*Public comment will be received for each item as it is discussed.
At 4 p.m., there will be:
-Election of Commission Officers
-Proclamation declaring January 2019 as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” (Kristen Tebow)
(1) (a) Consider approval of Commission Orders;
(b) Authorize staff to use the current signature set until the new chair is elected and the new signature set is programmed. (Marni Penrod);
(c) Consider approval of Avaya Phone System Maintenance Contract at an annual cost of $24,172.56 (Jim Lawson); and
(d) Consider approval of an agreement to treat noxious weeds for KDOT (Keith Browning).
(2) Consider a request for variance from the Access Management regulations to allow an entrance for the Veritas Christian School Society property on E 1296 Road approximately 0.4 miles south of N 1000 Road. (Keith Browning)
(3) Consider authorization to broker 2019 user-fee dust palliative program. (Keith Browning)
(4) Authorize the County Administrator to sign the updated funding contract for the cost sharing of Fire Station No.1 and Senior Resource Center remodel project with the City of Lawrence with a county cost not to exceed $2,014,743.00. (Sarah Plinsky)
(5) Presentation on Douglas County Correctional Facility capital needs, follow up to December 12, 2018 – work session only; no action items (Sarah Plinsky/Undersheriff Bunting)
(6) Accounts Payable
-Board of Zoning Appeals (1) position open 10/17
-Building Code of Appeals Board (2) positions open12/16
-Community Corrections Advisory Board (1) position open 08/31/18 (educator)
-Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (1) position (District 1 Commissioner Appointee)
-Douglas County Fair Board (2) positions: Willow Springs and Kanwaka
-Fire District No. 1 (2) positions open 12/31/18
-JAAA Advisory Council (2) position
-JAAA Board of Directors (1) position
-Joint Economic Development Council (2) positions
-Lawrence-Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging (2) open positions
-Mental Health Board (1) position open 04/18
-Senior Resource Center (1) position open 12/31/18
(8) General Public Comment
(9) Commissioner and/or Administrator Miscellaneous
(10) CUP-18-00501: Consider a Conditional Use Permit for a rugby/soccer complex, located northwest of the intersection of N 1200 Rd & E 1150 Rd. Submitted by Paul Werner Architects, for Westwick LC, property owner of record. (Katherine Weik is the Planner)
January 16, 2019
Thellman called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 with all Commissioners present.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS 01-16-19
Thellman moved to nominate Michelle Derusseau as chair of the County Commission for 2019. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.
Thellman moved to nominate Patrick Kelly as Vice-Chair of the County Commission for 2019. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.
Derusseau read and moved approval of a proclamation declaring January 2019 as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” in Douglas County. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried. Megan Lutrell, Willow Domestic Violence Center; Kristen Tebow, Youth Trust Project, Inc.; and Christine Winter, Lawrence Anti-Trafficking Trafficking Taskforce and Education Association, urged the community to help reduce human trafficking in Douglas County.
CONSENT AGENDA 01-16-19
Derusseau moved approval of the following Consent Agenda:
► Commission Order Nos. 19-003 and 19-004 on file in the office the County Clerk;
► Authorized staff to use the current signature set until the new chair is elected and the new signature set is programmed for Douglas County checks;
► Accepted the quote from SKC Communications and agreed to enter into a 36-month agreement for hardware and software maintenance for Douglas County’s Avaya phone system at an annual cost of $24,172.56; and
► Approved an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for the treatment of noxious weeds on state highway rights-of-way in 2019.
Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
VARIANCE/PUBLIC WORKS 01-16-19
The Board considered a request for a variance from the Access Management Regulations to allow an entrance on the Veritas Christian School Society property at E 1296 Road, approximately 0.4 miles south of N 1000 Road. Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, presented the item.
Veritas Christian School is planning to build a facility on an 8.5 acre site on the east side of 1296 Road at the approximate address of 960 E 1296 Road. The property has approximately 500 feet of road frontage on a 55-mph road classified as a Major Collector road. The Access Management Regulations require at least 660 feet of frontage on such a road for one residential access.
The property owner has filed a variance request pursuit to Section 9-512 of the County Code, which provides for a variance process for properties that otherwise meet the requirements for Section 9-502 of the Code, but are situated on a higher classified road than a local or minor collector. The variance process in Section 9-512 calls for the Board of County Commissioners to name a designee to hear and determine a variance request or they can make a determination on a variance without naming a designee.
Staff supports the variance request for the following reasons: 1) Although the property has approximately 500 feet of frontage, the current configuration of properties and available access points mean the proposed entrance would be the sole entrance on the east side of E 1296 Road within an approximate 2,300 feet section of the road; and 2) The property owner has agreed to situate the entrance directly opposite of the entrance to 959 E 1296 Road, which is desirable for road safety.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
It was the consensus of the Board they concurred with staff’s recommendation to allow a variance for the Veritas Christian School Society property.
Derusseau moved to approve the request for a variance to allow an access for the proposed Veritas Christian School at the approximate address of 960 E 1296 Road. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.
PUBLIC WORKS 01-16-19
Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, requested the Board consider approval of a Dust Palliative Program for 2019.
Staff desires again to make available a user-fee dust palliative program for county residents living adjacent to rock surfaced roads. In past years, Douglas County has brokered this program with residents paying for the actual costs of material used plus an administrative fee to help absorb our inspection and administrative costs. Participants in the program are also charged a fee to help cover the costs of preparing the road for the dust palliative application.
Staff suggested the prices stay the same as last year though he anticipates a slight increase in magnesium chloride. As in years past, our suppliers indicate the use of magnesium chloride is just as effective as calcium chloride but at a much better rate.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
After discussion Derusseau moved to authorize staff to continue brokerage of a user-fee dust palliative program with 2019 user fees set at $1.45/linear foot ($1.05/l.f. for dust palliative material and water, and an additional $0.40/l.f. user fee to cover road preparation costs), an administrative fee of $60.00 per applicant, a late fee of $15.00 per application submitted after the deadline; and also permission to advertise for bidders once the application process has been completed. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
AGREEMENT/FIRE DISTRICT NO. 1 01-16-19
The Board considered authorizing the Interim County Administrator to sign the updated funding contract for the cost sharing of Fire Station No. 1 and Senior Resource Center remodel project with the City of Lawrence with a County cost not-to-exceed $2,014,743.00.
In 2017, the County Commission entered into an agreement to remodel Fire Station No. 1 which also houses the Senior Resource Center for Douglas County (SRC) in partnership with the City of Lawrence. The agreement specified that any changes to the project that increased funding would come back to both bodies for approval.
Several modifications were required at the direction of the State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO). A lawsuit was filed by one of the bidders that was resolved in the City’s favor and design changes have caused project delays. The delays have resulted in some increased cost to the County for both the Fire Station No. 1 and Senior Resource Center improvements at a cost of $145,883. Douglas County has already paid $620,000 towards the cost of the project, leaving a balance of $1,394,743 to be paid annually in $100,000 installments.
There was discussion on project management. The City of Lawrence is the lead agency on the project as they own the building. This was an agreement between Craig Weinaug, past County Administrator, and the City of Lawrence. Shaun Coffey, Interim Fire Chief, discussed the cause for the project delays and the fact that so far all the additional work has fallen under the $260,000 contingency built into the project.
Kelly asked if the project exceeds the budget, will the City of Lawrence plan to look at things to cut back on in the project. Coffey said there have been some areas of savings, but again we are still under the project contingency. The building is 60 years old and there have been some problems identified, such as sewer issues at a cost of $45,000 that needed to be addressed during the remodel process.
Kelly said in his experience, the agency doesn’t normally ask for more money but instead finds ways to cut back and learn from the process. Coffey replied once the contingency is reached any additional requests will come back before the City of Lawrence and County for approval.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Derusseau moved to authorize the Interim County Administrator to sign the updated funding contract for the cost sharing of Fire Station No. 1 and Senior Resource Center remodel project with the City of Lawrence with a County cost not-to-exceed $2,014,743.00. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.
CORRECTIONAL FACILITY 01-16-19
Gary Bunting, undersheriff, and Sarah Plinsky, Interim County Administrator, conducted a presentation to the Board on the Douglas County Correctional Facility capital needs, as a follow up from the December 12, 2018 work session.
Plinsky stated the proposed diagram presented to the Board meets the immediate needs of the jail and the four goals established by the Commission to: 1) Bring inmates housed out of the County back to Douglas County; 2) Restore the re-entry and program space; 3) Allow for inmates to be safely housed in the appropriate housing unit for safe classification; and 4) Build a financially sustainable solution.
The plan proposes a South Tower Addition to be fully built out, which includes all site work, mechanical, design fees, furniture, contingencies, with escalation to 2020 for a cost of approximately $23 million. If the Commission chooses to shell one of the housing pods for future use, there is a cost savings of approximately $1.5 million, though it would cost more than $1.5 million to complete in the future. The addition of a medical unit would cost an additional $500,000 to fully build out and to complete a re-entry/work release unit would add an additional cost of $2.1 million.
The South Tower can accommodate four housing units on two floors at 50,195 gross square feet (GSF). Each housing unit can hold 28 inmates. Three housing units can hold 84 inmates. Currently we are farming out 50-80 inmates daily. The fourth space in the tower could be used for housing or for a medical unit. The original May drawing proposed a 93,000 GSF addition.
Dan Rowe, Treanor Architects, explained the proposed addition would solve the female primary classification issues. The phases could be built separately.
If the Commission wanted to build the reentry addition first, that can be done. The proposed South Tower would include an unfinished basement. The Commission may also need to consider the replacement of some mechanical equipment such as the heater and chiller.
Kelly asked why the reentry/work release addition was positioned away from the correctional building. Bunting responded for security reasons. Work release is part of the reentry services and those participants need to try to keep a job and be separated from any contraband issues and given more freedom. It’s also a step down from being in a cell and there is a transition involved in that.
Derusseau asked if the construction process could be accelerated on portions of the project, for instance the South Tower, so we can bring our inmates back to Douglas County; and would the cost of choosing to do the construction in phases be offset by the cost of not having to outsource inmates. Rowe said both additions can work independently. There is a premium in cost of approximately 5% by bringing contractors out more than once. The ability to get your drawings down quicker will improve your escalation rate. It’s an odd time to be bidding a project. And, yes you may offset some of your escalation costs by not having to house inmates out of county and the cost of their travel expenses.
Kelly asked what percentage of the $23 million is the cost for fully completing the reentry space. Rowe said typically soft costs are 20-30% of the total cost. So roughly the projected soft costs are $400,000 in addition to the $2.1 million reentry construction costs. Plinsky replied those soft costs are built in to the $23 million construction costs.
Thellman asked if the $23 million included a basement under the South Tower. Plinsky confirmed an unfinished basement is included. Rowe added that the basement would include existing mechanical and electrical equipment such as the boilers and chillers, however they are 20 years old.
Plinsky said staff has been anticipating some chiller upgrades for some time. The units are big enough to accommodate additional space for upgrades, but the chillers are at the end of their lifespans. They will need to be repaired, replaced or upgraded to make them more energy efficient. We may need to size up the project to make sure we have enough to cover the improvements. Rowe added there is a placeholder of $250,000 for mechanical upgrades but that is a rough number.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment.
Joanne Harader, Lawrence resident, asked what type of bond the County is considering to fund this project.
Plinsky responded we have not gotten into that specific of detail on the project. However, we do have the ability to debt finance this project because the County has few obligations. We could use existing sales taxes or General Obligation bonds. Thellman added some of the funding was made assessable with the budget.
Derusseau closed the public comment.
Thellman stated she has real concerns about shelling out part of the housing unit knowing the cost would be greater to complete the facility in the future. We have immediate needs, not just beds, but to get people into proper classifications. She feels there is a need for all the units to be completed as regular housing. The best way to meet our goals is to bring our people home to offer them all programs and services available, to get our reentry programs back up to speed and our people back in those 100 plus hours of classes that helps reduce recidivism and promotes success on the outside, safety to our staff and inmates and comfort to our inmates by allowing them hours outside of their cells.
Derusseau said she had been leaning toward completing the South Tower Addition but leaving some shell space hoping down the line we would have some justice reform or State mandatory guidelines might be loosened. However, Derusseau stated she is very discouraged after hearing Representative Highberger speak at the Legislative Breakfast. He stated any justice reform seen at the State level as in the past means reducing felonies at the State level which pushes these crimes to the County level. This may cause us to have an exploding population of inmates.
Thellman said she wants to emphasis our response is not that we want to build more jail cells to mitigate that risk. We are trying to build an expansion on the jail that will take care of the inmates we are responsible for now, that are in other jails. This in no way relieves the current pressure we have on the jail now. We have hired permanent professional staff to work on that issue. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will be continually advising this Commission on what more we can do to make sure those that can be out of jail are out of jail. We will be investing millions of dollars to try to help people with behavior health issues from entering into the criminal justice system. Finding appropriate space in our jail for the health and wellbeing for our inmates and staff is no way our cue to stop working aggressively on alternative ways to keep people out of jail.
Plinsky stated staff will come back to the Commission with a Request for Proposal (RFP) to bring on a construction manager as part of our design and construction team. This is not committing the Commission to any improvement or design, but rather a partner on board to get good numbers for cost estimating and preconstruction work.
No action was taken.
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE 01-16-19
Derusseau moved to approve accounts payable in the amount of $280,591.60 to be paid on 01/17/19; and payroll in the amounts of $12,380.00, $39,095.00, and $4,119.61 paid on 11/30/18, $1,125,325.17 paid on 12/07/18, $1,103,988.40 paid on 12/21/18, $1,028,622.17 paid on 01/04/19, and $1,124,164.08 paid on 01/18/19. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
COMMISSION BOARD APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATIONS 01-16-19
The following appointments were confirmed with no motion necessary:
Patrick Kelly will be the County Commission representative on the Affordable Housing Advisory Board.
Nancy Thellman will replace Mike Gaughan on the Peaslee Tech Board of Directors.
Michelle Derusseau will remain on the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board.
Thellman moved to nominate Michelle Derusseau to replace Mike Gaughan as the County Commission representative on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council seat. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.
COMMISSIONER AND/OR ADMINISTRATIVE MISCELLANEOUS 01-16-19
Items discussed included:
1) Staff would like the County Commissioners to attend a Joint Leadership Training session, funded by a recent grant, for members of the Sustainability Team, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and Heritage Conservation Council in late January.
2) The County owns the United Way building on Ridge Court. United Way has been managing the building with reduced rent. Staff would like to evaluate best use of this space and the possible benefits of co-locations with other service partners.
3) Derusseau congratulated Commission Thellman on receiving the 2018 Crown Toyota Volkswagen ATHENA Award to be presented at The Chamber Annual meeting on January 25.
4) There will be a joint discussion between the City of Lawrence and Douglas County on our roles regarding ongoing sustainability issues at the Community Shelter. The Lawrence Community Shelter Advisory Board is welcoming conversations about the long-term future of the shelter.
At 5:23 p.m., the Board recessed until the 6:00 p.m. meeting.
At 6:00 p.m., the Board returned to regular session.
The Board considered CUP-18-00501, a Conditional Use Permit for a rugby/soccer complex, located northwest of the intersection of N 1200 Road and E 1150 Road. The application was submitted by Paul Werner Architects, for Westwick LC, property owner of record. Katherine Weik, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Staff, presented the item.
All three Commissioners declared ex-parte communications by speaking with Rick Renfro, Westwick LC, individually.
The subject property is zoned VC (Valley Channel) and A (Agricultural) Districts. The proposed use of a Recreation Facility is permitted in the VC and A Districts with approval of a Conditional Use Permit. The Douglas County Zoning and Codes Department considers this project out of compliance with the existing CUP because the septic system has not been installed and is proposed with Phase III. The applicant wishes to make improvements to the existing rugby/soccer field with three phases: 1) the addition of portable restrooms; 2) adding a temporary structure; and 3) adding a new septic system, parking and lockers rooms.
Staff recommends approval of the Conditional Use Permit for a rugby/soccer complex based on the following findings of fact and with the following conditions:
I. Zoning and uses of property nearby. The area is outside the municipal limits of Lawrence and is primarily rural lands and uses. Agricultural land is the predominant land use in this area, with rural dwellings located primarily to the south and southwest. The proposed request will not alter the base zoning or land use of the area.
II. Character of the area. The area contains a blend of agricultural land and rural uses. The current use on the property has existed since 1996. The proposed request will not alter the character of the area.
III. Sustainability of subject property for the uses to which it has been restricted. The property is suitable for the uses which are permitted within the VC (Valley Channel) and A (Agricultural) District. The property is also well suited for rugby and soccer fields, an Athletic Field/Baseball Field use.
IV. Length of time subject property has remained vacant as zoned. County Zoning Regulations were adopted in 1966; this property has been zoned “A (Agricultural)” since that adoption. This property is not vacant, but has been used as a rugby/soccer facility since the approval of the Conditional Use Permit in 1994.
V. Extent to which removal of restrictions will detrimentally affect nearby property. The proposed use is compatible with the surrounding area and will not detrimentally affect nearby properties.
VI. Relative gain to the public health, safety and welfare by the destruction of the value of the petitioner’s property as compared to the hardship imposed upon the individual landowners. In staff’s opinion, there would be no gain to the public health, safety and welfare by the denial of the request. Approval of the request would allow an existing use to continue and accommodate site improvements.
VII. Conformance with the comprehensive plan. A conditional use permit can be used to allow specific uses that are not permitted in a zoning district with the approval of a site plan. This tool allows development to occur in harmony with the surrounding area and to address specific land use concerns.
and subject to the following conditions as recommended by staff:
• Local and State floodplain permits will be required for all phases of development.
• The east entrance for the proposed Phase III parking lot will need to be upgraded to County Standards. A Douglas County entrance permit will be required for work in the Route 458 right-of-way.
• Existing conditions and restrictions for the previous CUP will remain or be revised by the County Commission if alternatives are proposed.
1. Septic System was to be installed one year after construction of the playing fields.
a. Original deadline was July 1, 1996.
b. County Commission approved (in October of 1996) the extension of this deadline to the summer of 1998.
c. A septic system has not yet been installed according to the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department.
d. A septic system is proposed to be installed with Phase III of the improvements.
e. Staff recommends a deadline of 1 year from the date of resolution publication for the installation of an approved septic system with the approval of this Conditional Use Permit. Deferring Condition 1e regarding a deadline on the septic system until the applicant is ready to pull a building permit for permanent structures on the property.
2. Field use only between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM.
3. Ancillary activities proposed only between the hours of 8 AM and 10 PM.
4. The use of the fields is restricted to rugby, soccer, football, lacrosse, softball, baseball and team sports involving the use of a Frisbee. Any other activity must be approved as a Temporary Business Permit granted by the Board of County Commissioners.
5. On-site structures can only be used for ancillary uses associated with the allowed restricted activities and only during the approved hours for ancillary use.
6. Consumption of alcohol and cereal malt beverages is limited to the confines of a club house or within a 25 foot X 25 foot designated an area adjacent to the club house building. The area shall be delineated with a wooden fence. Limiting the consumption of alcohol to areas adjacent to the playing fields and no closer than 150 feet from the neighboring property lines; and prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in any parking lot on the property.
7. The goal post for each playing field shall be no closer than 175 feet to any adjoining property line.
8. The applicant shall provide locking gates with a sign stating the restrictions of the facility and who to contact regarding questions about the use of the facility.
9. No sales or vending is allowed on the premises.
10. No public address system or loud speakers are permitted. A small, portable hand-held public address system can be used during games.
11. Lighting is to be shielded from view off the property.
Rick Renfro, applicant, made a presentation to the Commission on the history of the rugby/soccer club and what improvements have been done to the land. He asked the Commission to consider changes to the conditions as follows: 1) deferring Condition 1e regarding a deadline on the septic system until the applicant is ready to pull a building permit. Currently there are no buildings to brings services to; 2) Condition No. 6 limiting the consumption of alcohol to areas adjacent to the playing fields and no closer than 150 feet from the neighboring property line; and 3) Condition No. 10 to allow for a portable, hand held public speaker system to be used during games. Renfro stated there are funds to do Phase I and possibly Phase II, but Phase III isn’t expected for 10-12 years.
It was the consensus of the Board to remove Conditions 1e as the septic system should be tied to adding buildings to the property; to revise Condition 6 to limiting the consumption of alcohol to areas adjacent to the playing fields and no closer than 150 feet from the neighboring property lines; and prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in any parking lot on the property; and revise Condition 10 to tie the septic system requirement to the building permit process when there is a plan for permanent structures on the property.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Derusseau moved to approve CUP-18-00501, a Conditional Use Permit for a rugby/soccer complex, located northwest of the intersection of N 1200 Road and E 1150 Road with the above listed conditions as recommended by staff and the revised conditions by the County Commission, also noted above.
Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
Derusseau moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
Michelle Derusseau, Chair Patrick Kelly, Vice-Chair
Jamie Shew, County Clerk Nancy Thellman, Member