Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – July 6, 2017
LAN met at 7:00 p.m., July 6, 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, Monterey; Courtney Shipley, Dad Perry Park/Kasold; David Longhurst, Downtown Lawrence Inc.; David Mosher, Schwegler Neighborhood Association; Dustin Stumblingbear, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Gary Webber, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association co-representative; Jane Gibson, Barker Neighborhood Association representative; Jennifer Ananda, Candidate – Lawrence City Commission; Jim Carpenter, Planning Commission Member; Kathy Heppert, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association co-representative; Kirk McClure, Old West Lawrence Association; Lisa Larsen, Lawrence City Commission; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association representative; Pam Burkhead, University Place Neighborhood Association co-representative; Phil Collison, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association; Rob Sands, West Lawrence; Robert Lewis, West Hills Homes Association representative; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association representative.
Treasurer’s report. Cindy Suenram was not present but sent the following treasurer’s report via email: $2,355.11 is in the LAN bank account.
Announcements. A celebration of the life of Jon Josserand will be held at 2 p.m. July 8 at the KU Alumni Center, 1266 Oread Ave.
June minutes. Several edits to the June minutes were suggested. Approval of the minutes was deferred pending further revisions.
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.
- Downtown. David Longhurst reported that the 58th Annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale will take place on Thursday, July 20.
- Brook Creek. Melinda Henderson reported that Brook Creek Neighborhood Association takes a break in the summer. Having problems with homeless encampments in Brook Creek Park. Would like to hear from others about July 4th celebrations and fireworks. Brook Creek has also discussed sidewalk issue and supports City taking over sidewalks.
- Sunset Hills. Gary Webber reported that efforts to establish Neighborhood Watch in Sunset Hills will continue. While Neighborhood Watch signs cannot be produced by the City, Officer Drew Fennelly has a quote from Signup that can be used to place an order. Regarding fireworks, there were lots of fireworks set off in the neighborhood.
- East Lawrence. Phil Collison reported that the Lawrence City Commission approved a rezoning proposal for a portion of the East Lawrence Neighborhood. The City is moving forward with the East Ninth Street project. Did get some reaction in the neighborhood about the East Ninth Street project not including any bicycling infrastructure. Didn’t hear as many fireworks as usual, but they went on all night long.
- University Place. Pam Burkhead reported that the neighborhood is looking at the 19th Street expansion and the policy about Airbnb. The neighborhood is also trying to get representatives organized to address a comprehensive sidewalk improvement program. Had lots of fireworks.
- Barker. Jane Gibson reported that Transportation Commission will consider a staff recommendation to approve traffic calming on Learnard Avenue. The recommendation was based on meeting one criteria among the qualifying criteria for traffic calming. The neighborhood has had questions about requirement to have curbs and gutters in order to have traffic calming. Also, the neighborhood has concerns if traffic calming would cause the removal of any trees. The issue is on the Transportation Commission agenda for Monday, July 10. Regarding fireworks, the neighborhood had some, including the canon/mortar shell types.
- North Lawrence. Ted Boyle reported that fireworks were pretty noisy in North Lawrence. Most fireworks were shot up on the levee, and most fireworks remnants were picked up. The Douglas County line is on North Street, so fireworks can be used legally in parts of the North Lawrence neighborhood. Regarding Neighborhood Watch, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds can be used. Regarding traffic calming devices, speed humps do not need curb and gutters, as demonstrated by several such examples in North Lawrence. Also, if low-mod neighborhood, CDBG funds can be used for traffic calming. Free smoke detectors being provided in North Lawrence courtesy of ICL.
- Schwegler. David Mosher reported that fireworks were quieter this year as compared to past. Efforts are underway to hold a “dessert fest” for end of this month. Trying to establish block captains.
- Lisa Larsen. Regarding the East Ninth Street project, Lisa asked city manager Tom Markus to see if a wider sidewalk could be incorporated. Regarding bike/pedestrian infrastructure funds, staff is working on criteria ranking system that will be used to prioritize projects for three years.
- Oread. Candice Davis reported that Kyle Thompson is president of Oread Residents Association. The neighborhood is talking about the sidewalk issue. Courtney and Candi met with Commissioner Boley. Boley asserted that if the City had a sidewalk program, then the City would have to do provide sidewalks everywhere. Boley was providing reasons for the City to NOT take over responsibility for sidewalks. Oread is very interested in permit parking. Since the HERE project, there really is bumper to bumper parking when school is in session. The parking study was done in a targeted area. It is called a 10-year operational plan. It’s a draft. Lisa Larsen reported that staff is addressing comments and questions from Commissioners; if neighborhoods want to provide feedback, Lisa encourages neighborhoods to contact Brandon McGuire as soon as possible.
- Old West Lawrence. Kirk McClure reported that the neighborhood continues to debate sidewalks. Regarding fireworks, sky lanterns were dropping onto roofs causing fire hazards.
Working group update. In May, LAN members unanimously approved a motion to direct LAN co-chair Courtney Shipley to appoint a working group to develop a proposal for training LAN representatives and neighborhood leaders. Courtney recruited the following people to serve on the working group: Charlie Bryan, Courtney Shipley, Jim Carpenter and Kirk McClure. The working group met on June 21 to brainstorm approaches for training LAN representatives and neighborhood leaders. Several options for the scope of the training were discussed, including an all-day event, a multi-month training program and a partial-day event. Ultimately, the working group agreed on a partial-day event, with the general idea of a facilitated discussion with a panel of knowledgeable and experienced neighborhood leaders. Next steps for the training include recruiting panelists and a facilitator as well as selecting a specific date, time and venue.
Voter Education Coalition update. Melinda Henderson reported that VEC is soliciting questions for a forum to be held on Sunday, July 16, at City Hall, from 3:30 to 5:30. The forum will include a meet and greet followed by a moderated question and answer period. Candidates will be given between 30 seconds and 1 minute to answer. Also, audience members will be able to ask questions. Email suggested questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Melinda will send out this information via the LAN listserv. VEC will try to broadcast the forum via Facebook Live, and City staff will be there to record it for broadcast on the City’s YouTube channel. In addition to the forum, there are a few other events, including an upcoming ice cream social/candidate meet and greet on July 22. The primary election is August 1.
Safe Routes Champions Workshop. Gary Webber reported that he emailed all neighborhood contacts on the City website to encourage participation in the August 29 Safe Routes Champions Training. The event is sponsored by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Participants will learn how to empower school and neighborhoods to work together to set and achieve goals to keep students, neighbors and families safe when walking or biking. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. Gary asked that neighborhood representatives to share this volunteer opportunity with members the next time they have a neighborhood meeting or send out email or newsletter.
19th Street update. In budget hearing, there was a request to remove this. The City Commission directed staff to push off the project another year, to 2019.
Sidewalks update. City manager report included an update on sidewalks. Brandon at 11:30 p.m. said sidewalk policy hasn’t been changed; sidewalk repair is still complaint driven. Staff will inspect an entire block when a complaint is received. Gary Webber made a presentation to City Commission during a recent study session, asking them to use sales tax for sidewalk repair. Gary offered three options. Sales tax proposal is on agenda for the July 11 City Commission agenda. There are three questions: 0.2% for transit, 0.3% for infrastructure and 0.05% for affordable housing.
Neighborhood Survey. Rather than broad survey of neighborhood concerns, Courtney directed Charlie and Jane to develop an issue specific survey using sidewalks as the issue.
The meeting adjourned at 8:51 p.m.