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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Afraid of growth

August 12, 2014

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To the editor:

Well, Lawrence, here we go again. Apparently, Lawrence is back in the mode of turning away commerce. We are spending more on police, sewers and road maintenance while raising current residential and commercial property taxes. The Southpoint development will bring 700-plus jobs, millions in sales tax, hundreds of thousands in property tax and, yet, our planning commissioners don’t want to allow it.

They will approve an apartment complex that needs an 85 percent tax abatement, but they won’t approve a retail development that is asking for no abatement, no special financing and no special tax district.

So, raise the taxes and the mill levy, because we are once again afraid of growth.

Comments

Larry Sturm 4 months, 1 week ago

I agree city hall is only looking at their own interests.

Larry Sturm 4 months, 1 week ago

Maybe one of the big box stores might put a warehouse in the new business park if they would just think ahead a little.

Michelle Reynolds 4 months, 1 week ago

This is the smartest editorial I have read in a long time! You should say this to the commissioners.

Kendall Simmons 4 months, 1 week ago

Apparently the letter writer and most (if not all) of the folks commenting so far didn't read the J-W the other day to learn why the commissioners aren't supporting the southern development, i.e. they've committed our money to Mercato by the sports park so want to encourage retail development THERE, in the northwest part of the city...where there isn't a lot of retail development and the infrastructure is already in place, not in the south where there's already a ton of commercial development.

I'm not praising the Rock Chalk/Mercato plan. Not in the least. I wish we had gotten to vote on the issue. But the commissioners' thinking is logical about this other retail project.

By the way, I wish people would stop believing that building more retail space in Lawrence is going to create "700-plus jobs, millions in sales tax, hundreds of thousands in property tax" since it's been demonstrated repeatedly that it simply doesn't work that way. But, hey, there will always be people who believe that 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' is sound economic policy.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

They might create a lot of jobs, but they will be low paying, part time jobs. We need less retail, or more business.

Scott Burkhart 4 months, 1 week ago

@ Kendall Simmons - My question is who benefits from the Mercato development? Where does the money flow? I don't know the answer to this question but would be curious to find out. I would challenge the LJW to do some investigative reporting on this.

Phil Minkin 4 months, 1 week ago

Not afraid of growth, afraid of sprawl.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

I do agree with the stupidity of giving an 85% tax abatement to the apartment complex. If they were going to build some affordable housing, that would be ok, but they are building luxury living arrangements for students with money, who don't want to feel like they left home. All young people should learn to live without cleaning services, washers and dryers and dish washers. Then they will come to appreciate what their parent worked hard to get. And we need affordable housing in this town for people who live here, and for students who can't afford the high end luxuries, so they can get ahead.

Richard Heckler 4 months, 1 week ago

"The Southpoint development will bring 700-plus jobs, millions in sales tax, hundreds of thousands in property tax "

How does the letter writer know this?

I call it political rhetoric aka misinformation…..nothing but rosy speculation. Let’s support our existing retailers and their employees instead of cutting into their economic growth 24/7.

Downsized stores are not exciting and offer fewer choices.

There are consequences to helter skelter growth that which promotes aimless growth, which promotes over saturation of the markets which drives economic displacement. These consequences usually go unmentioned.

Tax rebates,tax abatements and such are increasing our taxes and cost of living in general.

Let’s support our existing retailers and their employees instead of cutting into their economic growth 24/7.

Amy Varoli Elliott 4 months, 1 week ago

Not enough retail choices in this sitting for families, people are forced to look outside of Lawrence for most non-food items they need

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