FEB 2017 Minutes

Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – February 2, 2017

LAN met at 7:00 p.m., February 2, 2017, in Meeting Room C of the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont Street with Co-Chair Courtney Shipley presiding.

The following attendees were present: Becky Pepper, City of Lawrence Planning and Development Services; Bill Winkler, Barker Neighborhood Association; Bonnie Uffman, Barker Neighborhood resident; Candice Davis, Oread Residents Association; Charlie Bryan, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department / Monterey Neighborhood; Chris Tilden, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association; Courtney Shipley, Dad Perry Park/Kasold; Dave Greenbaum, Babcock; Jane Gibson, Barker Neighborhood Association; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission Member; Kathy Heppert, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association; Lisa Larsen, Lawrence City Commission; Mike Silverman, Babcock; Phil Collison, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association; Rick Lahm, West Hills Homes Association; Robert Lewis, West Hills Homes Association; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association.

January minutes. Minutes for the January 5, 2017 LAN meeting were not ready for approval.

Treasurer’s report. Cindy Suenram reported $2,225.11 is in the LAN bank account. Payment of 2017 membership dues began in January. Dues are $25.00 for organizations and $5 for individuals. Dues can be sent to 1204 New York St., Lawrence, Kansas 66044.

Update from City Planning and Development Services. Becky Pepper reviewed the February 2, 2017 Neighborhood Update for LAN, available at https://lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhood_information/. “Notable Development Projects” will now be included in PDS memo. Kirk asked about the capacity of the City to absorb all hotel space and how three new hotel development projects would impact a potential future downtown conference center. Kirk remarked that the City has a bad habit of individual initiatives spoiling our capacity to achieve our own plans. Becky was asked to check into status of Airbnb regulations and to provide an update at next LAN meeting.

Guest speaker. Chris Tilden, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, presented on the comprehensive community health assessment and planning process conducted by the health department every five years. The 18-month process began last summer with the formation of a steering committee with appointments from governing bodies from Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City, Lecompton and Douglas County. The initial phase of the community health assessment was completed in January, and the second phase is expected to be completed by May. After the assessment, a planning process will begin in the summer with a goal of completing plan development by December. The plan will be submitted for adoption by local governments in January. More information about the process, including the list of steering committee members and results of the first phase of the assessment can be found at http://ldchealth.org/221/Community-Health-Plan.

LAN Updates

  • Douglas County Food Policy Council released a draft food system plan and is requesting public input.
  • Parking study. The City is conducting stakeholder issue meetings to inform a study of the parking system serving downtown Lawrence, the east Lawrence neighborhood and the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Kansas. Candice Davis and Robert Lewis participated in the stakeholder issue meetings. They reported that the consultants conducting the meetings were very professional. The consultants suggested that parking issues might require different response in different areas, depending on various factors, such as proximity to the university, night life, etc. New technology simplifies enforcement of parking permits by allowing parking enforcement by driving by and scanning licenses. The study is expected to be completed by late May.
  • Single stream recycling has a higher participation rate, as it simplifies the recycling process for residents, but glass is often broken in the single-stream recycling process, which leads to a portion of glass not being recycled but rather ending up in the landfill. Ripple Glass (from Kansas City) offer glass recycling with five collection sites in Lawrence. Ripple Glass uses 100 percent of glass collected, including broken glass, as the glass is ground into use for other things.
  • Used oil recycling. Auto parts store and Walmart take used oil.
  • City Strategic Planning. Two strategic plan public input meetings are scheduled for February 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Public input can also be provided online. Another retreat is scheduled for February 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sidewalk inspection and repair program.
    • The City identified eight geographic areas with approximately the same amount of sidewalks. One area is currently under inspection. The area is generally north of 15th Street / Bob Billings Parkway and west of Wakarusa.
    • City manager Tom Markus talked to the League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County to talk about many things, including responding to the sidewalk issue. Markus’ comments on the sidewalk issue can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here. Markus expressed concerns about funding and liability. Markus also commented that compliance rates for current sidewalk repair notices is 60 to 70 percent, and the City has not adequately followed through on enforcing the sidewalk maintenance ordinance for noncompliant property owners. Markus has asked staff to develop alternatives for assisting property owners that need financial assistance to complete sidewalk repairs.
    • The Public Health Law Center is still working on the technical assistance request for information about the sidewalk issue.

Discussion on LAN goals and neighborhood development and outreach. The LAN mission and goals posted to the LAN website were briefly reviewed. After some discussion, the following LAN member agreed to meet for further discussion before bringing the issue back for further consideration. Those interested in participating in the discussion include Courtney Shipley, Charlie Bryan, Kirk McClure, Jane Gibson and Steve Evans.

Other updates

  • Ted Boyle provided an update about the cost of printing neighborhood newsletters. Pro-Print could offer substantial discount if CDBG neighborhoods ($342 for mailing; printing little more than that). Federal CDBG funds are less and less each year.
  • Downtown grocery store. Ted Boyle reported that the developer and grocery operator are working on a letter of intent. Currently, the developer is asking for $12-13 per square feet. The national average for grocery stores is $7-8 per square feet. Parking is significant cost. Trying to take away from the parking problem. If developer and grocery operator agree to terms, groundbreaking would be in late summer/early fall. There are approximately 13,000 people in the food desert area in downtown/North Lawrence/Pinckney/East Lawrence. There are approximately 24,000 people in all food desert areas in Lawrence. The downtown grocery committee holds a monthly public information meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. on last Thursdays of each month.

The meeting adjourned at 8:53 p.m.

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