September 27, 2005

 

The Board of Commissioners of the City of Lawrence met in regular session at 6:35 p.m., in the City Commission Chambers in City Hall with Mayor Highberger presiding and members Amyx, Hack, Rundle, and Schauner present.

With Commission approval Mayor Highberger proclaimed the month of October as “Walktober in Downtown Lawrence” month.

CONSENT AGENDA

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to approve the City Commission meeting minutes of September 13, 2005.  Motion carried unanimously.

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to receive the Historic Resources Action Summary meeting minutes of August 18, 2005; the Public Library Advisory Board meeting minutes of August 15, 2005; and the Traffic Safety Commission meeting minutes of September 12, 2005.  Motion carried unanimously.
As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to approve claims to 269 vendors in the amount of $1,588,294.34.  Motion carried unanimously.  
As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to approve the Class A Club License for Fraternal Order of Eagles, 1803 West 6th Street; and the Retail Liquor Licenses for 23rd Street Liquor, 945 East 23rd; Alvin’s Wine & Spirits, 4000 West 6th, Ste: K; and Hillcrest Discount Liquor, 905 Iowa.  Motion carried unanimously. 

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to concur with the recommendation of the Mayor and appoint Bonnie Lowe to the Mental Health Board, to a term which will expire April 30, 2006; reappoint Joe Flannery and appoint Chuck Heath to terms which will expire September 30, 2009 and Scott Bailey to a term which will expire September 30, 2008, all to the Hospital Board; appoint Jim Carpenter to the Board of Zoning Appeals/Sign Code Board of Appeals to a term which will expire September 30, 2008; and reappoint Jeanette Collier and Kirsten Roussel and appoint Carol Nalbandian to the Neighborhood Resources Advisory Committee to terms which will expire September 30, 2008.  Motion carried unanimously. 

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to set a bid date of October 18, 2005 for the Weatherization Program (consisting of installation of storm windows, insulation of attics, and weather-stripping of doors for 30 homes in various locations throughout Lawrence.  Motion carried unanimously.                                              (1) 

The City Commission reviewed the bids for trees for the Master Street Tree Program for the Parks and Recreation Department.  The bids were:

                        BIDDER                                                          BID AMOUNT           

                        Rosehill Gardens                                            $129,495.00

                        Sand Creek Nursery                                       $134,417.70

                        Lawrence Landscape, Inc.                             $147,430.00

 

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to award the bid to Rosehill Gardens, in the amount of $129,495.  Motion carried unanimously.  (2)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to place on first reading Ordinance No. 7919, rezone (Z-10-50-04) a tract of land approximately 2.999 acres from A-1 (Suburban Homes Residential District) to RS-1 (Single-Family Residential District), property is generally described as being located southeast of Lake Estates Subdivision, between East 920 Road and Lake Alvamar.  Motion carried unanimously.                    (3)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to place on first reading Ordinance No. 7920, rezone (Z-10-51A-04) a tract of land approximately 2.09 acres from A-1 (Suburban Homes Residential District) to RS-1 (Single-Family Residential District), property is generally described as being located southeast of Lake Estates Subdivision, between East 920 Road and Lake Alvamar.  Motion carried unanimously.                    (4)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to place on first reading Ordinance No. 7921, rezone (Z-10-51B-04) a tract of land approximately 7.49 acres from A-1 (Suburban Homes Residential District) to RS-2 (Single-Family Residential District), property is generally described as being located southeast of Lake Estates Subdivision, between East 920 Road and Lake Alvamar.  Motion carried unanimously.                   (5)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to place on first reading Ordinance No. 7931, rezone (Z-07-44-05) a tract of land approximately .99 acre from M-1 (Research Industrial District) to RO-2 (Residence-Office District), property is generally described as being located between East 19th and Homewood Streets, east of Bullene Avenue, and commonly known as 927, 931, and 935 Homewood Streets; and, 934 and 938 East 19th Streets.   Motion carried unanimously.                                                                    (6)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to adopt Resolution No. 6613, authorizing the Mayor to execute a special warranty deed for the Martin-Logan property and the retirement of the 1999 Industrial Revenue Bond issuance in the amount of $1,055,000 (Lot 1, in Industrial Square One Nine No. 2).  Motion carried unanimously                                                                                                                                                    (7) 

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to adopt Resolution No. 6612, authorizing the issuance of General Obligation Bonds for Traffic Signal Renovations.  Motion carried unanimously.                                                                      (8)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to concur with the Traffic Safety Commission’s recommendation to establish “no parking” 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., on school days along both sides of Madeline Lane between 9th Street and Yale Road, and direct staff to prepare the appropriate ordinance.  Motion carried unanimously.      (9)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to place on first reading, Ordinance No. 7933, establishing “no parking” 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., on school days along both sides of Madeline Lane between 9th Street and Yale Road.  Motion carried unanimously.                                                                                                             (10)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to approve the site plan (SP-05-42-05) for site improvements, located at 201-209 West 8th Street, subject to the following conditions:

1.                   Execution of a Site Plan Performance Agreement.

2.                   Execution of an Agreement Not to Protest the Formation of a Benefit District for street improvements to W. 8th and Vermont Streets.

3.                   Submittal of public improvement plans to the Public Works Department for sidewalk, streetlight, and curbline improvements.

4.                   Revision of the site plan to include the following:

a.            The addition of a pedestrian-scaled streetlight within the bulbout. The existing light pole along Vermont Street may be utilized at the corner of the bulbout if it is a pedestrian-scaled light that is in good condition.

b.            The relocation of either the second tree or lightpole along W. 8th Street as counted from the corner of W. 8th and Vermont Streets, so that the tree and lightpole are approximately 10 feet apart.

c.            The notation of the building’s proposed uses.

d.            Revision of the dimensions for the on-street parking spaces to reflect city parking standards. Each grouping of two 18-foot parking spaces should include a 4-foot space between parking sets.

e.            Notation of Historic Resources Commission case no. DR-03-20-05.

           

Motion carried unanimously.                                                                                                        (11)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to approve the site plan (SP-08-62-05) for a 4,800 square feet office/storage building, located at 1150 East 11th Street, subject to the following conditions:

1          Provision of a photometric plan prior to release of the site plan for issuance of a building permit;

2.            Execution of a site plan performance agreement; and

3.            Provision of a revised landscape plan to include container sizes for shrubs and larger size plants if spreading evergreens are included.

 

Motion carried unanimously.                                                                                                       (12)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to declare surplus and unfound property and authorize auction for Saturday, October 1, 2005, Traffic Division garage at 6th and Mississippi.  Motion carried unanimously.                   (13)

As part of the consent agenda, it was moved by Amyx, seconded by Schauner, to approve as signs of community interest, the Friends of the Library Book Sale signs from September 30, 2005 – October 8, 2005.  Motion carried unanimously.                              (14)

CITY MANAGER’S REPORT: 

During the City Manager’s Report, Mike Wildgen said for the second year, Management Team members participated in Exchange Day Activities and reported on them at their September 21st meeting.

Wildgen also reported that the Parks & Recreation Department employees were responsible for the beautiful appearance of the downtown planters.         

Also, during the City Manager’s Report, Cliff Galante, Transit Administrator, said the Lawrence Transit System received an award from the Federal Transit Administration for the second year in a row.  He said staff received an award of achievement for having the highest percentage increase in ridership out of any of the urban transit systems in the State of Kansas.      

                                         (15)

REGULAR AGENDA ITEMS:

Consider Lawrence Arts Commission recommendation to deny a request for a mural at Century School.

 

Tim Holtzclaw, Managing Partner, Century School, said he had been a resident of Lawrence for over 7 years, an educator in this community since 1999, and had the privilege of being at Century School since February.

He said Century School prided itself on maintaining a code of scholarship, friendship and citizenship which were pillars of education and were made possible through everyday practices that they had at this school and also through a strong integration of their school into this community.  Students frequently were out visiting the community and wished to give something back to the Lawrence downtown community and chose to paint a mural as a means for gratitude. 

He said Century School received permission from the owners of the building and he was not under the impression that there was a precondition that a permit was needed before they began that project.  He said he and the kids spent a month designing an appropriate concept and received approval from the owners of the building. 

He said they spent approximately two months painting until a story appeared in the Lawrence Journal World concerning their project.  He said he spoke to the City Manager to try and rectify the problem as soon as possible.  The City Manager sent him to the Codes Enforcement Manager and he was informed as long as he went through the process there would be no problem.  He said at that point, he did not feel concerned about their application being approved or denied.  He said when he spoke with code enforcement he did not realize how long the process took and he was informed that it would take until the middle of September to approve or deny the application.  He said he expressed his hopes to have the mural completed by the end of August and he was led to believe as long as he went through the process there would be no problem, until he heard the Arts Commission decision.

He said he understood that the Arts Commission did not want to set a precedent which would allow public artists to get permission after the fact.  However, again, they were not aware of the application process beforehand and the second they became aware, they did everything they could to follow procedure.  He said they reviewed the criteria in granting a permit and felt that this mural fit the criteria.       

He said this project was very important to the kids at Century School.  This whole situation had brought a new angle to this project and it had been a big learning opportunity for them as staff and they were trying to convey what they had learned to the kids.  He said the lessons they had learned could be better accepted by the kids if there was resolution to this issue.

He said they recognized their mistake and they hoped as concerned and active citizens that the Commission would grant them permission to finish their project.  He said they could not correct the past, but they felt there was a strong positive impact that the completion of the mural would have with the children and this community and they felt that benefit outweighed their oversight.

Dante Colombo, Century School student, said when they first started work on the mural, he was skeptical about how it would turn out.  He would later find that he was wrong.  After about two weeks of outlining it was beginning to look like the work of a professional mural artist. 

He said Holtzclaw did especially well in making sure everyone had a chance to paint and that everyone had a special part in this long process.  He said his part was to choose the theme for the mural “everything connects to everything else.”   He said he was very proud of the fact that the mural would be displayed for all of Lawrence to see and he thought of the mural as a gift to the community.  However, the mural was being painted in downtown Lawrence which meant the adjoining lot was in an ideal location for a building, but even if a building was built at that location, they would still be very proud of all the hard work they had done to make the mural reality.

He said now there was just one last issue to resolve and that was to obtain a City permit and in spite of all the mistakes they had made in this process, it did not change how proud they were of Holtzclaw or how proud they were to be students of Century School.  He asked the Commission to consider allowing them to complete the mural.            

Teanna Totten, Century School student, said when she found out that they would be creating a mural she thought it would be fun.  She thought it would also be cool to have a piece of art that the community would see.  Planning the mural was a long process and it seemed that they would never get to paint.  Then finally, when they were allowed to paint, she was a bit unsure about how it would look.  After two weeks, the mural was outlined and it looked good.  She said it was fun because schools did not normally get to do things like this. 

She said when they stopped painting, she admitted that she was disappointed, but she still hoped they could continue to paint.  It had been very fun especially since they got to do it together as a school.             

Sadie McEniry, Century School student, said when their art teacher told them they were going to paint a mural she was excited.   She said their art teacher wanted them to help design and paint the mural.  She said when they started on the mural, it truly became a labor of love and the nice thing was that it was fun and not work or chores.  She said she personally thought the mural was absolutely beautiful.  The mural might look childish, but it was actually a magical work of art.  One of the reasons she liked painting the mural was that they got to use their imagination.  There were many wonderful murals in Lawrence which inspired her.  She said her dream would be to finish that project and see their mural join all the other murals around town.       

Deborah Altus, parent of a Century School student, said she felt like Century School had its hand slapped in a public way due to the articles in the Journal World and the Letters to the Editor and she thought it was enough.  She asked why Century School could not say they were sorry and that the City Commission should give the school a second chance.  The fact that the permission was not received was not a malicious act, but a mistake and they admitted to that mistake.  She asked that the Commission give the school a chance to finish that beautiful project and let the City show that it really cherished and celebrated the art of its young people.

She said this issue had gotten so much publicity that everybody now knows that permission was needed for a mural.  She asked that the City Commission consider letting the school finish their mural.         

Dr. Marlene Merrill, Lawrence Arts Commission Chair, said the Lawrence Arts Commission received the proposal to review at their September meeting.  One issue of discussion, because they fostered the arts, believed in the arts, and wanted to expand the scope of the arts within the community, was that there was an ordinance in which there was criteria upon which to evaluate issues that came before the Arts Commission.  One of the criteria was the relationship of the mural to the site and the rest of the community and the ability of neighbors to be notified that this art project was going to take place.  The process allowed many of those issues to be resolved as the Arts Commission went through the criteria. 

Certainly it was within the power of the City Commission to waive those requirements and grant the request of Century School to proceed.  She said the Arts Commission sent the recommendation that they could not make a recommendation because of the steps of the criteria that had not been followed.     

Commissioner Rundle asked if the Arts Commission stopped at that point or looked at the merits of the project.

Merrill said the Arts Commission read the ordinance in question and reviewed the criteria that were listed for the selection.  She said they had a very active discussion about what they should do to proceed.

Commissioner Schauner said he read the Arts Commission recommendation as being one based on the fact that there had not been a pre-mural painting application and approval.  He said if there had been a pre-application process before the mural had begun, he asked if this mural would have been approved or not.

Merrill said the Arts Commission did not discuss that issue and she thought that would be overstepping her bounds to make a statement about that issue.  She said they believed strongly in what they did and in the Arts and their recommendation was to follow the procedures.  That was the way that you ensure you have things of lasting quality. 

Vice Mayor Amyx thanked Merrill for following the criteria for recommendation on any work of art, but he said Merrill mentioned that the City Commission had the opportunity to waive    those requirements and grant the request of Century School to proceed. 

Merrill said the Arts Commission made the recommendation, but the City Commission was the decision making body.

Kari Kemptar, employee of HeadMasters, said it had been exciting seeing the kids working on the mural and she was shocked to see it stopped.  She said it would be nice to see the mural completed from a spectator side.     

Commissioner Rundle asked where this ordinance was incorporated in the City Code.

Mike Wildgen, City Manager, said that ordinance was in Chapter 5, Building and Construction, Article 7, Signs.

Vice Mayor Amyx asked Holtzclaw whether he had permission from the property owner for the staging area to work on the mural.

Holtzclaw said there was an agreement pending at this point, but they were very optimistic that issue would be solved.   

Commissioner Schauner asked if the permission from the owner was dependent on the results of this Commission meeting.

Holtzclaw said no, those were two separate issues.  He said they saw this permit as the last piece to the puzzle in completing the mural.

Vice Mayor Amyx said he thought this was an honest mistake.  He said he saw no reason to deny this permit and hold up completion of this mural.  He said he did not want to set a condition, but he did want to make sure they were allowed on that property to finish that project.

Commissioner Rundle said he was reflecting on other instances where someone had been found in violation of City Code and the Commission either made exceptions or found forgiveness.  He remembered that someone had planted plantings in the right-of-way along 6th Street.  He said the Commission agreed to let those planting remain but they had to agree if there was ever any need to dig up the street any expenses would be borne by the property owner.  He said just last week they had someone in violation of a site plan, someone who was very active in property redevelopment and that should be quite familiar with the City’s regulations, but the City Commission voted to make some exception.  He said usually there were fines for violations, but in this case Century School had been slapped on the wrist as a previous speaker noted.  He said he concurred with Vice Mayor Amyx to approve the completion of that project for Century School.         

Commissioner Hack said she wanted to make a couple of comments.  First, the Arts Commission acted within the guidelines of the ordinance. 

She said her second comment was that the City Commission was always a sucker for children.  She said the mural was a beautiful piece of art and she looked forward to the completion of that project if the arrangement could be made to make sure there were no liabilities to the property owner.            

Commissioner Schauner said he had a general concern about why that work went on for so long without any apparent notice by the people who enforced the City’s ordinances.  He said it seemed there was a lot of opportunity for someone to ask for a permit to see if it had gone through the proper channels.

Wildgen said he received a call on Saturday by the Journal World.  He said the alley was not usually patrolled.

Commissioner Schauner asked perhaps there could be staff discussion about how that happened to go on for so long.  He said if there was permission from the adjoining property owner he did not see any reason to stop the project and the mural should move on to completion.   

Mayor Highberger said he did not think the Arts Commission’s decision was incorrect, and he usually was reluctant to overturn the work of an appointed body, but in this case he was willing to approve the request to complete that mural.  He said if this project had gone through the process it would have likely been approved and he believed the mural would be an asset to the community. 

Moved by Hack, seconded by Schauner, to overturn the decision of the Arts Commission and approve the request for a mural by Century School.  Motion carried unanimously.                                                                                                                                (16)

Provide direction to staff concerning proposed improvements/reconstruction of Kasold Drive between 22nd Street and Bob Billings Parkway.

 

Chuck Soules, Public Works Director, presented the staff report.  He said starting at the south end there was a 7 foot grassy median, curb and gutter, 11 foot lanes, 2 feet between the back of the curb and gutter going west, 8 foot sidewalk, and 1 foot where a retaining wall would be.  The existing fence was on the right-of-way line and the retaining wall, sidewalk, road, and median would be extended from the center west.

A study session took place September 7th and staff provided a matrix of alternatives to the City Commission and public for discussion.  The neighbors and the public expressed support for Option 5, but they wanted to see some changes made. 

Since then, staff came up with Option 6 which would only include a 3 foot concrete median for access/left turn control, a 6 foot sidewalk, a shorter retaining wall, and a railing.  He said 7 feet of green space would remain and tie in at the top of the retaining wall. 

He said construction cost would be approximately the same as Option 5.  He said Option 6 saved the costs for construction of retaining wall height, sidewalk width, and adjacent neighborhood/property owner fencing.  He said it included additional cost for railing and construction sequencing issues and a concrete barrier wall would need to be placed between construction activity and maintaining traffic throughout the project.       

He said staff needed direction on the material for the retaining walls.  He presented a photo of a Keystone block retaining wall. 

He said the K.U. Endowment Association donated easements and right-of-way without compensation for a signal needed for this project.               

Commissioner Schauner asked about the difference in slope between the property line and the wall and whether there was going to be any difference betweens Option 5 and Option 6.

Soules said they would leave the existing 50 degree slope if they used Option 6.  He said with Option 5, they would be removing all that area and there would be no slope.

Schauner asked if the horizontal distance in Option 5 between the fence and wall was zero and in Option 6 would be approximately 7 feet.

Soules said yes.

Mayor Highberger asked about the estimate for the design cost to the project.

Soules said approximately $80,000 to $90,000 for Option 6.  He said that would require the redesign of the project from the intersection at Augusta to Scioto Drive, approximately 30% - 40% of the project. 

Commissioner Schauner asked how much was added to the construction to that stretch of road by leaving the road open the entire time of construction.

Soules said they had not completed the construction sequencing part of the plans which was approximately 10% that was not completed.

Commissioner Schauner said he thought Soules stated some time ago that by leaving the road open throughout the period of construction, it would cost additional monies because the construction would take longer.

Joe Caldwell, Bartlett and West, said the contract was estimated to increase by 5% to 10% to leave it open and they were estimating $3.7 million, so the additional cost would be $185,000 to $370,000.

Commissioner Schauner asked about the ability to maintain the grassy area that would remain in Option 6.

Soules said it would be maintained the way it was presently maintained.

Price Banks, a resident in the area, said he wanted to reiterate a couple of his earlier recommendations.  The first was to think seriously about taking sidewalks off arterial streets and using some kind of interior pathways and in this instance, there was a great pathway started which was much better, more aesthetic, and a safer pathway than along major streets.

Secondly, he said flattening the grade was costing a lot of money and he would have preferred that the City Commission reconsider that idea. 

He also wanted to encourage the City Commission to seriously consider Option 6.  He said they were talking about a 6 foot sidewalk, but effectively they were talking about a 9 foot recreation path because that 6 foot sidewalk had between it and the retaining wall, 1 foot that was called exposed aggregate which was going to be level with the paved surface.  He said between the 6 feet paved concrete sidewalk and the curb, was 2 feet of exposed aggregate so they were not looking at a 6 foot sidewalk that dropped off the curb, but they were looking at 9 feet.  To enhance the effectiveness, they had a 6 foot identifiable travel way that tended to keep folks 2 feet away from that curb and a foot away from the retaining wall and that was one of the concerns earlier was that people were going to want to stay away from the retaining wall.

He said the other thing that this does is allow the property owners to retain some type of buffer between their properties and the activity on Kasold.  He said the first meeting he attended, he asked the question, was there going to be any construction easements and the answer was no.  He said if taking out his fence and shrubs and a retaining wall was built in its place, a construction easement would be bought from him.  While the easement from him might not cost $80,000 it was probably not one he was going to dedicate for free the way the Endowment Association did.  He said the City would spend some money on those construction easements and particularly if there were damages from taking out existing plantings. 

He said Option 6 might be the best alternative because it would allow folks to retain some of the vegetation that was a sound barrier.  There was softness in green plants that absorb sound better than retaining walls or board fences.    

He said George Catt, property owner in the area, was not at the meeting, but he wanted to mention that Catt had some mature spirea bushes that were very attractive and added to the aesthetics of Kasold.  He asked if there was anything that could be done during construction to save those bushes because it was Catt’s primary buffer and they helped him also.

Carol Gilmore, Lawrence, said she was the property owner in the rendering just to the south of that wall and she had the property that had the 50% drop.  She said right now for maintenance she had to use professional landscaping services and she would need to continue unless she could redesign the hill and she hoped in working with the City, they could end up with something that was attractive and manageable for her as a homeowner.  Right now, that hill was dangerous to approach from the top side and if they put in a retaining wall it would be difficult for a professional service to get to that area unless they could get behind it.  She said her intent was to redesign the hill using professional landscaping design work so that she was left with something she could manage safely.              

She said she supported Option 6 because it preserved the nature of the neighborhood, the appearance of the wall, the flat surface as opposed to the wall that was currently on Kasold below 23rd Street, and the color and appearance of the wall at 15th and Crestline.     

Jim Erland, resident on Quail Creek Drive, said the Commission was on the right track now and he agreed with Banks’ statements.  He said if the City was going to make the area beautiful, he hoped the City would maintain that area.  He said he also agreed with Banks that it was wasting money to change the grade.  He suggested leaving that existing grade rather than spending money to level that area.  He said lastly, there were still several residents in the Alvamar Estates neighborhood that wanted the City Commission to consider, during the time of the construction work, doing something to prohibit the traffic from becoming excessive through their neighborhood, St. Andrews, Tam O’Shanter and Quail Creek.    

Richard Gaito, Lawrence, said the newest proposal appeared pretty good.  He said his only concern was that when this project started one of the concerns of the Commission was to keep Kasold in a neighborhood setting.  He said if he was correct what was being proposed was taking the median from Augusta to Scioto and making it concrete, but he thought the original goal was to make it a neighborhood setting.  He said it seemed like the Commission was reversing itself and going backwards.    

Commissioner Hack asked about the maintenance of the wall.  She asked about the potential of a flat wall versus some curved surface because of the graffiti issue. 

Soules said the graffiti could be an issue.  He said Kasold was a busy street even late at night and on the weekend and that area would have lighting.  He said a Keystone wall would be difficult to maintain, but if there was graffiti written on that wall, staff had a cleaning solution to remove that graffiti.      

Commissioner Rundle said the section that was modified in Option 6 was approximately one third of the project.

Soules said more or less, it was approximately 1,800 feet out of 4,400 feet which was 30% - 40%.

Commissioner Rundle said the other two-thirds remained with the grass median.  He asked if the amount of grade that would be changed was one percent.

Soules said yes.

Commissioner Rundle asked if the cost would be lower.

Caldwell said that would depend on the sidewalk improvements.  If they maintained the streets at the grades they were today and they decided to add a sidewalk, they would still end up with the retaining wall issues.  He said it would be a lower cost, but he did not have that number. 

Commissioner Schauner asked if Caldwell had stated that he would not put his professional stamp on it even if they would pass green book specifications.

Caldwell said yes, that would be an issue from a liability perspective.

Commissioner Schauner asked when Option 6 would be ready for bid.

Soules said Option 6 would be ready for bid in 2006.

Commissioner Schauner asked when Option 5 would be ready for bid.

Soules said Option 5 would be ready for bid in approximately 3 or 4 weeks.

Commissioner Schauner asked what would be the additional cost of delaying moving from Option 5 and Option 6 in addition to the $80,000. 

Caldwell said Option 5 could be bid in November and Option 6 would be in February and three months was probably not a lot of difference in cost. 

Commissioner Schauner asked if it would change the construction scheduling by bidding in February as opposed to bidding in November.

Caldwell said it would not greatly change the construction schedule.  He said on a positive side if they bid in February, they would be starting off immediately with weather where a lot of work could be done.  The down side was that they would still spend 3 or 4 months upfront doing the waterline work and then getting into road work which would put their paving operation into fall next year.  He said it was his personal opinion that he did not see 3 months as a deal killer.         

Commissioner Schauner asked if Caldwell cared to put a number with that difference in costs.

Caldwell said he meant from a timing perspective and from a monetary prospective, he guessed 2% of the total construction costs.  That would be a cost of inflation type of situation. The longer it was out there, the more risk that something would happen with additional prices such as increases of oil that would drive up costs.    

Commissioner Schauner said 2% of 3.75 which was another $70,000. 

Mayor Highberger said this was a difficult decision.  He said he really hated to see a project done that would have a negative impact on individual citizens, but he thought the Commission did a good job of balancing all of those interests the last time they considered this issue. 

He said Option 5 gave them a safe and attractive street with a transportation path for people who walked and used bicycles which was sorely needed in that part of town as part of the long-term infrastructure improvement plan.  He said if they did not do it right this time, it would be a generation before there was a chance to do it again.  He said with regrets to those individuals who would be negatively affected, he was not willing to spend additional taxpayers dollars in redesigning this project.  He said he thought they could expect increased construction costs.  He supported Option 5 and as far as the wall option, the brick was the option that received the most support at the last community meeting.

Vice Mayor Amyx said he had asked staff to work on making sure that with this project there was a sidewalk, necessary lanes, and as much greenspace in median as possible, but also, be able to protect the properties on the west side of the road.  He said he still thought over the long run that the Commission had done everything possible to preserve a majority of the parkway setting when coming from the north heading to the south. 

He said the project would be built in phases where the road would be kept open two lanes at a time as requested by the neighborhood.  He said he thought there would be additional costs to protect the businesses that had expressed concern.  He said option 6 was a better way to go.     

Commissioner Rundle said he wanted to throw his support toward Option 6.  He said anytime retrofitting was done it was not ideal.  Ideally, there would be a very wide path for bicycle and pedestrians to be separated from the traffic.  He said Option 6 built enough compromises and accomplished as much as it could to achieve all those competing goals.   

Commissioner Hack said this was such a difficult issue because it was a huge connector in this community and the Commission wanted to do the right thing for the effected property owners and taxpayers because it was something they had to live with for a long time.  She supported Option 6 with reservations because that was a lot of additional money to ask taxpayers to pay, but in the long run, it was the better idea of the two solutions. 

Commissioner Schauner said this has been a struggle because they had looked at several ideations of what this road could look like and the Commission’s decision to keep the road open was the right decision.  Frankly, he said he thought Option 5 was the best option because it would essentially eliminate much of that grade which would be very difficult for the property owners to maintain under Option 6. He said the Commission had struggled with the cost of doing business and the cost of business continued to go up.  He said he did not regret spending the extra $300,000 keeping the road open because it was a justifiable expense, but an additional $80,000 to re-engineer this project for two blocks and lose 2 feet of sidewalk in the process, plus add another 2% to the total cost which was another $80,000 to $90,000 did not seem like the kind of due diligence that this Commission owed to the taxpayer.  He said it was at least $150,000 of additional expense to satisfy essentially a handful of people who were affected.  It was a ton of money per household that the Commission was talking about spending to go to Option 6.  He said when balancing all of those competing interests such as the safety of the traveling public and the tax obligation the Commission was asking the entire community to pay, to delay and re-engineer this project, he did not think Option 6 was something he could support.  He said he did not think it was a fiscally prudent thing to do for this community.  It might provide the people who back up to that two block stretch a bit more privacy, but in the long run, the Commission was asking the entire community to pay a lot more money for that Option 6. He voted in favor of Option 5.            

Moved by Hack, seconded by Amyx, to direct staff to proceed with Option 6 concerning the proposed improvements/reconstruction of Kasold Drive between 22nd Street and Bob Billings Parkway.  Aye: Amyx, Hack, and Rundle.  Nay:  Highberger and Schauner.  Motion carried.

Mayor Highberger said there was still the issue of wall material. 

Commissioner Rundle said he agreed with the flat interlocking Keystone material because it was more economical.  He said that wall material looked like stone and was less attractive for graffiti.                                                                                                                            (17)

Receive letter from Old West Lawrence Task Force regarding studying zoning as part of the HOP District Plan recommendations and initiate the recommended rezoning.

 

Michelle Leininger, Planner presented the staff report.  She said staff had met with each of the three neighborhood task forces discussing the identified areas in the plan.  A status update for each group follows:

·               The Old West Lawrence task force is bringing their rezoning request to the City Commission on September 27th.  Attached is a letter from the neighborhood association recommending property be rezoned accompanied by a list of the properties and a map.

 

·           The Hillcrest task force will have an initiation request to the City Commission with rezoning recommendations next month, prior to the December Planning Commission deadline October 26th.

 

·           The Pinckney Neighborhood is still in the process of talking with the affected property owners in their area.  They plan on having an initiation request to the City Commission with rezoning recommendations next month, prior to the December Planning Commission deadline of October 26th

 

She said the request was to initiate the rezoning of the properties identified by the Old West Lawrence Neighborhood Association.

Malcom Lodwick, President Old West Lawrence Neighborhood Association, said this was a comprehensive plan that the Planning Department had invested a lot of staff time and effort into.  The goals of the plan met very well with the goals that they had for the Old West Neighborhood.   

Commissioner Schauner said he assumed staff had reviewed the plan and found that the information contained on the graph was accurate and had met all criteria.

Leininger said yes.

Vice Mayor Amyx said in the majority of those cases except for the current uses such as 704 Arkansas, it seemed that it just changed the zoning to reflect the current uses of the properties. 

Leininger said there were a lot of different uses among the neighborhood and staff was trying to bring continuity between the uses in that zoning. 

Vice Mayor Amyx asked if the proposed zoning would not place any of the current uses in any type of jeopardy as far as non-conforming uses.

Leininger said no.  She said staff worked with the neighborhoods to try and not create non-conformities.

Mike Goans, Lawrence, reiterated that one of their major objectives was to bring zoning into conformance with current usages and he thought they had been 100% successful at that idea as a task force.  He said they were looking at 16 single-family detached dwellings that would be zoned RS-2 with that proposal that were all fairly small, more affordable housing, and this was a great way to protect that housing. 

Moved by Highberger, seconded by Hack, to receive a letter from Old West Lawrence Task Force regarding studying zoning as part of the HOP District Plan recommendations and initiated the recommended rezonings.                                                                                    (18)

PUBLIC COMMENT:           

Henry Johnson said he had asked the Commission if a group of nurses met with the City of Lawrence Human Relations Director and registered a complaint against Henry Johnson and discussed medical records without his knowledge.             

Mayor Highberger said the City Commission did not have access to that information.  He said they would have the City Manager look into that request and get information back to Johnson.

Richard Humbarger said he received a certified letter about a blasting contractor doing some blasting in his neighborhood.  According to the letter, blasting would occur around October 1st and he had just received the letter on September 20th which did not give the neighborhood any time to gather information on that blasting.

He said there was nothing mentioned on the type of blasting except that it was within 500 feet of the property owners. 

Vice Mayor Amyx asked if the letter was for the pre-blast inspections.

Humbarger said yes, it was part of that letter.

Mike Wildgen, City Manager, said Rich Barr, Fire Marshall, would be the best contact for those concerns.  He said it was his understanding that there would be a meeting that Charles Benjamin was organizing.  He said staff would get the proper contact person to Humbarger.    

COMMISSION ITEMS:

            Commissioner Rundle said he wanted to follow up on the discussion about Kasold and potential neighborhood traffic impact.  He suggested that David Woosley, Traffic Engineer, should try and think of any temporary options for the traffic impact caused by the Kasold construction.    

Moved by Schauner, seconded by Amyx, to adjourn at 8:05p.m. Motion carried unanimously.                                                                                                                                

 

APPROVED:

                                                                        _____________________________

Dennis Highberger, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

___________________________________                                                                       

Frank S. Reeb, City Clerk


CITY COMMISSION MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 27, 2005

 

1.                Bid Date – Weatherization Program for 30 homes, Oct 18, 2005.

 

2.                Bid – Master Street Tree Program, to Rosehill Gardens for $129,495.

 

3.                Ordinance No. 7919 – 1st Read, rezone – (Z-10-50-04) 2.999 acres, A-1 to RS-1, SE of Lake Estates Sub, between E 920 Rd & Lake Alvamar.

 

4.                Ordinance No. 7920 – 1st Read, rezone – (Z-10-51A-04) 2.09 acres, A-1 to RS-1, SE of Lake Estates Sub, between E 920 Rd & Lake Alvamar.

 

5.                Ordinance No. 7921 – 1st Read, rezone – (Z-10-51B-04) 7.49 acres, A-1 to RS-2, SE of Lake Estates Sub, between E 920 Rd & Lake Alvamar.

 

6.                Ordinance No. 7931 – 1st Read, rezone (Z-07-44-04) .99 acre, M-1 to RO-2, E 19th & Homewood, E of Bullene Ave, 927, 931 & 935 Homewood & 934 & 938 E 19th.

 

7.                Resolution No. 6613 – Special Warranty Deed, Martin-Logan, retire 1999 IRB for $1,055,000.

 

8.                Resolution No. 6612 – GOB for Traffic Signal Renovations.

 

9.                TSC – “no parking” 9 am to 3 pm, school days, both sides of Madeline Ln between 9th & Yale.

 

10.            Ordinance No. 7933 – 1st Read, “no parking” 9 am to 3 pm, school days, both sides of Madeline Ln between 9th & Yale.

 

11.            Site Plan (SP-05-42-05) – 201-209 W 8th.

 

12.            Site Plan (SP-08-62-05) 4,800 sq. ft, office/storage bldg, 1150 E 11th.

 

13.            Auction – surplus and unfound property, Oct 1st, Traffic Division, 6th & Miss.

 

14.            Signs of Community Interest – Friends of the Library Book Sale, Sept 30 to Oct 8.

 

15.            City Manager’s Repot.

 

16.            Lawrence Arts Commission – Deny request for mural at Century School.

 

17.            Reconstruction of Kasold between 22nd & Bob Billings Pkwy discussion.

 

18.            Old W Lawrence Task Force, HOP District Plan.