Hy-Vee to check out
options for drainage
Before Hy-Vee can start building Lawrence's largest grocery store, it'll have to soak up suggestions for redesigning a drainage project downstream.
Lawrence city commissioners agreed Tuesday to have Chad Voigt, the city's stormwater engineer, hold off approving Hy-Vee's plans for clearing and widening a drainage ditch at the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Monterey Way.
The delay -- expected to last at least two weeks -- will give Hy-Vee's hired engineers a chance to explore alternatives for the drainage project.
More than a dozen residents complained that the project would force them to lose trees and landscaping, face dangerous currents of water, fear flooding in their houses and be subject to other problems -- and all of it to satisfy a giant grocery store not yet built at the northwest corner of the intersection.
"Stop the project," said Joe Collins, representing the Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp and about 18 homeowners near the area. "We're residents. We live here. We're not a business that's not here yet."
Jill Bogard, who lives on Sturbridge Court, threatened the city and Hy-Vee with a lawsuit, and suggested that many residents downstream from the store -- well into the Alvamar development -- would boycott Hy-Vee if the drainage project moved ahead.
Voigt told neighbors and commissioners, however, that the drainage project was essential to address flooding problems -- both current and future. Besides, all of the ditch work will be contained within dedicated drainage easements, which are there to provide for flow of storm runoff.
"This project is the right thing to do," he said.
State grant sought
for Brook Creek culvert
The city wants to install a new drainage culvert along Brook Creek, and it's looking for state money to help get it done.
Commissioners agreed to apply for a Hazard Mitigation Grant through the state of Kansas.
The city is looking for financial help for an estimated $250,000 project, which would replace a box drainage culvert at the intersection of 13th and Brook streets.
If approved, the grant would finance up to $187,500 of the project. The remaining $62,500 would be financed by the city.
Sertoma Club members
to cook up beer sales
The Lawrence Sertoma Club will be selling beer during its Barbecue Cook-Off next month.
The event will be conducted May 14-15 at the city's Broken Arrow Park, at 29th and Louisiana streets.
Commissioners agreed to allow club members to sell beer during the cook-off, which will generate money for the club's scholarship fund. The club's main philanthropy: speech- and hearing-impaired children and adults.
"It is our intention that the sale of beer will be handled by club members and will be sold to only those persons of legal drinking age," said Walter J. Hicks, the club's president, in a letter to city officials.
Commissioners approved an ordinance, on first reading, allowing for the temporary sale of alcohol on city property. City law does not allow the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on public property except where approved by commissioners.
Engineers on board
for new water lines
Commissioners hired local engineers to draw up plans for installation of several new water lines during the coming year.
BG Consultants will earn up to $112,378 to handle work for the "design, bid phase and construction phase services" for installation at the following locations:
- Vermont Street, from 19th to 23rd streets.
- Massachusetts Street, from 19th to 23rd streets.
- Vermont Street, from 11th to 13th streets.
- 21st Street, from Louisiana to Massachusetts streets.
- 11th Street, from Connecticut to Delaware streets.
- Ohio Street, from 21st Street to 2229 Ohio.
- Ohio Street, from 18th to 19th streets.
City receives plans
to develop Getto area
What started as a $150 million development plan for southwest Lawrence's last big chunk of development land has been pared back, just in time for city officials to check it out.
Commissioners formally received an annexation request for 163 acres owned by the Winnifred and Paul Getto Limited Partnership, which has a contract to sell the agricultural land to Dial Realty KC.
Dial wants to transform the property -- located along the south side of Clinton Parkway, between Crossgate and Inverness drives -- into a mixture of office, commercial, apartment, duplex and single-family residential areas. Dial is preparing to ask for permission to build 110,000 square feet of retail space at the southwest corner of Clinton Parkway and Crossgate.
To do anything, however, the company needs to get permission to have the property annexed and secure approval for its rezoning plans.
Both issues are scheduled to be reviewed next month by the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission. Dial hopes to begin construction in September.
New duplex gets
reprieve for access
A duplex mistakenly built facing Crestline Drive can go ahead and have a driveway on the street.
Commissioners agreed to revise a plat to allow the duplex -- being built along the west side of Crestline, about 200 feet south of 27th Street -- to take access onto Crestline, even though such access had been prohibited as part of the project's original plat.
Because Crestline is a collector street, officials had sought to reduce traffic problems by having the lot's driveway connect to Grand Circle instead. But developers submitted plans with the duplex pointed the wrong way, and city staffers compounded the problem by changing the lot's address to be on Crestline.
With a building permit in hand, crews poured a foundation and started building a duplex mistakenly aligned to have a driveway on Crestline.
"It was an honest mistake," said Jerry Willis, the project's developer along with Michael C. McGrew. "It was not intentional, nor any disrespect for authority. It was just cookie-cutter (work), moving too fast."
After discovering the mix-up, Willis and McGrew agreed to suspend construction at its current level, about 60 percent done. The commission's reprieve allows them to resume work, and add another driveway on Crestline.