Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN), August 2013 Newsletter
Greetings LAN members and friends! Autumn is upon us. Indeed, the days are shortening, school has started for many, KU students are back, and traffic has definitely increased. Labor Day is just around the corner. Big things are happening in neighborhoods, and at City Hall! Check it all out, here:
KU Good Neighbor Program: City officials and volunteers walked the Oread and surrounding neighborhoods, recently, distributing information about the neighborhood, city codes and City services. As part of the article, LAN vice chair Candy Davis made the news: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/aug/23/good-neighbor-program-breaks-ice-between-students-/
Rental registration and inspection: The draft rental registration ordinance and regulations are out! View them here: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2013/08-20-13/cm_report_rental_registration_ord8840.html . The meeting held for stakeholders was well attended, particularly by landlords.
The LJW covered the story, here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/aug/19/city-provides-more-details-rental-registration-pro/ . When this draft ordinance comes up for a vote, it is very important that neighborhood folks be present at City Hall. Please plan to attend, and stay tuned!
Sidewalk Updates: The Community Sidewalk Task force has a NEW name – The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, and a new Facebook page! Check it out, here: https://www.facebook.com/LawrencePedestrians
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is conducting a survey about efforts that enable residents of all ages and abilities to walk, bicycle or use the bus or other forms of public transit in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas. This is a terrific way for us to voice our opinions about pedestrian and bicycle safety in Lawrence. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ActiveDesign
Please consider volunteering for the upcoming Pedestrian count! Shifts are short, and it can really make a difference in making completion of the pedestrian network a priority! They still need a few more volunteers for the 5-7 p.m. shifts. If you know anyone that could help, please direct them to http://lawrenceks.org/mpo/volunteer and share the attached flyer. Please share this announcement with your neighborhood associations and community groups.
Are there residential or rental property sidewalks in your neighborhood that need attention? Current city code requires homeowners to maintain their sidewalks, including repair and removing vegetation that obstructs passage. The LPC is working on ideas to create equity related to sidewalk repairs and infill across town. However, if you feel that a property owner is being negligent, you can report it to City Hall: http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/code_violation
Upholstered Furniture Ban Proposed: This city is proposing a ban on indoor furniture, outdoors. Read about it here: http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/08-27-13/fm_memo_upholstered_furniture_on_porches.html . What do you think? Ban or no ban? Check out the story: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/aug/22/city-to-consider-banning-couches-on-porc/
LWV hosting brown bag lunch series! On Thursday, September 19, from 11:30 AM -1 PM, at the County Courthouse on Mass Street, the League of Women Voters will be hosting a brown brown bag luncheon with County Commissioner Mike Gaughn and County Administrator, Craig Weinaug. If you’d like to learn more about how County government works, and how it benefits Lawrence citizens, please attend!
Horizon 2020 and Comprehensive Planning Update: For folks tracking earlier discussions on a pending update or revision to Horizon 2020, the city’s latest memo explains the status of things: http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2013/08-06-13/cm_report_planning_work_plan.pdf
Update on Proposed Police Station: Earlier this month, LAN Chair Laura Routh met with Police Chief Tarik Khatib to discuss the proposal for a new police station. We discussed cost, siting, and ways the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) can communicate with neighborhoods about this multi-million dollar proposal. LAN will be sending the Chief a memo in September, sharing questions from neighborhood folks. Read more about the project proposal here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/jul/30/city-begin-searching-sites-potential-multimillion-/ and http://police.lawrenceks.org/content/facilities-personnel-and-equipment-needs . In hosting Chief Khatib and discussing this issue at our August meeting, LAN made the news: http://www.6newslawrence.com/news/local-news/7019-lawrence-police-chief-talks-to-neighborhood-leaders-about-new-building . The LPD Neighborhood Resource Officers (NROs) have offered to come to a LAN meeting to provide presentations on safety, burglary prevention, crime prevention, and related topics. Please discuss your needs with your neighborhood reps, and let LAN know what you are interested in learning about! This will be a future agenda item at a LAN this fall.
Accessory dwelling units (ADU): LAN is pleased to announce that the City Commission voted unanimously to uphold the planning commission’s denial of ADU’s in RS 5 zoned neighborhoods. Many thanks to the good folks in OWL, ELNA and ONA that came to speak! We are grateful for the work of all neighborhood associations and express our gratitude to the City Commissioners for their wise vote.
Other Neighborhood News:
Barker Neighborhood watching Kwik Shop Project:
On Thursday, August 22, City Hall hosted a meeting about the Kwik Shop expansion plans proposed for the convenience store at 19th and Mass. A number of concerned neighbors attended, including Lisa Harris, from the Barker neighborhood. Kwik Ship at 19th and Mass has submitted revised plans which were discussed in a meeting hosted by the City on August 22. One change the neighborhood previously requested has been made — to move the sidewalk along 19th street further from the street. The driveway entrance on 19th has also been moved closer to New Hampshire Street. Kwik Shop still proposes a larger store than they have currently and triple the number of pumps (from 2 to 6 pumps), going from 4 fueling positions to 12. The neighborhood’s position has been (and remains) that the proposed level of development is too intense for the site. Regarding the traffic study for this project, neighbors have some concerns about how trips were calculated and when the traffic counts were taken (in the summer). The City will be doing a new traffic count at 19th and Mass in September when KU and the schools are in regular session, and when the traffic humps are completed and neighborhood traffic is back to normal. Next up is the HRC meeting on September 26 at 7:00. To obtain copies of the plans, contact Mary Miller, City/County Planner, Office (785) 832-3147, firstname.lastname@example.org
Affordable Housing Development slated for East Lawrence: http://m.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/aug/12/town-talk-developer-files-plans-for-east/?templates=mobile and http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/aug/8/activity-along-oconnell-road-heats-up-wi/
ELNA is hosting their Annual Block Party! At Hobbs Park, 11th & Delaware, Sept. 28th, from 5-9 p.m. There will be food, a best dish competition, a Cake Walk, Prizes, Music, Bike Repair, Debut of New T-Shirt sizes and colors.
Of interest to folks in West Lawrence: The Bob Billings Parkway (15th Street) and K-10 interchange is coming soon. As reported by the Lawrence Journal World, folks who live nearby are concerned about the potential for an increase in traffic. New traffic signals may be coming to the intersection at George Williams Way. Read more here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/aug/20/editorial-key-interchange/
Proposal for Menards project to expand on the SE side: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/aug/21/menards-files-plans-to-add-another-8-acr/
City Hall Update and Neighborhood Contact Information Reminder: Is your neighborhood a registered neighborhood? By registering your neighborhood group, you are given notification regarding pending development applications received by the Planning Department, giving your group the opportunity to comment on development projects that may impact your neighborhood. Register your neighborhood at http://lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhood_registration. To find out if your neighborhood information is current, see the neighborhood list at http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhoodcontacts. For any questions, contact Michelle Leininger at 832-3163 or at email@example.com. Here is the August update for LAN, from Michelle Leininger, City/County planning office: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/devservices/LAN_Aug13.pdf
CDBG Neighborhood Reporting Update from City Hall: Community Development Division (CDD) Staff has created, with input from the Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC), new reporting requirements for neighborhoods associations funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Neighborhoods will now submit quarterly reports to the CDD on a template form, which mirrors the CDBG-funded neighborhood requirements set forth in the Citizen Participation Plan. The new CDBG report will ask information such as neighborhood meeting dates, method of neighborhood notification of the meeting, neighborhood activities, and if the neighborhood has any change in its officers. Neighborhood Associations will also have an optional section where additional information can be reported such as best practices or challenges. Staff sees this as a way to ensure neighborhoods are following the Citizen Participation Plan guidelines, as well as giving the CDAC a comparable report format to review while deliberating funding applications on a yearly basis. Implementation of the new reporting format will begin with the 2013 Program Year, which started August 1.
September LAN meeting
LAN’s next monthly meeting will be held September 5th, 7 PM, in Capitol City Bank conference room of the Hobbs Taylor loft building on New Hampshire Street, downtown. Our Draft agenda: Update from Michelle Leininger, City of Lawrence; discussion of rental registration and inspection draft ordinance; Guest: Gary Brunk, ACLU/drones proposal; discussion of LAN brochure; Discussion of code enforcement; Update from Chair; Neighborhood updates, as needed; City Hall Feedback for Jeremy Farmer.
For more information about LAN, or for help with neighborhood issues, please feel free to attend our monthly meetings or contact the Chair, Laura Routh, 785-979-3918, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition can be found online, here: https://www.facebook.com/LawrencePedestrians