Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Parking concerns in Oread neighborhood drive boarding house debate

January 17, 2012


The issue of big boarding houses and the future of the Oread neighborhood will return to Lawrence City Hall tonight.

City commissioners at their weekly meeting will consider revising regulations that several homeowners in Oread say would allow too many boarding houses to be built in the neighborhood.

A boarding house is a type of structure that is exempt from the requirement that no more than four unrelated people can live in a multifamily zoned property. Instead, the number of people who can live in a boarding house is governed, in part, by the amount of off-street parking each house can provide.

Previously, the parking standard was .75 parking space per one bedroom. But the new regulations allow boarding houses to use a calculation of .5 parking space per bedroom. But in order to qualify for the reduced parking rate, the house must be at least 3,500 square feet in size. City planning staff members have said unfinished basements and attics should be counted in figuring the total square footage of a house, with the idea that those spaces could be made livable at some point.

But research by the city has now confirmed that 89 homes, or about 20 percent of all homes in the Oread neighborhood, would be eligible for the reduced parking standards.

Several Oread residents have said such a large increase in the number of boarding houses would worsen parking and other congestion problems in the neighborhood.

Some landlords, though, have said the city does need to encourage the conversion of large homes into boarding houses as a way of preserving the structures. If the large homes can’t be used as boarding houses, some landlords have argued, the old houses will be more likely to be torn down.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. today at City Hall.


Robert Rauktis 6 years, 5 months ago

There is no good answer as long as every teenager has his own SUV. It's a wonder Lawrence doesn't sink beneath the weight of the autos.

Michael Capra 6 years, 5 months ago

the 5 little witches strike again,,would u please get a life

geekin_topekan 6 years, 5 months ago

Larry is about the most walkable, busable, ridable town you'll find everywhere. If you can;t find a place to park it's your own fault not the gubment's.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

"Instead, the number of people who can live in a boarding house is governed, in part, by the amount of off-street parking each house can provide. " Can we call this developer rhetoric?

Yeah right. This is absolute nonsense in real life.

When has this concept ever worked? The answer: Never!

Will there be enforcement? Of course not.

I say build all new boarding houses west of 15th and Wakarusa and call them Foxfire Estates.

gsxr600 6 years, 5 months ago

Third paragraph: Since when did it become 4 unrelated people and not 3? C'mon LJW.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 5 months ago

It has always been more than 4-unrelated in multi-family zoning. The 3-unrelated rule applies to single-family zoning. C'mon gsxr600.

flyin_squirrel 6 years, 5 months ago

This again.... No wonder nothing ever gets done in our city. This topic was discussed for 2 years and voted on. Then it is brought up again less than a year from the vote. Commissioners, if you didn't like it the first time, why did you vote for it! Paralysis by analysis is the definition of our city government.

And if anyone wants to figure out what is causing the parking problem, drive around the Oread when school is in session, and then on a weekend.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

It's not only the cars. It's the 60-100 people that will live in these monsters. Yes then come all of the cars. Better yet the owners should be required to provide off street parking for all of their tenants. There is no spare parking available anywhere near campus.

We voters are by far the most powerful and most important economic stakeholders!

What makes we voting spending taxpayers the most important stakeholders in any new development or construction project whether it be private or local government? Each one of us spend thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars in this community without which Lawrence would be nothing. Yet we are cast aside under the facade that none of this is any of our business.

Is it the taxpayers responsibility to guarantee the real estate industry and developers a nice tidy profit on their speculation and/or risky investments? Absolutely not!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

About that project in North Lawrence. The people are asking for preferential treatment regarding zoning. Traffic at the location is already a hassle so we know that it will be compounded with any new project.

Want to build a new stylin Johnny's? Go for it. Build it near the levy for a Kaw River scenic view. Next add a massive beautiful very low maintenance Kansas Landscape paradise for the outdoor enjoyment of the bar patrons. Contact Vinland Valley Nursery. Sit back and watch the money roll in. Outdoor music perhaps - don't bother the neighbors. The 4th of July will be a sell out.

Think practical. Add three more items. A small full blown grocery store. A hardware store. A laundromat. Now sit back and watch more money roll in. A laundromat,hardware store and grocery store might have saved the failed Tanger Mall.

I would suggest leaving those stone structures to soften the impact of the new construction look.

No to preferential zoning. That will set an unwanted precedent.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 5 months ago

If single -family zoning can only have three unrelated persons, but boarding houses can have as many as can fit, as long as zoning is .5 per car, that is very unfair to landlords who have single-family housing. I suspect if it were taken to court, boarding houses would lose. And they should. Who wants to live in boarding houses, in the Oread neighborhood? It is already way overbuilt. And as for landlords who want to tear the houses down, that is contrary to what Lawrence is all about - bring on neighborhood preservation. Many of these are wonderful houses and they should not be torn down or rebuilt to house more people. It is ALL ABOUT GREED by a certain number of in-town and out-of-town people.

beaujackson 6 years, 5 months ago

ALL apartments, boardinghouses and student rental housing should be required to provide off-street parking for all tenants. Period.

Of course, many would have to be torn down to provide space for those parking lots.

So what? Apartment owners have to provide parking for tenants - why not all rental housing?

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