Mayor Don Wesely announced today he has negotiated a compromise to ease the impact of the proposed retail project at 70th Street and Nebraska Highway 2 and reduce the threat of retail strip mall development east of 56th Street along the highway.
Developer Mary Jo Livingston has agreed to the Mayor’s request to substitute office space for the grocery store and other retail space proposed on the eastern half of her land. The proposed Home Depot retail store would remain on the western part of her property.
In addition, Livingston pledged that the land she owns north of Highway 2 near the Pine Lake area will be developed as residential or residential transition, alleviating concerns for adjacent homeowners.
"I know that this compromise will not satisfy every person who has expressed a concern about this proposed project," Wesely said. "But in my opinion, this is a reasonable arrangement that achieves a reasonable resolution to this controversy."
Wesely said the compromise will:
The City Council will be asked to amend the proposed project before voting on it at its regular meeting Monday, December 4. If the Council adopts the compromise, Wesely said he will sign it.
Wesely also urged the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission and City Council to adopt the Highway 2 subarea plan as drafted by the City-County Planning Department. The Commission held a hearing on the plan November 29 and is expected to vote in January.
"The subarea plan provides for sizable commercial development at 70th Street and at 84th Street on Highway 2," Wesely said. "I think that is enough. Other land yet to be developed along the Highway 2 corridor should become something other than high-density retail space."
Wesely said he has been contacted about the future of Highway 2 by many people, including residents of southeast Lincoln and developers interested in pursuing projects in the area.
"As the community grows to the southeast, we must have a blueprint for developing Highway 2 that allows for economic development but does not create a strip mall environment or harm nearby neighborhoods," the Mayor said. "The subarea plan written by the planning staff provides that opportunity and that protection."