LAN December 2013 Newsletter
Happy Holidays to all LAN members and friends! There is a lot going on in and around neighborhoods about town. First and foremost, LAN is incredibly pleased to announce the results of our December board election: we gratefully welcome Linda Bush, from the Pinckney Neighborhood, as the LAN Chair for 2014. Candy Davis, Oread Residents Association, was re-elected Vice Chair, and Tom Harper, Centennial, graciously accepted the position as Treasurer. Steve Braswell will remain our ever-patient Secretary.
Welcome from Linda Bush, LAN Chair for 2014:
I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and to share the new contact info for LAN. My name is Linda Bush, and I am honored to have been selected as chair of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods for 2014. I have lived in Lawrence since 2004. My home is in the Pinckney neighborhood, where I was president of PNA for about two years and currently serve as treasurer. I am also one year into a term on the city’s Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC). Please feel free to contact me via our new LAN email address, if you have any questions. My mobile number is 785-330-3113.
We have created a general contact email for LAN, which will allow easy transfer of access between Chair and Vice-Chair, and will help us to respond to emails pertaining specifically to LAN. It also sets up a more permanent contact point for LAN for the future. So, please use the following address for general LAN business and inquiries:
The “electronic-LAN” listserv will still function as it always has done. No changes there!
I hope everyone has a very happy holiday. The New Year will bring lots for us to do, together, to make and keep Lawrence a great place to live!
Best regards – Linda Bush, Chair, Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods
Update on Rental Registration: LAN has worked long and hard for this ordinance, and we believe that our code enforcement department has the skills needed to realize the effectiveness of this program. We thank Commissioners Schumm, Farmer and Riordan for their ongoing support. Once an ordinance is passed, with yearly reviews, we believe that this program can be assessed and improved as needed. The City Commission has studies this issue extensively, and is poised to vote on a revised ordinance at a meeting early in 2014. According to City Hall, it is anticipated that the revised ordinance will be presented as a City Commission regular agenda item for a vote sometime in mid to late January 2014.
Read more about the progress of this important issue here: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/dec/17/city-balks-idea-limiting-proposed-rental-inspectio/
A staff memo outlining documents presented on 12/17/13 (including the alternate draft ordinance and the one presented on 12/3/13) may be found on the City’s Web site at http://lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2013/12-17-13/pl_rental_licensing_rental_inspection_memo.html.
Horizon 2020 Steering Committee/Task Force Update
Mayor Mike Dever has made his appointments to the City’s upcoming H2020 task force, http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2013/12-17-13/appointment_memo.html , and unfortunately, none of LAN’s suggested appointees were chosen. Nonetheless, there will be other opportunities for us to influence this process, as the current “Steering Committee” is only the first step in a multi-step process. This group will be tasked with reviewing the current patchwork document and identifying places where restatement, restructure and/or refocus is needed. After that, other groups will be assigned the arduous task of redesigning and re-authoring the comprehensive plan, as needed. It’s very important that neighborhood interests be considered throughout the process of redefining the community’s comprehensive plan. We encourage LAN members and neighborhood folks to pay close attention to this process.
We further encourage the City to uphold and honor the standards of the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) and Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and we hope that minutes will be taken and that the City will consider videotaping the proceedings so that community members can fully participate. Finally, we extend an open invitation to all members of the H2020 Steering Committee—please join us at a future LAN meeting, so that we can share with you the concerns and interests of Lawrence neighborhoods.
Big apartment and retail project proposed for Oread and University Place neighborhood areas: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/dec/20/plans-filed-five-story-apartment-retail-building-a/
Updates on Rock Chalk Park Rec Center Project: Earlier this month, there was an excellent editorial about Rock Chalk Park developments and recent missteps occurring related to installation of lighting at the site: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/dec/15/editorial-park-process/ It seems that accountability of City officials and the project contractor may be a renewed concern: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/dec/10/city-hears-concerns-about-lighting-plan-rock-chalk/
Time to shovel!
Sunrise Garden Center Closing
East Lawrence and Barker Neighborhoods will be interested to learn that a longtime Lawrence business is for sale, and with a pending properry transfer, property redevelopment may be at hand. Read more about it, here: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2013/dec/20/east-lawrences-sunrise-garden-center-set/
Large Multifamily Development proposed for Prairie Park Area:
Latest updates from the planning department:
Interested citizens can sign up to receive notification updates for various City services, events, and information, including advisory board information for the City Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Historic Resources Commission, Community Commission on Homelessness (CCH) and the Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC), as well as City News, Public Meeting Notices, Recreation Announcements, and Neighborhood news. All these subscriptions can be found at http://www.lawrenceks.org/subscriptions.
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.
Development Project Submittals: Planning project submittals can now be accessed on the Planning Division’s website through the following address: http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/submittals. The list is updated every Monday and also includes a link to an interactive map that shows the locations of the projects.
TreeCycling: On either Monday, December 30th or Monday, January 6th, you can place your live-cut Christmas tree at the curb or alley for collection. The trees will be used for wildlife habitat. Please remove all artificial items including tinsel, lights, and tree stand, and have your tree set out at the curb by 6:00 a.m. For more information, please visit http://www.lawrenceks.org/swm/treecycling.
LAN January 2, 2014 meeting will be held Thursday, January 2, 2014, at 7 PM, in the conference room of the Capitol City Bank in the Hobbs Taylor loft building on New Hampshire Street, downtown. Here is our tentative agenda:
- Approval of minutes and Treasurer’s report—reminder about LAN dues for 2014
- Discussion of Rental Registration
- Discussion of H2020 Steering Committee, and next steps for LAN
- Discussion of LAN annual goal planning retreat
- Update from Headquarters Counseling Service – Steve Lopes
- Update on Village project – Brenda Nunez
LAN is online! Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LawrenceNeighborhoods