Plans for building a rental village in East Lawrence moved a step closer to reality Tuesday, as Lawrence city commissioners blessed a preliminary development plan and rezoning requests to get Earl Grove's Village off the ground.
Commissioners approved a plan to allow for the relocation of six rental homes to a 2-acre site along the east side of Delaware Street, between 12th and 13th streets. They also agreed to rezone the property to PRD-2 (planned residential development) from its current RS-1 (single-family residential).
If developer Bo March can pull it off, his "village" would provide 23 dwelling units with no more than 32 bedrooms -- all while preserving old houses soon to be displaced by redevelopment projects in the downtown area.
The project would create a campus atmosphere complete with a community garden, playground and a tennis courts between mature maple, locust, oak and pear trees.
The project is expected to cost up to $900,000.
Sewer, water, drainage
work prompts meeting
New sewers, water lines and drainage pipes will cut through the center of downtown this summer, and city officials want to be sure people know about the disruptive work.
Commissioners discussed the upcoming projects Tuesday night, in preparation for a public meeting at 6:30 tonight in the auditorium at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.
The public is invited to attend, ask questions, make suggestions and generally get familiar with work that could lead to traffic delays, service disruptions and other frustrations late this spring and into the summer.
The three projects will be coordinated so that crews can keep disruptions to a minimum, City Manager Mike Wildgen said.
"We certainly don't want to be in there twice," he said.
An estimated $1.86 million sewer line is planned to connect Kansas University's Memorial Stadium with a pipe leading to the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant. The relief line will run along Alabama Street north of the stadium to Ninth Street, then go east to Connecticut Street, north to Eighth Street and east to pipes near the railroad tracks past Pennsylvania Street.
The city also plans to hire crews -- officials estimated the cost at $137,000 in 1996 -- to install a drainage-improvement project along Ninth, from Vermont to New Hampshire streets. A new waterline also would be installed on Ninth between Vermont and New Hampshire.
Mayor, officials thank
friends of city parks
City officials recognized 18 organizations and individuals through the city's "Friend of the Parks" program. Now in its 16th year, the program acknowledges gifts of time, effort and money to improve the city's parks and bolster its recreation programs.
This year's friends:
Stephanie Vietor, a volunteer who planted ground cover at Eagle Bend Golf Course and cleaned up a slope at 12th and Mississippi streets; Free State Walkers, who spent $500 to beautify South Park; and Mary Sloan Mozingo, who donated $100 for a tree to be planted in Buford M. Watson Jr. Park, in memory of Hannah Grace Taylor.
Also: Eagle Scouts Jason Chronister, who worked on a trail and erosion-control project in Naismith Valley Park, and Chris Neverve, who built benches and installed a sign for a mountain bike trail.
Special Olympics received donations from: Lawrence Association of Life Underwriters, $1,265; Civitan Club, $300; Cheri Drake and Amy LeMert, agents for Coldwell Banker-McGrew Real Estate, $300; Sertoma Club, $200 donation; Annette Givens, $200; and McLouth Kiwanis Club, $100 for unified sports shirts.
Other friends: Greg Brune, who donated $25 for the Charles Brune Scholarship Fund; Envirological Mobile Abrasive Blasting of Baldwin, which volunteered to remove spray-painted graffiti from a limestone sculpture of a buffalo at Lawrence Avenue and Clinton Parkway; Lawrence Homebuilders Assn. and Landplan Engineering, which donated $1,500 for a youth scholarship fund, and Soroptimist International of Lawrence, which put up $200 for the Soroptimist flower bed in South Park.
Public hearing set
for downtown lot
Financing for a $300,000 facelift for a downtown parking lot will get a public hearing next month.
Commissioners agreed to schedule the public hearing during their regular meeting Feb. 16, which begins at 6:35 p.m. The financing -- half from city taxpayers, half from surrounding property owners -- could become a model for paying off other future parking projects in the downtown area.
All private properties in the city's C-3 zoning district -- properties between Sixth and 11th streets that are on both sides of Vermont and Massachusetts streets, plus the west side of New Hampshire Street -- would share the cost of half of the entire project. The city at large would pay the other half.
Judging by preliminary estimates compiled by the city, the total assessment for a typical lot in the benefit district would be $550, which could be spread over a term of up to 10 years.
The project, as proposed, would rebuild the existing long-term city lot along the east side of New Hampshire streets, about midway between Eighth and Ninth streets, would be upgraded.
While the new lot would include only 102 spaces -- down from the 142 currently there -- it would have new pavement, landscaping, lights and new meters to help increase the lot's attractiveness, security and use.
Sewer plant awaits
$2.74 million design
Black & Veatch landed a $2.74 million contract to draw up plans for the biggest municipal project in Lawrence history.
Commissioners agreed to hire the Kansas City, Mo.-based company to draw up engineering plans for an estimated $40.5 million expansion and upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1400 E. Eighth.
The construction project is expected to begin next spring and be operational by the end of 2002. As conceived by Black & Veatch: 55 percent of the project is required to keep up with the city's growth; 30 percent of the project is necessary for meeting new and expected environmental regulations; and 15 percent is attributable to maintaining system reliability.
Once completed, the project should handle the city's sewage treatment needs through 2020, Black & Veatch officials said.