Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – May 4, 2017
LAN met at 7:00 p.m., May 4, 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; Candice Davis, Oread Residents Association; Charlie Bryan, Monterey; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association; David Longhurst, Downtown Lawrence Inc.; Dustin Stumblingbear, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Gene Dorsey (for David Mosher), Schwegler Neighborhood Association; Jane Gibson, Barker Neighborhood Association; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission Member; Kathy Heppert, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association; Kurt Schroeder, City of Lawrence Planning and Development Services; Lisa Larsen, Lawrence City Commission; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association; Robert Lewis, West Hills Homes Association; Steve Braswell, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association.
Announcements. Courtney circulated a flier from Van Go announcing they are currently hiring ten 18-24 year olds for the fall session of The Arts Train (TAT), an arts-based part-time employment and job-training program. Courtney also announced that Depot Redux will receive a 2017 Preservation Achievement Award from the Lawrence Preservation Alliance during their annual awards event at Cider Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. Event tickets are available for purchase.
April minutes. It was moved by David Longhurst, seconded by Robert Lewis, to approve the April 2017 minutes. Motion approved by unanimous consent with Melinda Henderson abstaining.
Treasurer’s report. Cindy Suenram reported $2,330.11 is in the LAN bank account. Membership dues were received from Schwegler Neighborhood Association.
Update from City Planning and Development Services. The May 4, 2017 Neighborhood Update for LAN, available at https://lawrenceks.org/pds/neighborhood_information/, was reviewed by Becky Pepper. The update was also sent out via the LAN listserv.
Guest speaker. Kurt Schroeder, Assistant Director of Planning and Development, Development Services, presented on proposed new sign code regulations that would replace the current standards found in city code (Chapter 5, Article 18). The City Commission authorized staff to initiate a review of the sign code in May 2016. Soon after initiating discussions with stakeholders, it became evident that a landmark 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding day-to-day regulation of signs, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, AZ, and subsequent related court rulings, compelled Lawrence to completely rewrite its sign code. The proposed new sign code will be presented to the Lawrence Sign Code Board of Appeals during its 6/1/17 meeting in the City Commission Room at City Hall, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, a presentation to the City Commission and public hearing and adoption on 1st reading is expected on 7/11 or 7/18/17, with a 2nd reading on 7/18 or 7/25/17. If adopted in July, the new sign code would become effective on or about 8/1/17. Kurt’s presentation slides are available on the LAN website at http://wp.me/a31mFK-dW.
Discussion of focus of LAN. Continuing discussions initiated earlier this year about long-term LAN goals, the following issues were deliberated.
- Focus on neighborhood issues vs. being a city hall watchdog. Jane said both are important. It is also important to facilitate communication among neighborhoods and to better understand challenges facing neighborhoods, especially common challenges.
- What is happening on Planning Commission? How does LAN pay better attention to Planning Commission and understand the zoning triad – staff, planning commission and city commission. LAN needs to be involved earlier in the Planning Commission decision-making process. This also might be true with the decision-making process for the new Transportation Commission. Planning Commission is final yes or no on preliminary plats since the legal public hearing is at the Planning Commission. Planning Commission is quasi-judicial. Not sure which other advisory boards are quasi-judicial. For final development plans, staff usually has final review. LAN members should monitor plan submittals page at https://lawrenceks.org/pds/submittals/, especially the interactive map of planning submittals, which can be used to display plan submittals by neighborhood areas.
- After discussion about the various training needs for neighborhood leaders, it was moved by Jane Gibson and seconded by Kirk McClure to direct LAN co-chair Courtney Shipley to appoint a working group to develop a proposal for training LAN representatives and neighborhood leaders. The proposal would include a draft agenda, timeline, presenters and location. The proposal would be brought back to a future LAN meeting for further discussion. The motion passed unanimously.
- Courtney announced that PedCo (Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition) is having an “Equitable Funding for Sidewalk Repair” meeting from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Monday, May 8, at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School Library, 1400 Massachusetts Street. Contact PedCo Facilitator Gary Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Intersection Repair 2.0. Melinda directed people to page 6 of the ELNA newsletter for information about the painting of a new mural on the cul-de-sac on East 14th Street (just east of Burroughs Creek Rail Trail). The event is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 3. For more information, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Voter Education Coalition. Melinda reported that VEC is gearing up again for city commission election, school board election and possibly ballot initiatives. Ask neighbors to start thinking of questions for VEC to consider. Send questions to Melinda.
- Downtown Grocery. Ted Boyle reported that Barry Queen, operator of Queen’s Price Chopper chain, was in Lawrence to meet with the Downtown Grocery Committee. Queen reported that 140-160 people would be hired to work at the proposed 40,000 square foot grocery store at 7th and New Hampshire. Wages for part-time workers would be around $9/hour and for full-time workers would be around $14/hour with benefits (health insurance and vacation). Queen has no involvement in the apartments/residential units being discussed as part of the development project. This would be the 6th Queen’s Price Chopper. There are 51 Price Chopper grocery stores altogether (owned by four families). Jeff Sigler (pharmacy) is very excited about the possibility of being in the downtown store. Mike Treanor and his wife are the owner of the property. Becky Pepper reported that the site plan has been submitted and that Sandy Day is the planner assigned to the project. The plan will go to the Historic Resources Commission but probably not the Planning Commission.
- 19th Street discussion. Bill Winkler reported that a discussion of 19th Street will take place at Babcock Place on May 10 at 7 p.m. City engineer Dave Cronin will be there. Michael Almon from the 19th Street Neighborhoods Coalition will be there to make a presentation.
The meeting adjourned at 8:57 p.m.