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Thread: Omaha, NE annexation of Elkhorn, NE affirmed by state supreme court

  1. #26
    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
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    Elkhorn’s last day as “Elkhorn” was yesterday. I don’t recall ever really hearing about such aggressive annexation of a incorporated city. Yes, of course you hear of cities battling it out over unincorporated new or old development surrounding or at the edge of their cities.

    But, the fact that another city annexing another city which had it’s own identity and provided it’s own serves is something new to me. I agree that this happens when the best interest is for both sides. I admit I have not read much about what the “former” residents of the lost city of Elkhorn feels about the whole issue. The Omaha World Herald has a horrible website and provided little information.

    “There’s no place like home” has new meaning doesn’t it, even though home is now OMAHA?

    Bill

    Also, Elkhorn’s city site is still up. http://www.elkhorncity.net/

  2. #27
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ICT/316 View post
    Elkhorn’s last day as “Elkhorn” was yesterday. I don’t recall ever really hearing about such aggressive annexation of a incorporated city. Yes, of course you hear of cities battling it out over unincorporated new or old development surrounding or at the edge of their cities.

    But, the fact that another city annexing another city which had it’s own identity and provided it’s own serves is something new to me. I agree that this happens when the best interest is for both sides. I admit I have not read much about what the “former” residents of the lost city of Elkhorn feels about the whole issue. The Omaha World Herald has a horrible website and provided little information.

    “There’s no place like home” has new meaning doesn’t it, even though home is now OMAHA?

    Bill

    Also, Elkhorn’s city site is still up. http://www.elkhorncity.net/
    And from the other side, the City of Omaha has a temporary website set up to greet its new residents: http://www.omahawelcomesyou.org

    Mike

  3. #28
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    This is horrible. Imagine Elkhorn's loss of community and independence in the wake of being swallowed up by Omaha. Imagine all the people who lived in Elkhorn all their lives. Imagine the people who worked for the Elkhorn Library, the Elkhorn Police Department, the Elkhorn Fire Department, etc.

    It's one thing to incorporate adjacent "unincorporated" areas that are already heavily tied to the adjacent community, it's another to strip a municipality of its status and swallow it whole so that the big monster city can sprawl.

    I couldn't imagine if a place like Des Plaines, Evanston, or Oak Park were swallowed up by Chicago, independent municiaplities that, while adjacent to Chicago, have their own unique history, identity, character, and sense of community. I imagine Elkhorn does as well. But, Daley's insistance on expanding O'Hare Airport is actually causing neighborhoods and industrial areas in Elk Grove Village and Bensenville to be annexed by Chicago, bulldozed, and cleared for additional runways.

    I'm sorry, but stuff like this needs to be voted upon by the residents of the community that is in danger of being annexed before the annexation can take place.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  4. #29
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    This is horrible. Imagine Elkhorn's loss of community and independence in the wake of being swallowed up by Omaha. Imagine all the people who lived in Elkhorn all their lives. Imagine the people who worked for the Elkhorn Library, the Elkhorn Police Department, the Elkhorn Fire Department, etc.

    It's one thing to incorporate adjacent "unincorporated" areas that are already heavily tied to the adjacent community, it's another to strip a municipality of its status and swallow it whole so that the big monster city can sprawl.

    I couldn't imagine if a place like Des Plaines, Evanston, or Oak Park were swallowed up by Chicago, independent municiaplities that, while adjacent to Chicago, have their own unique history, identity, character, and sense of community. I imagine Elkhorn does as well. But, Daley's insistance on expanding O'Hare Airport is actually causing neighborhoods and industrial areas in Elk Grove Village and Bensenville to be annexed by Chicago, bulldozed, and cleared for additional runways.

    I'm sorry, but stuff like this needs to be voted upon by the residents of the community that is in danger of being annexed before the annexation can take place.

    They did vote. Of course, they were against it. They took Omaha to court and lost. All of those people still have jobs, they just work in the Elkhorn Branch Library or Elkhorn fire district, etc...
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  5. #30
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    The citizens of Elkhorn did not vote on whether or not we wanted to be annexed.....we "asked" our city council to fight against it, and they did as they were asked. We were annexed against our will. Now Omaha has taken on some $26 million in debt, and are crying that 2 new city council members cannot be hired to cover the annexed areas because the city does not have the salaries in the budget.............hmmmm.

    Elkhorn is/was a thriving community that had a wonderful city council, that our tax payers voted for, with people on that council that were not life-long politicians, and had our community in their best interest. Our city council had a positive operational budget (imagaine that!). Elkhorn did not block Omaha's growth to the west. Douglas county goes further north than Maple Street, and further south than Pacific Street.

    We all know it was a matter of Omaha running short of $$ and needing the tax money from the new shopping areas that are in and around Elkhorn. Unfortunately, a community known as Elkhorn that has existed for over 100 years, has been erased from the map forever.

  6. #31
    And the cause? Sprawl... If Omaha hadn't been sprawling, this wouldn't have happened.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by unstressed View post
    The citizens of Elkhorn did not vote on whether or not we wanted to be annexed.....we "asked" our city council to fight against it, and they did as they were asked. We were annexed against our will. Now Omaha has taken on some $26 million in debt, and are crying that 2 new city council members cannot be hired to cover the annexed areas because the city does not have the salaries in the budget.............hmmmm.

    Elkhorn is/was a thriving community that had a wonderful city council, that our tax payers voted for, with people on that council that were not life-long politicians, and had our community in their best interest. Our city council had a positive operational budget (imagaine that!). Elkhorn did not block Omaha's growth to the west. Douglas county goes further north than Maple Street, and further south than Pacific Street.

    We all know it was a matter of Omaha running short of $$ and needing the tax money from the new shopping areas that are in and around Elkhorn. Unfortunately, a community known as Elkhorn that has existed for over 100 years, has been erased from the map forever.
    You're not the first incorporated city that Omaha has annexed and you will not be the last. I think Ralston is next since it is still in Douglas County. Statutory laws must be changed before Papillion and LaVista are annexed and unincorporated areas like Chalco are looked at.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  8. #33
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by the north omaha star View post
    You're not the first incorporated city that Omaha has annexed and you will not be the last. I think Ralston is next since it is still in Douglas County. Statutory laws must be changed before Papillion and LaVista are annexed and unincorporated areas like Chalco are looked at.
    Am I correct in my belief that Boys Town, NE is now part of Omaha? If so, when was it annexed?

    Mike

  9. #34
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Bump.

    A little followup on this, Omaha's assimilation of Elkhorn is in full swing as major addressing and street naming changes in that area are to take effect over the next month.

    An interesting article on this process is at:
    http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pag...u_sid=10144076

    Mike.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by unstressed View post
    The citizens of Elkhorn did not vote on whether or not we wanted to be annexed
    Wow, that sucks. If there are more than 12 registered voters in an area proposed to be annexed by a City in California, then the registered voters of the affected area get to vote on annexation. Maybe it is time to stop the madness and take this matter up with state legislature.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  11. #36
    Is anyone else creeped out by that Omaha sprawl map linked in the thread starter.

    After the threat of terrorism sprawl is the most dangerous thing we face in the country (and the 2 are somewhat related )

  12. #37
    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    This is horrible. Imagine Elkhorn's loss of community and independence in the wake of being swallowed up by Omaha. Imagine all the people who lived in Elkhorn all their lives. Imagine the people who worked for the Elkhorn Library, the Elkhorn Police Department, the Elkhorn Fire Department, etc.

    It's one thing to incorporate adjacent "unincorporated" areas that are already heavily tied to the adjacent community, it's another to strip a municipality of its status and swallow it whole so that the big monster city can sprawl.

    I couldn't imagine if a place like Des Plaines, Evanston, or Oak Park were swallowed up by Chicago, independent municiaplities that, while adjacent to Chicago, have their own unique history, identity, character, and sense of community. I imagine Elkhorn does as well. But, Daley's insistance on expanding O'Hare Airport is actually causing neighborhoods and industrial areas in Elk Grove Village and Bensenville to be annexed by Chicago, bulldozed, and cleared for additional runways.

    I'm sorry, but stuff like this needs to be voted upon by the residents of the community that is in danger of being annexed before the annexation can take place.
    What are you talking about? How do you think Chicago grew. It swallows and it swallowed big. Where do you think Chicago's neighborhood names come from? Many of them come from the cities and towns with independent histories and character. Ever heard of Lakeview? Irving Park? Hyde Park?, Rodgers Park?

  13. #38
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel View post
    What are you talking about? How do you think Chicago grew. It swallows and it swallowed big. Where do you think Chicago's neighborhood names come from? Many of them come from the cities and towns with independent histories and character. Ever heard of Lakeview? Irving Park? Hyde Park?, Rodgers Park?
    That is how Omaha grew as well. Here's a list of former independent municipalities that Omaha has swallowed up over the years.

    Florence - (my old section of town) and the next three were annexed in 1917?
    Dundee
    South Omaha
    Benson
    Millard (1970s)
    Elkhorn (2007)

    What about New York City annexing entire counties? Queens was a county comprise of small little villages like Forest Hills, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Hollis, Springfield, Astoria, etc... Brooklyn was an entire city by itself. Do you remember the opening credits to "Welcome Back Kotter'? There was a sign that said "Welcome to Brooklyn!" Population, 1,400,??? The 4th largest City in the US.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  14. #39
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by the north omaha star View post
    That is how Omaha grew as well. Here's a list of former independent municipalities that Omaha has swallowed up over the years.

    Florence - (my old section of town) and the next three were annexed in 1917?
    Dundee
    South Omaha
    Benson
    Millard (1970s)
    Elkhorn (2007)

    What about New York City annexing entire counties? Queens was a county comprise of small little villages like Forest Hills, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Hollis, Springfield, Astoria, etc... Brooklyn was an entire city by itself. Do you remember the opening credits to "Welcome Back Kotter'? There was a sign that said "Welcome to Brooklyn!" Population, 1,400,??? The 4th largest City in the US.
    Is Boys Town, NE still independent? If not, when was it annexed?

    Mike

  15. #40
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel View post
    What are you talking about? How do you think Chicago grew. It swallows and it swallowed big. Where do you think Chicago's neighborhood names come from? Many of them come from the cities and towns with independent histories and character. Ever heard of Lakeview? Irving Park? Hyde Park?, Rodgers Park?
    When did this occur....like the 1800s? How long were these places settled...like 50 years? Regardless, it was probably wrong.

    But Chicago is really not that bad if you look at it today, and has more independent, incorporated suburbs than almost any other place. I doubt Omaha will see that happen. It'll just be one big glob of sprawl, plus Council Bluffs.

    Wouldn't you be upset if Chicago swallowed up Evanston and Oak Park, today? I would. These places have fully developed their character and are cities independent of Chicago.

    The other thing is that these people did not get to vote on Omaha annexing them. Sure, if they wanted to be annexed, all the power to them. But these residents were not able to exercise this right.

    I'm a firm believer that the more local the government, the better. The more residents are able to be part of their government, the better. The more people are able to be independent and not rely on government, the better. You do not get this with big cities.

    I'm sure big ol' Omaha now probably doesn't give a damn what people in the Elkhorn "neighborhood" want. They're just another brick in the wall now.

  16. #41
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I guess that Nebraska's people (through their legislature) have long considered it best to have much more strongly unified local government (ie, the fewest local governments as possible in a metro) as opposed to the more strongly balkanized systems of local government that are seen in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois. This is not unusual in the western USA. I happen to prefer the least possible balkanization.

    Mike

  17. #42
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I'm a firm believer that the more local the government, the better. The more residents are able to be part of their government, the better. The more people are able to be independent and not rely on government, the better. You do not get this with big cities.
    Ahem...the more independent cities...the more independent governments...the less that economies of scale can be used...the more duplication of duties...

  18. #43
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Ahem...the more independent cities...the more independent governments...the less that economies of scale can be used...the more duplication of duties...
    And more difficult regional cooperation.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  19. #44
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    When did this occur....like the 1800s? How long were these places settled...like 50 years? Regardless, it was probably wrong.

    But Chicago is really not that bad if you look at it today, and has more independent, incorporated suburbs than almost any other place. I doubt Omaha will see that happen. It'll just be one big glob of sprawl, plus Council Bluffs.

    Wouldn't you be upset if Chicago swallowed up Evanston and Oak Park, today? I would. These places have fully developed their character and are cities independent of Chicago.

    The other thing is that these people did not get to vote on Omaha annexing them. Sure, if they wanted to be annexed, all the power to them. But these residents were not able to exercise this right.

    I'm a firm believer that the more local the government, the better. The more residents are able to be part of their government, the better. The more people are able to be independent and not rely on government, the better. You do not get this with big cities.

    I'm sure big ol' Omaha now probably doesn't give a damn what people in the Elkhorn "neighborhood" want. They're just another brick in the wall now.

    And Chicago isn't sprawl? I have family on the North Side. Isn't there a consistent development string from the West Side to Aurora and Joliet. Northward to damn near Kenosha and into Indiana almost to Lafayette. What about O'Hare? It's technically within city limits. Physically, it's no where near the northwestern city limits. I guess Chicago/Daley Sr.? had to get those airport fees and taxes into their yearly economy.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
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    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  20. #45
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by the north omaha star View post
    And Chicago isn't sprawl? I have family on the North Side. Isn't there a consistent development string from the West Side to Aurora and Joliet. Northward to damn near Kenosha and into Indiana almost to Lafayette. What about O'Hare? It's technically within city limits. Physically, it's no where near the northwestern city limits. I guess Chicago/Daley Sr.? had to get those airport fees and taxes into their yearly economy.
    I'm not so concerned about the sprawl part. Of course every place sprawls.

    It's the fact that cities are taking over other existing cities with well-established history and identity that I have issue with. IMO, if Elkhorn wants to sprawl, it can if there's room. If Omaha wants to sprawl, it can if there's room. If a town is in the way of the othert town's sprawl patterns, than they can't sprawl in that direction and should sprawl in a different direction or build up. Whatever happened to boundary agreements?

  21. #46
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I'm not so concerned about the sprawl part. Of course every place sprawls.

    It's the fact that cities are taking over other existing cities with well-established history and identity that I have issue with. IMO, if Elkhorn wants to sprawl, it can if there's room. If Omaha wants to sprawl, it can if there's room. If a town is in the way of the othert town's sprawl patterns, than they can't sprawl in that direction and should sprawl in a different direction or build up. Whatever happened to boundary agreements?
    I hear what you're saying, but I look at a place like New York and wonder how much of what works for New York wouldn't work if Brooklyn was a separate city with it's own goals and bureaucracy and if Queens was 50 little towns, each with their own little kingdom to protect. Do you actually think something like the NYC subway of today could have been built?

  22. #47
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    The Twin Cities and Quad Cities seem to work OK. Washington and Arlington seem to work fine.

    I think Brooklyn and Manhattan could've co-existed as separate cities as well. I don't see why one body couldn't oversee the subway system for the entire region.

    But New York is as it exists today. All cities/metros develop differently, but I don't see why cities need to be taking over neighboring cities in this day and age, after things have been largely established.

    Look at Hamtramk (however you spell it) and Highland Park (MI), Beverly Hills and West Hollywood (CA). They're separate suburbs in the middle of large cities, but they are separate areas that seem to co-exist OK with their respective surrounding city.

    In the U.S., I just think we should be past the era of cities annexing each other and consolidating. Cities and towns have generally established themselves, many over hundreds of years now, and have co-existed with each other for a long time now just fine, and I don't see why it needs to be changed.

    The same can be applied on a global perspective in regards to nations. We don't really need to be annexing other nations and colonizing anymore. The nations of the world have generally established themselves, and even if it is a little country, it is sovereign, has its own identity, and it just isn't right for a larger country to make it part of theirs anymore, after the world has become fully discovered and largely developed. Sure, nations can have strong ties to each other and larger countries may have a significant influence on nearby smaller countries (China and Taiwan, for example), but the smaller nations are still sovereign, have their own individual characteristics, and should remain so.

  23. #48
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I think Brooklyn and Manhattan could've co-existed as separate cities as well. I don't see why one body couldn't oversee the subway system for the entire region.
    Oh, they certainly could have. I just question whether they would have. The regional cooperation in my neck of the woods is pathetic - sometimes on purpose, sometimes just because there are so many different agencies duplicating each others efforts. I also constantly see cities fighting with each other over who gets a new retail center or office building, while simultaneously fighting any new residences. Every city wants more money per capita - meaning more commercial, without any increase in housing - leading to increased sprawl and commute times.

    Look at Hamtramk (however you spell it) and Highland Park (MI), Beverly Hills and West Hollywood (CA). They're separate suburbs in the middle of large cities, but they are separate areas that seem to co-exist OK with their respective surrounding city.
    It helps that Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are both in Los Angeles County. In California, most state infrastructure money is distributed by county (or kingdom, as some would say). I guess I just don't see how it's a positive thing for the metro that those areas are separate cities - as opposed to Hollywood, which is part of LA and yet still manages to have it's own history and identity.

    Don't get me wrong - I definitely see the benefits for Beverly Hills and West Hollywood - they're both wealthy areas that can keep more of their tax dollars local as independent cities.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Is Boys Town, NE still independent? If not, when was it annexed?

    Mike
    The Village of Boys Town has not been annexed by Omaha. Wikipedia is my source.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

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