Before the Westside Community Schools can build a new Oakdale Elementary, the District first must go through the process of rezoning the six-acre school site.
The property at 9801 West Center Road currently is zoned DR, for Development Reserve. That designation, according to an Omaha city planner, typically is assigned to areas that serve as buffers between agricultural land and residential or urban areas. The oldest portion of Oakdale was built in 1927, a time when development in the area was just beginning to convert farmland to neighborhoods.
Schools today typically are zoned under one of several residential categories. Rob Zimmerman, principal with Project Advocates, said rezoning probably wasn’t required for the additions and renovations at Oakdale over the years. But a new building will require a change, and bringing zoning up to date is good practice. “It’s just good to clean it up,” he said.
Westside High School, Loveland Elementary and Swanson Elementary, for example, all are zoned Residential 2. But Oakdale isn’t the only metropolitan area school on property with DR zoning. So is Elkhorn High School. However, Elkhorn South High School, which opened in 2010, was zoned R4.