Old Blue Devil Stadium May Be Site For New Townhouses

PLATTSMOUTH – The Old Blue Devil Stadium in Plattsmouth may be a future site for 45-plus townhouses, small commercial endeavors and greens paces if city officials agree to change its current zoning status.

City Administrator Erv Portis: “Plattsmouth has optioned parcels 130003743 and 130004235, commonly known in Plattsmouth as the old high school Blue Devil Stadium property. We are working with a developer to develop and construct 40 to 55 townhouse style units.”

The former football stadium, located off Washington Avenue, is currently zoned Urban Residential Medium Density. City Council members will hear pros and cons of changing the zoning to a Planned Unit Development-1 during a public hearing scheduled June 3 at city hall.

PUD’s allow for developments that otherwise would not be permitted under the existing zoning code regulations. The development, as a trade-off for flexibility, would be expected to deliver a product that goes above and beyond the standard regulations.

Higher density residences are recommended for the south end of the site, transitioning to lower-density residential at the north end.

Site Analysis by RDG Planning and Design for the city: “Commercial or mixed-use structures with first flor retail uses are appropriate along Washington Street.”

According to the city’s comprehensive plan updated in 2014, the development plans should include “innovative water management strategies such as rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, or bioswales to manage water on site.”

Recommended uses for the open space include active and passive recreational opportunities that can duel as stormwater treatment facilities. The area could also utilize existing wooded areas at the south end of the site with steep grade changes unsuitable for housing developments.

Large expanses of grass area are discouraged in favor of native plants that allow for higher water retention.

Site Analysis by RDG Planning and Design for the city: “The creation of a PUD-1 at this site would assist in obtaining the city’s development objectives by providing flexibility for a mix of uses in compliance with the future land use designation of Mixed-Use Redevelopment. Flexibility is needed at this site due to the extreme grade changes and the irregular shape of the lot.”

The RDG analyses also explains current zoning allows for six to 12 housing units per acre.

RDG Analysis: “In addition, small-scale townhome structures, duplexes and single-family dwellings are allowed uses.”

Plattsmouth Zoning Administrator Kevin noted in a memorandum written May 8 to Plattsmouth Planning Commission “that higher density housing developments, such as the Deer Crossing area on First Avenue and ‘The Commons’ on Chicago Avenue, are attractive to people wishing to downsize from a conventional home. These developments offer the security of nearby neighbors and lower maintenance requirements than other standard housing options, while still offering green space and a ‘neighborhood’ environment necessarily found in an apartment setting.”

At the May 20 council meeting, Portis said the developers considering the former Blue Devil Stadium property were not yet ready to proceed with the project.

During the May 20th meeting, the council voted to extend the city’s option for purchasing the property from the Plattsmouth Community School District to Dec. 31, 2019.

The zoning change, however, is one of the earliest steps in developing the property.

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