Petitions to halt sale of city land now in hands of County Clerk


An ordinance for the sale of Lot 3, Southeast Addition in the city of Wayne to R. Perry Construction Inc. was passed on third reading during the Wayne City Council's March 15 meeting. 

At this time, R. Perry Construction, a company from Sioux City, Iowa, is planning to build a high-density luxury apartment building complex (144 apartments) on the 7.94 acres that is the upper soccer field and home of the former community garden.

Nebraska State Statute 16-202, which deals with the sale or conveyance of any real estate owned by a city, including park land, states "If within thirty days after the passage and publication of such ordinance a remonstrance petition against such sale is signed by registered voters of the city equal in number to thirty percent of the registered voters of the city voting at the last regular city election held therein and is filed with the city council, the property shall not then, nor within one year thereafter, be sold."  

The definition of remonstrance is "an earnest presentation of reasons in opposition to something; specifically: a document formally stating points of opposition or grievance."

Wayne County Clerk Debra Finn said she received the petitions from the city of Wayne on April 26. The city received the signed petitions from petition organizers who have been gathering them for the past 30 days. 

"Those in favor of the remonstrance petition are hoping that the year delay will give the city time to work with local entities to meet Wayne's current and future housing needs at all price points for persons and households of all income levels," said B. J. Woehler, President, Wayne Rental Association.

Finn's office now has 40 days to review the petitions to determine if there are enough valid signatures.

Residents of the City of Wayne who are registered voters were eligible to sign the petition.  Finn said that 625 valid signatures are needed for the remonstrance petition to take effect.  This number represents 30 percent of the number of voters who voted in the 2020 General Election in the city of Wayne.

She noted she is waiting on instructions from the City Attorney on verification guidelines.


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