Letter to the editor: Questioning development

To the editor:

Good neighbors make good neighborhoods, and good neighborhoods make good cities. We have Plan 2040 to guide growth and development in Lawrence; neighborhoods form associations or design guidelines to ensure safe, clean and desirable neighborhoods where properties increase in value. KU has its 2024 Campus Master Plan. We can all agree planning should be smart.

So let’s plan together and not let available one-time federal funding drive what is developed and where. KU’s announced plans for a north gateway at 11th and Mississippi include possibly a hotel, retail space, restaurants, medical offices and a 600-seat year-round convention center/entertainment and event venue, all of which would be surrounded by residential neighborhoods and located seven blocks from Massachusetts Street, where many of these services currently exist.

What will be built? We don’t know. What businesses or restaurants are interested? We don’t know. Where will concertgoers and conference attendees park? We don’t know. How will the project impact the Jayhawk Stormwater Project? We don’t know. How will Ninth Street and Mississippi Street accommodate increased traffic? We don’t know. How will neighborhoods be protected from cut-through traffic? We don’t know. Does the city have answers to these questions? The city needs to insist that KU provide for meaningful city and neighborhood input now, before paths leading to regret are determined, and well before it is too late for course corrections. If KU’s appetite is too big, Lawrence neighborhoods and businesses should not suffer the bellyache.

Katy Nitcher,

Old West Lawrence Association co-vice president;

Kyle Thompson,

Oread Residents Association chairperson;

Pat Peery,

University Heights Neighbor-hood Association president;

Jeanne Klein,

Centennial Neighborhood Association treasurer


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