Lawrence city commissioners briefly debated Tuesday their next steps in creating a master plan for keeping downtown healthy and vital.
At issue were four downtown development documents that the city either has recieved or already uses in planning.
Commissioner Bob Schumm said he wanted to discuss at next Tuesday's meeting similarities between the documents outlined in a report by City Manager Mike Wildgen.
The city currently uses the "Comprehensive Downtown Plan," adopted in 1982, as a planning guide for downtown.
The 1982 plan addresses several issues outlined in a recent Lawrence Chamber of Commerce task force report on downtown, Wildgen said.
Commissioners also wanted to consider links between the Chamber's Visit 2020 report on tourism, received by the commission Feb. 24, and a 1990 report from Downtown Lawrence Inc. on downtown design.
LINKS INCLUDE providing a broad mix of retail and cultural opportunities and improving access to downtown.
Schumm said commissioners also should address at the meeting the need for more parking.
"Parking is the most important asset we have," Schumm said. "You have to stay ahead of the parking curve. You can't wait until people are driving away and saying, `I used to like to shop there but I can't get in anymore.'"
Commisisoner John Nalbandian tried to pull in the reins. He said the commission needed a blueprint for developing a plan before making any decisions. "I'd like for us to agree on a process," he said.
Schumm said he didn't see the harm in getting started on some elements needed to create the plan, such as ordering a study of the city parking.
MAYOR BOB Schulte agreed the commission also should map out a strategy for drafting the plan. "We need to discuss our plan of attack," he said.
Commissioners agreed to discuss the issue further at next Tuesday's meeting.
IN OTHER action Tuesday:
Commissioners proclaimed Monday through April 26 as "National Community Development Week"; and they presented the Lawrence Arts Commission City Enhancement and Cultural Exchange Award to the Lawrence Art Guild Assn. Commissioners also recognized George Williams, director of public works, for receiving the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce's "Buford M. Watson Jr. Public Service Award."
In a single motion, commissioners approved the following consent agenda items:
Payment of city expenses.
A $38,548 contract for a medium duty truck-tractor with Laird Noller Heavy Trucks, Topeka.
A $27,152 contract for two full-size four-wheel drive pickups with Ed Bozarth Chevrolet, Topeka.
A $5,029 contract for a V-box hopper-type material spreader with Scherer Truck Equipment, Riverside, Mo.
Authorized the application of Project Acceptance for the Kansas Emergency Shelter Grant Program.
An ordinance on final reading amending the city code regarding the permitting of recycling facilities.
An ordinance on first reading changing the name of 26th Street in Cimarron Hills No. 4 to Hampton Street.
An ordinance on first reading changing the name of California Street in River Ridge Addition to Lonetree Drive.
AN ORDINANCE on first reading prohibiting the parking of unauthorized vehicles in the parking lot adjacent and north of city hall at the ground floor entrance.
Setting May 23 as the date for the police department's found property and bicycle auction at the old city garage, Fifth and Mississippi streets. Viewing of property would begin at 9 a.m. and the auction would begin at 10 a.m.
Authorizing payment of $99,491 to the state transportation department for the city's share of the cost of improvements to bridges on Naismith at 21st Street Terrace and 23rd Street Terrace and 21st Street. Awarded contract to Bryan-Ohlmeier Construction Co., Overland Park.
A site plan for Windcraft Homes, 1227 E. 23rd.
A use permitted upon review request for a telecommunications tower for Southwestern Bell Systems in the East Hills Business Park.
DRAFTING an ordinance concerning alternative methods of floodproofing nonresidential structures in Lawrence.
Drafting an ordinance to add a new section to the subdivision regulations for Lawrence and Douglas County that would establish a way to number lots in a subdivision plat.
Drafting an ordinance to add a new section to the subdivision regulations for Lawrence and Douglas County that would require a digital file of a subdivision be submitted to the city-county planning office before the final plat is filed with the county's register of deeds office.
Commissioners pulled the following items from the consent agenda for further discussion:
Minutes of previous city commission meeting and various city organization meetings. Commissioner John Nalbandian told commissioners he was considering adding to the April 7 minutes a clarification of comments he made regarding "feasible and prudent" alternatives to demolishing buildings in the environs of historic properties. Commissioners defered approval of the minutes one week.
A site plan for Phase II of College Hill Condominiums, including a revision to Phase I, on the north side of Emery Road and south of Ninth Street. Commissioner Bob Schumm asked city staff to briefly review the site plan with commissioners, who afterwards voted to approve the site plan.
A revised site plan for Leannemar Apartments, south of Wimbledon Drive and adjacent to Clinton Pointe subdivision. Acting on a request from residents near the proposed development, commissioners deferred the item until their April 28 meeting.
A request to withdraw about 59 lots included in the preliminary plat of Wakarusa Estates, a 122-lot residential subdivision, from the Four Seasons Planned Unit Development. The property is south of West 26th Street and about 740 feet west of Crossgate Drive. Schumm asked city staff to review the site plan with commissioners, who afterwards voted to approve the site plan.
On the regular agenda, commissioners:
Authorized the city manager to enter into an agreement with Leavenworth County Rural Water District No. 10. Under the agreement, the city would provide water service to the district through an eight-inch line at the district's expense.
Approved a request to rezone 11 acres to be known as Parkway Place, on the southwest corner of Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive, from RO-2 (residence-office) to PRD-2 (planned residential development). Approved a preliminary development plan for Parkway Place PRD with five conditions.
Tabled a staff report on showing preference to local businesses when accepting bids and awarding contracts. Commissioner Shirley Martin-Smith suggested the commission receive input on the issue from local business owners and members of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce in an study session before commissioners discuss the report. Commissioners tabled the issue to allow Martin-Smith to schedule an informal study session.
Commissioners gave their consent for the county to include property within the city limits north of Clinton Parkway and west of Wakarusa Drive in a county benefit district.
Mayor Bob Schulte announced that two members of the city-county planning commission soon would leave their positions and that the city welcomed applications for the vacancies. Anyone wanting to serve on the commission should submit a resume and a letter of interest to the city by May 1, Schulte said.