Downtown Lawrence Inc. has scheduled meetings with three Lawrence neighborhood groups to explain a new downtown proposal that calls for an expanded central business district to maintain downtown's economic viability.
Andy Ramirez, past president of DLI, said the group was attempting to schedule additional meetings with other groups to explain the plan, which has been endorsed by DLI and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.
The proposal, which was drafted by a chamber task force, recommends improving traffic access and parking, as well as developing a greater mix of offerings within the central business district. The offerings might include new retail and professional businesses, cultural and entertainment facilities, apartments, hotels and a convention center.
DLI and the chamber hope Lawrence neighborhood groups will join them in forming a coalition to advance the plan to city hall.
The three meetings scheduled so far are:
Oread Neighborhood Assn., 7 p.m. next Wednesday, chamber of commerce offices, 734 Vt.
North Lawrence Improvement Assn., 7 p.m. Feb. 10, International Order of Odd Fellows Hall, 615 Lincoln.
Brook Creek Neighborhood Assn., 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th.
RAMIREZ said four other neighborhood groups had expressed interest in hearing the presentation and were attempting to set up meetings. They are: East Lawrence Improvement Assn., Old West Lawrence Neighborhood Assn., Prairie Meadows Neighborhood Assn. and University Place Neighborhood Assn.
DLI had been unable to contact representatives of three neighborhood groups by phone and was trying to contact those groups by mail, he said. Those groups represent residents of the Indian Hills, Schwegler and Springwood Heights neighborhoods.
In addition, Ramirez said groups representing the following three neighborhoods, none of which is located near downtown, have told the DLI they are not interested in scheduling meetings: Crescent-Engel, Perry Park and West Hills.
THE PINCKNEY Neighborhood Assn. also declined to schedule a meeting at this time but Kelley Hayden, its president, said that was not a reflection of lack of interest in the proposal.
Hayden said the group, which does not maintain a regular meeting schedule, was seeking a new neighborhood coordinator. Once that task was accomplished, the group was likely to schedule its next meeting and hear the DLI presentation.
"I'm sure we will get actively involved again," Hayden said.