The Lawrence-Douglas County planning office's two new employees will help reduce a mountain of work.
Linda Finger welcomed two new faces to city hall this morning, and they couldn't have come at a better time.
Sandra Day and Dennis J. Enslinger, who started work at 8 a.m., already were busy planning for two new projects: one for 29 new duplexes at Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive and another for a new porch and "pillared wooden pergola" at 705 Ohio.
The bottom line: The rest of Finger's busy planning staff can get on with the dozens of projects pending in the crowded first-floor office, thanks to the new help.
"It's going to catch us up to speed," said Finger, planning director. "Neither of them are coming in with a lot of free time on their hands."
The two new planners wouldn't have it any other way.
Day, 28, and Enslinger, 30, both are Kansas University graduates who said they wanted to return to a community committed to planning.
For Enslinger, the city's new historic resources administrator, Lawrence offers a chance to build upon its past. He recently held a similar position in Liberty, Mo., after having done consulting work for Lawrence and teaching at KU.
No. 1 on his work agenda this morning was considering a request for making renovations to a home at 705 Ohio. The owner wants to replace a limestone porch and add an arbor with a latticework roof -- a pergola.
Rather than hash out the proposal at his desk, Enslinger wants to meet with the property owner on site to see how the design would fit in with the Craftsman, Colonial Revival and Folk House National homes across the street.
"It's a lot less formal," he said. "With this kind of review, in a sense, you're guiding the property owner through a set of design guidelines. ... It's a real cooperative thing."
Finger knows Enslinger will be busy administering a building survey for the East Lawrence neighborhood, getting ready for a North Lawrence building survey and planning next year's statewide preservation conference.
Day, too, found herself busy, this time with plans for new duplexes in southwest Lawrence. As workers scurried to install her new phone line, she reviewed the development plan, one of eight projects already on her plate.
"I just want to jump in and get my feet wet right away," said Day, who left a similar position in Leavenworth County. "You learn more about a process by working through it."