November Meeting Minutes

10 residents present

Ted starting the meeting…7:01pm

Ted talks about Beverly Cates who passed away on November 8th and just had her 90th birthday celebrated. Son called to report that Beverly passed away. Passed away in her sleep. Was the treasurer for 15 years. Visitation was yesterday, funeral today.

NLIA helped a resident with a gas meter that was disconnected from his bill and had an overdue bill of $2,600. A gas help fund covered his bill and Jon Davis got his home up to code to receive gas and utilities.

Ted talked about the money that business’ from North Lawrence contribute to the North Lawrence Improvement Association.

Ted is talking about the city putting up no camping signs on the levee and the new reporting system for unsanctioned camps. Police department has been allowed to enforce the no camping rule. Bicycle cops have been going near the levee to disperse homeless camps. Homeless have been migrating to near the Amtrak station and Burcham Park from North Lawrence levee. Local homeless total about 75 people, transients total about 350 people.

City has started to talk about adding more walking and hiking trails near the levee. Derek Rodgers, Parks and Recreation Director is retiring in a month. Working on getting some tennis courts back with the new Parks and Recreation Director.

City is working on adding Habitat for Humanity houses parallel to Comfort Ct and adjacent to Walnut St. Since the land is flat there should not be issues with storm drainage.

Planning staffer from the city could not attend this meeting. Wants to have planning staffer to discuss the solar panels issue due to the location choice. Move to the West to unfarmable land so that they do not waste precious North Lawrence farmland.

In North Lawrence near Pine Landscape are required to be agricultural businesses and have adequate drainage for their facilities. Solar panel will exaggerate storm water run off and make the situation worse in North Lawrence.

Solar panels are needed, but not in the current proposed location. Ted advised that residents attend the solar panel meetings at Prairie Moon School. All the storm water in North Lawrence needs to be pumped because it is so flat which is why the solar panels can cause issues.

Ted asking for residents opinions and inputs on the solar panel issue.

Resident, Natalia, speaks about being appointed to the Food Policy Council and trying to get a grocery store in North Lawrence, land preservation, and use of land for food production. Resident, Natalia, asked for input to the Food Policy Council, open meetings and see on the county website for the meetings.

Resident asked about plans for land to be switched for local produce in concerns to potential solar panel land. Resident asked about a sector plan for adding produce for the specific land where the proposed solar panels are to be located. Ted will reach out to Scott Thellman about the farming operations going on in North Lawrence to satisfy the resident’s questions.

Ted offered to provide resident’s contact information to Scott Thellman, resident declined, just wanted to ask the question. Food Policy Council resident Natalia answered the question about the land in question and confirmed the land is ready for potential produce and food production.

The solar panel land if they move it to solar panels would lock in for 25 years and be unable to cultivate for other purposes as the Food Policy Council resident Natalia answered.

Evergy is proposing the solar panel field for context.

Question is asked about making adjustment to solar panel field to have crops around the solar panel field.

That may not be on Evergy’s radar as they look out for their own benefit.

More information is needed to know if there is unfarmable land for the solar panels to sit on.

Solar panel field has long process ahead of it to get approved and moving forward.

Natalia suggests that information needs to be attained fast before the solar panel field getting proposed by January.

Natalia proposed emails and communication to the planning commission so that movement can be made the feelings of North Lawrence can be seen.

Ted is going to reach out to Scott Thellman to get more information.

Ted is also going to reach out to Evergy.

Natalia discussed the factors of choosing the proposed site and it was mainly about proximity of transmission lines. Other criteria was for the slope of the soil and needed to be on relatively flat ground.

The solar panels actually may not serve Douglas County and will not benefit North Lawrence other than with potential tax revenue.

Talking about grocery store behind Johnny’s again that is held up due to the homeless camp.

Natalia proposed extra meetings, Ted declined to add extra meetings for the NLIA for this issue.

Talking about a razed property on Lake St. and now there is going to be new development for new housing.

Vandalism in North Lawrence with the bus depot, the glass, and mailboxes, knocked the windows out of 12 cars.

Ballard addition Kyle came to report on it. Did not get the variance so they are redesigning to a more square shaped structure on the south side of the building.

People have been driving through John Taylor Park, Ted will inquire about it.

Kevin Elliot and Mark have been talking trying to get coordination to get rid of the trees on the overpass.

Natalia brought up an issue with the expansion of the airport.

Talked about issue with city manager wanted to consolidate the Quiet Zone with UP and BNSF.

New website announcement.

Meeting adjourned…9:09pm






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