-rise hotel, promising to have a food court and outdoor dining terraces for students at ground level in return for the TIF subsidy (tax increment financing) of the project by the City of Lawrence. Conformance to height requirements also reached a “state of vagueness” for The Oread.
Bauer Farm promised “smart growth” and a “new town” style development while also receiving TIF subsidies.
The proposed hotel and high-rise apartment building(s) at Ninth and New Hampshire have promised a prosperous economy as a reward for trampling over the historic environs review standards of the state of Kansas, while receiving TIF subsidies. The parking policies for the subsidized projects remain vague for these projects — somewhat akin to The Oread “valet parking” in a subsidized project.
The monumental subsidies of these projects come at a cost to the taxpayers. The city commissioners who supported these subsidies with a “state of vagueness” or political speak of “moving forward” to the approvals should not be re-elected.