Kearney's Historic District Put on Hold - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Kearney's Historic District Put on Hold

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The debate on what Kearney's downtown will look like in the future has hit the brakes as there's no clear decision on how to renovate the ‘Bricks'.

On Tuesday there was a listening session for the public, and many downtown Kearney business owners spoke their minds on the proposed historic preservation overlay district.

"I'm all for preserving out downtown," said downtown Kearney business owner Mike Suchan.

"Second avenue businesses are entirely a different beast than what we have downtown and what we're trying to preserve," said Kearney resident Anne Bauer.

The two mains points in this proposal include: replacing signs to meet the historical significance of the area and making it necessary to give a 30-day notice if an owner wants to demolish their building.

"The 30-day waiting period accomplishes nothing. I think it is sort of appeasement for preservationists and the downtown," said Bauer.

Incentives were also discussed as a way to make Kearney's downtown a destination place.

"There needs to be some incentive there," said Suchan.

"More carrots, less sticks," said Kearney resident Timothy Lowe.

One of the issues brought up at the meeting was not to create too many restrictions on the businesses downtown so that way the area can thrive and not die.

The next step is a presentation to the planning commission, if the plan proceeds. No more listening sessions are planned.

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