Greetings LAN members and Friends,
Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Associations (NAs) and City Hall have all been busy this past month. This newsletter includes info on the upcoming City election; LAN’s March meeting; rental registration; downtown redevelopment; KU’s master plan; cool neighborhood activities, and development proposals for West Lawrence. Here are some highlights of what’s going on:
City Commission and School Bond Election:
It’s election season! If you have not already voted in the primary, here is information on candidates and polling places: http://www.douglas-county.com/online_services/cl/ve/ve_electionresearch.aspx?category_id=citizens .
This season, LAN has participated as a member of the Voter Education Coalition (VEC): https://www.facebook.com/VoterEducationCoalition .
If you missed the first candidate forum, you can watch it here: http://www2.ljworld.com/videos/sets/2013/feb/07/city-commission-debate/
Candidate questionnaires and answers compiled by VEC can be seen here:http://6lawrence.com/news/politics/2013-local-elections/ .
VEC has TWO upcoming City commission and School Board/Bond candidate events. The next, a candidate fair, is scheduled for March 2, 10 AM, at the Carnagie Building, at Vermont and 9th. Here is info on the School Bond Vote: http://www.usd497.org/bondissueplanning/overview and http://www.yesforlawrence.org
The next VEC candidate forum will be held at City Hall on Wednesday, March 6, at 6:30 PM. Many thanks to Tom Harper for representing LAN on the VEC!
Rental Registration and Inspection
For many years, now, LAN has advocated for an improved system of rental housing registration and inspection. Did you know that currently, the City requires only rental homes in single-family-zoned neighborhoods to register, representing only about 10 percent of the city’s rental units? It looked as though the City Commission might vote on this issue, this term, and in November, staff presented a draft policy on expansion of this program: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2013/02-19-13/fai_pl_ord_8840_rental_expansion_staff_memo.html .
LAN continues to advocate for the proposed expansion, and in February, submitted a memo to the City Commission, expressing our support: http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/02-19-13/fai_rental_registration_correspondence.pdf .
There was good news coverage about this issue:http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/nov/27/city-commissioners-move-forward-expanding-rental-r/ and http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/feb/07/city-commission-candidates-split-idea-expanded-ren/ .
Unfortunately, this agenda item has been postponed three (3) times now, and the next date of hearing is currently listed on the City’s website as “to be determined/TBD”. We don’t know if it will be voted on before the next Commission is sworn in.
We encourage neighborhoods who wish to see the City expand rental registration & inspection communicate with their elected officials! http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/commissioners
DRAFT LAN Meeting Agenda – Thursday, March 7, 2013
1. January minutes/brief treasurer report 5 minutes
2. Guest Speaker: Martin Dickenson, KU law school 30 minutes
3. Update/Q&A from School Bond/Chuck Epp 15 minutes
4. Update from Michelle Leininger, City Planning Staff 10 minutes
5. Debrief from retreat 20 minutes
6. Discussion of LAN candidate questions – review draft 10 minutes
7. Update on downtown redevelopment subcommittee 5 minutes
8. Discussion of NA reports/Tom Harper/Linda Bush 20 minutes
9. City Hall stuff: Rental registration; RCP; pending text amendments 20 minutes
If you have agenda items or suggestions for the March Agenda, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Downtown Redevelopment overlay: The week of January 28, the Planning Commission heard a report related to Downtown redevelopment issues and opportunities. A joint Planning Commission/Historic Resources Commission work session is scheduled to consider and discuss the report on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at their 7:30 AM work session at City Hall. LAN has a subcommittee working on this issue. If you have questions or comments for LAN regarding the downtown redevelopment overlay, please email Kirk McClure: McClurefamily@sbcglobal.net
LAN Retreat: On February 16, 2013, neighborhood reps and friends of LAN gathered for a strategic planning session. We created a revised mission statement and identified the following themes as areas for goal setting. LAN will discuss and vote on adoption of the DRAFT revised mission statement, and goals at the March meeting. The draft revised Mission Statement: “The Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods exists to advocate for, support and enhance the integrity and effectiveness of Lawrence neighborhoods and neighborhood associations and the Urban Growth Area.”
DRAFT revised Goals:
1. To provide opportunities for networking among neighborhoods for the sharing of resources, information, and expertise;
2. To encourage and assist in the development of new neighborhood associations within the City of Lawrence boundaries and the Urban Growth Area;
3. To encourage the cooperation of neighborhoods with similar concerns in order to facilitate the achievement of their common goals;
4. To evaluate the impacts of governmental policies, services, planning, and programs on neighborhoods;
5. To initiate neighborhood participation in policymaking, and the in the design and implementation of community planning.
To review the current mission statement and goals, go to our website: https://lawrenceneighborhoods.wordpress.com/lan-mission-statement-goals/ . A complete set of notes from the LAN retreat will be emailed, under separate copy, to all current members of LAN and attendees.
LAN Dues are due! Neighborhood associations dues are $25/year. Individual member dues are $5/year. Please bring your dues (cash or check) to the March LAN meeting. If you are not sure if your NA is current, or you’d like to join LAN as aN NA or individual member, please email email@example.com for more information
University of Kansas (KU) Master Planning Effort: KU is embarking on a long-range master planning exercise, and has invited input from LAN. LAN members attended a forum hosted by KU on Wednesday, February 20, and shared neighborhood comments with KU planners, including the importance of rental registration and inspection; sidewalk and trail connectivity and pedestrian safety; and the need for planning to avoid negatively encroaching on or overshadowing neighborhoods. Additional forums are planned. You can learn more about KU’s planning effort at their planning website: www.dcm.ku.edu/campus-master-plan . You can also email your comments and questions to the university’s Office of Design and Construction Management at firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning proposals and development updates for West Lawrence: Neighborhoods and associations in West Lawrence may want to take a look at recent news reports, and planning documents recently filed at City Hall–big changes are proposed for your area, including the creation of a CC600 commercially zoned area, and a large apartment and townhome development: http://www.lawrenceks.org/planning/documents/PC13/Feb_Item123.pdf and http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/feb/21/city-issues-permits-for-11-million-in-ap/ .
Folks from the Diamondhead neighborhood mounted an impressive campaign to affect zoning decisions proposed for their area: http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/02-12-13/pl_z-13-00015_communications.pdf .
Another big change coming for West Lawrence is the Rock Chalk Park and Regional Rec Center, which the City Commission tentatively approved on February 19: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/feb/19/city-gives-preliminary-approval-development-agreem/
Updates on Neighborhood Association activities:
Centennial Neighborhood Association and University Place Neighborhood Association hosted a joint annual meeting on Wednesday, February 13. Police Chief Tarik Khatib was the keynote speaker. Check out CNA online, here: https://www.facebook.com/centennialneighborhood
East Lawrence (ELNA) is having their annual YART SALE on Sat., Mar. 30, 8am-2pm at New York Elementary School Gym. Check out ELNA online, here: https://www.facebook.com/eastlawrence?fref=ts and http://www.eastlawrence.com
Hillcrest Neighborhood Association hosted their annual business meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2013. Check out HNA online, here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hillcrest-Neighborhood-Association/266441853380730?fref=ts
North Lawrence Improvement Association (NLIA) is hosting a Candidate Forum at 7 PM, Monday, March 11, 2013. Contact Ted Boyle for more information: email@example.com
Check out NLIA online, here: http://www.northlawrencekansas.org and http://www.northlawrencekansas.org/newsletters/News%20Fall_Winter%202012.pdf
Old West Lawrence (OWL) will host a meeting Saturday March 9, from 9:30-10:30 AM at the Pickney School, to discuss the upcoming school bond vote with School Board Member Keith Diaz Moore. Check out OWL online, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55907656453/ andhttp://oldwestlawrence.net/top-news/
Pinckney Neighborhood Association (PNA) will hold their next meeting Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10 AM at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Meeting Room D-South. Check out PNA online, here: http://www.pinckneyneighborhood.com
Do you have neighborhood updates you’d like to share?
Does your NA have a website or facebook page we are not aware of?
Interested in getting more involved on LAN?
Want to get off or added on to our mailing list?
Please email your queries and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
CHECK LAN OUT ONLINE: https://www.facebook.com/LawrenceNeighborhoods