Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – March 2, 2017
LAN met at 7:00 p.m., March 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: Bill Winkler, Barker Neighborhood Association; Bonnie Uffman, Barker Neighborhood resident; Candice Davis, Oread Residents Association; Charlie Bryan, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department / Monterey Neighborhood; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association; Courtney Shipley, Dad Perry Park/Kasold; David Longhurst, Downtown Lawrence Inc.; Emily Hensley, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Jane Gibson, Barker Neighborhood Association; Jeanne Pees, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission Member; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association; Lisa Larsen, Lawrence City Commission; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association; Phil Collison, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association; Rick Lahm, West Hills Homes Association; Robert Lewis, West Hills Homes Association; Steve Braswell, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association.
January and February minutes. It was moved by Kirk McClure, seconded by David Longhurst, to approve the January 2017 and February 2017 minutes. Motion approved by unanimous consent. Melinda Henderson abstained.
Treasurer’s report. Cindy Suenram reported $2,255.11 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. Dues have been paid by Barker Neighborhood Association, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association, Charlie Bryan, Courtney Shipley, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association, Old West Lawrence Association, Oread Residents Association, Sunset Hills Neighborhood Association, West Hills Homes Association.
Update from City Planning and Development Services. Becky Pepper not available to review the LAN Monthly Update, available at https://lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhood_information/. The update was sent out via the LAN listserv. The Feb. 21 City Manager’s Report contained an update about Airbnb, available at https://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/agendas/cc/2017/02-21-17/cmreport.html (as “Homesharing/Short-Term Rental Report”); topic to be considered for future LAN agenda.
- City Strategic Planning. The City Manager and City Commission have identified the development of a Strategic Plan for the City of Lawrence as a key priority. The planning process, expected to conclude in March 2017, ahead of the 2018 budget deliberations, involves the development and prioritization of strategic goals along with measurable strategies and objectives. The City Commission is expected to consider the Strategic Plan and priority initiatives at their meeting on March 7. More information is available at https://lawrenceks.org/strategic-plan/.
- Sidewalk follow up. Important to find other Kansas communities that have used home rule to opt out of the Kansas statute requiring adjacent property owners to maintain sidewalks. Three main points cited in recent discussions with staff/commissioners: 1) most property owners comply with code when notified of sidewalk hazard needing repair, and some property owners likely need some sort of relief if unable to afford repairs, 2) liability is too significant for City to assume responsibility for sidewalk repair, and 3) the political environment is uncertain regarding renewal of the infrastructure sales tax and voter approval of a property tax increase (due to new property tax lid statute). Jane posted notes to BNA listserv, which generated significant discussion; no one supported privately funding sidewalk repairs. Ted suggested a nominal fee on water bills could be more politically acceptable. The sidewalk repair issue is expected to be on the City Commission agenda on March 21. Candice suggests individuals take initiative to research other Kansas communities and bring findings to City Commission. Mission, Kansas transportation utility is under consideration by Kansas Supreme Court. Commissioner Larsen remarked that City Commission is sincerely listening and is seeking public input on the issue. Jim stated that he still wants to know if a property owner could remove sidewalks on property predating the code requiring sidewalks; no city code requires sidewalks on older properties.
- Recycling. Outreach coordinator will be scheduled for future LAN meeting.
- Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department master plan. To be considered by City Commission in March. Not able to get presenter before master plan.
- East Lawrence Rezoning. Request initiated to change multiple properties in East Lawrence from RM24 to RS5 zoning. Nonconforming uses will be grandfathered in. The rezoning request is topic for discussion on Commissioner Matthew Herbert’s Facebook group, available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/herbert2015/. Issue will be in front of Historic Resources Commission on March 14. Planning Commission expected to consider in April, and City Commission in May. ELNA would like a letter of support from LAN.
- East Ninth Street. Project to be considered by City Commission on March 14.
- Douglas County Food System Plan. Plan also expected to be considered by City Commission on March 14. Food system plan also to be presented to Planning Commission at mid-month meeting next week.
- Fines for failure clean pet feces from public sidewalks. Pinckney Neighborhood Association requested information about addressing pet feces on sidewalks. Candice reported that Animal Control handles such complaints. Also, the fine for failing to remove animal excrement is established in Lawrence city code 3-107, “ANIMAL OWNER RESPONSIBILITY FOR REMOVAL OF ANIMAL EXCREMENT,” available for review at https://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/city-code/chapter03.pdf. The fine is “not less than $10.00, plus applicable court costs.”
- VEC update. Melinda provided an update about the Lawrence school bond mail-ballot election. If approved by voters, the proposed $87 million bond issue would be used for improvements at high schools, middle schools, and the College and Career Center. Much of the bond issue would be for improvements at Lawrence High School. VEC will conduct a forum about the bond issue on the afternoon of Sunday, April 9. The forum will likely involve a panel of speakers. Not sure if panelists will include Kyle Hayden, school board members or Vote Yes Coalition members. VEC is interested in getting information out to the public and has no position on the bond issue. More information will be posted to the LAN listserv when available.
- Duplex/stacked parking issue. Melinda reported that two three-bedroom duplexes are going in on the east end of 19th Street right before the traffic circle. Each 3-bedroom unit will a 2-car garage and 2 spaces outside, giving four parking spaces per unit. Each duplex would provide 6 bedrooms with 8 parking spaces altogether.
- LAN listserv. Melinda and Charlie discussed process for people to be added to the LAN listserv. Currently, the process is to request to be added by contacting Candice, Courtney or Melinda. Charlie suggested providing information about the process on the LAN website as an alternative.
- Delaware Tribe. Ted reported that he met with a Delaware Tribe representative yesterday morning (March 1) and that they are pursuing agricultural and educational uses of their land with a focus on promoting their heritage. An informational meeting is scheduled at the Union Pacific Deport on the afternoon of March 13.
- Pinckney neighborhood fundraiser. Emily reported that Pinckney Neighborhood Association is considering using Sept. 16 for a neighborhood fundraiser; it would be a first-time fundraiser for PNA. Kirk suggested contacting Kathryn Tuttle regarding the annual Old West Lawrence block party that may be scheduled around the same time. Kirk suggested that OWL might be interested in co-promoting the event with PNA.
- KU Big Event. Candice sent out information via the LAN listserv about the seventh annual Big Event, scheduled for Saturday, April 8. The Big Event connects the KU campus with the Lawrence community by recruiting thousands of student, faculty, and staff volunteers to work at hundreds of local job sites during one day of service. For more information, visit http://thebigeventku.com/.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.