LAN July 2014 Newsletter
Howdy Neighborhood Folks!
Hope all are enjoying this delicious weather, and relishing the last few weeks of summer before school starts again. As always, the neighborhoods are hopping, and you can learn about it all, here!
LAN’s August 2014 meeting will be held Thursday, August 7th at 7 PM, in the People’s Bank conference room behind Sandbar Subs on New Hampshire Street, downtown. Watch for agenda updates here:
City 2015 Budget
Everything you ever wanted to know about the City’s budget, including info on tax increases for 2015: http://www.lawrenceks.org/budget
If you are still wondering about the City’s 2015, budget, here are some of the Commissioners questions, answered: https://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2014/07-22-14/cmo_cc_inquiries.pdf
Here is a terrific budget summary from Chad Lawhorn: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/jul/19/q-lawrence-city-budget-and-proposed-tax-increase-2/
Interesting editorial on taxes within the City: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/apr/16/editorial-tax-reflex/
Ballard Center: Find details about how to apply to receive free school supplies, or to donate them if you’re able, on the Ballard Center’s website http://www.ballardcenter.org/.
Lawrence Community Shelter: As you are out enjoying the beautiful weather and doing some shopping, please consider picking up a few extra items for the families of Lawrence Community Shelter. They are in need in baby wash, shampoo, lotion, baby powder, baby oil, and diapers. http://www.lawrenceshelter.org
DCCDA: Healthy Sprouts needs your help! Funding for this important farm to preschool program is dwindling. NOW is the time to show your support by donating: http://www.dccda.org/food-education.shtml Simply click the red donate button.
Did you know that there is a primary election on Tuesday, August 5th? Don’t forget to vote! You can learn more about local candidates, here: https://www.facebook.com/vecdgks and here: http://lawrenceleague.com/files/Primary_Elections_Dg_Co_Aug_5_2014_web_address.pdf
Many thanks to the Voter Education Coalition and the League of Women Voters for their work!
There will also be a candidate Picnic, where you can lightly grill the candidates! This potluck will be held at Centennial Park’s East Shelter House, from 5-8 pm on August 21. A main dish provided. All candidates have been invited and all citizens are welcome! This event sponsored by the Lawrence/Douglas County League of Women Voters, and is non-partisan. Please join in!
Neighborhood Updates and Issues
Is your neighborhood registered with the City? If not, you may be missing important development proposal and funding information. Register and learn more, here: http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhood_information
Here is the City’s July update for neighborhoods: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/devservices/LAN/2014/ds_LAN_july_2014.pdf
Here is the City’s neighborhood boundary map: http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=07f72e6885a74f60b8b1ce1ea50376e7
Brook Creek Neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/brookcreekneighborhood
North Lawrence: NLIA meetings are held on the second Monday of the month, October through May at 7:00pm at the Peace Mennonite Church, 615 Lincoln Street.
Prairie Park Neighborhood is on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prairie-Park-Neighborhood-Association/413106368831522
Hillcrest Neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hillcrest-Neighborhood-Association/266441853380730
Oread Residents Association: http://oreadresidents.org
Centennial Neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/centennialneighborhood
East Lawrence: ELNA meets the first Monday of each month, from 7-9pm at the New York School library. http://www.eastlawrence.com/about-us/
Old West Lawrence/OWL: http://oldwestlawrence.net
University Place: http://upna.wordpress.com
Pinckney Neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/groups/117029931007/
Updates on activities at City Hall:
Horizon 2020: Please share your opinions with City leaders regarding the current comprehensive plan revisions underway.
The Survey ENDS August 1: http://lawrenceks.org/2020survey
City’s H020 update website: http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/horizon-2020-update-process
Check out the results from the City’s recent ETC survey, to be used by the Horizon 2020 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee: http://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/planning/h2020/Lawrence-Douglas-County-Final-Report-June-19th-2014.pdf
Interesting audit on Rock Chalk Park: https://www.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2014/07-22-14/PA_RCP_Infrastructure_Report_with_CM_response.pdf
You might recall that LAN called for a public vote on Rock Chalk park, to no avail.
Police Center Updates:
How do you feel about the tax implications? http://m.ljworld.com/news/2014/apr/15/city-keeping-eye-possible-november-election-police/?templates=mobile
Southpoint Retail Development Fails to Pass Planning Commission. Next step–the City Commission? http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/jul/21/planning-commission-hears-divided-comment-proposed/
Read a guest editorial on this issue from LAN vice chair, Candice Davis: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/jul/28/your-turn-planning-must-respect-community-vision/?opinion
Interesting blog from OWL resident and LAN member, Kirk McClure: http://www.lawrencesmartgrowth.blogspot.com/2014/07/which-is-better-smart-growth-or.html?m=1
The Links apartment complex in West Lawrence was approved with only one planning commissioner voting in opposition: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/town_talk/2014/jul/21/new-tax-increase-proposals-for-police-hq/
Incentives: Interesting development regarding public incentives: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/apr/07/incentives-package-downtown-apartments-approval/
An LJW Editorial questions the City providing development incentives for rental housing: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/jul/13/editorial-lets-be-clear/
Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition and pedestrian issues around town:
Safe Routes to School moves forward. Way to go, Lawrence! http://6lawrence.com/news/local-news/10973-local-organizations-hope-to-make-walking-to-school-safer
Thanks to the Lawrence Dougals County Health Department and their project partners!
Dan Burden visits Lawrence: Way to go AARP, Older Women’s League and Barker Neighborhood! http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2014/jul/27/expert-livable-communities-evaluate-barker-neighbo/
There was an absolutely outstanding turnout for, and presentation by, walkability expert Dan Burden in the Barker Neighborhood! Kudos to AARP, Barker Neighborhood and the Older Women’s League for their work on this amazing project! Over 70 people attended the walk audit on Monday night. A shout out to Commissioners Riordan and Amyx for attending! Check out the AARP and LPC Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/AARPKS and https://www.facebook.com/LawrencePedestrians
Here are ideas that the Pedestrian Coalition submitted in writing to the City, for the proposed task force resolution that City Staff are working on:
In addition to addressing the cost estimates provided by Chuck Soules as part of the recent updated inventory, we’d like to see the following policy components addressed by the task force:
Prioritization for spending–using MPO and other data/input, the task force should identify those areas of town that are most in need of additions or improvements to the pedestrian network, and focus on these, first. This review should include both gaps (infill) and repair needs.
Planning: in addition to sidewalks, we’d like to see the task force focus on the overarching pedestrian infrastructure, and help develop an implementation plan for Complete Streets. For example–what branch of City and County government will take a leadership role? Who at City Hall will be the point person for pedestrian issues? How will decisions regarding resource allocation be made, and by whom, with what stakeholder inputs? How will resources be obtained and monitored?
Design Guidelines: As our community continues to develop, grow and evolve, what changes to roadway designs, intersections, parking lots, and other pedestrian network components can be made to improve safety and accessibility for all? Are there best practices in use elsewhere that Lawrence might adopt?
Special population needs: We would like persons with disabilities; the elderly, children and families to be made a priority as the pedestrian network is improved. It is very important that each of these stakeholder groups have a voice, and that their needs are included in any decisions made.
Equity and enforcement: Many folks on the LPC are concerned that enforcement of the current code may have harmful impacts on low to moderate-income home owners. We’d like the task force to re-examine the current code, and consider multiple options (beyond enforcement) for funding and prompting needed improvements. We’d also like to see the sidewalk inventory data be broken out to differentiate between single family, owner-occupied homes; rental properties; and commercial properties. We believe that the task force may need to address each of these, separately.
The Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month, at 7 PM, in the basement conference room of the Carnegie Building, on Vermont Street, in downtown Lawrence. Learn more about the LPC here: http://www.lawrencewalks.org