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City of Omaha - Nebraska

City of Omaha Urban PlanningOmaha, Nebraska

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Below are video presentations explaining the Area of Civic Importance Urban Design zoning. The presentations are divided into multiple 2-4 minute videos. Please view Part One, Part Two and their corresponding segments sequentially for the best results. A printable reference handout is provided for note taking and reference.

We hope you find this information useful to better understanding the ACI implementation. Please contact the Urban Design section of the Planning Department with comments or suggestions to improve this presentation material. Thank you!

Part One - Introduction (20 minutes total)



Key Points 

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Apple (.MOV) 


Introduction to Urban Design Zoning 

  • New zoning implements the Urban Design Element of the Omaha Master Plan
  • ACI zoning will help to improve the key image forming corridors for Omaha



Great Streets 

  • ACI zoning improves the quality of public spaces, specifically streets, and sidewalks



Urban Design Principles -  Placemaking 

  • Streets become places when properly designed and coordinated
  • Building placement in relation to the street and sidewalk is a critical aspect of urban design



Current Zoning Regulations 

  • Current zoning needs to be supplemented to improve the quality of design outcome 



Current Zoning in a Traditional Context 

  • Traditional development patterns are valued for their quality of design 
  • These areas may be compromised by incompatible sub-urban style development built under current zoning regulations
  • Many new commercial developments use tradition urban design features and accommodate pedestrians



Complete Streets and Multiple Use Functions 

  • A complete street is more than a traffic solution - it provides for all users and activities
  • The street environment should be conceived of as a dynamic, multi-use facility providing quality of life amenities



Part Two - Urban Design Provisions (25 minutes total)



Key Points  

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Apple (.MOV) 


Urban Design Tools and Applicability

  • ACI zoning is one of many urban design implementation strategies
  • Existing zoning will remain and urban design zoning will be added as "overlay zoning"
  • ACI zoning only applies when new development occurs, it is NOT retroactive
  • ACI zoning does not affect single-family zoned parcels



New Code Sections - Applicability 

  • The new zoning provisions apply in varying degrees based on district type and context
  • They generally address improvements for Pedestrian design, Site design, and Building design



New Code Sections - Pedestrian Design  

  • The new development will provide street trees and wide sidewalks
  • When buildings are adjacent to a sidewalk the first floor must meet minimum transparency requirements
  • Buildings will be located in relationship with the street



Four Types of ACI Districts

  • There are 4 types of ACI districts to accommodate the suitability of pedestrian activity within different contexts



Build-to/Setback, Baselines and Transparency - General Function 

  • A "Baseline" is a reference line that locates the streetwall and in most cases aligns with the property line
  • Building facades and primary entrances must be oriented in relation to the Baseline
  • Transparency occurs when facades have proximity to a baseline or on facades with primary entrances
  • There is a wide variety of options for building placement, primary entrance location, and transparency within each ACI district.
  • A public plaza also fulfills Build-to/Set-Back requirements



New Code Sections - Site Design  

  • Service areas need to be screened from public view
  • Green Parking lots require additional landscaping and buffering from the ACI street
  • Parking structures will meet design guidelines and in some case be required to include commercial uses at the ground floor
  • Site access may be limited to reduce vehicular and pedestrian conflict at the sidewalk
  • Utilities will be placed underground
  • Signs will meet more strict regulations
  • Retaining walls are limited in size when in proximity to pedestrian areas or public view



New Code Sections - Building Design 

  • There are two building classifications; Large Retail Buildings and General Buildings
  • Large Retail Buildings are specifically addressed to offset a perceived quality deficit
  • General Buildings easily meet basic design requirements, however, smaller retail buildings will be improved by this provision too



Part Three - Case Studies (more case studies coming soon)



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Apple (.MOV) 


50th and Dodge



South 13th and William Street