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South Ridge

An apartment complex has been proposed repeatedly in the green space between the back side of a south Lincoln mall and a residential neighborhood.

Doubtless one of the reasons the residents of the South Ridge area purchased their properties was to be near to the many services surrounding 27th Street and Pine Lake Road.

Those benefits include shopping, restaurants, groceries, movies, banking all within a few blocks of their location. Now, some of these residents would deny benefits of easy access to future apartment dwellers.

As an architect consultant working with the developer, I suggest that mixed use is not the new “vogue.” It is an intelligent planning concept intended to bring citizens close to services they routinely use. “New urbanism” may be an irritating phase to the opposing neighborhood, but it’s environmentally sound.

Bringing more residents closer to their services reduces the miles driven, reducing the carbon footprint and encouraging pedestrian traffic.

The principle starts with commercial centers surrounded by multiple dwellings, then townhouses, ending in single-family properties. This increases population density around the commercial center while reducing vehicular traffic in the neighborhoods.

The Planning Department represents the interests of all its citizens, apartment dwellers, homeowners and developers. It has approved this project. The plan meets directives in the city’s comprehensive plan, the result of multi-year input of citizens and consultant study and discussion.

The developer has made numerous adjustments to the design including reducing apartments by 14, 100 percent landscape screening with larger-than-required material and more. The project is to be constructed with quality materials, including brick and stucco, not the metal or wood panels being used on numerous recent student housing projects.

No use of tax-increment financing funds are sought to complete millions in increased property value to add to the city’s tax coffers.

I hope the City Council will again approve this project.

Keith Dubas, Lincoln

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