Suburban Scene, Oct. 13 -
Published Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 1:30 am / Updated at 6:16 pm
Suburban Scene, Oct. 13

Developer works to turn land meant for school into homes

A plan to develop land once earmarked for a school is working through Papillion’s planning process.

Mike Rogers of Rogers Development wants to replat 10 acres of land for 26 single-family homes in the Settlers Creek subdivision northwest of 66th Street and Cornhusker Road.

The replatting hinges on whether Rogers and the city can decide who will finance some infrastructure improvements, Rogers said.

The land, which had been intended for an elementary school, was donated to the Papillion-La Vista Public Schools when the former farm was sold for development in 2005.

District spokeswoman Annette Eyman said a school isn’t needed in the area. Students in Settlers Creek generally attend Hickory Hill Elementary School, near 72nd Street and Giles Road.

Rogers said the contract with the district said that if a school wasn’t built in Settlers Creek within a certain period of time, he could buy it back for what the district put into it, which is about $200,000.

City staff met with the developer, engineer, attorney and fiscal agent for the development last week, Papillion spokesman Darren Carlson said.

A replat went before the Papillion Planning Commission but was tabled. It is not scheduled for a future commission meeting and will be addressed when Rogers brings it forward again.

Bellevue boat business faces multiple ordinance challenges

Scott Grasso isn’t sure what to make of Bellevue. City officials have challenged his boat repair business since he set up shop in July.

Grasso’s Garage sits across from City Hall. He has numerous boats parked in his parking lot, all awaiting work, with more coming by the day. He has clients making the trip to Olde Towne Bellevue from Lincoln, Omaha and Valley, Neb., and Glenwood, Iowa.

But the city believes Grasso is violating zoning ordinances by performing heavy industrial work in an area zoned for light industry. He has been ticketed for storing boats on a grassy area behind his shop, in violation of an ordinance requiring vehicles to be parked on hard surfaces.

And he has been given two citations for a barking dog.

Grasso said he believes he’s violating no ordinance. “I’m a pretty bull-headed guy, and I’m going to fight back.”

He has erected a sign on his lot declaring, “Shame on Bellevue,” and warning that the city is trying to shut him down. “Honk to support us,” says the sign.

The city then ordered the sign’s removal, arguing it did not conform to sign regulations.

The city says it is making sure zoning ordinances are followed.

Chris Shewchuk, Bellevue’s planning director, said Grasso’s corner is zoned for light industrial uses such as oil changes and tuneups. It does not permit marine sales and services, Shewchuk said.

Frank Kumor, a longtime Olde Towne businessman and a member of the Bellevue school board, said he understands the city must enforce its ordinances. But he said a way should be found to encourage a young businessman to succeed in Olde Towne.

“Maybe the city code should be changed rather than trying to get him to leave,” Kumor said.

Bellevue schools plan ahead for future population growth

Bellevue Public Schools are taking a hard look at their projected enrollment and how a growing Bellevue could stress building capacities.

RSP & Associates LLC surveyed demographic and economic data across the school district and made enrollment forecasts for each of the district’s 20 schools.

RSP found that enrollment will increase over the next five years, with the majority of growth in middle and high schools. The district has adequate capacity for that growth, but attendance areas for some buildings might require updating to avoid overcrowding.

Superintendent Frank Harwood said the district has looked at moving sixth grade to the middle schools. If Bellevue wants to seriously consider such a move, Harwood said, officials must first determine if they have the capacity.

“There is a lot of planning that has to go into that,” he said. “We would have to make some significant changes to boundaries.”

The World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: Emily Nohr    |   402-444-1192    |  

Emily covers Papillion, La Vista, Gretna and Springfield, as well as metro-area roads.

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