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Former Spirit Park in Lincoln is one step closer to becoming housing development
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Former Spirit Park in Lincoln is one step closer to becoming housing development

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The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of a plan to turn a former soccer complex into 140 single-family homes.

The commission recommended approval of a zoning change and preliminary plat for the homes on nearly 63 acres of what used to be the YMCA's Spirit Park soccer fields near 84th and O streets.

Lincoln Public Schools owns the land, which is just east of the State Farm offices, but agreed last fall to sell it to a development group for $2.3 million.

The development group, Southwest Folsom Development, also would give 18.7 acres of land west of U.S. 77 to the district as part of the deal. LPS may potentially build a future elementary school on that site.

LPS makes deal for land trade involving Spirit Park and an elementary school site in west Lincoln

In addition to the homes, the developers are also designating land for a future city park in the development as well.

Several neighbors who testified said they were generally in favor of the development, although some expressed concerns about traffic and the small size of the proposed lot.

One sticking point of neighbors living east of the land was a proposed street connection through their property. Those who testified said they did not want it because it would exacerbate water problems and add traffic to their neighborhood. The developers said they did not want to build it, either, because it would be expensive.

LPS makes deal for land trade involving Spirit Park and an elementary school site in west Lincoln

Planning staff insisted it was necessary, but the Planning Commission unanimously voted to amend the application to remove it.

In other action Wednesday, the Planning Commission:

* Recommended approval of a plan to redevelop the Meadowlane Shopping Center at 70th and Vine streets.

Owner Hampton Enterprises plans to spend more than $1 million on mostly cosmetic upgrades to the center and is seeking tax-increment financing to help pay for them.

Neighbors wary of plans to spruce up Meadowlane Shopping Center

Several neighborhood residents had expressed concern over a potential plan to redevelop the gas station at 70th and Vine into apartments, but Planning Department staff said that was a hypothetical, and an attorney for Hampton said the company does not own that property and has no interest in putting apartments there.

* Recommended approval of a zoning code text amendment that would define short-term rentals and add regulations for those that are in residential districts. The regulations include requiring operators to get a license from the Building and Safety Department and prohibiting two rentals from being within 600 feet of each other, although existing operators would be exempt from the spacing requirement if they register and get licensed during a grace period.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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