August 8, 2018
Thellman called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 with all members present.
CONSENT AGENDA 08-08-18
Thellman moved approval of the following Consent Agenda:
► Commission Order Nos. 18-037 and 18-038 on file in the office the County Clerk);
► Authorization for Emergency Communications Director to approve a 2018 Service Agreement and Maintenance Agreement with Spillman Technologies, Inc. (August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2019) in the amount of $112,902.72.
Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.
2019 BUDGET 08-08-18
Thellman moved to open a public hearing to receive public comment on the 2019 Budget. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.
Michael Almon, 1311 Prairie, stated he was concerned with the Commissioners removing paved shoulders from the road and bridge budget as 1055 doesn’t have wide enough shoulders for cyclists. He asked the Commission to consider shifting funds to include those upgrades.
Thellman moved to close the public hearing. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.
Thellman moved to approve the 2019 Budget and Resolution 18-18 expressing the property taxation policy of the Douglas County Commission with respect to financing the annual budget for 2019. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.
Sarah Plinsky, Assistant County Administrator, presented the Commissioners with the proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2019-2023. This plan was reviewed by the Commission during the FY 2019 budget development process.
Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, responded to Michael Almon’s question concerning shoulders on County Road 1055. The reductions in budget were not across the Board for safety improvements. For the project next year for Route 458 North to the Wakarusa River includes paved shoulders; two other projects on 1055 are included in the CIP (the curve west of Vinland and 1055 from Cedar Hill Gun Club south of 458 shoulders were removed).
Thellman asked if there are any safety funds that can be used to improve shoulders. Browning responded there are High Risk Rural Safety Funds which were are utilizing (between E1800 and E2000) to replace narrow culverts, flatten slopes and remove trees in the right of way. Limited federal high risk rural road safety funds are typically not used for significant improvements on just a mile of shoulder.
Thellman opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Thellman expressed her appreciation for staff for their quick work on adjusting the CIP given the budget cuts and reallocations of funds. It was hard work.
Thellman moved to approve the 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) as proposed by staff. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.
TRANSPORTATION PLAN 08-08-18
Jeff Crick and Ashley Myers, Transportation Planning, presented that Commission with CPA-18-00168 Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Horizon 2020, Chapter 8, Transportation to incorporate Transportation 2040 (T2040).
The T2040 amendment incorporates the new metropolitan transportation plan into the comprehensive plan. It designates Lawrence and the unincorporated Douglas County street classifications for development purposes. Discussion included comments from Jessica Moore, Senior Transportation Planning, that the T2040 is a required plan every five years for federal funding. Staff is under a timeline different from the timeline for completion of the Comprehensive Plan.
Thellman opened the item for public comment.
Michael Almon, 1311 Prairie, stated concerns that T2040 map will set a precedent because it is references the Horizon 2040 draft that is not approved. According to Almon, the southern development plan is what will protect the area south of K-10 and north of the Wakarusa River. The new draft map allows for development when city services are available. He has concerns about some of the area listed on the map as being developable.
Thellman moved to approve the Comprehensive Plan Amendment CPA-18-00168 to Horizon 2020, Chapter 8, Transportation as presented. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.
PLANNING/CERTIFICATE OF SURVEY APPEAL 08-08-18
The Commissioners considered an appeal to Certificate of Survey CSU-18-00011 for a cluster development in the urban growth area of the City of Lawrence, for approximately 76.86 acres located in the Northwest Quarter of Section 30, Township 13 South, Range 20 East. The application for the Certificate of Survey was submitted by Grob Engineering Services, LLC, for Lee Charles Whittaker, Charles Whittaker and April Whittaker, property owners of record. Mary Miller, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Staff, presented the item.
Miller stated the application for Certificate of Survey was submitted on January 11, 2018. It was approved by planning staff on July 5, 2018. The appeal on the Certificate was submitted July 16, 2018. The development is located in the southwest corner of intersection of E 1500 and N 1100 Roads in the City of Lawrence’s urban growth area and is being divided through the cluster development process. The Certificates of Survey approval process is done administratively by the Planning Director. There is an appeal process for this administrative decision under 11-107(i) of the Subdivision Regulations. An appeal can be made by an owner of property within a quarter mile of the subject property, must provide written notice by the planning department and appellant shall have the burden of establishing by clear and convincing evident that the Planning Director’s decision was incorrect.
Mary Lee Robbins, 1449 N 1100 Road, stated concerns about the development taking access from N 1100 Road. Though the County Engineer determined the new road cut has adequate footage for a 45 mph road, Robbins said the road location as surveyed does not pass the “common sense” test for anyone that has driven gong east over and down the blind hill, which is only 4 seconds away from the proposed entrance. Also the entrance is located between two existing houses not included in the development. She proposed the access be moved to an existing agricultural road that cuts around a water district holding tank as discussed with the president of the water district.
Thellman opened the item for public comment.
Helen Bennett, 1407 N 1100 Road, agreed with the recommendations made by Robbins as she was also concerned about the location of the access road causing accidents.
Dean Grob, 3210 Mesa Way, stated the proposed access road meets site distance criteria for County and Federal regulations. The location is not perfect, but he looked at other options but due to utility easements on both sides of the drive and a pond and neighboring property line 14 feet to the east is the most the drive could be moved. He feels the proposed site is the likely choice.
Thellman asked if the site distance rules used to calculate this entrance takes into account circumstances like the hill, and icy road conditions. Thellman said she went out and looked at the proposed drive of which she has concerns.
Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, stated staff used the green book policy on Geometric Design for Streets which every agency in the county uses for looking at intersections. After explaining the process of determining the required intersection sight and stopping sight distance, Browning stated the drive will meet the required minimum standard. However, he said he does not feel great about it. He would prefer the entrance be placed on the east side of the property.
Thellman asked why the entrance cannot be moved to the eastern edge of the property. Browning stated according to Grob there is an easement for the rural water district and a pond that is a regulated wetland which would be problematic. There would not be enough room to put a drive between the two.
Gaughan asked if the frontage requirement needs to be contiguous. Browning said the frontage requirement is the same as any cross access management. There is adequate frontage for one entrance.
Thellman said she sensed that Browning feels the standards meet the bare minimum, and that is assuming people will be driving the speed limit and without potential road conditions. Thellman said she would like to take a look at the eastern corner to see if there is a way to put the entrance in more of a flat area with better sight distance. She is not comfortable with the entrance that is proposed.
Derusseau stated she also drove the road under the speed limit while someone was coming over the hill which gave her cause for concern. She also would like to look at another option for the entrance.
It was the consensus of the Board they prefer the entrance to be placed further east on the property.
Miller provided the Commission with the options to defer action for more information asking for an evaluation of the eastern access; or deny and insist the entrance be on the eastern side; accept the appeal ruling it was an error on the placement of the access and asked the certificate be redone with the eastern access.
Thellman said what she is hearing is the eastern access is possible but more difficult. Miller stated Grob would need to address that comment.
Grob said he did look at that site which was his first choice. But because of the waterway, culvert and utility easement he chose the proposed location. He could look at shoving the entrance easterly toward the Sealy property though there is a significant grade and contour issues. It would be the only other option he has. He would hate to have to start over. He feels maybe the county should look at changing the regulations.
Gaughan said that Grob does not have the support of the Commission to put the entrance where is it proposed today. The Commission would like Grob to take a strong look at the eastern option, even though the Green Book allows for the current entrance placement. The Public Works Director also agrees with the Commissions concerns.
Thellman moved to accept the appeal of the Certificate of Survey CSU-18-00011 for a cluster development in the urban growth area of the City of Lawrence, for approximately 76.86 acres located in the Northwest Quarter of Section 30, Township 13 South, Range 20 East. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.
ACCOUNT PAYABLE 08-08-18
Thellman moved to accounts payable in the amount of $480,501.67 to be paid on 08/08/18. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.
Gaughan asked the County Clerk, Jamie Shew, to update the Commission on their role should the primary election require a recount.
Thellman moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Derusseauand carried 3-0.
Nancy Thellman, Chair Michelle Derusseau, Vice-Chair
Jamie Shew, County Clerk Mike Gaughan, Membe