What's at Stake? -- STOP the Land Grab!


Should the economic interests of a few take precedence over the collaborative efforts of the many to create a liveable community for everyone?

One developer who owns a lot of land to the North and West of Lawrence appears to be trying to change the direction of growth of the city of Lawrence to benefit himself and his Cohorts.  This is likely to commit taxpayers to building costly infrastructure and it is contrary to long range intelligent planning that resulted from years of collaboration amongst community leaders and citizens.  If you value green spaces, public transit, clean air, clean water, lower taxes, responsive government and Smart Growth, then you must speak up NOW.  Don't look to our local media to inform you of the facts here either -- the Lawrence Journal World has been strangely quiet on this whole matter.

  1. Money is already so tight that Lawrence and Douglas County are looking at what services might be cut.  What as a community are we willing to give up so that growth can greatly accelerate to the northwest?
  2. If growth accelerates to the north and west, our tax dollars are sure to follow.  The developer and/or Chamber of Commerce only needs to say these magic words, "It will bring jobs." and our current commissioners appear inclined to commit us to build whatever infrastructure the developer requests.
  3. Once we are committed to building infrastructure to the west, we will find that we don't have the money for the wastewater treatment facility planned for the south of town.  That location was rightly chosen because it would enable gravity to reduce the need for pumps -- a huge long term cost savings for taxpayers will then disappear!
  4. Suburban sprawl.  Surely everyone in Lawrence would rather be living in Overland Park right?
  5. Should we be committing more funds to growth when we aren't even adequately maintaining the infrastructure we have? See what a professor of urban planning has to say about this.
  6. Hundreds of families built homes in the rural areas NW of Lawrence after consulting county plans and seeing that these areas were expected to be rural for many more years.  Now practically overnight, these families are facing the possibility of having heavy industry next door.  Does this type of planning build confidence in government?  Is it fair?  Does it make our community a desirable place to live?  What is the point of planning if people can't trust it when making decisions about where to build their home?
  7. Picture the Farmland Indsutry site or a coal plant bellowing dark smoke into the sky at the western entrance to Lawrence too.  General Industrial (which is what the applicant is requesting for the 155 acres that the commission just recently island annexed far to the west of the city)  would allow either of those and lots more.  There are essentially no limits on I-G zoning.