- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Dozens of trees have been removed at the site of a former Lincoln golf course as part of plans to build a senior living center.

The trees were removed this week at the former Knolls Country Club. Plans for the 190-unit senior living center were announced in March, and crews had to clear the land before construction can begin in the fall.

Pat Day of Omaha’s Dial Development, which is building the senior living center, said the city approved removing the trees.

“We went through a lot of time and effort to specifically come up with a game plan with the city and neighborhood representatives,” he said.

The approval process was contentious at times, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1VQDxBc ) reported. Neighbors hired a lawyer because they thought the project was being rubber-stamped by the Lincoln-Lancaster Planning Department.



The developer agreed to keep more trees than originally planned, as well as quadruple the distance between the complex and neighboring homes. Putting the project farther away saved more trees on the property’s perimeter, and the company transplanted some trees to give more of a screen to nearby homes.

The project was approved by the Lincoln City Council in August on a 6-1 vote. The developer and neighbors walked the site in September, identifying trees that would stay and which would be removed.

Dan Marvin, a former city councilman who lives nearby, said he and others tried to keep neighbors updated about the process through meetings, emails and door-to-door visits.

“I knew it was going to be a shock. We all knew it was going to be a shock,” said Marvin, who took an active role in representing the neighborhood in the process. “But when it actually happens, it’s a really dramatic change.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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