La Vista -- Sarpy County
La Vista, in north central Sarpy County between Papillion and Ralston, was created in 1959 by a developer who planned to build 335 homes. Priced at a modest $9,999 each, it soon became known as "House of Nines." At the time, the assessed valuation was just over $1,000,000. The first families began moving into their homes in January 1960. La Vista (meaning "the view") was selected as its name by these "early settlers" because of the beautiful scenic view of the Big Papio Creek basin southeast of the development.
In March 1960 La Vista was incorporated, becoming a village. City Hall, the first municipal building to be constructed, was completed in 1964. As La Vista began to grow, new ordinances were enacted, municipal advisory boards were established, and city employees were hired. The town needed many things. Schools were constructed, streets were paved, and new residential and commercial developments were designed and built.
After rejecting the proposed plan to become a "city of the second class" in 1961 (for towns with a population of more than 2,500 but less than 5,000 people), La Vista residents approved the idea in 1962 with a population of just over 2,600.
Early financial problems, a drought, and lowland flooding threatened the future existence of the town. La Vista, however, not only overcame these early obstacles, but worked together to provide a secure base on which to build a pleasant and prosperous community.
Due to the exceptional growth of La Vista, a comprehensive plan was adopted by the city council in July 1970 to assist in the orderly development of the city. In February 1970 La Vista adopted a new zoning ordinance to help guide future development. When the population reached 5,000 people in October 1971, just 11 years after it was established, La Vista took steps to became a City of the First Class. By the time this system was in place, the population had reached 6,388.
The 1980 census recorded La Vista's population as 9,588. Two years later, the population estimate was nearly 10,700, making it one of the fastest growing towns in Nebraska. As a result of this phenomenal growth, several local citizens promoted the establishment of the La Vista Chamber of Commerce.
In February 1984, to further improve the financial condition of the new city, the La Vista city council paid off a $1,424,600 bond issue approved 20 years earlier. In November of that same year, the citizens voted to implement a one-cent city sales tax to diversify the tax base. Today, La Vista is in an excellent financial position, with assessed valuation exceeding $183,000,000. The city encompasses approximately one and one-half square miles, which includes 28.5 miles of paved streets and over 100 acres of parkland.
In 1990 La Vista celebrated its 30th year of incorporation during the annual "La Vista Days." This was not the only event at which the city's birthday was celebrated. During the year the announcement was made of a major new shopping center to be built in 1990-91, and a municipal executive golf course was approved and initial work begun. La Vista voters approved an additional one-half cent sales tax to undertake $3,000,000 of street improvements to connect the city's existing corporate limits with the new I-80 Harrison Street Interchange. The city council also made a commitment to build a $2.5 million community building in 1991-92. Each of these projects are significant actions rising from La Vista's remarkable growth.
While most Nebraska towns are well into their second century, our town, La Vista, won't be 100 years old until the year 2060. Despite our youth, La Vista is rapidly becoming an integral partner in the development of the Omaha-metropolitan area.
From a humble beginning -- providing affordable housing for working people -- to a prosperous, progressive municipality, residents are leading La Vista into a bigger and better 21st century.
Written by Steven S. Crowell, Jr., updated by Donald B. Eikmeier, City Administrator, 8116 Park View Blvd, La Vista, NE 68128