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City of Lincoln/Lancaster County
City Council & County Commission
Common/Super-Common Agenda

                             M I N U T E S
                       CITY-COUNTY SUPER COMMON
                Friday, September 15, 2000 - 8:15 a.m.
                Cornhusker Hotel - Yankee Hill III Room

County Commissioners Present:   Bob Workman, Common Chair; Kathy
Campbell, Bernie Heier and Larry Hudkins

City Council Members Present:   Jon Camp, Common Vice Chair; Jonathan
Cook, Cindy Johnson, Annette McRoy, and Coleen Seng

Planning Commissioners Present:  Jon Carlson, Russ Bayer, Patte Newman
and Cecil Steward

Others Present:   Mayor Don Wesely; Christine Jackson, Michelle Waite,
Scott Lewis, John Benson, UNL; Glenn Johnson, Paul Zillig, Rich Wiese,
Dan Steinkruger, Paul Morrison, Roxanne Smith, Lynn Lightner, Elaine
Hammer and Judi Cook, Lower Platte South Natural Resources District;
Kathleen Sellman, Jennifer Dam, Planning Department; Roger Figard, Allan
Abbott, Roger Ohlrich, Jim Visger, V.A. Singh and Kelly Sieckmeyer,
Public Works & Utilities; Jim Linderholm, HWS Consulting; Stephen Burnham
and Ed Kosola, Federal Highway Administration; Rick Wallace and Bob Wolf,
Antelope Valley Study Team; Bruce Medcalf, County Clerk; Gwen Thorpe,
Deputy County Clerk; Dave Johnson, Deputy County Attorney; Wynn
Hjermstad, Urban Development; Rick Herrick, Olsson Associates; Scott
Sullivan, Erickson Sullivan Architects; Gary Hergenrader, Marcella Ganow,
Karen Miller, Marleen Rickertsen, general public; and Cori Beattie,
County Board Secretary

Hudkins moved approval of the August 18, 2000 Common meeting minutes;
seconded by Seng.  Roll call vote.  Ayes: Campbell, Camp, Cook, Heier,
Hudkins, Johnson, McRoy, Seng and Workman.  Nays:  None.  Motion passed
9-0.  (Mayor Wesely absent for vote.)


Sellman begun the presentation by stating that Antelope Valley is not
only a very exciting project, but perhaps one of the most ambitious ever
to be undertaken in this community.  A number of people in attendance
today have been working on the project for five or more years.  The
partners include the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District
(LPSNRD), the City of Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Figard said the Antelope Valley Project has been a long time coming.  He
mentioned the three "P's" of the project - the partners, the parts and
the process.  He also emphasized that five different City departments
have played a major role in the project:  Public Works & Utilities,
Planning, Parks & Recreation, Urban Development and the Mayor's Office.

The parts of the project include:  flood control/storm water, community
revitalization and transportation.

Figard commented that the Antelope Valley process began out in the
community and there was going to be consensus - meaning everyone will
find enough of what they like to support the process and move ahead.  

Looking at the history of the project, Figard said during the 1960's to
the 1990's, each of the partners came up with their own ideas and
solutions regarding the area.  The City concentrated on storm water,
transportation and revitalization; LPSNRD looked at flood control,
protecting the environment and doing the right things for recreation; and
UNL considered growth, the flood plain and student safety.  These
individual efforts and the solutions offered, unfortunately, did not fit

In early 1990, former Mayor Mike Johanns met with UNL's Chancellor and
the LPSNRD President to find a way to work together on the Antelope
Valley Project, hence, a partnership was formed.  From 1990-1993, the
partners set broad strategies and looked for ways to help each attain
their most important priorities with regard to the project.

From December, 1994 to August, 1995, a lot of time was spent discussing
a new type of study team, one which would look at the big picture and
include many process people - not just engineers.

In June, 1996, the Antelope Valley Advisory Committee was formed.  It
includes many people and allows ideas/thoughts about the project to be
kept in the same room, i.e., engineers get to hear the neighborhoods,
etc.  By September, the community identified the project's purposes and
needs and identified over 100 different alternatives regarding the
community, revitalization, storm water and transportation.  Figard said
as things began to unfold, it was surprising to see that transportation
was not the driving force of the process - it was revitalization or what
it takes for people to live, work and play in the area.  

From March to July, 1997, the Advisory Committee narrowed all the
alternatives to four alternate packages.  By November, the Committee
narrowed the four packages to a preferred package of alternatives known
as the "Draft Single Package."  It included community revitalization,
storm water and transportation components.  The Advisory Committee then
recommended that the Comprehensive Plan show the preferred package for
additional study in the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).  Dam
noted that after the Advisory Committee took this action, it went before
the City-County Super Common in December, 1997.  The Super Common, UNL
and LPSNRD unanimously accepted the recommendation that a Comprehensive
Plan Amendment be forwarded.

In March, 1998, the City-County Planning Commission approved the
Comprehensive Plan Amendment which identified the preferred package for
further study in a DEIS.  In May of 1998, the City Council took two
actions - approved the Comprehensive Plan Amendment which identified the
preferred package for review in the DEIS and requested additional review
of the following five issue areas:

1. Whether the project should include a single, two-way road corridor or
   one-way pairs;
2. Whether the east-west downtown intersections at "N", "P", and "Q" and
   the new roadway should remain open or closed;
3. Whether there should be an open channel or a limited closed conduit;
4. Look at Cornhusker Highway and N. 33rd Street area
   (intersection and crossings); and
5. Look at road and water conveyance between Beadle Center and Trago

In August of 1998, the Advisory Committee developed a consensus on the

1. Include single, two-way road corridor;
2. Intersections at "N", "P" and "Q" and new road will be open
3. Should be an open channel with landscaping and additional park land
   and recreational amenities;
4. Intersections at N. 33rd and Cornhusker Highway will remain
   open as a three-lane railroad underpass with the railroad crossing at
   35th and Adams Streets to be closed; and
5. Road and water conveyance would follow the proposed route between
   Beadle and Malone Centers.  The study team was also directed to work
   with the neighborhood and other interested citizens on design details,
   housing issues and relocation/acquisition issues.

In August, 1998, the City-County Super Common unanimously accepted the
consensus summary and requested that the Comprehensive Plan be amended to
reflect this consensus.  Later that fall,  the Planning Commission and
City Council both approved the Comprehensive Plan Amendment reflecting
the consensus of the five issue areas.  

From December 1998 to June 2000, the study team worked to complete the
environmental impact statement.  This spring, the Joint Antelope Valley
Authority (JAVA) was created.  It is composed of the City of Lincoln, UNL

Figard noted that in July of 2000, a major milestone was achieved - the
DEIS was released for public review and comment.  Due to the enormity of
the document, the response time was extended to August 29, 2000.  Four
open houses were held in the community regarding the Antelope Valley
project and a bus tour was also conducted in July.  Public hearings were
held on August 1st  and 2nd to allow people another
opportunity to address the project.  Comments from these hearings are
currently under review.  In August, Public Works requested, on behalf of
JAVA, that a Comprehensive Plan Amendment be made to incorporate the
community revitalization, storm water, flood control and transportation
elements of the Antelope Valley project.

Dam said this Comprehensive Plan Amendment is now moving forward.  It
takes the components of the proposed package and integrates them into the
elements of the Comprehensive Plan.  Amendments would be as follows:

1. Amend future land use map to show the area of the parks along the
   waterway and the proposed northeast park;
2. Amend future road improvement map to show the new roadway alignment;
3. Amend the functional classification map to show changes to street and
   road classifications due to new roadway; and
4. Amend current and future trails maps to show proposed trails.
The Comprehensive Plan Amendment would also add text addressing:
1. Community revitalization strategies;
2. A description of the project and roadway;
3. Projects relating to railroad grade crossing separations and
4. Storm water management and flood control strategy; and
5. Strategies for the development of trails and parks associated with the

The Comprehensive Plan Amendment will allow the City Council to authorize
annual funding for the project in the capital budget.  It would also
allow JAVA to complete the preparation period, including public
information and review, project design, ability to receive grants, gifts,
etc., and contracting/purchasing authority available to each partner.

The Urban Development Department will then prepare a community
revitalization plan which will be a broad, general plan of strategies
developed by the Advisory Committee, neighborhood residents and staff. 
After that point, Urban Development will prepare a blight study and if
the area is found to be blighted, a redevelopment plan will be done which
details specific actions for specific projects.

Figard said JAVA will then complete the preparation phase which will help
staff sort out the details and lay out the structure phasing.  Functional
design will need to be finished, as well as the construction drawings for
the Phase I projects.  Funding agreements will also be finalized.  The
City of Lincoln, LPSNRD and UNL would then need to approve the JAVA
Implementation Phase of that agreement which would allow for the
acquisition of property, relocation of residences, businesses and
structures and construction activities.

Figard asked for help and encouragement from local officials as the
Antelope Valley Project moves forward.  A series of photographs were
displayed which shows the community as it is today and a computer
rendition of the Antelope Valley Project as completed.

Chris Jackson, Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance at UNL, was in
attendance representing Interim Chancellor Harvey Perlman.  She read a
prepared statement from the University regarding its strong support of
the Antelope Valley Project. A copy of this statement is attached to the
minutes (see Exhibit A). 

Dan Steinkruger, Chairman of the LPSNRD Board, commented that they are
prepared to go ahead with the Phase I, or flood control, portion of the
project.  A subcommittee, of which Elaine Hammer is Chairperson, is
advising the LPSNRD Board on this project.  Hammer stated that one of the
LPSNRD's main responsibilities is flood control and this project does
warrant a major commitment on the part of the LPSNRD.  They are pleased
to be a partner in the project and are very excited that the storm water
and flood control project is going to be more than an underground
conduit.  It will include a lively park and will have much more to offer
than just flood control.

Carlson asked what portions of the project's implementation can move
forward without additional City approval.  Figard said the Phase II
portion of the job agreement needs to be signed before acquiring right-
of-way or construction activities.  He added that today's meeting is not
a formal authorization to proceed as the City Council would be the body
with approval authority.

Camp questioned if the option of doing paired one-way streets north/south
has been eliminated.  Figard noted that the Comprehensive Plan Amendment
being brought forward shows the plan with two-way streets in the
19th Street corridor.  Certainly, the Planning Commission or City
Council could make changes in the future.  Camp asked what advantage a
two-way street has over a paired one-way street.  Figard said the project
has been a building of the best pieces of many parts.  The preferred
alternative before local officials is not necessarily the best
transportation solution, nor the best flood control or revitalization
solution - it is the best in combination of all three.  The primary issue
on the transportation corridor really had more to do with the
redevelopment opportunities, the environment and the revitalization
component in that area.  And the two-way street in one corridor best fit. 
He hoped that others more involved in the decision-making process could
provide additional information regarding why one was preferred over the
other.  Camp said he heard many people off-the-record express concern
about this.  Figard said staff will be prepared to further discuss these
issues during pubic hearings before the Planning Commission and City

Hudkins commented that an underpass is still shown between 31st -
35th Streets at the railroad tracks.  He indicated he has heard
many informal, off-the-record concerns about underpasses and their past
history in Lincoln with regard to large rainfalls.  He asked that another
look be given to a possible underpass at that location.  Another concern
of his is the crossing at Cornhusker Highway.  He said 27th and
31st Streets are already very congested.  He asked if there is
any possibility of putting in an overpass over the railroad tracks and
Cornhusker Highway to move traffic to the north.  In regard to the
underpass, Figard said there is infrastructure available to make this a
safer and better operation today.  He added that a number of
transportation alternatives were reviewed in the 33rd &
Cornhusker Highway area.  In working with the businesses and
neighborhoods, an underpass seemed the best alternative which came
forward.  He is assured the underpass will work out fine.

The following handouts were distributed and are attached to the minutes:
1. Time Line for Antelope Valley and Beltways Projects (See Exhibit B)
2. Resolution of Support from Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (See Exhibit

Wesely said there are still many questions regarding the Antelope Valley
Project and many details to work out but he is convinced that this is a
good plan for the core of the City.  The timing of the project will mesh
together nicely with the beltway - including the funding aspect.  He
added that the partnerships and the support received for the project are
very much appreciated.


Linderholm commented that the last formal visit regarding the beltway was
in June of 1999.  Since then, work has been done on refining the four
alternative routes and continuing studies on the statistical impacts
which may result from the selection, design or construction of any of
those routes.  A good deal of time has also been spent on an additional
historic analysis of the area.  

The archaeological sites and structures have received a great deal of
attention.  A team of sponsors was assembled to visit the sites.  They
stood on these sites and looked toward where the beltway would be
constructed and vice versa to get the visual impact of the project. 
Experts from UNL were brought in to help with the historical and
archaeological studies.  Particular attention was paid to land ownership
around the historic sites.  Linderholm said one issue raised was, "How do
you draw a boundary around a historic site?"  In taking a more expansive
view of this issue, another question became, "What does the historical
record show about land ownership (tracks of land and maintenance) over
the generations which would link the historic site to historic farm
ground surrounding it?"  Linderholm stated that a look needs to be given
to the complete historic record so that potential impacts which may occur
with any of the routes are known.  He added that all these activities
have taken a lot of time and resources but the approach is to follow the
advice and leadership of the Federal Highway Administration who would
ultimately make the final judgement on the environmental impact
statement.  Work also continues with the project sponsors - City of
Lincoln, Lancaster County, State Department of Roads and the Federal
Highway Administration - as well as the constituents.

On July 1, 2000, a preliminary DEIS was sent to the four sponsor agencies
for internal review only.  Final comments from these agencies should be
received next week.  A draft DEIS would then be prepared for a second
sponsor review by mid-October.  Following this review, approval of the
Federal Highway Administration would be sought with the document being
sent to various agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency,
Corps of Engineer, Fish & Wildlife Service, etc., which will have an
interest in making comments on the DEIS.  After this time, a public
hearing date would be set for sometime immediately after the first of the
year.  Discussion ensued regarding whether the public hearing could be
held in December, but Linderholm said it will depend on how the public
meeting/hearing process will be set up.  In order to allow people a fair
opportunity to attend, it may be best to schedule the public hearing
after January 1, 2001.

Considering the alternative routes, Linderholm noted that all serve the
project's purpose and need.  No route in the study has been eliminated
because of impacts.  He added that in considering all the routes, the
impacts are relatively low and the differences are relatively minor.  The
impacts are low because the project is in a rural setting and because a
great deal of effort has been taken to avoid any impacts.

Linderholm reiterated that the purpose and need of the beltway project is
to complete a circumferential transportation network around Lincoln and
moving traffic through and around congested urban areas whereby improving
traffic flow on certain elements of the urban street system.  This
beltway idea has been in concept for nearly 50 years.

A handout was distributed regarding the selected impacts of the beltway
alternatives and is attached to the minutes (see Exhibit D).  Linderholm
noted that it includes excerpts from some of the studies and will
hopefully give people an idea regarding the comparisons in progress.  He
noted that the numbers listed on the handout are subject to change as
they continue to be reviewed and a DEIS should be released in the next
month or two.  Linderholm asked that the handout not be distributed to
others but be maintained in confidentiality.

In regard to project costs, Linderholm said these estimates show both
stand-alone and end-to-end beltway segments.  After the public hearing,
officials may be considering whether to segment the project.  He feels
this will be more appropriately done after the public hearing to consider
all potential routes.  The south-middle route connected to the east-close
route shows the greatest cost due to the major bridge structures which
would be required, as well as the additional interchanges in the vicinity
of Highway 2.  The south-middle route connected to the east-middle route
is the next highest cost, again because there is one major bridge
required to cross the Stevens Creek flood plain.  The south-middle route
connected to the east-far route is the least expensive because of no
major stream crossings.  Linderholm added that the closer routes do get
more  traffic.  Updated traffic projections were performed by the
Planning Department.  The current projections show greater traffic than
originally projected but, these numbers do not include any development of
Stevens Creek nor any development other than the S-1 and S-2 areas in
south Lincoln.  Therefore, he feels the projections are very

It was noted that there are greater noise impacts with the east-close
route because of nearby residences and developments.  This may require
special noise treatments, in fact, any of the routes may require some
special attention.  Also, the flood plain impact is not too different on
any of the alternative routes.  This impact can be mitigated anyway.

In regard to the historic structures, Linderholm said there is obviously
the greatest impact on the east-far (EF) route.  This has been the major
focus of attention for the last few years because there would be greater
residential relocations along EF-1 as ten properties would need to be
moved so an interchange could be constructed.

Linderholm said he feels the issues have gotten tougher because the costs
are higher for the closer routes and less for the farther routes; the
counter being that more traffic will be served the closer in versus the
farther out.  He added that he does not present this as an opinion on the
east beltway.  Many people still feel the east beltway is a very
contentious proposal and there is a great deal of concern regarding any
of the routes.  He stated that the additional studies, while essential,
show that the final decision on route selection will be very difficult
      Costs/benefits are fairly even;
      City-County traffic projections are higher than originally
      estimated  even without Stevens Creek or Saltillo area growth and
      development; and
      There has been no elimination of any route.

Linderholm said officials will need to focus on issues most important to
the community.

Hudkins said officials had hoped to vote on the beltway in December, but
according to the Mayor's time table, it looks as if a vote will not
happen until after the first of the year.  He asked Linderholm when
things may be in order for a vote and when will the environmental impact
statement will be available for public review.  Linderholm said if all
comments are received by early next week, they can be included in the
revised DEIS by mid-October.  Then as quickly as possible, staff will get
together with all the agencies and make any final refinements before
sending the document to the Federal Highway Administration for release to
other agencies.  This review by the agencies may take 30-45 days.  Taking
all these time schedules into consideration, it would be a real squeeze
to have a vote in December.  Again, it will also depend on how many
public meetings will be scheduled.

Hudkins said he understands historic preservation now to be that entire
farms have to be plotted instead of just the building sites.  Linderholm
said that is correct.  If land is divided, it may lose it's historic
significance.  He assured that a careful, thorough look has been given to
all aspects of impact with regard to properties.

Steward said he is concerned about impacts not shown on the handout. 
Every city which puts in major thoroughfare beltways realizes, in
retrospect, that it has become a magnet for continued low density urban
sprawl.  He asked when and how the public can get information about the
longer term impacts on planning for the community.  Linderholm said he
only selected a few key things for today's review but in the larger
document, there are comments addressing urban sprawl.  He added that it
would be ludicrous for him to write down comments which predict that this
body of elected and appointed officials will act irresponsibly with
regard to development if a beltway is constructed.  Linderholm indicated
he goes back to the history of planning, growth and development in the
City of Lincoln and believes the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County
have been two of the most responsible entities in the nation in
considering future growth and development issues.  And taking this
history into consideration, he feels future elected and appointed bodies
will not act irresponsibly with regard to the opportunity for urban
sprawl.  Will urban sprawl happen?  Linderholm said this will be in the
control of current and future local officials.  Figard added that the
beltway project process must go similar to the Antelope Valley Project. 
As the document is completed and a recommendation is forwarded to the
Planning Department, this kind of question fits within the philosophy of,
"Is this consistent with the Comprehensive Plan?"  Officials will
ultimately be the ones wrestling with those kinds of questions. 
Likewise, the strategies relayed from the beginning in regard to good,
consistent, appropriate growth will have to be followed thereon.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 9:35 a.m.

Submitted by,

Cori R. Beattie
County Board Secretary

NOTE:   All materials presented during a public meeting are a matter of
public record.

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