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By Mark Boyle
January 5, 2009
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Things are heating up between residents of a Lawrence neighborhood and a developer seeking to build duplexes nearby.
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notnowdear (Anonymous) says… "With the housing bubble, whoever is developing this is dumb, dumb, dumb. Get it? The person is not! thinking!"invictus (Anonymous) says… "The tax advantages to a high income individual make building these apartments profitable even if they are not needed. Lawrence will end up with way too many apartment/townhomes especially with the decline of state universities."If there are to many then the prices of homes and apartments, including your home or apartment, will decline leading to "affordable housing." I thought everyone wanted cheaper housing in Lawrence? Now that your getting a surplus that will owner prices you still complain. You all are too funny!
Believe in Santa Clause if you want, it doesn't change the fact that surpluses lead to lower prices for gas, new automobiles, and rental properties. No single elite landlord in Lawrence can set rentals prices too high without competitors undercutting their prices and leaving them with empty apartments. Keeping empty apartments is a sure way for a big elite landlord to become a smaller landlord. Any glut that you believe exists will be reflected in more affordable housing.
I thought growth never paid? Looks like it does by these specials. You mean to tell me that some in our community have been lying to us for years and years? As went Lawrence (down the drink) so goes the rest of the country.
"I would say that parents are going to pay for college for their kids over the internet."1. An internet degree might make you a managerial candidate at McDonalds.2. You might want to check out the cost of some these degrees before you claim they are affordable.
The more property values drop the more other taxes/user fees will increase to cover the cost of expanding Lawrence and/or to cover operating expenses. The more Lawrence expands the more it cost all taxpayers.Boom town housing economics that Lawrence experienced is irresponsible development aka bad planning. In essence it was a bogus economy.A tighter residential market keeps values up legitimately. The way to bring taxes down is to bring in employers that pay more in salaries and pay higher property tax rates. Residents that make more spend more thus more revenue for the cookie jar.Reducing property taxes by reducing property values yet increasing water and sewer rates,swimming pool rates and other services is not accomplishing the goal in an acceptable manner. It is bogus and not friendly to Lawrence homeowners. Some movers and shakers are trying to paint Lawrence as something it is not. Obviously all of the new residential and retail are not paying back to the community and have not been for sometime which is the true culprit. The city needs new thinking leadership desperately. The adopted " stay the course" mentality that GW Bush made famous has not been working in Lawrence,Kansas for about 20 years.
Food for thought:Donovan Scruggs, Ocean Springs director of community development and planning, said the city's current budget. crunch can be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new housing developments."If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch," Scruggs said. "But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by single-family housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality."Scruggs said there have been two studies done on impact fees. One 100-page study was on services for police and fire protection, administration and parks. A second study was done on infrastructure related impacts on roads, water and water.The current proposal calls for the fees to be collected separately."We want. to make sure we tie the fees as closely as possible to when the demand is being generated," Scruggs said. "Water and sewer fees would be collected when the subdivision is constructed. Services more related to occupancy and homes being constructed would be collected later. For example, no one will have a need for a park until there are kids in that neighborhood."While developers pay for onsite water, sewer and road infrastructure, Scruggs said it is costly to pay for offsite upgrades needed, such as enlarging lift stations and raising water towers."Now if we have to upgrade a lift station, it is paid for by the general fund revenue paid by each taxpayer in the city," Scruggs said. "Someone on the west side of town would have to pay for subsidizing the growth in demand caused by the development in the east part of town."The eastern part of town is where the greatest residential growth is being seen. Scruggs said there has been so much growth in recent years that the city has to elevate its water towers to keep pressure at adequate levels. "That was a direct result caused by the growth," he said.Scruggs said that impact fees are legal if they are done properly."Madison's impact fee program had problems," Scruggs said. "Ours will not have those problems. It can be done right."Ocean Springs had 120 homes constructed in 2000, 90 in 2001 and is on track to have 120 homes constructed in 2002. If impact fees had been collected on the 310 homes built in three years, the city would have extra revenues of about $2.1 million.In order for the city to have orderly growth, developers need to be responsible for a certain amount of the infrastructure. Most builders understand impact fees are for a purpose that improves their development."(Increase whatever impact fees substantially instead of water and sewer rates)
hawkperchedatriverfront (Anonymous) says… "Sigmund, I don't belive a glut will lower rents that much. There is a factor built in with mtg costs, and even those without mtgs have taxes and insurance. What I see happening is that some landlords may let places sit vacant, those with money in their hip pockets. They will pick and choose their tenants."Really. What landlord (name one) that would rather have an empty property than their lowering rents? Landlords who aren't picky about their tenants get trashed property's and property's that set empty get vandalized. I do not know of a single landlord that will let a property set empty as opposed to lowering rents.merrill (Anonymous) says… "The more property values drop the more other taxes/user fees will increase to cover the cost of expanding Lawrence and/or to cover operating expenses. The more Lawrence expands the more it cost all taxpayers."The other alternative is to get rid of unnecessary spending and reduce the size of government. Trashing the empTy will save the city millions of dollars each and every year. Tell us merrill how your real estate investments are doing? Going up or going down? Are you upside down yet? Maybe, just maybe, the reason you are so anti growth is because it reduces the value of your own property.
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