Archive for Saturday, October 26, 1996


October 26, 1996


City Background

Commissioners have been unable to settle the issue for several weeks.

During its previous meeting, commissioners deadlocked 2-2 -- Commissioner Allen Levine was absent -- in voting to approve the rezoning, after nearly a dozen neighbors showed up to oppose the rezoning. The tie vote postponed the decision until Tuesday night.

A week earlier, Mayor John Nalbandian was absent. During that meeting, commissioners had agreed to wait until his return to settle the issue, after neighbors complained that duplexes would add traffic, noise and crime in their already strained neighborhood.

On Oct. 1, commissioners voted unanimously -- without discussion -- to approve the rezoning.

Before that, planning commissioners also voted unanimously to recommend approval of the rezoning.

An Oak Tree representative said that the land, currently zoned for single-family homes, had been on the market for two years without anyone being able to work out a financially feasible deal to buy it.

Bottom line

Lawrence city commissioners will consider approving an ordinance, on final reading, to rezone 18.4 acres from single-family to duplex residential uses south and west of the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive.

Dozens of nearby residents have opposed the rezoning request from Oak Tree Development, which wants to build duplexes on 43 lots.

If commissioners actually vote on the issue Tuesday as scheduled, here are the possible scenarios:

  • If at least four of five commissioners oppose the rezoning, they could vote to deny it altogether. Either a 4-1 or 5-0 vote would be required, because the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission had voted unanimously to recommend its approval.
  • If three commissioners oppose the rezoning, the request would be sent back to the planning commission for reconsideration. The issue then would have to be returned back to the city commission for final action at a later date.
  • If three commissioners support the rezoning, they could approve an ordinance that would become law upon publication in the newspaper.

Other business

  • Proclaim Nov. 11 "Veterans Day," and Nov. 3-9 "National Chemistry Week."
  • Agree to buy 800 electronic parking meters, for $112,884, from POM Inc., of Russellville, Ark.
  • Approve ordinances, on final reading, to annex and rezone 0.8 acre for office uses located south of West 31st Street, 1,200 feet east of Kasold Drive.
  • Approve an ordinance, on final reading, to exempt half of the appraised value of machinery and equipment used by Astor Universal from property taxes. The ordinance would limit Astor Universal, located in the East Hills Industrial Park, to a $327,330 exemption for machinery and equipment.
  • Approve ordinances, on final reading, to annex and rezone 5.13 acres from light and heavy industrial to general industrial uses in an area south and east of 31st Street and Haskell Avenue.
  • Approve ordinances, on final reading, to increase rates for trash and sanitary sewer service next year. Sanitary sewer rates would increase 16 percent, for a typical monthly increase of $2.04. Trash rates would increase 2 percent for the typical homeowner, or 19 cents a month.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to charge Lawrence utility customers a new fee to combat drainage problems in town. The new fee, which would go into effect Jan. 1, would charge the owners of a typical home $4 a month. Apartment residents would pay $2.68 a month, and commercial areas would pay more.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to rezone 14.2 acres from residential to general industrial uses south of the Santa Fe railroad tracks, north of 11th Street and east of Delaware Street.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to rezone 33 acres from agricultural to single-family residential uses southwest of Peterson Road and Monterey Way.
  • Approve a site plan for a parking lot at Delta Gamma Sorority, 1015 Emery. An agreement to plat the property also would be approved.
  • Approve a temporary use permit to allow Ten Thousand Villages to open a craft shop in a former Phillips 66 gas station at 1002 N.H.
  • Approve a request from FMC Corp. to extend city water service to two properties outside the city limits -- 900 Oak and 1565 N. 1620 Rd. -- affected by arsenic seeping from FMC property. The commission also would authorize staff to approve an agreement providing that the properties would be annexed into the city, were they ever to be redeveloped.
  • Open a public hearing concerning the proposed demolition of the so-called "Winter block" -- the area bordered by Seventh, Eighth, New Hampshire and Rhode Island streets. City manager Mike Wildgen said the hearing would be officially opened during the meeting, but public comment would be deferred until the commission's Nov. 12 meeting. The permit's applicant, Winter Inc., requested the delay.

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