LAN May 2014 Newsletter

Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods  (LAN) May 2014 Newsletter  

Update on Horizon 2020 Task Force: Please take the survey! The City is soliciting comments through this online survey:

You can watch videos of the task force meetings using the following link:

Several open houses have been held to solicit comments on the community’s comprehensive plan update process. The next open house where you can comment on H2020 will be May 29th, from 5-7 pm, Lawrence Indoor Aquatics Center. Learn more about the process here:

Police Station Proposal: The City is considering siting and construction of a unified police station, with current project costs estimated around $30 million dollars. The location of the facility is as of yet unknown.

On Tuesday, May 27, the City Commission held a study session on the proposed police facility including a review of the architect’s study/square footage needs and projected costs, and a discussion of possible funding options. Both property tax and sales tax increases are proposed to pay for the facility. Additional information can be found, here:

It’s budget season! How should our tax dollars be spent? City Commissioners took public comment at two listening sessions made possible in part by the advocacy of Commissioner Jeremy Farmer. Several LAN members attended both sessions, and heard many citizens requesting that the City take action to improve our community’s walkability and pedestrian bicycle safety. You can review the comments received by the City at the following link:

LAN also submitted comments to the City Commission regarding the Chamber of Commerce’s continued request for subsidy:

Read more about how Lawrence taxes compares to other Kansas communities and follow budget discussions happening at City Hall, here:

Do you have comments on the City’s 2015 budget priorities? Email your commissioners!

Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition

In many Lawrence neighborhoods, sidewalks are in very poor condition, or are simply non-existent. We have sidewalks in need or repair or replacement; we have incomplete pedestrian routes, interrupted sidewalks and dangerous sidewalks with no separation from high speed arterials. In November 2008, voters approved a .30% sales tax to improve City infrastructure, including sidewalks: Here is the language from the ballot question:

 “for the purposes of improving and maintaining public streets and sidewalks, constructing and maintaining improvements to the storm water pump station and related storm water facilities in the City north of the Kansas River, constructing and maintaining recreational trails and paths, purchasing fire apparatus and related fire equipment, and such other related street, storm water, and recreational path infrastructure, and fire equipment purposes as may be in the best interest of the City, the collection of such sales tax to commence on April 1, 2009 and shall terminate ten years after its commencement, all in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 it seq., and amendments thereto”

This tax was slated to generate approximately $3.9 million per year in revenue; the sum total raised to date is around $16 million dollars. Unfortunately, only about 2% of that money is currently being spent on pedestrian infrastructure, The Pedestrian Coalition has been told by City Manager Corliss that the revenue generated by the current tax will not likely be reallocated for additional pedestrian funding. Commission Bob Schumm has proposed the possibility of a new tax:

Members of the LPC provided comments to the City Commission, asking for a budget line item to address pedestrian transportation needs, and reinforcing the need for an implementation plan.  If you have opinions about pedestrian infrastructure or how the City’s sales tax revenues are spent, please contact your city Commissioners!

Barker Neighborhood Walkability Project: AARP Kansas is working with the Barker Neighborhood Association, the City of Lawrence and Kaw Valley Older Women’s League (OWL) to identify ways to make the Barker neighborhood–just south and east of downtown Lawrence–more age-friendly. On the evening of July 28, 2014, Dan Burden, Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, and residents of the Barker neighborhood, as well as any other interested citizens, will participate in a brief educational session and walking tour of the neighborhood.

On July 29, the group will participate in a full-day workshop complete with bus tour which will stop along the way so that Burden can point out what can be done to make the neighborhood a better place to live for all ages.

The workshop will enable Barker neighborhood residents, the city and interested citizens to develop short term, intermediate term and long term goals to make the neighborhood more livable for all.The work is similar to the work done in Wichita which led to the creation of the Grandparents Park. For more information, contact Bonnie Uffman:

Affordable Housing Coalition: Lawrence has a new affordable housing coalition! Their next meeting is May 29th, at the Dillon’s grocery store on 6th & Wakarusa in the deli area. Check out the coalition on Facebook!

Rental Registration Meetings: The City of Lawrence Planning & Development Services Department is hosting three educational seminars to assist property owners, property managers, tenants and the public with the transition to the recently adopted expansion of the Rental Licensing and Inspection Program (Ord. 8840). Current single-family zoned rental properties will be affected by these changes starting on July 1, 2014. All other rental units in the City of Lawrence will become part of the Rental Licensing and Inspection Program starting on January 1, 2015. The seminars will be held on the following dates:

May 15th / 6:00-8:00 p.m. – Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. 2nd Street.

June 3rd / 10:00 a.m.—Noon – Douglas County Fairgrounds Dreher Building, 2110 Harper Street.

June 18th / 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Lawrence Free State High School commons, 4700 Overland Dr.

Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC): This city advisory board, which oversees allocation of funding for specified neighborhood coordinators, has vacancies. Eligibility requirements exist for this board. Contact Danelle Dresslar, 832.3108;

Go Kart Fun Center Rejected: Check out the details & correspondence submitted, here:  Although it appears that staff recommended approval to the PC, the PC did not support the action or recommend approval of the development proposed. This project, at its proposed location, appears idle for now.

DRAFT June LAN Meeting Agenda: LAN will hold its monthly meeting Thursday, June 5 at 7 PM in the Sandbar/People’s Bank Conference room, on New Hampshire Street, downtown. Please join us!  If you have items you’d like to on the LAN monthly meeting agenda, please ask your neighborhood LAN rep to bring them to the meeting. Here is a draft agenda:

  1. Approval of March Minutes
  2. Receipt of treasurer report
  3. Update from City of Lawrence Planning staff
  4. Discussion of police station proposal
  5. H2020 update
  6. Neighborhood updates

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