The Nebraska Cattlemen will soon be moving into a new building on a newly named street. Maybe.
The Lincoln City Council will vote later this month on changing the name of two Lincoln streets in order to give the Nebraska Cattlemen a special address, 4611 Cattle Drive.
Changing a street name is not an easy process. It requires patience, persistence, and plenty of city oversight. And it is usually denied.
This may be the exception.
Nebraska Cattlemen have been working on getting the short street in Nebraska Technology Park in northwest Lincoln renamed Cattle Drive, from Discovery Drive, after one of the group's members suggested it would be cool if the new building were on Cattle Drive, said Pete McClymont, executive vice president of the cattle producers' association.
Changing the name of a city street “doesn’t happen all that often and actually we would like to keep it that way,” said David Cary, city planning director.
But this request may be one of the few that gets the council's blessing.
The city has a number of street-naming rules, including prohibiting proposed names that duplicate or sound the same as the name of an existing street in Lincoln.
There already is a Cattle Drive, in northeast Lincoln.
But luckily for the Cattlemen, only four houses abut that street; none of them facing Cattle Drive or with an address on Cattle Drive; and none of their owners are concerned if the name is changed to Mustang Drive.
Documents signed by the four homeowners were presented to the City Council during a public hearing last week.
Though the city officially is against the name change, this particular name change is easier and has less impact on others, Cary said.
The denial recommendation is based on the potential that future requests would be much more cumbersome and expensive, Cary said at the public hearing on the name-change request.
If the city was going to allow a name change, this one would have the right conditions, he said. It affects a small number of properties and the name is not a specific business name, but more generic.
But approval does set a precedent, and the denial recommendation puts the city staff on record that this is something that needs careful consideration and something that shouldn't be done very often, he added.
The Nebraska Cattlemen’s new home, on either Cattle Drive or Discovery Drive, is about 8,000 square feet, double the current rented space in downtown Lincoln.
“We’ve done some really neat things,” including having a landscape plan designed by UNL architectural students, McClymont said.
Two classes, taught by Kim Todd, have designed a creative but-low maintenance landscape with wildflowers and natural prairie grasses, he said.
The group plans to move to the new building in late February.
One of the Cattlemen's duties is lobbying the Legislature, and the current rented space, across from the County-City Building, is about a 10-minute walk from the Capitol.
The new space is still close, a 10-minute drive from downtown, McClymont said.