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Lawrence City Commission approves developer’s request to annex land north of Rock Chalk Park to build 300-plus homes

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The Lawrence City Commission on Tuesday approved annexing and rezoning land north of city limits, where a developer plans to build 300 or more market-rate homes.

Garber Enterprises Inc. owns 85 acres of land directly north of Rock Chalk Park on the northwestern edge of Lawrence, just east of Kansas Highway 10 near the Interstate 70 interchange.

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Sandy Day, from the city’s planning department, said the site would require some improvements. Among them, rural 902 Road would require some improvements, and ultimately extension north to 1750 Road, because otherwise the property has only one way out, Day said.

The red pin on the map below shows the approximate location of the land:

Commissioner Amber Sellers asked whether the price point of the market-rate homes would be competitive enough that people who earn roughly the median area income will be able to afford them.

David Hamby, of BG Consultants, said the goal was to keep the lots as small as possible and therefore the development as dense as possible within zoning codes and reasonable factors. He said he didn’t have a firm answer on what a house is going to cost, but the developers will want to keep costs as low as the owner can get them that way.

The homes will be within Perry school district boundaries (which are different from city limits). However, Commissioner Courtney Shipley noted that with a new open enrollment policy the Legislature enacted, residents of the homes could likely send their kids to Lawrence schools.

Last week, commissioners voted 3-2, with Mayor Lisa Larsen and Shipley opposed, to annex land southeast of Kansas Highway 10 and Iowa Street.

In July 2022, the commission approved a request to annex about 61 acres about two-thirds of a mile north of Peterson Road, roughly between North Monterey Way and Folks Road. The space was also rezoned to allow for a new school, which would also be in the Perry district, and about 200 new homes.

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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