Business Expansion Debated

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The owners of Russ’s Market are asking the Lincoln City Council for a special permit to demolish a house they own at 17th and Garfield and extend their existing parking lot.

“At times it can get busy. On the weekends and also for the holidays things really pick up,” said Pat Raybould President of B&R Stores.

Neighbors are worried about noise and other things the expansion may bring.

“There’s a real concern that property values go down if your house is next to a parking lot. That’s what a lot of neighbors are concerned about,” said Scott Baird with the Near South Neighborhood Association.

Both sides made their cases before the city council. One city council member says the store hasn’t proven that there is a pressing demand for expansion.

“What this sounds like to me is that you want to make the parking lot square and that is the primary motivation. It just doesn’t seem particularly compelling,” said Councilman Jonathan Cook.

A representative for Russ’s Market says if a special permit to build the parking lot is denied they will still demolish the house and instead landscape the property. However, neighbors aren’t excited about that idea either.

The Lincoln Planning Department recommended that the council deny the special permit. They will likely make a decision next week.