Ironwood Development Under Fire

By: Jake Wasikowski
By: Jake Wasikowski

The old Ironwood Golf Course, which was plotted in 1924, is waiting to be turned into a $200 million development with housing, office space, a hotel, and a religious center. Neighbors are making their final pleas before it heads to a vote of the city council. Tonight, more than one hundred people gathered to voice concerns, and sign a petition to be taken to city hall.

Jason Velinsky, president of the Trendwood Association said, "We just want to make sure that it interacts with our neighborhood in a safe way."

Velinsky says he's worried that the new access points coming out of Sterling Ridge will add a lot of traffic to the surrounding neighborhoods.

"We just want to make sure that the street access is going to be safe for our children and our families, and that the traffic coming out of the development doesn't go through our neighborhood," Velinsky explained.

The City of Omaha Planning Board passed the designs with the hope that roads are built to link neighborhoods. It's unknown how many lanes would be built out of each area. Elaine Martin lives in Royalwood Estates, which is on the south end of the development. She hopes that properties along the south and east side of Sterling Ridge will get at least a 50 foot buffer zone, so a large building won't tower over her back yard.

"We recognize that when you buy it, you get to do what you want to it as long as you pass the codes," Martin described. "This is not an anti-development event, we just think with all of this we need a little breathing space."

The developer has made changes to the plans to please the residents before. An apartment building has been scratched. Homeowners say they'll continue to fight to protect their way of life.

"They know it could be a lot of apartment buildings, but at the same time they also know they used to live next to a nice, quiet, serene golf course," said Councilman Franklin Thompson.

Councilman Thompson says he will ask to make an amendment to the proposal, which would erase the access points on the east and south side to keep the traffic from having to drive through the neighborhood.

A public hearing on the issue is set for the city council on February 1st.

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