Bellevue is joining an effort to ensure that land development around Offutt Air Force Base remains compatible with the base’s mission.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency is preparing to ask the federal government to finance a $250,000 study to identify potential land uses that might conflict with Offutt’s responsibilities.
The study would also present guidance to the U.S. Department of Defense as to which missions or installations might be appropriate for the base.
Funds for the study would come from the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment and would require a 10 percent local match, which would be $25,000.
Council members Aug. 12 agreed to contribute $5,000 to that figure.
MAPA will solicit the remaining $20,000 from Sarpy County, La Vista, Papillion, the Omaha Development Foundation, the Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation and Mills County, Iowa.
In a letter to Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders, Greg Youell, MAPA executive director, said poorly conceived development can have serious consequences.
Those can include restrictions on what the base may be used for as well as presenting possible danger to civilians, he said.
“Incompatible civilian development can threaten public safety, exposing population to artillery fire, aircraft noise, dust and even accidents,” Youell wrote.
The study, which Youell said he is confident will be approved, comes at a time when the city and the county are discussing how to develop hundreds of acres of industrial land south of the base.
Sanders said the study will provide valuable information not just about the hundreds of acres south of Offutt, but all adjacent land.
“First and foremost we want to keep the base viable because of the effect it has on our economy,” she said.
“It will benefit the base as much as us.”