Archive for Saturday, February 21, 2009

City Commission agenda: Use of churches as shelters discussed

February 21, 2009


Agenda highlights • 6:35 p.m. Tuesday • City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets • Sunflower Broadband Channel 25 • Meeting documents online at

Use of churches as shelters discussed

Bottom line

City commissioners will consider new regulations regarding the ability of churches to serve as temporary homeless shelters.


Commissioners originally were ready to approve an ordinance that would allow churches to temporarily serve as homeless shelters, as long as the churches only served families with children. That would accommodate a new program — Family Promise — that is operating in the city. But attorneys for the city have said that limitation could be legally problematic. Instead, they said the limitation on the type of people served should be removed, which would give churches across the city the ability to serve as traditional homeless shelters for up to 15 nights per quarter.

Other business


• Proclaim Feb. 28 as 40 Years of Women’s Sports at Kansas University.

• Presentation of award for the 19th and Louisiana Streets Improvement Project.

Consent agenda

• Approve City Commission meeting minutes from Feb. 10.

• Receive minutes from various boards and commissions.

• Approve all claims.

• Approve licenses as recommended by the Department of Administrative Services.

• Approve appointments as recommended by the mayor.

• Bid and purchase items:

a.) Award City Bid No. B09006, Project No. PW0816, 2008 Sidewalk Gap Program to RD Johnson Excavating Co. in the amount of $235,801.05.

b.) Authorize payment of annual telephone maintenance charges per agreement with ISS Inc. for $20,639.

c.) Authorize payment to Douglas County, not to exceed $15,130.50, for updated 2009 aerial photography.

• Adopt the following ordinances on second and final reading:

a.) Ordinance No. 8363, regarding revisions to Downtown Design Guidelines and amending Chapter 20, Article 3, Section 308, UC Urban Conservation Overlay District.

b.) Ordinance No. 8369, authorizing a special use permit (SUP-12-10-08) to allow light equipment repair for Car Toys (stereo installation) at The Malls, located at 711 W. 23rd St.

c.) Ordinance No. 8370, to rezone (Z-11-18-08) 11,715 square feet located at 1245 Conn. from RS5 (Single-Dwelling Residential) to RSO (Single-Dwelling Residential Office).

d.) Ordinance No. 8372, to rezone 37,500 square feet at 1740 Mass. from RM24 (Multi-Dwelling Residential) to CS (Commercial Strip).

• Authorize the city manager to sign operating agreements regarding athletic fields with the Lawrence school district.

• Receive 2008 Annual Utility System Development Charges Report.

• Receive city manager’s report.

Regular agenda

• Consider adopting on second and final reading Ordinance No. 8371, to rezone (Z-11-20-08) 140,090 square feet at 2141 Maple Lane from RS7 (Single-Dwelling Residential) to RMO (Multi-Dwelling Residential Office).

• Receive staff report regarding text amendment related to TA-04-03-08, shelters in religious institutions.

• Consider authorizing staff to submit FY 2010 federal appropriations (earmark) requests to the city’s congressional delegation.


number3of5 9 years, 3 months ago

All this bruhaha over churches helping homeless is ridiculous. My understanding is that a church is a sanctuary for all, rich, poor, homeless, business person, and no matter what nationality or faith. What happened in the separation of church and state or for that matter, city?

honestone 9 years, 2 months ago

No open shelter in my neighborhood ...put it in Dever's neighborhood. No open shelter in my neighborhood ...put it in Hack's guestroom No open shelter in my neighborhood hall has a nice's even close to the river. No open shelter in my neighborhood ...maybe Boog will let them stay at his place. No open shelter in my neighborhood ...There is a nice place in the basement of the Law Enforcement building to

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 2 months ago

Whatever happened to the Salvation Army getting a new "compound" near 19th and Haskell??

Chris Ogle 9 years, 2 months ago

"This city commission is doing nothing but wasting time."

hey hawk- They rushed in and spent all our money, so now they are "discussing" topics that will soon apply to the majority in Lawrence. Just thinking ahead... they can't tax the Church. ... and the rest of us will be broke.

Tom McCune 9 years, 2 months ago

The issue is that under the various city planning and zoning laws, churches are "places of assembly" and not multi-family residences, even temporary ones. Some of the church basements and halls used for these temporary shelters don't comply with the building, fire, and zoning regulations for places where people sleep.

I used to belong to a church in another city that hosted these temporary shelters. That particular organization was very good about screening and only taking good people who were in a temporary bind. We had no problems with booze, drugs, or mental issues.

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