Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) Meeting Minutes – September 7, 2017
LAN met at 7:00 p.m., September 7, 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; Candice Davis, Oread Residents Association representative; Charlie Bryan, Monterey; Cindy Suenram, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association representative; Courtney Shipley, Dad Perry Park/Kasold; David Longhurst, Downtown Lawrence Inc.; Eric Kirkendall, Old West Lawrence Association; 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; Melinda Henderson, Brook Creek Neighborhood Association representative; Pam Burkhead, University Place Neighborhood Association co-representative; Patrick Wilbur, Lawrence Sunset Alliance; Rick Lahm, West Hills Homes Association; Steve Braswell, Pinckney Neighborhood Association; Ted Boyle, North Lawrence Improvement Association representative.
Announcements. Kirk testified to Congress. Lisa Larsen is not able to make it to tonight’s meeting due to a death in her family.
July minutes. It was moved by David Longhurst, seconded by Jane Gibson, to approve the July 2017 minutes. Motion approved by unanimous consent with Cindy Suenram abstaining.
August minutes. It was moved by Cindy Suenram, seconded by David Longhurst, to approve the August 2017 minutes. Motion approved by unanimous consent with Courtney Shipley, Charlie Bryan and Jane Gibson abstaining.
Treasurer’s report. Cindy Suenram reported $2,305.11 is in the LAN bank account.
Update from City Planning and Development Services. The September 7, 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.
- Oread. Candice had nothing to report.
- East Lawrence. Cindy reported that East Lawrence Neighborhood Association has a Block Party scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30.
- Downtown. David reported that the 70th Annual KU Band Day would be in downtown on Saturday, Sept. 9.
- Sunset Hill. Kathy reported that the executive committee recently met and launched a new website, http://sunsethillna.org/. The Sunset Hill Neighborhood Association has 138 paying members. Kathy encouraged others to promote and attend the upcoming Safe Routes for All Town Hall event to be held at Liberty Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21. SHNA is supporting traffic calming request that goes to the Transportation Commission in September. The former Cadillac Ranch is being converted from a bar and lounge. The League of Women Voters will have a Pot Luck for Candidates – City Commission & School Board at the Centennial Park East Shelter Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. SHNA is scheduling its first-ever neighborhood trash pick-up to be done in spring. SHNA executive committee has had some discussion on LED streetlights, an issue that has also come up in other neighborhoods. (Ted says LED streetlights are too bright in North Lawrence, and NLIA has had shades installed to direct light down and dim them).
- University Place. Pam reported that the neighborhood is planning a neighborhood picnic.
- Old West Lawrence. Kirk reported that the 2017 OWL Day Art and Garage Sales event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16.
- Brook Creek. Melinda reported that the neighborhood has its annual picnic at Brook Creek Park at 3 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 9.
- North Lawrence. Ted Boyle reported that the North Lawrence neighborhood potluck picnic will be at Lyons Park on Monday, Sept. 11. North Lawrence has had several new sidewalks installed to support the Safe Routes to School program. New sidewalks were installed on the 400 block of Walnut east to 5th Street; also, on the east side of 5th Street from Walnut to Woodlawn School. ADA ramps were installed at 4th and Locust. Also, traffic calming was installed on Walnut and Elm. Next year, traffic calming will be installed on Lincoln.
- Barker. Jane had nothing to report.
- Monterey. Charlie reported continued growth in membership on Monterey Nextdoor.
Speaker: Patrick Wilbur, Lawrence Sunset Alliance. Wilbur provided a presentation about the position of the Lawrence Sunset Alliance, a group of citizens organized in support of allowing three special sales taxes, totaling 0.55 percent and approved for 10 years in 2008, to sunset March 31, 2019. The City has called for a special question election, to be held in conjunction with the general election on November 7, 2017, regarding sales tax renewal proposals for public transportation, infrastructure and equipment, and affordable housing. Wilbur explained that the Lawrence Sunset Alliance believes that public dialogue about the sales tax proposals is important, that sales taxes are regressive and should be carefully examined, and that opposition to the proposals is a negotiation strategy to potentially bring about more cost-effective, sustainable and equitable funding strategies to support city infrastructure, transit and affordable housing. Wilbur fielded several questions from meeting participants and agreed to post the presentation slides to the Facebook group maintained by the Lawrence Sunset Alliance. In the discussion, Melinda pointed out that the statewide sales tax was significantly lower in 2008 when voters approved the three special sales taxes and that the state has increased sales taxes since then. Ted expressed his support for the sales tax renewal proposals and pointed out that a significant portion of sales tax is paid for by visitors. Courtney concluded the presentation and stated that she was arranging for additional speakers to attend the next LAN meeting to provide more information about the sales tax renewal proposals and to provide additional perspectives to promote a balanced discussion.
- VEC. Melinda reported that the League of Women Voters will have a potluck on September 24. All 14 candidates running for positions on the Lawrence City Commission and Lawrence Board of Education have been invited, and the format involves candidates rotating between picnic tables; more information will be sent out through the LAN listserv. VEC forum for City Commission candidates will be 4 p.m., Saturday, October 21 at City Hall. VEC forum for school boad candidates will be 4 p.m., Sunday, October 22 at City Hall. During last month’s LAN meeting, there was discussion about developing a questionnaire for City Commission candidates. So far, Melinda has come up with about 30 questions, which she is trying to keep related to issues discussed during LAN meetings. A draft of the questionnaire will be sent out to LAN officers and anyone else who requests an opportunity to review. Jane and David requested to be included in the email to review the questionnaire. Once collected, the candidate answers to the questionnaire will be sent out to the LAN listserv. It was moved by Jane, seconded by David, that LAN officers vet the questions. Motioned approved.
- Horizon 2020. Candy announced that the Planning Department taking input on draft comprehensive plan and encouraged people to read chapter three on neighborhoods. Candy expressed her concern about the definition and use of the term “mixed-use” and how that could create conflicts with single family neighborhoods. Candy also asserted that redevelopment and infill development efforts should be required to involve neighborhoods. Additionally, the draft does not include much about neighborhoods having plans and it is important that every neighborhood have a plan. Written input on the draft comprehensive plan is being accepted through Monday, October 23, 2017.
- Nominating committee. Discussion of the nominating committee will be put on the agenda for next month.
- Airbnb. Candi reported that she brought up at the Airbnb issue at a recent City Commission meeting and asserted that codes are needed. Candy sent a letter out from LAN on August 15. Currently, the City will enforce existing code required when complaints are filed. Pam reported that University Place has three Airbnb properties that were recently closed, that there is active discussion on the University Place listserv about the issue, and that UP neighborhood association president Steve Evans recently sent the City Commission his opinion on the matter.
- Sidewalk poll. Jane reported that Dave Kingsley agreed to help, but has another project to complete first. Dave is a statistician in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Charlie reported that the Public Health Law Center, which provides legal technical assistance, is examining additional options for financing sidewalk repairs and should have a report available by the end of September.
The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.