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Homeowners voice concerns of new OPS high school near neighborhood

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A planned extension of Hanover Street has already been named by neighbors.

“This proposed street will be a street to nowhere. It has no value for the new OPS school,” said Homeowner Bob Schwarz.

Omaha’s planning director says the road to nowhere will eventually go somewhere.

City Planning Director, Dave Fanslau said, “Some people like to call them roads to nowhere, we call them stub streets and they’re there for a reason, they’re there for connectivity between neighborhoods.”

That’s why the city is requiring Omaha Public Schools to continue Hanover Street on the northwest tip of the new high school site.

Neighbors worry about the long-term effects on Pine Creek Villas.

A homeowner said, “Congested, more cars on the street, more traffic for the younger kids.”

The city planning director hasn’t received any proposals yet for development of property the extension will lead to so neighbors ask why to put in the street now.

A neighbor said, “To go from one dead end to another dead end, what’s the purpose?”

Omaha’s traffic engineer says the city is being prepared for future development and the OPS contractor stands ready to build the short street.

It’s not just the talk of increased traffic, neighbors are also concerned about a small grove of trees. Recently, contractors were there and wrapped them with ribbons.

A half dozen pines stand in the way of continuing the street.

Homeowner Phil Phillips said, “And they’re going to tear down the trees, but you can’t rebuild 60-year-old trees, they’ll just be gone.”

City officials say neighbors can clearly see that someday the street wouldn’t stop at the trees marked for removal.

“New trees will be planted in excess of what is there now along the entire western boundary of the new high school,” said Fanslau.

Pine Creek Villas have many senior citizens who worry the planned street behind the high school will draw seniors, juniors, and sophomore drivers into the neighborhood.

A homeowner said, “They’re going to park them wherever they car park because they don’t want to pay permit with the school and just hang out.”

58 of the 60 homeowners in Pine Creek Villas have signed a petition against the street extension. It’s been sent to city planners and the Omaha Public School District.

OPS sent 6 News a statement that said OPS strives to be a good neighbor. Contractors are installing infrastructure required by the City of Omaha on the site of the new high school.

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