Monday, August 06, 2007

Omaha by Design Cites Leytham

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There is a "Walkable Residential Neighborhood" in Your Future . . .

For the past several years Omaha by Design has been working to improve the physical and social environment of Omaha. The goal is to help create "an Omaha that's connected, smart, significant, sparkling and fun." The "Urban Design Element" implements the Omaha by Design concepts and goals and will result in "long-term improvements to our streetscapes, signage, landscaping, building design, pedestrian networks and public spaces. It will improve the connections between our neighborhoods, commercial centers and civic districts."

Omaha by Design's "Urban Design Element Implementation Measures" were summarized
in a special supplement to the Sunday, August 5th, edition of the Omaha World-Herald. (My supplement was in the big mass of flyers and advertising inserts that comes all wrapped together with the Sunday paper. If you throw all that away enmass like I usually do, then you missed this special supplement from Omaha by Design. You may want to dig it out of the recycling bin before it is too late.)

See page 10 on Walkable Residential Neighborhoods. Leytham is mentioned as an example of the type of neighborhood that Omaha by Design seeks to promote. I have highlighted the parts below that are in bold type.

Here is the quote from this section:

Walkable Residential Neighborhoods

Recent studies have shown that Americans feel increasingly disconnected from their communities, and the consequences of this disconnection are far-reaching. Some cities have attempted to address this issue by encouraging denser housing developments that are pedestrian-friendly and designed for active use. The Walkable Residential Neighborhood (WRN) (§55-208 to §55-215) designation will bring this concept to suburban parts of Omaha, offering homeowners a safer, more appealing outdoor environment that encourages physical activity and social interaction.

The WRN will be voluntarily initiated by developers. It sets out site development standards that are modeled after old style, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods such as Benson and Dundee. While the current zoning codes tend to separate uses, the WRN encourages a mix of uses so that people can walk from their homes to shops, libraries and other civic amenities. The intent is to stimulate new residential development patterns in Omaha that contain a mix of housing types like Leytham at 168th and State streets.

The WRN is intended as a separate zoning option—it is not an overlay. It carries several criteria that developers must meet regarding the set-back of units from the public right-of way, the width of lots and the height of buildings. Projects will be approved on the basis of meeting these quantitative guidelines as well as the overall quality of the site plan.

Copyright (c) 2007 Omaha World-Herald 08/05/2007

The page also featured this rendering of Leytham showing the market hall and the farmers' market.

For more information see:

Yours for the improved physical and social environments that Omaha by Design seeks to foster,