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Gage County approves comprehensive plan
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Gage County approves comprehensive plan

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Gage County’s comprehensive plan was approved Wednesday after more than a year's worth of updates.

The Gage County Board of Supervisors hired Hannah:Keelan last April to update the county’s comprehensive plan.

The plan serves as a general road map for Gage County, outlining land usage and regulations in addition to statistics and anticipated population changes.

An energy element is new to the comprehensive plan. That section features topics such as a renewable energy strategic plan, wind turbines, energy consumption, conservation policies and statewide trends related to energy use.

The plan was prepared as a guide to direct future growth and development opportunities throughout the county during the 10-year planning period 2018 to 2028. The primary components of the document are planning goals and policies, population, income and economic trends and projections and future land use.

Components from the previous plan associated with the natural environment, public facilities and transportation in the county were largely unchanged.

The complete comprehensive plan can be viewed on the county’s website at www.gagecountynebraska.us.

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The firm is the same one that worked on a comprehensive housing study of Gage County for the NGage economic development group last year, and Keith Carl with Hanna:Keelan said that study was incorporated into the county’s comprehensive plan.

The future land use map includes areas identified as transitional agriculture, which Carl said are locations ideal for future rural housing.

“Transitional agriculture is a little more flexibility in your agriculture zoned areas to allow for residential development on a single-family large lot perspective,” he said. “Those are just areas highlighted on the future land use map… that would be most favorable for that type of development a lot of that is in the northern third of county because of your proximity to Lincoln and Lancaster County and also along the Highway 77 corridor for accessibility purposes.”

Walker Zulkoski, director of the NGage economic development group, was the only member of the public who spoke during the public hearing. He voiced his support for the plan, which will be used by the county for the next decade.

“We want to be aggressive as a county with attracting investment,” he said. “We want to build and construct and grow the county. This comprehensive plan is something for us to be guided by.”

Officials with Hanna:Keelan had several meetings in the last year with the Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission, which ultimately approved the plan and recommended final approval to the County Board.

The plan was unanimously approved by the board after making minor changes to the document for clarification.

In addition to updating the comprehensive plan, zoning regulations are also being updated and will be considered by the board for final approval. Board Chairman Myron Dorn said the zoning regulations couldn’t be approved before the comprehensive plan. Now that the plan has been approved zoning regulations will be discussed at the Wednesday, Sept. 12 County Board meeting.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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