City Commission Goals

Adopted by the City Commission on July 7, 2009

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View archives of City Commission goals.

Last updated: 01-03-11

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Promoting the economic development of Lawrence to provide varied work and business opportunities.

Recent successes

  • New Economic Development policy
  • In house cost benefit model with analysis
  • TIFF and TDD successes including Oread and Bauer Farms
  • Community ED partnerships including BTBC facility, BTBC expansion facility
  • Acquisition of Farmland property
  • Fairfield Business Park / Timberedge Business Park – Public improvements completed
  • Bowersock Power Plant continues to proceed toward construction.
Next steps Actions and Assignments (updated 12/2010)

Staff to provide Commission with status briefing on former Farmland Industries property and city’s efforts to facilitate industrial park development at the site; proceed with annexation of property.

Annexation Ordinance No. 8435 annexing 448 acres adopted. The City finalized the acquisition of the Farmland Industries property on September 29, 2010. The City approved a demolition contract on 12/21/10 with demolition to occur in 2011. Staff proceeding to develop RD/RA plan and work with other city departments to facilitate environmental remediation of the property and facilitate the city’s efforts to turn the property into viable industrial sites for future industrial development.

Proceed with providing water/sewer infrastructure at the Lawrence Municipal Airport and continue to promote the airport for economic development opportunities.

Waterline construction completed in March 2010. Sewer design complete; construction expected spring of 2011. Area east of terminal platted and ready for development; staff continues to contact economic development prospects for airport development.

Airport master plan update underway.

Proceed with improvements to the development process to ensure adequate facilitation for quality development, including incentives for infill development

Development Code improvements continuing. See updatedText Amendments Report (11/24/10).

In 2010, Planning Department provided the Retail Task Force a summary of the revisions to the Development Code to facilitate projects throughout the City. Next steps also recommended for helping retail businesses with development issues.

Schedule Commission discussion on governance structure for economic development partnership

Partnership continuing to work on several items and projects.

In cooperation with our economic development partners, the city should focus efforts to:

Make Lawrence among the most attractive for “green” jobs

Bowersock dam improvements completed March 2010. City assisted in issuing Recovery Zone bonds that would enable construction to double the production capacity of Bowersock Dam. Staff meeting to discuss additional opportunities.

Staff and Chamber staff met with Johnson County Community College representatives in July 2009 at their Lawrence campus regarding job training and “green job” opportunities.

Sustainability coordinator hired in 2010 and provided assistance on improving green aspects of several projects. Sustainability Coordinator is working with KU, the Chamber, downtown businesses, and the LJWorld to launch the new sustainability site on LJWorld. This site will feature highlights of most sustainable businesses and a Sustainability Trailblazers award presented on Earth Day 2011.

City has been working with the University on electric car initiatives.

Enhance and market Lawrence as a retirement destination

Staff plans to review retirement strategies undertaken by other communities, identify key tasks and infrastructure needed to enhance the community as a retirement destination, identify community leaders to build these resources. City to cooperate with Chamber efforts.

From MARC newsletter - EPA guide to smart growth and older Americans. The guide is geared toward community leaders, but also provides guidance for cities in developing a community that better accommodates senior citizens.

In 2010, staff attended events by DCCOA and continues to monitor their efforts at helping to enhance Lawrence as a retirement destination. Planning approved construction of a new retirement community at Bauer Farms.

Lawrence named a ‘best place’ to retire for military (12/6/10)

Explore additional industrial park locations

Chapter 7 of Comprehensive Plan adopted.

The Northeast Sector Plan will continue efforts to plan for the anticipated demand as the population grows and includes additional sites for industrial development.

Farmland Industry property, at 467 acres, acquired in September 2010. City supported location of Berry Plastics at a site in the County, including advocating on behalf of rezoning the site to industrial use.

City has supported annexation of 51 acres along Farmer’s Turnpike.

City is working to plat 29 acres on the west side of East Business Hills to move the site toward being “pad ready” for a potential industrial user.

City completed waterline and is planning a sewer holding tank at airport, allowing for up to 45 acres of new developable industrial property.

Promote additional research fields at the University of Kansas with economic development benefits

Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) dedicated on west campus October 2010. City and County acquired BTBC expansion facility building in January 2010. Bioscience Authority exploring bioscience/university park opportunities.

City has worked with KU and other stakeholders to explore the possibility of developing electric car programs locally.

There was a meeting between the Chancellor and City officials in September 2010 at which a number of joint initiatives were discussed.

Provide staff report on economic development successes in other communities and analysis of tools used.

Staff provided an extensive survey and digital presentation on various tools used by other communities in a January 2008 Study Session: http://www.lawrenceks.org/study_sessions/2008/01-14-08/01-14-08h/eco_devo_staff_memo.html

In 2010, staff provided analysis of the use of certain economic development policies in other communities, including CID and IRB policies.

Staff is developing an annual report with the Chamber and County that will highlight economic development successes in 2010 and promote the partnership between the city, county, university, chamber and other local organizations who promote growth of business and industry in Lawrence.

Staff has also utilized the City Newsletter to promote University cooperation efforts which included the BTBC project.

Provide staff report on economic development financing options used in other communities.

City staff has provided reports and discussions on these financing options.

PLANNED GROWTH: Encouraging growth that protects our environment, neighborhoods, and cultural features while benefiting all of our citizens.

Recent successes

  • Planning and Development Services, a merged department
  • Adoption of International Codes
  • Enactment of Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) Code
  • Adoption of sector plans
Next steps Actions and Assignments

Continue efforts to improve the responsiveness and outcomes of the development process, including: participation with development stakeholders in recommending Development Code amendments which reflect community values and needs, appropriately encourage infill development, establish appropriate measurement tools for the development process, and reflect scale and cost reasonableness.

Development Code amendments underway. See Long-Range Planning Map and Updated Text Amendments Report (11/24/10)

Redevelopment contact program underway.

PDS continues to reach out to development stakeholders on process issues and is active in the Retail Task Force. Several infill projects currently under construction.

Continue city’s master planning efforts, including a review of the Urban Growth Area boundaries.

PDS provided additional report on UGA review and continuing coordination with utility master planning. Long-Range Planning Map

The 2011 Long-Range Work Plan was recently shared with the Planning Commission, City Commission and Board of County Commissioners. Long range planning will continue to be coordinated with the Utility master planning. A full review of the urban growth boundaries is planned to occur after the Northeast Sector Plan is adopted, the census data is available, and the Water and Wastewater Master Plan is completed.

Complete water and waste water master plans to ensure appropriate attention to maintenance, growth and regulatory needs.

Wastewater master plan due in Spring 2011.

Water master plan due in Fall 2011.

COMMUNITY BUILDING: Creating social capital and celebrating our heritage.

Recent successes

  • Formation and operation of Destination Management, Inc.
  • Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area designation and efforts to include a focus on Lawrence
  • 2008 Get Downtown event
  • Community efforts driving work to preserve Santa Fe Depot
Next stepsActions and Assignments

Commission direction on planned rehabilitation of the former Carnegie Library.

Carnegie renovation completed in 2010. Parks and Recreation working to have site ready for public use January 2011; CVB will move into offices in January 2011.

Staff report on options for increased cleaning efforts in Downtown areas.

Staff reviewing options for improvements

Review opportunities for enhancements at the Lawrence Public Library.

$18M Library referendum passed 55% to 45% on November 2, 2010. City staff is currently working with Library staff to coordinate process for design and construction services (see 11/23/10 agenda).

EECBG Energy grant received in 2009 for HVAC and lighting improvements; HVAC vendor under contract.

Commission discussion on homeless shelter with focus on city’s role.

City Commission extended SUP for LCS Kentucky site to April 2011.

LCS Franklin Park site’s land use approvals granted. The CCH is currently active in goal setting.

Staff report on efforts to enhance Lawrence community events, including review of efforts in other communities, opportunities for city signature event and city coordination and promotion.

Staff assisting with existing events: St Patrick’s Day Parade;

Earth Day Parade and associated event in South Park;

Kansas Marathon; Ironman; Tour of Lawrence; Downtown Fireworks; Busker Fest; MS 150 bike event; Octagenta bike event; Bert Nash Anniversary Event completed;

Downtown Old Fashioned Christmas Parade.

The City’s use of Transient Guest Tax funding to assist with new and/or existing events has been well utilized. TGT funded grants have been approved for multiple events in 2009 and 2010.

The City Manager’s Office has actively participated with the Lawrence Chamber, DLI, CVB and KU Athletics to promote downtown events that coordinate with KU Athletics events (Spring Game 2010, KU Relays 2010, Football pep rallies in fall 2010). More coordination is planned for 2011.

Staff report on community planning process to develop a recreation center located west of Kasold.

City Commission received comprehensive Parks and Recreation needs and facility planning review in early 2010. Additional analysis on possible projects is underway.

Schedule Commission discussion to consider charging a body with completing an inventory of historical structures and recommended prioritization of the structures.

PDS provided report on issue.

Chapter 11, Historic Resources, of H2020 scheduled for HRC consideration in December 2010.

North of Memorial Stadium historic survey completed in 2010.

Seek educational and publicity opportunities to encourage recreational activities including walking and biking downtown.

Burroughs Creek Rail/Trail dedicated on October 6, 2010.

Transportation planners provided report on current and possible future efforts for pedestrian and bicycle activity. $3,700 grant received from Douglas County Community Foundation for printing of 10,000 bike rideability maps for Lawrence (Dec. 2010).

Parks and Recreation featured bicycling in the 2010 Fall activities guide.

Through the naming of Massachusetts Street as “Great Place in America” by the APA in October 2010, the City utilized news releases and other forms of media to promote Downtown as a picturesque, pedestrian-friendly corridor that attracts visitors from across the region.

ENVIRONMENT ISSUES: Integrating the environment into our decisions as we work towards a sustainable city.

Recent successes

  • Energy code adopted and first year of implementation in 2008
  • Voter support of transit system
  • Hired Sustainability Coordinator, implementing the # 1 recommendation of Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Protection
  • Selection of alternative fuels for transit vehicles that included a community process for developing selection strategy
  • Implemented city wide vehicle idling policy
Next steps Actions and Assignments

Facilitate public discussion and review of possible city sponsored curbside recycling program, including explore feasibility of a pilot program and in-depth review of possible program costs and benefits.

A Menu of Options regarding changes to the solid waste and residential recycling services has been drafted for consideration by the City Commission. The menu is a follow up action to interest in a variable rate pricing structure for trash, increasing automation, and increasing curbside recycling opportunities. The menu of options expands on the work of the Sustainability Advisory Board in 2009 on curbside recycling opportunities.

Continue to use stimulus funding to support transit system.

Transit Administrator provided memo.

Seek publicity opportunities to tell the city’s story of green efforts including alternative fuel transit vehicles and energy saving projects.

In 2009, the city worked with ESPN for College Green Day promotion activities. 2009 annual report highlights sustainability efforts including ARRA grants received with an environmental focus. All ARRA projects were highlighted in the Dec. 2009 Flame which gave brief descriptions on each project including the EECBG and transit grants for hybrid buses.

In 2010, the County/City Sustainability Coordinator created aSustainability web page on city site, highlighting sustainability success stories in each department, and has contributed to 20 media stories about city and community sustainability efforts. In addition, Sustainability Coordinator is collaborating with KU, Chamber, and LJWorld to highlight Sustainability Trailblazers in our community – those businesses and organizations who are pursuing “green” initiatives.

In 2010, the city again utilized various methods to promote their green efforts including a redesign of the city’s sustainability web page, addition of a social media site dedicated to recycling (www.facebook.com/ LawrenceRecycles) and extensive promotion of WRR events including the electronic recycling events, yard waste programs, Energy Conservation Fari/Sustainable Homes Tour, compost and wood chip sales, Earth Day events and America Recycles Day.

Lawrence and Manhattan will compete in 2011 in the “Take Charge Challenge” which will use many methods to promote our local efforts – from both an organizational and resident perspective.

Sustainability Coordinator continues to explore options for city/county energy efficiency and will work with Communications Staff to promote city efforts in energy efficiency. An event was held in November for residents that focused on ways to improve energy efficiency in old homes and showcased many city and government resources available to homeowners to improve the efficiency of their homes.

The September 2010 Flame also included a half-page article on city conservation projects.

Hire Sustainability Coordinator (possibly in cooperation with the county) and task the position with raising the sustainability message and substance for the community, including reducing city energy consumption and costs, green business enhancement and other sustainable initiatives.

Sustainability Coordinator hired in May 2010. Projects include monitoring the city’s energy use in buildings, and convening a staff Energy Work Group to make energy efficiency improvement recommendations to CM and Commission. Working with community groups to promote the Take Charge Challenge, a community-wide energy efficiency contest, and collaborating with the city SAB, and Peak Oil Task Force. Collaborated with city staff to research solid waste/recycling options, trails projects with Parks & Rec, electric vehicle grants with Public Works, and is tracking our EECBG Projects (library HVAC and LED streetlights downtown)

Schedule Commission receipt of report from Peak Oil Taskforce.

Preliminary report from the Task Force received in January 2010, with final report due in January 2011.

Staff report on status of Chapter 16 (Environmental Chapter of Comprehensive Plan) including timeline for report to City Commission.

PC recommended approval. City Commission has received the document and is scheduling a joint study session with the County Commission.

Schedule Commission discussion of sensitive land language in development code and farmland preservation issue.

Sensitive land text amendment to Development Code adopted August 3, 2010. City Commission has received the Environment Chapter and the Northeast Sector Plan and is scheduling a joint study session with the County Commission.

Staff report on existing tools and possible enhanced tools that support infill development

City Commission adopted a CID policy.

NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY: Improving the livability of all Lawrence neighborhoods.

Recent successes

  • Additional resources dedicated to street maintenance program
  • Sidewalk improvements in “gap” areas
  • Additional resources dedicated to public safety with new fire trucks and full staffing in Police Department
  • Approved TND Code
  • Levee certification completed and approved
  • Burroughs Creek Trail completed with Transportation Enhancement funds and sales tax
  • Clinton Parkway Multi-Use Path replaced with ARRA funds completed
  • New York Brick Street, 9th to 12th complete with ARRA funds
Next stepsActions and Assignments

Schedule Commission discussion about approved and unfunded traffic calming plans to focus on funding options and timeline expectations.

Public Works report. Staff Memo

Public Works pursues completing traffic calming projects with street improvements i.e., Lawrence Avenue and 9th Street.

Staff report on number of school crossing locations that are absent crosswalks.

The city has an approved School Crossing Control Policy that sets the criteria for when a crosswalk is to be marked. The city receives requests from principals, PTO’s, site council’s and individual parents requesting marked crosswalks throughout the school year. When a request is received, a study is conducted in accordance with the city policy. If the location meets the criteria, the crosswalk is marked; if it doesn’t, the requester is advised that they can take their request to the Traffic Safety Commission. All currently approved official school crosswalks are marked and are inspected and remarked if necessary during August of each year.

Staff report on sidewalk gaps in areas surrounding schools.

City staff and Lawrence Public School staff have met with each elementary school principal to determine what needs there are, if any, at each school. That report is in process and should be completed by the end of this calendar year (2010). Completed sidewalk to Cordley Elementary School and adjacent to Central Junior High.

Staff report on options for enhancing City Code compliance regarding zoning (single-family residence), yard and blight maintenance, including development of useful performance measurements.

PDS provided report on Neighborhood Quality.

Revisions to the city’s property maintenance codes adopted in November 2010. Annual PDS report track compliance trends.

Seek educational and publicity opportunities:

· To encourage proper yard maintenance including mowing and trimming;

Included in the above PDS report. April 2010 Flame included articles on top code violations, including mowing and trimming.

Numerous FAQs were included in the Flame over the course of the year that discuss code and property maintenance issues.

· For TND so neighbors are informed about allowed and prohibited uses in infill development;

PDS provided report. Several improvements noted in the report have been implemented, including enhanced website features, providing links to conditional zoning, and utilizing utility bill inserts for PDS information.

· On sidewalk maintenance responsibilities including repair and clearing;

December 2009 and December 2010 Flame included articles on snow ordinance and citizen responsibilities for sidewalks. City Communications continues to place info in city newsletter, city website, KLWN radio, and other local media about sidewalk responsibilities.

Staff has completed approximately 3 miles of gap sidewalk since 2009 with CDBG funds. Sidewalk maintenance remains an adjacent owner’s responsibility.

· To highlight street equity issues and demonstrate that all neighborhoods are receiving street maintenance including the analytical basis for decisions of street and curb repairs.

City 2010 street maintenance program demonstrated city-wide planned improvements. February 2010 Flame included an article on PCI data and how city rates streets and prioritized needed maintenance. February and May 2010 editions of the Flame included info on street maintenance and/or PCI information.

The December 2010 Flame highlighted the City’s purchase of a new spray injection patch machine.

City Commission to receive 2011 report in December 2010; Pavement Maintenance Projects completed; $5.3 million in improvements.

TRANSPORTATION: Improving access for all citizens.

Recent successes

  • Coordination with KU transit system
  • Reconstituted the Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Delivered report on Intelligent Transportation System
  • Working with federal legislators for requests for streets and road funding
  • 2nd & Locust street complete with ARRA funds
  • 2008 Infrastructure Sales Tax Projects Underway
    • Kasold, south of Clinton Parkway, to be completed Dec. 2011.

Next stepsActions and Assignments

Schedule Commission briefing on South Lawrence Trafficway and US 59 Highway from state and/or federal transportation agency.

Staff and community members met with KDOT at T-Works local consult meeting in Kansas City on 10/22/10. Completing K-10 brochure T-WORKS Local Consult Meeting Summaries

Complete phase II of transit planning effort to coordinate routes with improvements launching in summer/fall 2010. Consider additional opportunities for KU coordination and other improvements to increase ridership.

Coordination efforts with KU are continuing. Recent successes include the new shared Route 11 and a joint Guide to Ride map. Commission approved joint KU/City transit facility which opened in Dec. 2010.

As of August 1, 2010, route changes were implemented and Transit continues to look for ways to further cooperation with KU.

Lawrence’s Transit System was named Transit System of the Year by KPTA in 2010 due to our cooperative efforts with the University and we also received the FTA Ridership Award for 2010 for the largest percentage increase in ridership among urban transit providers in Kansas.

Staff report and briefing on past and current efforts to extend 31st Street east of Haskell Avenue.

Field check scheduled for 1/18/11. Wetland area identified; staff to discuss mitigation with Corps.

Staff report on existing tools that facilitate development supporting other modes of transportation.

PDS to provide report, include highlighting of existing tools: mixed-use district, sidewalk standards, transit oriented design; and ideas on how to encourage these uses.

A Complete Streets workshop was held September 2010 and is included on the PDS work program.

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT: Enhance the vitality of downtown while maintaining it as a unique community treasure.

Recent successes

  • Resources dedicated to downtown infrastructure
  • Community events focused on downtown
Next stepsActions and Assignments

Staff report on options to increase foot patrol and cleanliness efforts in the downtown area.

See parking fee/fine item below. Additional foot patrols in downtown area underway as resources permit.

Engage merchants to help identify strategies to garner support for hosting events in downtown.

City actively participates with the Chamber, DLI, CVB, KU Athletics and local merchants to bring events to downtown that are centered around KU Athletics. A successful shuttle was provided for the Spring Game in 2010 and the committee planned two pep rallies for fall 2010. More cooperative events are planned for Spring 2011 and Fall 2011 to promote events in downtown Lawrence.

Staff report on opportunities to encourage additional re-development in the downtown area, including newly enacted legislation for community improvement districts.

CID Policy adopted.

A web page on sales tax in Lawrence and special taxing districts was created in 2010 to educate citizens of sales tax collections and where additional taxes were collected locally.

Staff report on parking fees and fines for downtown parking system.

Ordinance No. 8413 adopted. Effective September 1, 2009. Resource enhancement for foot patrols and downtown beautification.

Staff report on other communities’ activities to be proactive with downtown development.

Staff report to be prepared.

Carnegie rehabilitation and active use

Carnegie renovation completed in 2010. Parks and Recreation working to have site ready for public use January 2011; CVB will move into offices in January 2011.

Library improvements

$18M Library referendum passed 55% to 45% on November 2, 2010. City staff is currently working with Library staff to coordinate process for design and construction services (see 11/23/10 agenda).

SERVICE DELIVERY: Provide excellent city services consistent with resources available.

Recent successes

  • Public safety successes with new fire trucks and full staffing in the Police Department
  • Infrastructure investments
  • Majority of city employees’ time is spent on critically important activities included in service delivery
Next stepsActions and Assignments

Staff report on improvements to performance measurement system, including engagement of citizens and stakeholders in selected metrics and measurements that better define “success” in city services.

Budget Manager to provide report.

Staff report on employee cross training efforts.

Several departments have completed cross training efforts

Staff report on quality assurance standards used when working with vendors.

Staff to provide report.

Conduct citizen survey in 2010.

Citizen survey planned for 2011; vendor approved by City Commission in Dec. 2010.

Staff report on current and past eGov initiatives including efforts with electronic utility bills and online payments.

Staff is working on a report and additional e-gov initiatives. Staff continues to work on centralizing credit card payments and vendors for processing. The eGov efforts of the city continue to expand and we have offered numerous online options for citizen communication/feedback, online sign-up, enhanced social media efforts and additional options for citizen interaction.

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