Special Meeting: Bylaws change discussion

A special meeting has been scheduled for December 3rd at 7pm at the East Lawrence Rec Center.

During this meeting there will be open discussion about several possible changes to the bylaws.  A copy of the current bylaws and a draft of the proposed changes is posted below. Please note that this draft is not complete. They’re only offered as a starting point for discussion at the meeting The purpose of the meeting will be to craft a version of the bylaws that allow for a Board, plus a few other tweaks. If we come up with something that looks like it will benefit BCNA, maybe people will vote to ratify the changes. If not, then we may keep the bylaws as they are– but there is interest in at least exploring the Board option.  There is further explanation of the thoughts behind the proposed changes in a memo at the start of the draft.

Current BCNA Bylaws

BCNA bylaws draft Nov 2014


Verizon Cell Tower

There is a petition available for neighbors to sign at Cottin’s Hardware (1832 Mass).  It will be there until December 1st 2014.

There is also an online petition:


PDF of the letter from Brook Creek Neighborhood to the Planning Commission

BCNA to planning comm re cell tower Nov 2014

Hi everybody:
You may have heard that Verizon has proposal a microwave cell tower right next to the Burroughs Creek Trail in the Brook Creek Neighborhood. The tower would be at 1725 Bullene Ave. just south of the Tenants To Homeowners houses, at the west edge of our neighborhood. Our Neighborhood Association discussed it last Wednesday, and we unanimously voted to oppose them putting it in our neighborhood. We hope you will attend the Planning Commission at 6:30pm Monday at City Hall.

This proposal will be heard as a Special Use Permit (SUP) at the Planning Commission –http://www.lawrenceks.org/boards/planning-commission/agendas. The tower would be 120 feet tall, have an omni-directional transmitting antenna on top (with space for two more in the future), though no lights.

There are several reasons why we oppose the tower. Health effects from microwave radiofrequency radiation (RF) is the main one. Although we all like the convenience of cell phones, the radiation intensities are very high nearest to the transmitter, and health effects are most pronounced. There is little direct-cause evidence (though much correlation) of illness or organ damage attributable to RF. This is because there are so many variables, and impact is measured over decades.

But to quote Dr. Elizabeth Cullen in “Radiofrequency Radiation and Health”, “It is not disputed that physiological changes occur at currently accepted safe levels of exposure. Children are particularly vulnerable, as their skull is thinner, with the absorption of radiofrequency radiation twice as high as that of adults. People living closer to transmitters suffered significantly more frequently from symptoms such as tiredness, headache, sleep disturbance, depression, loss of memory, and dizziness.” The City Planning Staff Report doesn’t mention these important considerations of health effects, cancer, child development effects, etc.

Another reason we oppose this is that it is inconsistent with the 2006 Burroughs Creek Corridor Plan. The main purpose of that Plan is to transition the industrially zoned corridor into a neighborhood-unifying linear park. The Plan calls for down-zoning all industrially zoned properties to be consistent with their actual current uses (essentially commercial, warehouse, and/or retail).

1725 Bullene is one of those properties that’s supposed to be downzoned. But it is still industrially zoned IL. It should be zoned CN2 “Neighborhood Commercial Center District”. Instead they are proposing to make it even more heavily industrialized, counter to the intent and recommendations of the Burroughs Creek Corridor Plan. The City Planning Staff Report doesn’t mention downzoning, but recommends the more intensive use of the microwave tower.

Other concerns:

  • Detraction from the use of the trail, especially when trees are leafless.
  • Salvation Army transitional family housing that will be built at the corner 200 feet to the south (Lynne & Bullene).
  • Verizon’s stated plan to triple the transmission capacity in the future
  • Verizon’s option to build a larger tower in the future, once this precedent is granted.
  • Located in very low ground (creek bottom), whereas higher ground is more logical and more common.
  • They would do better to locate the tower on the existing tall structure of the Ottawa Co-op grain elevators.

Please attend the Planning Commission at 6:30pm Monday at City Hall. It’s the second agenda item (the first is another Verizon tower elsewhere).

thank you,
Michael Almon
Brook Creek Neighborhood Association