Mayor Don Wesely today said the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission's unanimous approval of a revised Comprehensive Plan is a major step in developing a plan for the future growth of the community. Among the amendments adopted by the Commission at its meeting Wednesday was the addition of about seven square miles in the Stevens Creek Basin to the city's 25-year growth plan.
"Although I had proposed adding 4.7 miles to the area, I support the Commission action as long as we continue to focus on finding solutions to paying for growth," said Mayor Wesely. "Infrastructure financing remains the key to the future growth of the city, and the adoption of impact fees for new development must be a priority. Creating a system in which growth pays its fair share will enable us to maintain quality services in the existing neighborhoods."
Wesely said he was also pleased that the Planning Commission adopted his suggestion to substitute a transportation study for the Yankee Hill Road Crossing Study. The Commission calls for a system-wide analysis of the transportation system.
"For the first time, the Comprehensive Plan integrates pedestrians, bicyclists, trail users and public transit customers into transportation planning," said Wesely. "This Plan also includes chapters on environmental and natural resource planning and future business and commerce growth. This study for the first time incorporates economic development with the Comprehensive Plan. All these additions are the first of their kind in a Lincoln Comprehensive Plan."
The natural resources chapter calls for the creation of the Salt Valley Heritage Greenway, a park area that laces around the future urban areas. The business and commerce chapter provides for an expanded commercial and industrial base as well as greater opportunities for development. Another addition supported by Mayor Wesely is the creation of affordable, quality housing in all areas of the community.
The draft Comprehensive Plan will be revised and prepared for public release. The City Council and County Board will have joint public hearings on the Plan May 8 and 22.