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City of Omaha - Nebraska

City of Omaha Urban PlanningOmaha, Nebraska

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Q:        What is an Area of Civic Importance?

A:         An Area of Civic Importance (ACI) is a zoning overlay district. The ACI zoning overlay promotes urban design principles that will enhance important areas of the city by implementing the recently adopted Urban Design Article of the Omaha Zoning Code.

Q:        What is the extent of the overlay?

A:         Eventually the ACI Overlay will extend along the prominent thoroughfares of the city as shown in red on map below. It is being implemented in small segments to allow for time to address questions and concerns.

ACI Overlay map

Q:        Does the ACI zoning replace my current zoning?

A:         No. The ACI zoning overlay adds additional zoning regulations to those that currently apply to your property. For instance, if your property is zoned general commercial (GC) then it will remain GC and receive an ACI overlay and become GC/ACI.  GC will be the underlying or “base” zoning and the ACI is the overlay zoning. This is a common method of zoning by many municipalities.

Q:        Will the ACI zoning overlay require me to change anything about my existing property?

A:         No. It can remain exactly as it is.

Q:        When do the new zoning regulations affect my property?

A:         The new regulations only apply at the time of new development and or when new construction occurs. If only part of the building or site is reconstructed, the new regulations apply to only that part. Currently, if your building were to be destroyed, it would be required to be rebuilt to the existing code. After the ACI zoning overlay is applied the same policy will be in place

Q:        Will the zoning overlay change the uses allowed on my property?

A:         No. All uses allowed in the base zoning still apply.

Q:        Will the zoning overlay restrict development on my property more so than the base zoning?

A:         All properties in Omaha are currently subject to site development regulations such as required front, side and rear yard setbacks. In some cases the new Urban Design code promotes placing the building closer to the street and providing a wider sidewalk and landscape area between the building and the street to encourage an active pedestrian environment. In some cases this means the property may yield more build-able area and be less restrictive than the current codes. In some cases, however, it may be more restrictive when promoting a wider landscape buffer between parking lots and streets than the current base zoning.

Q:        Are all parcels within the district affected by the overlay zoning?

A:         No. Single family and low density residential uses on parcels within the district are exempt from the overlay regulations. Also, parcels with civic uses such as schools, universities or religious facilities may be exempt from certain requirements providing they have an approved campus master plan.

Q:        What are the new zoning regulations for my property?

A:         There are four types of districts being created. Each of them has a different set of provisions depending on the surrounding context and when it was originally developed. These provisions provide improved urban design standards that did not previously exist. Not all the provisions are required in each district. The chart below generally describes how the provisions relate to different districts and what provides.

Applicability of Urban Design Provisions

ACI District Types

ACI-1

ACI-2

ACI-3

ACI-4

1

Sidewalk Areas (§ 55-924)

?P

?P

?P

-

2

Build-to/Set-back lines & zones (§ 55-925)

?P(ab)

?P(abc)

?P(abcd)

?A(e)

3

Ground-level transparency (§ 55-926)

?P

?P

?P

-

4

Service area screening (§ 55-927)

?A

?A

?A

?A

5

Green parking areas (§ 55-928)

?PA

?PA

?PA

?A

6

Parking structures (§ 55-929)

?PA

?PA

?A

?A

7

Site & building access (§ 55-930)

?PV

?PV

?PV

-

8

Neighborhood connectivity (§ 55-931)

?PV

?PV

?PV

-

9

Location of utilities (§ 55-932)

?A

?A

?A

?A

10

Signs (§ 55-933)

?AS

?AS

?AS

?AS

11

Retaining walls (§ 55-934)

?AS

?AS

?AS

?AS

12

Building design guidelines (§ 55-935) (§ 55-936)

?PAS

?PAS

?PAS

?AS

(abcde) refers to build-to/set-back options for each ACI type

Key – what each provision provides

P

Pedestrian/Place Experience

A

Appearance of Element

S

Scale/Massing of Element

V

Site Access - Vehicular

Q:        Where can I access the actual zoning code sections listed above?

A:         The Omaha Municipal Code is available for online viewing. Go to the Online Library, select Nebraska and then Omaha. Look for Chapter 55 – Zoning and then Article 22 – Urban Design.

Q:        Who should I contact at the City if I have questions about the ACI overlay zoning?

A:         Contact Jed Moulton, the Manager of Urban Design for the City of Omaha (444-5150 x2064).