Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – June 1, 2017
LAN met at 7:00 p.m., June 1, 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 representative; Charlie Bryan, Monterey; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association representative; Courtney Shipley, Dad Perry Park/Kasold; David Mosher, Schwegler Neighborhood Association representative; Dustin Stumblingbear, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Gary Webber, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association co-representative; Jane Gibson, Barker Neighborhood Association representative; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission member; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association representative; Lisa Larsen, Lawrence City Commission; Matthew Herbert, Lawrence City Commission; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association representative; Pam Burkhead, University Place Neighborhood Association co-representative; Rachel Sudlow; Rick Lahm, West Hills Homes Association representative; Robert Lewis, West Hills Homes Association representative; Steve Braswell, Pinckney Neighborhood Association representative; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association representative.
Announcements. Melinda announced the death of Jon Josserand, a former lobbyist for KU who was also a former member of the Planning Commission. Jon was also very involved with Sister Cities. Jon will really be missed. Jon was very supportive of Lawrence and LAN.
May minutes. It was moved by Kirk McClure, seconded by Cindy Suenram, to approve the May 2017 minutes. Motion approved by unanimous consent with no abstentions.
Treasurer’s report. Cindy Suenram reported $2,355.11 is in the LAN bank account. It was moved by Steve Braswell, seconded by Robert Lewis, to approve use of $50 in LAN funds for a donation to a charity to be decided on by Candi on behalf of Jon Josserand. Candi will inquire about possible donation to Sister Cities.
Update from City Planning and Development Services. The June 1, 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. Please note, plans have once again been submitted for KTen Crossing, a major retail development at the intersection of the South Lawrence Trafficway and south Iowa Street; the preliminary development plan will be going to the Planning Commission in July. Also, the next H2020 Steering Committee meeting will be on July 31; a draft plan will be reviewed at that time. Regarding a parking regulation text amendment, Steve Braswell expressed concern by residents of the Pinckney neighborhood that parking is not being considered for entire area inclusive of both Lawrence Memorial Hospital and surrounding medical-related offices.
- Barker. Jane reported that Barker Neighborhood Association called a meeting at Babcock Place to discuss the project to widen 19th Street east of Harper Street and connect 19th to O’Connell Road. Dave Cronin and Michael Almon were invited. Cronin reported that there is no city plan to widen 19th from Harper to Naismith Drive. Michael expressed concern that widening 19th east of Harper would make 19th a traffic generator. Neighbors noted that the current plan predates important changes, including the extension of the South Lawrence Trafficway (K-10) and the City’s control over 23rd Street. Michael suggested that alternative access to VenturePark could be created. Lisa Larsen also reported that she has attended several neighborhood meetings along 19th. She has met with Chuck Soules, Dave Cronin and Brandon McGuire to discuss the matter. The City has done a model traffic study at VenturePark. Lisa will ask that the traffic data be shared publicly. Also, the City is researching traffic counts, including historical counts, to see changes over the years on 19th Street. Also, KDOT is close to getting post K-10 traffic count data for 23rd. All traffic count data should be available by the end of summer. Traffic calming on 19th could be requested. In other matters, Jane also asked how other neighborhoods bring people together to discuss and vote on issues, such as 19th Street. Please contact Jane with any suggestions or to share information about neighborhood communications strategies.
- Pinckney. Steve reported that Pinckney uses CDBG funds to mail a newsletter as a means of neighborhood communications. Also, the annual Pinckney Neighborhood Potluck Picnic is Saturday, June 3 in Clinton Park.
- East Lawrence and Brook Creek. The East Lawrence Neighborhood Association and the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association are holding the East Side Yard Sale, a combined neighborhood garage sale, on Saturday June 3 from 8 a.m. to noon; the same day as the Intersection Repair 2.0 project that involves painting a new community street mural on the East 14th Street cul-de-sac, just east of the Burroughs Creek Rail Trail.
- Sunset Hill. Gary reported about efforts to develop the Neighborhood Watch program in Sunset Hill. The program requires that half of people on the blocks of interest sign a petition requesting the program. The next step involves being trained by Lawrence Police Department and then placing the Neighborhood Watch signs. Neighborhood Resource Officer Drew Fennelly said there are currently no more signs, as the signs used to be made by people in prison and are not available any more. Matthew Herbert reported that the City has its own sign shop that might be able to be used to create Neighborhood Watch signs.
- North Lawrence. Ted reported on Neighborhood Watch. North Lawrence has 13-15 streets with Neighborhood Watch program. CDBG funds were used to buy signs. Also, Ted reported that ICL donated $1500 to buy weather radios for anyone that wanted them in North Lawrence; about 40-50 people have them now. With leftover funds, about $400, NLIA is going to buy smoke detectors. Finally, Ted reported NLIA is now working on a Quiet Zone.
- University Place. Pam reported on Neighborhood Watch. Officer Fennelly gave presentation on Neighborhood Watch. Also, Pam reported that after having temporary traffic calming for 13-14 years, the City is now installing permanent traffic calming in the University Place neighborhood.
Sidewalk update from Gary Webber, Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition (PedCo) facilitator. Gary reported that efforts have been underway for several years to change how the City addresses sidewalks. PedCo held a meeting on May 8 to discuss development of a proposal for sidewalk maintenance funding. About 50 people were invited; about 20 attended. Initial thought was to use property tax, but the attendees expressed concern that a property tax was politically untenable because of recent and expected property tax increases (school bond, city, county). The next option discussed was sales tax. The group agreed on a plan to follow the recommendation of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues Task Force to allocate 1/6 of the 0.3% infrastructure sales tax (would be 0.05%) to fund sidewalk repair. This would generate about $1 million per year. Next step was to talk with all five city commissioners. Larsen, Herbert and Boley have all been interviewed. Soden and Amyx haven’t yet responded. Lisa clarified (interviewed by Dee Boeck) that she would use 0.05% for affordable housing. Gary explained that the 0.05% recommended by PedCo was not from the same source as the 0.05% proposed for affordable housing. PedCo recommends using 1/6 of the 0.3% infrastructure sales tax, which would be 0.05%, for sidewalk repair funding. The 0.05% proposed for affordable housing would come from the 0.05% sales tax currently use for transit operations. Herbert expressed concern that the 0.05% sales tax for sidewalk repair would not generate enough revenue to address the problem. Adjusting for newer cost data, the sidewalk repair estimate is closer to $12 million. Gary reported that PedCo will present a formal proposal to the City Commission on June 13 and June 20. Ted mentioned that voters have not yet approved renewal of the infrastructure sales tax.
Commission Herbert Q & A. Commissioner Herbert presented himself for an open questions and answers discussion about topics of interest to LAN meeting attendees. Steve Braswell asked about the budget for the police station, specifically asking about the 2014 vote on the matter. Herbert explained that the previous vote was regarding whether to have a sales tax increase to fund the police station. The current proposal for funding a police station is to use property taxes. Braswell also gave an impassioned plea for city-wide funding of sidewalk repair versus assessing individual property owners, as financial hardship would result for many lower income home owners. Candice expressed concern that a single transit hub would be very expensive and perhaps not necessary. Herbert explained how the transit hub study will help answer those concerns. The first transit hub study focused on the question of where to locate a transit hub. The new study will address the question of whether a transit hub is needed. Gary thanked Herbert (and Larsen) for supporting improvement in multi-modal transportation infrastructure.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.