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Baldwin Junction retail center, Big Springs rock quarry up for approval

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The work to build businesses along the new - but not yet completed - route for U.S. Highway 59 has begun. Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioners at their meeting Monday tonight will consider a request for a four-lot business development at what will be the new intersection of U.S. Highways 59 and 56. Joseph Daniels Jr. is seeking approval of a preliminary plat for an 18-acre subdivision that would allow up to four new business buildings to be built just east of the new intersection. The new intersection will be about three miles west of Baldwin City. No word yet on what businesses are planned for the development, but the zoning allows for gas stations, auto sales, restaurants, retail stores and even a hotel. The zoning generally doesn't allow for manufacturing or warehousing uses. Planning commissioners will consider the preliminary plat as part of their meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets. In other planning commission news, neighbors of a Douglas County rock quarry may soon learn that just because it is written doesn't mean it is so. Planning commissioners are being asked to consider an expansion of the Big Springs Quarry, [2 N 1700 Road,][1] despite the fact that the conditional use permit for the property specifically says that the operators of the quarry are barred from ever seeking an expansion of the quarry. Planning commissioners first heard the request, which would increase the size of the quarry by about 150 acres, in September. But commissioners asked for a legal opinion on whether they could even consider the request since the current permit says "no additional requests . . . to expand the size of the quarry site" can be made by the operator. The Douglas County counselor, though, has told planning commissioners that they should feel free to consider the request. Although the intent of the condition was to prevent future commissions from considering an expansion, County Counselor Evan Ice said the law generally doesn't allow one commission to stop a future commission from doing something. So, in other words: Nice try, but no dice. The plan, which also includes a request to extend the operational permit for the quarry until 2030, will be heard by planning commissioners at their 6:30 p.m. meeting on Wednesday at City Hall. For a complete look at items on the Planning Commission's upcoming agendas, [click here.][2] [1]: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Lecompton&state=KS&address=2+N+1700th+Rd&zipcode=66050-4100&country=US&latitude=38.98584&longitude=-95.500839&geocode=ADDRESS#a/maps/l::2+N+1700th+Rd:Lecompton:KS:66050-4100:US:38.98584:-95.500839:address::1/m:hyb:12:38.98584:-95.500839:0:::::/io:0:::::f:EN:M:/e [2]: http://www.lawrenceplanning.org/documents/pcagendaNov08.pdf

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