Many residents showed up in force last week to speak out against a possible rezoning that would allow two large storage buildings to be built near their homes.
Applicant Tim Gaeta requested the rezone of a 10-acre tract of Taxlot 12, generally located south of Fairview Road and east of South 234th Street: a change from transitional agriculture to light industrial.
The rezone would allow an outside company to build two large industrial storage/warehouse buildings on the undeveloped and open land.
Nearly 30 residents of homes along Fairview Road, living west of Highway 6 and east of 234th Street, attended the meeting with many of them speaking against the proposal.
Nearly all in opposition cited safety concerns of increased traffic on Fairview Road, an unpaved road subject to visibility concerns and lack of traffic signals. A man was killed in the area during a deadly rollover crash in May when he was ejected from his car into the roadway and run over by another vehicle.
“Fairview Road is a nightmare and more traffic on it is just going to make it worse,” said Eric Troudt.
Others cited concerns of allowing more industrial development on land that the city’s master plan sees as a residential area.
“It’s a very slippery slope,” Pat Hansen said. “We really don’t want Fairview Road to become an industrial site.”
The Gretna Planning Commission recommended denial 4–0. Only four members were present at the August meeting, the minimum necessary for the commission to act. The Gretna City Council will hold a public hearing on the rezone on Sept. 17.
Also at its Aug. 27 meeting, the commission:
• Recommended approval of a final plat and planned unit development update for a subdivision to be known as Highland Pointe, generally located north of Lincoln Road and west of Highway 6/31. The 67.97 acre site has plans for 195 villa lots. Phase 1, which will occupy about 53 acres of the site, will house 151 of those lots. Approval was recommended 4–1 with Doug Clark voting against the final plat. He said plans should be postponed until a traffic signal is installed at the intersection of Lincoln Road and Highway 6/31.
• Recommended approval of the Gretna Highway 6 Blight Study and declaration of study area as substandard and blighted, pursuant to the Nebraska Community Development Law. The study area focused primarily on Cort Plaza and the open field nearby, generally located north of Highway 6/31 and west/southwest of Bryan Street, and south/southeast of South Street.
Some members of the older Gretna neighborhood shared concerns, not particularly with the blight study, but with what it meant for future development.
Though one of the issues cited in the blight study was the lack of connectivity between streets and the absence of sidewalks, some neighbors were unsettled by the thought of opening extra access to the highway.
“We like where we live,” said Angie Taylor. “We don’t want the traffic cutting through our neighborhood.”
Taylor pointed out that many neighborhood students walk to Gretna Elementary School each day and the dangers that increased traffic might pose for them.
The blight study does not approve any future development. Redevelopment plans and platting for those projects would have to come before the Planning Commission and City Council before moving forward.
The approval was recommended 3–1, with Brad Stauffer voting against the recommendation. The Gretna City Council will hold a public hearing on the study on Sept. 17.
The Planning Commission’s next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at Gretna City Hall, 204 N. McKenna Ave.