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Zoning change brings much debate at city council meeting

July 4, 2018 GMT

NORFOLK - A zoning change request brought much debate at the Norfolk City Council meeting Monday night.

Dan and Connie Geary are requesting a change from single family residential to multiple family residential on property located a quarter mile north of the intersection of South Victory Road and East Omaha Avenue.

The plan is to sell the property to DP Management out of Omaha, and build an apartment complex that would include 160 units in eight buildings.

Many neighbors spoke in opposition citing many concerns with the project most notably the city building sewer and water connections in the area and whether property owners would have to connect to it.

One neighbor Randi Hale asked the council members to table the request so questions can be answered about the assessment of the utilities.

“The houses out there I can speak of in my neighborhood, the sewer lines all run different directions, and the water runs different directions out there - I mean the way it looks to me is some of these people could have several hundred feet of their own sewer line to get over to that (city line)” Hale said.

“I’ve been around this long enough to know that any job for the City or any State of Nebraska county is bid ahead of time. A contractor comes in and bids this job, so us (residents) not knowing until it’s over with - that’s just a blatant lie” Hale added.

Josh Vickery with DP Management said it was never their intent to have the neighbors cover the cost of utilities, and they’re willing to finance it all themselves.

Council Member Jim Lange said the request in front of the council is just a zoning change, and all other concerns can be addressed during the platting process.

The council voted to approve the zoning change on first reading by a vote of 7 to 1 with Council Member Jarad Dahlkoetter voting against.