Development Review

Recent Code Amendments

Past Approved Amendments & Reports


TX13011 — Allow 8.5 x 11 Sheets on Plats in County

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
December 10, 2013
Project Overview:

Amendment to the Lancaster County Subdivision Resolution to change the Planning Director written recommendation time period from 15 to 10 days and remove Section 3.20 Final Plat Amendments; and amend Chapter 8 to allow lien holder consent and subordination signature blocks and acknowledgments to appear on 8.5 by 11 sheets and remove redundant requirements for additional information that are otherwise required in the resolution.

Additional information for TX13011

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TX13006 — Decks, Reduction of the Rear Yard and Minor Modifications

Staff Contact:
Christy Eichorn 402-441-7603
Approved:
December 9, 2013
Project Overview:

Amending Chapter 27.72 of the Lincoln Municipal Code, Height and Lot Regulations, by amending Section 27.72.020 to reduce the required rear yard in the R-1 through R-4 zoning districts for single- and two-family dwellings as set forth in Table 27.72.020(a); by amending Section 27.72.060 to modify the provisions regarding the projection of patios, terraces, uncovered decks, and ornamental features into a required yard; adding a new section numbered 27.72.190 granting the Planning Director authority to approve minor modifications to the rear yard setback under specified conditions; and repealing Sections 27.72.020 and 27.72.060 and of the Lincoln Municipal Code as hitherto existing.

Additional information for TX13006

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TX13007 and TX13009 — Outlot Definition and Allowed Uses

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
July 29, 2013
Project Overview:

Change the Lincoln Municipal Code zoning and subdivision ordinances to specifically alter: Chapter 26.07 to amend the definition of "Outlot"; add a definition of "Outlot", in zoning; Section 27.69.030 to allow signs on outlots; and add Section 27.07.070 to specify permitted accessory buildings.

Additional information for TX13007 | Additional information for TX13009

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TX13008 and TX13010 — Outlot Definition and Allowed Uses, Extraterritorial Jurisdictions, Change of Zone Protest Procedure, Remove Publication in Newspaper of Adjacent County

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
July 30, 2013
Project Overview:

Change the Lancaster County zoning and subdivision resolutions specifically: Chapter 2 to amend the definition of "Outlot"; Change zoning Article 2 to add a definition of "Outlot"; Article 3 to more accurately describe extraterritorial jurisdictions; Article 15 to specify uses that are allowed on outlots; and Article 22 to add a procedure for the protest of changes to the zoning resolution which are not in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan and to remove the requirement to publish notice in the newspaper of an adjacent county when zoning action was requested on property within 3 miles of such county.

Additional information for TX13008 | Additional information for TX13010

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TX12031 and TX12034 — City and County Board of Zoning Appeals

Staff Contact:
Brian Will 402-441-6362
Approved:
TX12031 Approved June 17, 2013; TX12034 Approved June 11, 2013
Project Overview:

Amendments to modify the regulations relating to the City and County Boards of Zoning Appeals in two main ways. First, the process for filing applications was simplified and clarified by allowing them to be submitted directly to the Planning Department instead of the Department of Building and Safety. Also included was a provision to eliminate the need for the denial of a building permit prior to submitting an application for BZA consideration. Second, the types of applications that the BZA can hear was also clarified. Historically, any application submitted for the BZA to consider was called an appeal. However, to be more consistent with State Statutes, the powers relative to hearing claims of 'errors' are now termed 'appeals'. All other applications that the BZA is authorized to hear, which includes variances, exceptions, and airport zoning in the case of the City BZA, are all considered petitions.

Additional information for TX12031 | Additional information for TX12034

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TX12015 — Ag Preservation and CUP Bonus

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
July 24, 2012
Project Overview:

Amendment to the County Zoning Resolution Chapter 4, Agricultural District, to add provisions for AG Preservation lots, which allow acreage lots of at least 3 acres to be created when the overall density of one dwelling unit per twenty acres can be maintained. Lots must be accessed by a single shared drive, to be approved by the County Engineer, and may front upon that drive. This amendment also increased potential CUP bonuses to 25%, revised the method for calculating these bonuses, and removed reductions to CUP density in smaller Residential district CUPs.

Additional information for TX12015

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TX12004 — Ag Preservation and CUP Bonus

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
July 24, 2012
Project Overview:

Amendment to the County Land Subdivision Resolution to remove the provision for Administrative Subdivision Permits and allow Final Plats without Preliminary Plat. Also included are design standards for the AG Preservation lots allowed by TX12015-CZ above.

Additional information for TX12004

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TX12009-CZ and TX12003-MISC — Apartment Height Amendment in CUP and PUD

Staff Contact:
Christy Eichorn 402-441-7603
Approved:
June 25, 2012
Project Overview:

Amendment to revise Chapter 27.60 Planned Unit Development (PUD) and 27.65 Community Unit Plan (CUP) to revise the administrative amendment language to: update the text, add criteria for approval of multi-family buildings over the zoning district height adjacent to single or two family uses and permit tandem parking in a driveway leading to a garage in apartment complexes.

Amendment to revise Chapter 3.35, Design Standards for Community Unit Plans and Chapter 3.50, Design Standards for Screening and Landscaping to remove outdated language, add criteria for the placement of multi-family buildings over the zoning district height adjacent to single or two family uses and landscaping standards for such multi-family dwellings, garages and driveways. The proposal amends Sections 1.2 of Chapter 3.35 on the "Shape, size and locations of buildings; open space buffers" and Section 7.3, "Multiple Family Dwellings Approved by Special Permit, Planned Unit Development and Use Permit" of Chapter 3.50.

The amendment requires a greater setback for any multi-family dwelling which exceeds the zoning district height when they are adjacent to future or existing single or two family dwellings. The increase in height would be limited to 10 feet administratively. Coupled with the proposed Misc. #12003 it also provides appropriate screening and landscaping for apartments. The amendment tries to find a balance between the increased height of multi-family buildings and impact on adjacent lower density land uses.

Additional information for TX12009-CZ | Additional information for TX12003-MISC

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TX12008-CZ & TX12002-MISC — Use Groups

Staff Contact:
Christy Eichorn 402-441-7603
Approved:
June 25, 2012
Project Overview:

It has been 30 years since the last major update of the City of Lincoln Zoning Ordinance. Today's Ordinance still reflects the land use structure of the Zoning Ordinance when it was first adopted in the 1950's. Since 1979, the Zoning Ordinance has been amended over 530 times. All of these amendments have produced a document that can be confusing, inconsistent and at times difficult to interpret which often leads to significant staff time spent on interpretation and numerous delays to private parties.

To address this issue, staff has looked at the way other communities have formatted their codes to make them more user friendly. The format that should work best with our existing code is called Use Groups. This format allows all use types to be categorized by group. The use can then either be regulated as part of a group or as an individual use depending on local community values.

The Use Groups proposal addresses many of the past problems while streamlining the Ordinance and the process significantly by:

  • Reducing the list of over 270 different land uses down to 14 use groups, eliminating the possibility that a use isn't listed by making the groups all in-compassing.
  • Increase the emphasis on treating like uses in a similar manner. Today, too many uses with similar impacts are treated very differently.

This is not a change to the type of zoning code Lincoln has, it is simply an effort to reformat the existing code to make it more user friendly.

Use Groups are a mechanism for categorizing land uses and activities based on common, functional, and physical characteristics. The categorization of types of uses into use groups provides a systematic basis for assignment of present and future use types to zoning districts. The categorization of uses is derived from the goals and policies of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan. Use Groups are a way to organize and format a zoning ordinance.

Additional information for TX12008-CZ | Additional information for TX12002-MISC

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TX12001-CZ & TX12002-CZ — Market Gardens

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
TX12001-CZ Approved March 20, 2012; TX12002-CZ Approved May 1, 2012
Project Overview:

TX12001-CZ: Amendment to the County Zoning Resolution to add Market Garden to the Definitions chapter, add Market Garden as a Specially Permitted Use in the Agricultural District and Agricultural Residential District, and add conditions for Market Gardens in the Special Permit chapter.

TX12002-CZ: Amendment to the Lincoln Municipal Code Chapter 27 Zoning to add Market Garden to the Definitions chapter, add Market Garden as a Specially Permitted Use in the Agricultural District and Agricultural Residential District, and add conditions for Market Gardens in the Special Permit chapter.

Additional information for TX12001-CZ | Additional information for TX12002-CZ

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TX10005-MISC — Update to Guarantee of Improvements in Subdivision Ordinance

Staff Contact:
Tom Cajka 402-441-5662
Approved:
May 9, 2011
Project Overview:

Amend Section 26.11.039 and 26.11.040 of the Land Subdivision Ordinance to revise the procedure for insuring sidewalks, street trees and detention/ retention facilities are installed and when the surety shall be released. The proposed amendment to the Land Subdivision Ordinance would eliminate the need to track and release sureties for sidewalks on residential lots while still assuring their construction. Extending the time to install street trees will give the developer needed time on subdivisions that are slow to develop. This should save developers the need to ask for waivers to extend time to install sidewalks and street trees on residential lots.

Additional information

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TX11025-CZ — Prohibit Sexually Oriented Live Entertainment in B-4 Zoning

Staff Contact:
Brian Will 402-441-6362
Project Overview:

The purpose of this text amendment is to prohibit sexually oriented live entertainment establishments in the Downtown B-4 Lincoln Center Business District. Currently, these types of establishments are prohibited in the B-4 zoning district generally east of 17th Street. This amendment would extend the prohibition to the entire B-4 zoning district.

Sexually oriented live entertainment establishments would continue to be allowed by special permit in the H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, I-1, I-2, and I-3 zoning districts.

The text amendment adds sexually oriented live entertainment establishments to the list of uses excluded from the B-4 zoning district. It also removes this use from the uses only prohibited from 150 feet east of 17th Street to the eastern edge of the B-4 since it would now be prohibited throughout the entire district.

Additional information

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TX11007-CZ — Zoning Confirmation Letters

Staff Contact:
Stephen Henrichsen 402-441-6374
Approved:
March 23, 2011
Project Overview:

To amend Chapter 27.80 of the Lincoln Municipal Code relating to fees by amending Section 27.80.010 to require a person requesting a zoning action confirmation letter to pay an appropriate fee as established by resolution of the City Council. This new service has been requested by numerous parties in recent years typically to satisfy lending requirements. The proposed text amendment will allow the City to prepare and charge $60.00 for a zoning confirmation letter when requested by a private party.

It is common for cities to provide a standard letter of this type for a small fee. Building & Safety, which is officially charged with enforcing the zoning code, provided these letters until about 7 or 8 years ago. It was a very busy time for permitting activity, and they decided that these letters had become too time-consuming. Since that time, private attorneys have provided this service although these attorneys sometimes end up contacting Planning and/or Building & Safety to obtain information or confirm an interpretation. Also, from time to time, particularly in a situation where a federal grant for housing assistance was being sought, the Planning Department or City Attorney have provided this service at no fee.

In February 2011, the Planning Department routed this proposal to our "development community" email list. The Department received 8 positive responses and one negative reply to the proposal. Most appreciated that we were starting this service and they noted it is increasingly a requirement of lenders, particularly out of state lenders to provide zoning confirmation on a loan.

Additional information

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TX11004-CZ — County Board delegation to Planning Commission

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6370
Approved:
March 29, 2011
Project Overview:

An amendment to the County zoning resolution to delegate final action on special permits to the Planning Commission. Also allowed final action on applications to the County Board of Zoning Appeals. Actions from both may be appealed to the County Board. This amendment allowed the same procedure for the County as now exists in the City of Lincoln for special permits. Overall this should result in a streamlined and faster action for the applicants.

Additional information

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TX10026-CZ & TX11003-CZ — Commercial Wind Farms

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6370
Approved:
March 29, 2011
Project Overview:

An amendment to the City zoning ordinance (Change of Zone 11003) to add commercial wind machines by special permit in the AG Agriculture District. Amends Sections 27.03.161 Definitions, 27.07.040 AG Agriculture and 27.63.425 Special Permits. Adoption of this amendment provides reasonable review and protection for the installation of large commercial wind turbines in Lincoln's jurisdiction. It also matches proposed Lancaster County language (Change of Zone 10026).

Additional information: TX10026-CZ | TX11003-CZ

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TX09024-CZ — Small Lots in R-3 Zoning

Staff Contact:
Christy Eichorn 402-441-7603
Approved:
June 7, 2010
Project Overview:

Amendment allowed for the reduction of lot area, lot width, and yard requirements in the R-3 zoning district for single family and townhouse lots and allowed a width to depth ratio of 4 to 1 instead of the standard 3 to 1 for the R-3 zoning district. The amendment was to accommodate a growing population and a new demand for smaller lots and smaller houses.

The following conditions that would need to be met before utilization of a lot with reduced area, setbacks or width:

  1. There must be at least 22 contiguous feet of uninterrupted curb space abutting the lot measured along the face of the curb from the edge of the curb return to the lot line.
  2. Any garage door or doors facing the street shall not occupy more than 40% of the width of the building facade, except that the garage door or doors may occupy up to 60% of the width of the building facade if there is living area or a covered balcony above the majority of the garage. Notwithstanding the above, detached garages which are not considered a part of and are primarily located to the side of or behind the main structure are exempt from this requirement.
  3. Garages facing and taking access from a street must have a minimum setback of 20 feet from the lot line.
  4. The principal street facade of each dwelling shall have at least one door. The principal street facade of each dwelling shall also have a minimum of one window per story oriented to the street. If the dwelling is two stories in height, both required windows may be located on the second floor. The minimum glazed area of a window shall be five square feet.

Additional information

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TX09018-CZ — Rural Home-Based Business

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
September 29, 2009
Project Overview:

Amended the Lancaster County Zoning Resolution by amending Article 2 Definitions, Article 4.007 Agricultural District special uses, Article 13, Special Permit, Section 13.001(27) and Article 15 Addition Use Regulations, to allow for an expanded home occupation by special permit and allow a home occupation to have one non-family employee. The amendment;

  1. adjusts the definition of home occupation to allow one on-family employee
  2. adds the expanded home occupation to the list of Special Permitted uses in the AG Agriculture District
  3. adds a provision to the Special Permit Chapter that allows an expanded home occupation and lists the conditions that should be applied to the special permit. It also allows the County Board to remove, modify, or add to specified conditions as needed.
  4. adjusts the home occupation language under Article 15 (A use allowed in all districts) to reflect these other changes

Additional information

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TX08071-CZ & TX08072-CZ — Review of Mining Standards

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
March 10, 2009
Project Overview:

Mining and the extraction of sand, gravel and soil is allowed within the City jurisdiction (city limits and the 3-mile zoning jurisdiction) by Special Permit in the AG, AGR, R-3, B-2, H-2, H-3, H-4 and I-1 Districts. Sections 27.63.160 and 27.63.360 of the City code provide conditions of approval for operations approved by Special Permit. These conditions deal with filling requirements, grading, erosion control, groundwater concerns, vehicle storage and entrance, and other issues. Beyond the 3-mile zoning jurisdiction, the County regulates mining operations in the AG and AGR Districts by Special Permit under Article 13.001(14) (no conditions codified).

In the past, rural residents have expressed concerns that some of the standards and conditions of approval are inadequate, and enforcement is lacking. In response, Planning Commissioners and Planning staff discussed the issue with the City Council and County Board, and staff organized meetings with various stakeholders, including other departments and agencies, mining contractors, and interested neighbors. Following several months of public input, the City Council and County Board approved new regulations in early 2009.

If you have a concern or complaint regarding the enforcement of soil mining operations in Lincoln or Lancaster County, please refer to the list below of departments and agencies and their specific area of enforcement.

Additional information: TX08071-CZ | TX08072-CZ

Department/Agency Contacts Regarding Enforcement Issues
Department/Agency Enforcement Issue Staff Name Telephone
Building and SafetyConditions of a special permitTerry Kathe402-441-6447
Health DepartmentAir quality and dustScott Holmes
Rick Thorson
402-441-8019
402-441-6236
County EngineerRoad access and impactsKen Schroeder402-441-7681
Lower Platte South NRDErosion and sediment control
Ground water/wells
Administration
JB Dixon
Jesse Korus
Paul Zillig or Glenn Johnson
402-441-6447
402-476-2729
402-476-2729
Public Works Watershed ManagementWater quality and sediment controlGary Lacey or Terry Ullsperger402-441-4957
Nebraska Department of Environmental QualityWater quality and runoff, wellsBruce Hanson, Ron Asch or Bruce Clendenin
Will Myers
402-471-3376
402-471-2186
Nebraska Department of RoadsAccess/dirt or mud on state roadwaysGary Prey402-471-0850 X1132
Public Works Engineering ServicesAccess to City StreetsBuff Baker
Dennis Bartels
402-441-7838
402-441-7595
Planning DepartmentSpecial permit requirements and zoning codeSara Hartzell
Marvin Krout
402-441-6370
402-441-7491
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TX08040-CZ & TX08042-CZ — Wind Machines

Staff Contact:
Sara Hartzell 402-441-6371
Approved:
October 20, 2008
Project Overview:

The change allowed wind machines/wind mills as a conditional use or permitted use in all districts and a special permit over the height of the district verses the previous provisions where a special permit is required in most districts. This should remove barriers to the use of this form of alternative energy but not adversely impact neighbors.

Specifically the amendment by the Director of Planning in the City (CZ 08040) amended the Zoning Ordinance to define "wind energy conversion system" (WECS); to add WECS as a permitted use in the AG, AGR, R-1 through R-8, O-1 through O-3, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5 and H-1 through H-4 zoning districts; to add WECS as a permitted conditional use in the AG and AGR districts, to add WECS as a permitted special use in the R-1 through R-8, O-1 through O-3, B-1 through B-5, H-1 through H-4, and I-1 through I-3 zoning districts; to amend the special permit requirements for WECS; and to clarify that WECS may exceed the height of the district in which the WECS is located. Similar amendments were made to the County zoning ordinance (CZ 08042).

Additional information: CZ08040 | CZ08042

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TX08039-CZ — Outdoor Lighting Study

Staff Contact:
Tom Cajka 402-441-5662
Approved:
September 15, 2008
Project Overview:

As part of the processing of the lighting amendments for the Near South Neighborhood relative to light trespass from commercial uses to residences, the Planning Department found that the existing lighting standards were spotty, inconsistent, unenforced and antiquated. The Department stated in its report to the Planning Commission and City Council that it was appropriate to take a more comprehensive review of lighting issues in Lincoln.

The Planning Department is the lead agency in this effort. The City retained Olsson & Associates as a consultant to:

  1. review the current provisions of Lincoln codes;
  2. do field surveys and public workshops and
  3. provide suggestions for corrections and updates to the current code.

As part of this effort, the Department created a Lighting Task Force to assist staff and the consultant in developing updated language.

The Final Report, with one chapter containing draft language to amend the City's Design Standards, was released in January, 2008. Staff presented the proposed new standards to various organizations and committees for their comments, made revisions, and brought the standards through the Planning Commission and City Council.

Additional information

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TX08034-CZ — Sign Code Amendments

Staff Contact:
Christy Eichorn 402-441-7603
Approved:
August 28, 2008
Project Overview:

This amendment was a complete update to the sign code in the City zoning ordinance Chapter 27.69. The changes adopted in August 2008 included:

  • Eliminating small differences in standards for groups of similar zoning districts.
  • Eliminating redundant language and grouping that language under General Provisions.
  • Eliminating the distinction between "ground" and "pole" signs and just regulating sign height for "freestanding" signs.
  • Placing all the rules for freestanding signs in table form.
  • Increasing some allowable sign heights in the newer commercial districts, and reducing some sign heights in the older ones.
  • Removing some terms that were undefined and unclear, adding new definitions, and clarifying existing ones.
  • Establishing uniform distance requirements for illuminated signs near residential zones.
  • Clarifying that a noncommercial message is allowed on any sign that is permitted to be installed and used for commercial on-premise messages.
  • Removing the limitations on the time duration for temporary signs used to advertise election candidates.
  • Relocating standards from the separate city code chapter governing sign installation and fees (22.05) into the sign section of the zoning chapter.

Additional information

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