Northwest Grand Island Looks to Add Housing Lots and City Park

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The Hall County Regional Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve 94 new housing plots to surround a new city park.

"What the Planning Commission is looking at is approval of the final plat as submitted, that the streets will be standard 37 foot width streets, the right of ways are large enough they're able to serve all of the lots with sewer and water so that then the developer can move forward and get a contractor our to start putting those things in place," said Hall County Regional Planning Director Chad Nabity.

An environment to live and play is the idea planners have for vacant housing land in Northwest Grand Island.

"The Northwest area has been an area that has been a fast growing part of our community and as the community grows our parks system needs to grow as well," said Grand Island Parks and Recreations Director Todd McCoy.

The Sterling Estates development West of Walmart North will have many amenities, including Neidfelt Park, to attract more people to the area.

"Most of these lots are actually townhouse lots, so what you'll end up with is a house on this built right on the lot line and a house on the next lot built right on the lot line and they'll be attached together," said Nabity.

McCoy said, "We're putting in a trail segment from State St. to Capitol and then the park actually will, in the future, be connected to that trail and the park itself will have a circular trail, playground, we're looking for a little open area so you can play catch, softball, baseball, that type of thing."

The land for the new park was purchased in 2008 for $88,400. It will cost $150,000 per year over the next 4 years to complete the park.

According to McCoy and Nabity it's the combination of the new park and all the new housing plots that surround it that will make this Northwest Grand Island development a success.

"I think a park is a central feature to any neighborhood," said McCoy. "It's a place where neighbors can socialize, kids can get outside and get exercise and I think it's a quality of life."

Nabity said, "This will be a neighborhood park, it's not the kind of park that you drive to, it's the kind of park that people from the neighborhood will walk to, ride their bikes to, what ever."

These lots are just the 2nd stage in the home building process.

This is just the start of the answer to the GI Housing Study, which said the city needs 1,700 new homes.

Nabity and McCoy both said more homes and parks will be built there as the area continues to grown.

The Planning Commission also voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve tax increment funding for a project renovating the Grand Island mall, and a project building a new Super Savor and tearing down the existing Skagway on State Street. Just like the housing lots, the recommendation will be sent to City Council who will have the final vote on August 26th.