City leaders extend public comment period for draft downtown master plan; steering committee to have additional time for review

photo by: Jackson Barton

The Douglas County Courthouse and downtown Lawrence are pictured in an aerial photo Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The steering committee tasked with providing input on the draft downtown Lawrence master plan will have more time to consider public input and develop its recommendation.

The Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously at its meeting Tuesday to direct Houseal Lavigne Associates, the consultants hired to create the draft, to continue the public comment period an additional three weeks and to hold an additional meeting with the committee to revise the draft plan based on public input. The revised draft plan will then be brought to the City Commission for consideration.

The 119-page draft plan, which has been under development since August 2018, will guide growth and development downtown for the next 20 years. It provides recommendations regarding land use, development, building heights, parking, transportation, infrastructure, streetscapes and public art installations, among other elements.

The committee recently said it did not have enough time to consider issues and concerns about the draft raised by residents and wanted more time to gather input and develop recommendations for changes. The additional meeting will be held in the early part of July, and the revised plan will be brought to the commission in early August, according to a city staff memo. The memo states the consultant has indicated that the expanded public comment period and additional committee meeting can be accommodated under the existing contract and budget, which is $147,000.


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