Lincoln mayor will approve housing development near Wilderness Park

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced Wednesday that she will approve the housing development plan near Wilderness Park.

“After seeing and hearing the many caring perspectives of our community and after thoughtful consideration, I am signing the legislation supporting Wilderness Crossing,” Gaylor Baird said in a statement.

In April, the Lincoln City Council approved the plan for rezoning an area near Wilderness Park for a 500-home development.

The housing development will be built east of Highway 77 and south of Pioneers Boulevard.

The controversial legislation has left many in the area with concerns about how the project will affect the environment.

On Tuesday, members of Lincoln’s Native American community set up teepees to protest the development plans.  The park is considered sacred to some local tribes.

“We must honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations and commit to working in partnership with our Indigenous Peoples, continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we now inhabit as well,” Gaylor Baird said.

The city is working to make sure that the development will include buffers that will help protect the park and the park’s uses, according to Gaylor Baird.

Officials also hope that fencing and lighting restrictions in the neighborhood’s design will mitigate the impact on the park and neighboring private properties.

City planners and developers have made these changes to respond to the concerns of community members, the mayor said.

Gaylor Baird uses Lincoln Southwest High School, Cooper YMCA and the Horizons business park as examples of development adjacent to the park.

“As our city grows, new neighborhoods will continue to be built next to existing neighborhoods, community amenities, and places of worship,” Gaylor Baird said.  “When that happens, the City will continue to listen to community concerns, then use thoughtful zoning policies and the Comprehensive Plan to help neighbors find meaningful ways to live and grow together.”

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