May 2013 LAN newsletter

Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Newsletter, May 2013

Greetings LAN Members and Friends!

This newsletter includes information on the upcoming LAN June meeting; Neighborhood Activities; The LAN/LWV Community Sidewalk Taskforce; Downtown Redevelopment, and KU’s master plan.  Here are some highlights of what’s going on:

DRAFT LAN Meeting Agenda – Thursday, June 6, 2013

The June LAN meeting will be held at 7 PM, June 6, in the bank conference room of the Hobbs Taylor Loft building, New Hampshire Street, downtown Lawrence. Here is our draft agenda:

1. May minutes/brief treasurer report

2. Approval/discussion of Downtown redevelopment subcommittee memo to City

3. Request by Scott Criqui to amend Bylaws regarding inclusivity

4. Update on Sidewalk taskforce work and discussion of CDBG funding

5. Update from LAN effectiveness subcommittee

6.  Updates on new NA formation – request for assistance from Chair

If you have agenda items or suggestions for the June LAN Agenda, please email them to lauridi@hotmail.com

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2014 City Budget is forthcoming

Are you interested in the City’s budget?  Wondering how City Hall determines what to spend YOUR tax dollars on?  The City will be hosting a study session about the budget on Tuesday, June 4th, from 4-6 PM (before their regular Commission meeting). Here is a link to the city’s Budget timeline:

http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2013/05-28-13/calendar_2014_budget_process.pdf

LAN will share links to additional budget documents as they become available, on both our webpage and Facebook page. If you are interested in serving on the LAN budget subcommittee, please come to the June 6 LAN meeting, at 7 PM, in the conference room at the Hobbs Taylor Loft building.

Downtown Redevelopment overlay:

The LAN downtown redevelopment subcommittee has issued a draft report, which will be reviewed for approval at the June LAN meeting. Highlights of the report include:

  • Need for Strategic Planning
  • The creation of a more environmentally sustainable Downtown
  • Controls on the Height of Structures:
  • Overtopping Parking Structures
  • City Direction of Development Proposals

If you have questions or comments for LAN regarding the downtown redevelopment overlay, please email Kirk McClure: McClurefamily@sbcglobal.net

Community Development Block Grants and other budget cuts affecting neighborhoods:  Due to federal budget cuts, it looks like the City will fund fewer capital improvement projects for neighborhoods through the program. Last year the city provided funding for about $100,000 in sidewalk, crosswalk, storm water and other neighborhood-oriented capital improvement programs. Read more about it, here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/may/20/city-expecting-5-percent-reduction-community-devel/

Another sad development to report are cuts recently suffered by a local Head Start program, that has historically benefited one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lawrence: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/may/21/budget-cuts-force-head-start-close-edgewood-facili/

The City’s recent CDBG funding summary can be found, here: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/devservices/CDAC/Investment_Summary_2013.pdf

Transportation Issue Update:

There is renewed discussion of widening K-10, and possibly creating a toll road between Lawrence and Johnson County, Kansas. Some have questioned whether such a proposal might inadvertently push traffic onto adjoining neighborhood streets in West Lawrence. This is an issue that LAN will be keeping an eye on: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/may/23/long-term-plan-suggests-toll-lanes-k-10-corridor/

 LAN continues to work toward Rental Registration and Inspection

LAN has submitted a second memo, asking the City to continue progress on rental registration and inspection. You can read that memo here: http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/05-14-13/fai_lan_letter-re_rental_registration.pdf

We encourage those neighborhoods who wish to see the City expand rental registration & inspection to please communicate with Mayor Michael Dever and your elected City officials! www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/commissioners

University of Kansas (KU) Master Planning Effort

KU continues its long-range master planning exercise.  You can learn more about KU’s planning effort at their planning website: http://www.dcm.ku.edu/campus-master-plan  Neighborhoods adjoining KU should be aware that one proposal being put forth includes the elimination of married student & international student housing on campus. This may push rental activities and parking problems out into neighborhoods. You can email your comments and questions to the university’s Office of Design and Construction Management at kudcm@ku.edu or http://www.dcm.ku.edu/send-us-comment

Recent planning proposals and development updates

Neighborhoods and associations in South and Southeast Lawrence may want to take a look at recent news reports, and planning documents recently filed at City Hall, regarding the proposed Menards development, and SE sector plan: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/planning/May_Item4.pdf and http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/planning/May_Item5.pdf

To date, LAN has not received any request from adjoining neighborhoods to take a position on these proposals.  Media reports indicate that the neighborhood is split on the proposal.  The League of Women Voters has submitted comments, asking the planning commission not change the Southern Development Plan to expand the existing designated area for a Regional Commercial Center. On May 20, The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission on a 6-3 vote recommended approval of the plan that calls for a nearly 190,000-square-foot Menards store just east of the Home Depot at 31st and Iowa streets. This clears the way for the Lawrence City Commission to give final consideration to this project in the coming weeks.

Community Sidewalk Taskforce (CST)

The CST, a joint project of LAN and the League of Women Voters, has a stated goal of improving pedestrian safety, connectivity, and access throughout our community, in part through the possible creation of a dedicated public funding source for sidewalk infill, repair and maintenance. We are very grateful for City Manager David Corliss’ help in securing the CST a regular meeting space in a central location. The Community Sidewalk Taskforce will now meet monthly, on the second Wednesday of every month, in the basement conference room of the Carnegie Library Building at 9th and Vermont. We will gather at 7 PM, and our meetings will end at 8:30 PM.  For more information on the task force, please contact Laura Routh, LAN Chair/CST facilitator, 979-3918.

Updates on Neighborhood Association activities:

Centennial Neighborhood Association: The issue of Tennis Court lights in the Centennial Neighborhood will be discussed at next week’s June 4 City Commission meeting. If you live in Centennial, and have an opinion about this issue, please attend Tuesday’s City Commission meeting: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2013/05-28-13/fai_Tennis_Facility_Options-Memo_May_21_2013.html

University Place Neighborhood Association:  UPNA held their annual meeting in May. For more information about UPNA, contact CJ Brune: bacjc@ku.edu

East Lawrence (ELNA): ELNA has a very active Facebook page—check it out, to keep up to date on the latest happenings in and around this neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/eastlawrence?fref=ts

 Hillcrest Neighborhood Association:

Hillcrest Neighborhood Association will host their Summer Potluck on Sunday, June 9, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, at Water Tower Park. Follow Hillcrest’s activities on their webpage: http://hillcrestlawrence.blogspot.com

North Lawrence Improvement Association (NLIA):  At the April 23 City Commission meeting, NLIA President Ted Boyle did a terrific job advocating for a fire station for North Lawrence, and making sure the new City Commission understood the importance of the pending pump station project. The North Lawrence area also has a very active facebook page where everything from lost dogs to traffic accidents are discussed. Check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277132432449/?fref=ts

Old West Lawrence (OWL):  The Pearl Clark Community Garden at 7th and Illinois is underway! OWL is seeking contributions for further improvements; contact Mike Morley or Phil Minkin if you wish to contribute. Check out OWL activities online: https://www.facebook.com/groups/55907656453/

Pinckney Neighborhood Association (PNA): Pinckney made a big splash with the new installation of artwork in the Pinckney Tunnel. This project, realized with the support of the Pinckney NA, PTO, OWL, and Van Go Arts, got great press. Congratulations to all on a terrific neighborhood project! http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/may/02/mural-transforms-pinckney-tunnel/

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Wondering who YOUR neighborhood association contact is? The City has a terrific list: http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhoodcontacts

Here is a map of neighborhoods in Lawrence: http://lawrenceks.org/planning/documents/NeighborhoodMap.pdf

LAN is online! Check us out, and join the conversation at: https://www.facebook.com/LawrenceNeighborhoods and https://lawrenceneighborhoods.wordpress.com

Do you have ideas or issues for the next LAN newsletter? Please email Laura Routh, LAN Chair, lauridi@hotmail.com

 

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