GRAND ISLAND, Neb. —The City of Grand Island is starting a master planning process to aid in the future planning and development of the 640 acres of land surrounding the Veterans Home property. The redevelopment project will be referred to as the Veteran’s Legacy Project. The current planning process will not focus on the existing Veterans Home facilities, as the transfer of these buildings from the State of Nebraska to the City of Grand Island will not take place until late 2018 or early 2019 after the new home in Kearney is officially open.
The master planning process for the Veterans Legacy Project will focus on four topics:
-Market-based development and redevelopment opportunities.
-Future land use and historic preservation solutions.
-Transportation and infrastructure improvements.
To lead this planning process, the city contracted with local engineering firm, Olsson Associates, and its design studio, Ochsner Hare & Hare. A forward-looking master plan will be developed by the planning team for the entire project area, which is bounded by Webb Road to the west, Airport Road to the north, Broadwell Avenue to the east, and Capital Avenue to the south.
While most of the project area is undeveloped, several important community places fall within the planning boundary, including the Veterans Cemetery, the United Veterans Club, Eagle Scout Park, and the Veterans Athletic Complex. The plan will not propose any changes to the United Veterans Club and Veterans Cemetery properties.
The planning process will be guided by in-person and online stakeholder and resident input including:
Survey – Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on the Veterans Legacy Project by completing a 10-question survey found at www.GrandIslandVetsPlan.com. If a paper copy is preferred, surveys are available by download on the project website and at City Hall (100 E. First St.), Olsson Associates (201 E. 2nd St.), and City of Grand Island Public Library (211 N. Washington St.). Respondents are asked to return completed paper surveys to Olsson Associates or submit the online survey by Friday July 21.
The Veterans Legacy Project website, www.GrandIslandVetsPlan.com, provides an overview of the project, planning process, ways to get involved, site photographs and downloadable planning documents.
In-Person – In addition to the survey, the planning team is hosting a design charrette and public open house on Thursday, July 27, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bosselman Conference Center at Fonner Park. Charrettes are an effective planning tool used to encourage input and produce valuable political and market feedback, leading to a realistic plan. At this event preliminary redevelopment concepts will be reviewed and participants can provide feedback.
Furthermore, the design charrette will assemble key decision makers from July 26-28 to collaborate with the planning team in information sharing, design concepts, gathering feedback and revisions, resulting in a fine-tuned master plan concept.
Following the design charrette and public open house, the planning team will analyze feedback and finalize the community-driven masterplan with guidance from city staff and elected officials. A final plan will be presented at a city council meeting this fall.
Residents can stay involved in the Veteran’s Legacy Project by regularly visiting www.GrandIslandVetsPlan.com.