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The City of Columbus during its upcoming Monday council meeting is planning to host a public hearing and take action regarding the proposed Envision Columbus 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

The gathering is set for 7 p.m. inside of the Columbus City Council Chambers, 1369 25th Ave.

City Administrator Tara Vasicek told The Columbus Telegram that the State of Nebraska requires all municipalities to have a comprehensive plan outlining future city development and zoning parameters, essentially a blueprint of what any given city is looking to accomplish moving forward.

Generally, she said, these plans are refined and reassessed every five to 10 years, however, it has been 12 years since Columbus city representatives approved a new comprehensive plan. For the better part of a year, Vasicek said she and others have been working through the fine details and are officially ready to implement the plan.

Following Monday’s public hearing, the first reading of the language will take place and be followed by a council vote. Generally, three readings and votes happen over a three-meeting course, however, the council has the liberty to suspend the three-reading rule and move to a final vote.

Tied in with the comprehensive plan ordinance is the 2018 Long Range Transportation Update Plan, which spells out the city’s vision for all transportation-related action the city anticipates moving forward. This includes potential work with Union Pacific Railroad in conjunction with any road and viaduct projects the city anticipates.

“We will have an engineer from Iteris who did the plan be here to do a presentation on the long-range transportation plan,” Vasicek said of meeting activity. “It talks about making sure we have thought through how the transportation system is going to serve Columbus in the coming years."

The plan, she said, is broken into short-term, mid-term and long-term projects. Short-term projects encompass those falling in the five-year capital improvement program, mid-term projects are bigger projects anticipated  down the line and long-term projects are big-picture items.

“Major thoughts about connecting roadways and how we want the transportation system to grow and accommodate the community,” she said of the long-term project component.

Another item of public interest Monday is an ordinance that – with passage – would amend city code to ban roosters within corporate city limits with limited exceptions. Really the one exception, Vasicek said, is for 4-H participants living in town during the 4-H season lasting from mid-spring through early fall.

Although many wouldn’t think conversation regarding poultry would be overly pressing, Vasicek said that she and her colleagues started fielding complaints about six months ago.

“For a while there, it was one of the top complaints I got,” she said. “So, they were being vocal. People really didn’t enjoy the vocal roosters.”

Vasicek said most cities the size of Columbus throughout the state don’t allow any roosters in city limits, however, she said the 4-H tradition component was factored in regarding the limited exception component of the proposed ordinance, which will see its first reading and vote.

Other items on Monday’s agenda include:

*The application of Level One Properties LLC dba The Friedhof Room at Schweser’s, for addition to Class “C” (beer, wine, distilled spirits, on and off sale) licensed premise at 1270 27th Ave., for a 30-foot by 7-foot outdoor patio sidewalk seating area.

*A public hearing regarding the application of Ernst Realty LLC, for final plat and subdivision agreement of S & E Subdivision located at 2014, 2112 and 2118 23rd Street. The property will house a new Sonic Drive-In restaurant, Vasicek said, as previously reported by The Telegram.

*A public hearing regarding the application of Granville Custom Homes Inc. for final plat and subdivision agreement of Armory Subdivision located north and west of intersections at Kozy and Armory drives. The plan, Vasicek said, is for 10 single-family workforce houses to be erected on the plot. Also taking place is action that would re-zone the area from RR rural residential to R-1 single-family residential to amend the Future Land Use map and Comprehensive Plan.

*A public hearing regarding the application of THH Holding LLC for final plat and subdivision agreement of Cuzzin’s Corner 2nd Subdivision located north of the intersection of Eighth Street and 10th Avenue. The project calls for building a new day care facility, which would also require re-zoning from R-3 multi-family residential to B-2 general commercial district to amend the Future Land Use Map and Comprehensive Plan. 

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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