Urban Design Element and Land Use Amendment
Omaha is changing.
Thirty years ago the redevelopment of downtown Omaha began with a dream to “Return to the River.” The Gene Leahy Mall was the first step in realizing the dream and a major catalyst for the development of the ConAgra Campus and the Heartland of America Park.
The dream expanded to the riverfront and then, in six short years a transformation occurred with two billion dollars of investment in the Riverfront and downtown Omaha — the First National Bank Tower, Qwest Center Omaha, Holland Performing Arts Center, Gallup University, the National Park Service District Office, to name a few.
We now have bold dreams to transform all areas of Omaha. Mayor Mike Fahey, the Omaha Planning Department, Lively Omaha,(now remaned Omaha By Design) a project of the Omaha Community Foundation, and generous donors joined in cooperative effort to extend the benefits of quality urban design throughout Omaha. Through the efforts of a volunteer Working Review Committee, consultants, city officials and hundreds of interested citizens, Omaha By Design created a plan with three main areas of focus: Green Omaha, Civic Omaha and Neighborhood Omaha. It is a bold, new plan for a bold, new Omaha that will help shape public projects, private investment and philanthropic contributions. No other city the size of Omaha has attempted such a comprehensive plan.
After one year of research, meetings and consensus building, the Working Review Committee agreed upon 21 goals that will become the new Urban Design Element for the City of Omaha Master Plan. Each goal has objectives, policies and implementation measures. The seven goals of Green Omaha relate to landscape and environmental issues. The nine goals for Civic Omaha include design guidelines, streetscapes, public art, lighting, building preservation, and the design of public buildings. The five Neighborhood Omaha goals encompass preservation of older neighborhoods, improving newer neighborhoods, and creating walkable new neighborhoods as the City continues to grow.
The plan is available in its entirety for download as a PDF file. To view the file you will need Adobe Reader available free of charge at Adobe .
To insure future development consistent with the principles set forth in the Urban Design Element, the Land Use Element of the Master Plan seeks to protect the city’s natural features, preserve and enhance Environmental Safety and Quality
The Land Use Element outlines a strategy for remapping continuous commercial zones so that there are commercial centers at major intersections and the intervals between commercial centers along corridor streets are used in a different way, such as multi-family housing, turned to face the neighborhood, not the corridor street.
The Land Use Element PDF is available here for download. (152 KB)
A great many individuals and organizations contributed time, money and special skills to make Omaha By Design a reality. We truly appreciate their efforts toward making Omaha a better place.
Omaha by Design Donors
Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben
First National Bank
MidAmerican Energy Holdings
Mutual of Omaha
Pacific Realty Group, Inc.
Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc.
Union Pacific Railroad
Valmont Industries, Inc.
William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation
2003 – 2004 Omaha By Design Working Review Committee
Robert Peters, Planning Department
Del Weber, Lively Omaha Advisory Committee
Deidra Andrews, Neighborhood Center for Greater Omaha
John Burcaw, Local 109 – Painters Union
Larry Ferguson, Public Art Commission
John Fullenkamp, Fullenkamp, Doyle & Jobeun
Ann Goldstein, Community Volunteer
Patrick Gorup, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
Martin Janousek, AIA President, Nebraska Chapter
Jerry Kelley, City Planning Board
David Kuehl, Kuehl Capital Corporation
Randy Lenhoff, Seldin Company
Ken Lyons, First National Bank
Jennifer Mahlendorf, Office of the Mayor
Mike McMeekin, Lamp, Rynearson & Associates
Hillary Nather-Detisch, All About Omaha
Jay Noddle, Grubb & Ellis/Pacific Realty
Dorsey Olson, Neon Products Company, Inc.
John Royster, Big Muddy Workshop
Steve Seline, Waitt Media, Inc.
Martin Shukert, RDG Planning and Design
Chuck Sigerson, City Council member
Red Thomas, Lively Omaha Advisory Committee
Jerry Torczon, BHI
Beverly Traub, League of Women Voters
Rebecca Valdez, Chicano Awareness Center
Pete Festersen, Mayor’s Office
Steve Jensen, Planning Department
Lynn Meyer, Planning Department
Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC
Jonathan Barnett FAIA, FAICP— Professional in Charge
Ferdinando Micale AIA, AICP, PP, Project Director
Adam Krom, Planner and Urban Designer
Yan Wang, Urban Designer
Robinson & Cole LLP
Omaha by Design Project Management
Director - Connie Spellman
Program Coordinator - Ellen Fitzsimmons