To the editor:
I am genuinely disappointed by the planning commission’s recent recommendation against the proposed Southpoint Development.
Arguments against included: A development at the intersection of two major highways is not a good idea AND the Southpoint development deviates from the comprehensive plan. In addition is the seemingly desperate push by certain commission members to create a market for retail development near the Rock Chalk Park, an area not chosen by the public, an expenditure of public tax dollars not approved by the public and a zoned retail development area not chosen and to date spurned by all retailers.
At the July 21 planning commission meeting, the Mercato attorney expressed disapproval of the proposed Southpoint development solely because the project would be in noncompliance to the comprehensive plan. How many times has the comprehensive plan been amended since its inception? Didn’t the proposed Mercato development plan require and receive a change to the comprehensive plan? Why is this different?
The retail market is speaking to Lawrence citizens and our planning and city commissions through actions. Dick’s Sporting Goods goes to Iowa Street. Menards goes next door to Home Depot. Now Southpoint comes in asking for NO taxpayer subsidy in a locale where every retailer wants to locate.
The continuing attempt to force a market for a remote retail center by local developers and certain city and planning commission members is detrimental to local retail options and Lawrence taxpayers.