Douglas County Commission to consider awarding 3 conditional use permits

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World File Photo

The Douglas County Courthouse is pictured in September 2018.

The Douglas County Commission will consider authorizing three conditional use permits during its meeting on Wednesday.

The permits have been requested by rural property owners who want to operate a swimming lessons business, run a storage unit for trucks and build a storage unit for boats and RVs.

Property owners Katie Price and Patrick Norman applied for a permit to expand a private swimming pool on their property at 510 North 1700 Road. They said the expanded pool would be used for a business that offers swimming lessons.

In their application, they said the business would be operated 9-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with reduced hours on Fridays and Saturdays. It would not operate on Sundays. The application also says Price and Norman would be the only employees in the business and would provide lessons to up to five swimming students during each time slot.

Additionally, the permit would allow for swimming lessons to be the only business use of the pool and would bar it from hosting events.

The only physical change to the property would include enlarging the current pool, which is housed in a 3,000-square-foot building and contains three swimming lanes. The application requests authority to expand the pool structure by 800 square feet to provide an area for seating and ancillary training use.

Ben Shepley and George F. Roll are requesting a new permit for a boat storage unit on their property at 568 North 1800 Road. The property already has a conditional use permit for boat storage, which allows for the business known as Fred’s Boat Storage. But Shepley and Roll are requesting a new permit to allow them to build an additional barn for boat and RV storage.

The property currently houses a home, a barn and two 7,200-square-foot storage buildings. If the permit is awarded, the property owners will build a 19,200-square-foot storage barn in open space on the property.

Turf Masters, a Lawrence lawn and irrigation company, has requested a permit to operate a truck storage unit at 677 East 1250 Road. The company does not propose to make any changes to the property, which currently includes an 8,000-square-foot storage facility and a single-family home.

The application requests that the county allow the property owner to begin using the unit for storage of Turf Masters’ trucks.

County planning staff recommended that the commission approve all three requests.

In other business, the commission will continue discussions about possibly adding murals to pedestrian underpasses in southern Lawrence.

The commission previously discussed the issue in October, suggesting the murals could be a good way to prevent racist and anti-Semitic graffiti markings that appeared in the underpasses of 31st Street and Kansas Highway 10 that lead to the Baker Wetlands Trail.

The commission previously directed county staff to investigate the feasibility of the project.

Prior to its regular meeting, the commission will also discuss recommendations that the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council recently received that aim to help keep people with serious mental illnesses from repeatedly ending up in jail.

The CJCC received the recommendations in November, when law enforcement officials noted several of them have already been put in motion.

The discussion will take place during a work session, which means the commission is not expected to take any action related to the topic.

The County Commission will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. Full agendas are available online at

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