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For the week of September 20 through 26, 2000

Gannett Road golf course discussed

Trial balloons for developing south-of-Bellevue land

Express Staff Writer

Rod Rinker, son of Harry Rinker, developer of Golden Eagle II, has approached the Bellevue City Council with various ideas for developing 177 acres south of Bellevue on the east side of Gannett Road.

According to Bellevue Mayor Steve Fairbrother, even though Rinker hasn’t yet submitted a plan, he has been discussing ideas with him and council members since last winter.

Fairbrother said these discussions have not occurred before a quorum of the council.

Councilman Monty Brothwell described the discussions as Rinker coming to council members and asking, "What does Bellevue need?"

Some of the ideas Fairbrother has discussed with Rinker are annexation by Bellevue, a golf course, an outdoor amphitheater and a senior citizens center.

City councilman Larry Plott said he heard of an 18-hole golf course with light industrial, homes and affordable housing included in the development.

Brothwell said he talked with Rinker about a seniors’ retirement center, affordable housing and light industrial space.

"We’re almost sold out of light industrial property again," Brothwell said.

So far, according to Fairbrother, city officials have not liked what Rinker has discussed with them.

Blaine County commissioners Mary Ann Mix and Len Harlig confirmed that Rinker, so far, hasn’t made a concrete proposal for a development and that the county commissioners knew of Rinker’s desire to be annexed by Bellevue.

When asked about a plan for the property, they answered, "What plan? There is no plan."

They said that before Bellevue could annex Rinker’s property, the city would have to justify extending its area of impact with the county.

That, said Harlig, has not happened.

Councilwoman Vivian Ivie confirmed that, saying that although Rinker has talked to her about annexation, "There is nothing formal in front of the council. We have to get our area of impact resolved before anything is looked at."

Brothwell said Rinker needs to resolve water and sewer issues before coming to the city with a plan.

In a telephone interview, Rinker said he thought the Mountain Express was "a little ahead of the gun" on the story since he has not made a proposal to the city or the county.

He said that he has asked questions of the city and the county, because "one day the property will be developed."

But right now, he said, he is just trying to answer the question, "What’s this property about?"

Rinker was on Thursday night’s city council agenda, but this item was struck because Rinker was not ready to make a presentation, Fairbrother said.

Mix and Harlig said they would have been at the council meeting if Rinker had been on the agenda, but they were notified beforehand that the item had been struck.


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