Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – April 7, 2016
LAN met at 7 p.m., April 7th 2016, in Meeting Room C at the Lawrence Public Library with Chair Candice Davis presiding. The following attendees were present:
Candy Davis, Oread Residents Association, LAN Chair; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association, LAN Treasurer; Steve Braswell, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association; Bill Winkler, Barker Neighborhood Association; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association; Robert Lewis, West Hills; David Longhurst, Downtown Lawrence; Brenda Nunez, East Lawrence; Steve Evans, University Place President; Virgil Dean, Westwood; Dietrich Earnhart, University Place; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission; Lisa Larsen, City Commission; Megan Gilliland, City of Lawrence; Lisa Man, Lawrence Public Library; Becky Pepper, Lawrence Planning and Development Services.
March minutes were approved. (McClure/Longhurst)
Treasurer’s report (Cindy): Current balance $2208.82
Megan Gilliland, City Hall Communication Manager gave a tech update about City Hall communications. Megan is responsible for the city website, all city social media, cable channel 25 and manages all email addressed to City Hall. Megan discussed two aspects of city hall and community communication; Citizen Notification verses Citizen Engagement through conversation. Megan said she thinks notification is done well but that engagement needs improvement. Megan discussed several tools/software platforms she thinks will allow better citizen engagement. These include Open Town Hall and Lawrence Listens.
Megan also discussed several upcoming projects. She wants to create “clickable agendas” of City Commission meetings. This would allow finding specific agenda items in archived City Commission meeting videos. City Commission meetings are available on You Tube. Megan also said she wants to start using a new website platform.
Becky Pepper gave an update regarding planning projects.
Candy talked about guidelines to assist in the creation of new neighborhood associations. It was moved (Lewis/Longhurst) that LAN accept the guidelines as a tool to assist in the forming of new neighborhood associations.
Dietrich Earnhart and Steve Evans discussed the proposed Intermodal Facility planned for parking lot 90 south of the main KU campus. This would serve as a bus transfer point for city and KU buses. They both said surrounding neighbors had some concerns about the project. They questioned if a sufficient environmental impact study has been done. There will be a lot of busses in and out of the facility and possibly idling while waiting. Increased bus traffic along 19th street may cause traffic slowdowns that could cause more people to look for alternate routes through the surrounding neighborhoods. Few details about the building of permanent structures are available at this point.
Melinda discussed several state house legislative issues. She talked about a proposal to prevent communities to enact hometown regulations such as the Lawrence Rental Registration and Inspection Program.
The Lawrence Pedestrian and Bike Task Force Final Report was briefly discussed. Kirk said he liked the overall plan but not the funding idea of a new sales tax. LAN had previously voted to support the Task Force’s suggestions but not a sales tax for this purpose.
Melinda talked about a 1970 and 1990 sales tax, both 1⁄2 cent, intended to be used for Police and Fire Department uses. These taxes had no sunset provision. There was discussion as to whether these funds are being used for Police and Fire Department purposes or just rolled into the city’s general operating budget. Melinda said she would look into this and talk to the City Commission about our concerns.
Brenda briefly talked about up the 9the Street Corridor Project. She said some neighbors are concerned about losing approximately 60 parking spaces in the area.
Ted said the grocery store project is still on track for the old Borders store location. He said the current plan is for a 40,000 square foot store with underground parking. He said it could create 200 jobs. Ted said the Hobbs Loft residents were expected to go along with the new plan.
Bill said the Barker Neighborhood will have a Pot Luck May 1.
Ted said June 1-3 will be the North Lawrence Sandrats reunion. Also the 20th anniversary of the renovation of the North Lawrence Depot will be held June 4.
Next LAN meeting will be May 5 at 745 New Hampshire St., the Sandbar Sub Shop/Peoples Bank. The library room is not available.
REPS: If you can’t attend a meeting, please send an alternate representative for your neighborhood. Your voice matters.
Submitted by: Steve Braswell, May 5, 2016