Lawrence City Commission to consider rezoning requests for New Boston Crossing

Share this post or save for later

Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday will consider a developer’s requests to rezone land southeast of the Iowa Street interchange with Kansas Highway 10 for a project known as New Boston Crossing.

Plans for the mixed-use development on about 177 acres south of town include single-family homes, townhouses or rowhouses, and multidwelling residential units. It also includes an entertainment district in the middle and some green space and a large pond toward the southeast.

City commissioners will consider eight rezoning requests for different portions of the project.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission voted on each of the items during their Jan. 24 meeting. They voted 7-1 to recommend approval of two of the rezoning items but voted 4-4 on the other six, “which is a failure to recommend approval,” according to the agenda.

On those six tie items, at least four members of the Lawrence City Commission would have to vote in favor in order to approve them; on the two items the planning commissioners recommended for approval, a simple 3-2 majority vote from city commissioners would approve them, but a 4-1 vote would be required to deny them.

The project has drawn a good deal of public interest. Many people have spoken in opposition to the project because part of the land is located on the floodplain, and they have raised environmental concerns about the proposal. Others have spoken in favor of the project, which aims to include new housing, though opponents have rebutted that houses in the $300,000 range would not be affordable for people who are experiencing housing insecurity.

Others have raised concerns about people and groups who haven’t been consulted in connection with the project.

“Haskell is a key stakeholder here whose resources and land is impacted more intimately than other groups in the community and is a historically underserved, underrepresented part of the community that has been subjected to structural environmental racism by the city and county decision-makers, in particular related to the South Lawrence Trafficway disaster,” Bridgett Chapin, an aquatic ecologist and professor at Haskell Indian Nations University, told the planning commissioners during their Jan. 24 meeting, encouraging them to table the decision so the Haskell community could be consulted.

August Rudisell/Lawrence Times This photo looks to the northeast over a portion of the land included in plans for the New Boston Crossing development, southeast of the Iowa Street interchange with Kansas Highway 10, on March 4, 2024. Wetlands and the Baker University Wetland Discovery Center are visible across East 1350 Road.

City staff members are recommending that the commission approve all eight rezoning requests.

City commissioners last month approved a comprehensive plan amendment related to the project on a 4-1 vote.


Commissioner Lisa Larsen said at the time that she thinks it’s a great project, but the wrong location. She said she didn’t think building up the floodplain in order to build on it was good long-term planning, and she couldn’t support it.

The amendment ultimately was denied by the Douglas County commissioners, but their denial did not prevent the project as a whole from proceeding.

Commissioners will also hear an update on the Farmland remediation project consider an $87,400 supplemental contract with GHD Services Inc., which “will provide the City with the technical services required for the implementation of the modified remedial alternatives that will provide a long-term beneficial use to the Site,” according to the agenda.

As part of their consent agenda — a list of items that are considered routine and usually approved with one vote — commissioners will consider becoming sister cities with Tocopilla, Chile. If approved, Tocopilla would join Eutin, Germany; Hiratsuka, Japan; and Iniades, Greece, as Lawrence’s sister cities.

See the full meeting agenda, and links to each of the eight rezoning requests, at this link.

Lawrence city commissioners will meet at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St. Meetings are open to the public and livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel,

People may submit written public comment to commissioners until noon the day of the meeting by emailing People may also give public comment during meetings in person or via Zoom; register for Tuesday’s Zoom meeting at this link

If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

Click here to learn more about our newsletters first

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.

Latest Lawrence news:


Previous Article

Sparks fly when Kansas House budget panel explores detail of university budget requests

Next Article

Jury selection underway in trial for teen charged in Lawrence boy’s shooting death