LAN Newsletter March 2014

March 2014 LAN Newsletter

 Greetings LAN members and friends! The trees are budding, the frogs are singing, March winds are blowing, and April showers are (hopefully) on the way. Spring is here! Check out the latest news for neighbors and neighborhoods:

Go-Kart Center Proposed near Raintree is Challenged:

South Lawrence Traffic Way Construction Closes Baker Wetlands to Public: We have learned that the Baker wetlands have been closed to the public, effective immediately, to accommodate construction activities associated with the expansion of the South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT). Closure signs have been posted at both the Haskell and 31st  street entrances. Additional information on the duration of the closure is being researched by LAN. Here is a map of the project’s timeline:

Pollinators Mural Threatened by Impending Development: The beautiful Pollinators mural located along the northern wall of the former Black Hills Energy building on New Hampshire Street is slated to be demolished unless accommodations for its removal and preservation can be made. The LJW reports that City commissioners have asked for an update on the issue at their April 8 meeting, when they will have a public hearing about an incentive request for the apartment project.

 LAN has submitted a letter in support of the mural.

Please contact our city commissioners and share with them why the “Pollinators” is important and why it should be saved.

Learn more:

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY IN LAWRENCE, KS! Earth Day held Saturday April 19 From: Cassandra Ford, The 14th Annual Earth Day Celebration in South Park, hosted by the City’s Solid Waste Division, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 19th. The day starts with a parade, hosted by KU Environs, at 11:00 a.m. on Massachusetts Street from Seventh Street to South Park. All activities are free and open to the public. Attendees can climb on board and explore a city bus and also learn from exhibits about waste reduction, recycling, fair trade, composting, energy and water conservation, land preservation, wildlife and habitat preservation, and more. The Earth Day Celebration will feature: April Showers to Water Towers: A Water Festival for Douglas County hosted by the City’s Stormwater Division; Tree ID tours hosted by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. Alternative fuel fleet vehicles on display. The Lawrence Transit System will offer free rides on the T all day Saturday, April 19th, providing the experience and benefits of public transportation on all fixed routes. For more information about the Earth Day Parade and Celebration, please call 832-3030 or visit

Is the “Cornfield Mall” idea back? A development proposal has been filed to build a large commercial retail center at the intersection of the pending extension of the SLT and Highway 59, on South Iowa Street. LAN will be discussing this proposal at a future meeting. Read more about what it slated for the area:

Update on Transit Hub, from City Hall: From City Hall: In early December 2013, staff held a neighborhood meeting with stakeholders regarding a possible transit hub location at 21st and Stewart, just northeast of the 21st and Iowa intersection and south of Fire Station 5. The location is on KU Endowment property and KU officials have expressed an interest in having the transit hub at that location due to the popularity of the transit system with KU students, faculty and staff, and proximity of the site to the KU campus. Staff has also attempted to contact the owners of the other potential site near 9th & and Iowa, but the property owners have not been responsive in indicating whether they have an interest in leasing or selling the property, which limits the ability of the city to further pursue that possible site at this time. Staff is planning another neighborhood meeting for Monday, April 21 from 6-7 pm in the Jayhawk Room at Fire Station 5, 19th and Iowa, to discuss the results of a traffic study recently completed and further discuss the potential 21st and Stewart location with stakeholders. Staff plans a formal discussion with the City Commission in early May regarding the results of the neighborhood meeting and further details of the concept.

LAN Annual Retreat Outcomes: At the annual LAN retreat, held Saturday, March 29, 2014, LAN members updated our by-laws, reviewed our successes and challenges from the past year, and developed draft goals for 2014. These items will be discussed, and brought to a vote at the April LAN meeting to be held April 4, 7 PM, in the Capitol City Bank conference room in the Hobbs Taylor loft building on New Hampshire Street, downtown.

Lawrence Police Department: Did you know that the Lawrence Police Department has a neighborhood resource division? Check it out, here:

The City Approves Registration & Inspection Program: LAN extends our thanks toboard members Candice Davis, Tom Harper, Linda Bush and all of the other LAN folks that have worked so hard on this issue, for so long. We express sincere gratitude to Commissioners Dr. Riordan, Bob Schumm and Jeremy Farmer, for passionately advocating for its passage. The second reading of the ordinance will occur at the City Commission’s Tuesday, April 1 meeting:

Best of Lawrence – Please Vote!Support local businesses and help get your favorites on the list! What’s your favorite neighborhood? Who is your favorite local activist? What is the best music venue? Park? Mural? Vote!

Ballard Food Bank needs your help: The Ballard Center food bank is running very low on supplies. please consider making a donation, or spreading the word, if you can. They do important and needed work in our community. Thanks!

Pedestrian Coalition, a joint effort of LAN and the League of Women Voters: The LPC has made good progress in getting the issues of walkability, and pedestrian access and safety on the city’s radar! The City has begun a long overdue update to their sidewalk conditions map, and has included questions about walkability in the pending Horizon 2020 survey.  We are grateful for the Commission and the Staff’s efforts to improve the pedestrian network. Our next meeting will be held at 7 PM, Wednesday, April 12, 2014, in the basement of the Carnegie Building, on Vermont Street, downtown. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend! We will be discussing funding options and a possible memo to the City regarding budgetary priorities for 2015. Bring a friend or neighbor if you can, and feel free to share this announcement with folks who may be interested. Check out the pedestrian coalition, online: and

Update on Horizon 2020: Horizon 2020 is our community’s comprehensive plan, and helps determine where and how development will occur, throughout Lawrence. The Horizon 2020 Update Steering Committee will be meeting on the 2nd Monday of every month, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The Steering Committee’s website is online: . A webpage has also been created to track the update process:

The Steering Committee is soliciting comments from the public. Let them know what you think needs to be included in our community’s comprehensive plan: You can email comments and questions to, or call the Planning Office at (785) 832-3150

Wondering what development activity may be coming to your neighborhood?          You can track planning submittals using the City’s interactive map. Check it out!

City seeking Advisory Board Members!

The Big Event, free community service work provided by KU students

Help spread the news! The Big Event is coming to all Lawrence Neighborhoods! This once-a-year community project sponsored by KU students offers homeowners free assistance with yard work, home repairs and general chores. Homeowners can register online at and then click “Online Job Request” to register! It is a simple form to fill out, and once submitted, the homeowner will be contacted to set up a job site check. Please note that the Big Event is a “first come first serve” process, and applies to ALL community members; it is not only a “need based” service. If you have any questions you can contact Allison Dittmore at (316)-300-8389! Here’s the last news on the Big Event:

Neighborhood Updates

Oread Mixed Use Apartment Complex Proposed:

Trouble at the Oread Hotel raises new questions about public incentives:

North Lawrence Improvement Association is on the web: and North Lawrence neighbors have an active Facebook group:

Pinckney Neighborhood resident asks for support from police department:

Pinckney Neighborhood is on Facebook:

Old West Lawrence is on Facebook:

East Lawrence is on Facebook:

Centennial Neighborhood is on Facebook:

Hillcrest Neighborhood is on Facebook:

Brook Creek Neighborhood is on Facebook:

LAN Information:

We are online! and

Want to talk to LAN? Please use the following address for general LAN business and inquiries:

Here is the City’s list of neighborhoods, and contacts:

LAN’s April meeting will be held Thursday, April 3 at 7 PM, in the conference room of the Capitol City Bank, on New Hampshire Street, downtown Lawrence. Please join us! Email your agenda items to


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