local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

ski and snow reports


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

For the week of January 16 - 22, 2002


Homeowners howl 
about errant road

Bellevue’s Eighth Street 
crosses private property

"It will be more expensive to move the road in 20 years."

Steve Fairbrother, former Bellevue mayor

Express Staff Writer

Several homeowners in Bellevue may be losing parts of their front yards when developers start building a new subdivision.

The reason is that a city road is in the wrong place.

Developers Cindy and Ken Ward presented an application for a preliminary plat for the Maple Ridge Subdivision to the Bellevue City Council on Jan. 10.

The location of the subdivision is on the east side of Eighth Street, between Pine and Chestnut streets.

In the process of going through review by the Bellevue Planning and Zoning Commission, the developers and the city realized Eighth Street did not follow the city’s easement.

In fact, the road bends to the east outside the city’s easement and into the proposed subdivision.

Homeowners on the west side of Eighth Street, particularly those between Walnut and Chestnut streets, learned that property they had been enjoying and landscaping would be gone when the road was put within its easement.

That is, if the road is put into its easement.

The council voted to table the subdivision preliminary plat so its members could study the problem of the errant road.

How the road ended up out of bounds is not clear.

Cindy Ward said neither she nor her husband knew.

"I have no idea how Eighth Street was paved at such an odd angle. The question has been asked, but it doesn’t seem any of the city officials know, really," she said.

Derris Head, the owner of the property to be subdivided, said he figured the road has been as it is since 1935, the year he was born.

For the longest time, the property around South Eighth Street was pasture and orchard. Head assumes the road came to lie where it does by custom of use.

"No one ever said anything about it," he said.

Monty Brothwell, a former mayor and native of Bellevue, said, "I recall people saying those property owners on the west side of Eighth Street were building in the right of way."

He said one property owner knew exactly where the street easement was when he built his house.

The new owners of the homes along the out-of-place road, such as Wayne Inman, April Chizum, Teri Curtis and Julie Georgiades, may be the first to feel the impact of righting the road.

"I just hope the city will explore this," Chizum said.

Curtis, who lives on the corner of Eighth and Chestnut streets, said she was concerned about two big trees that would have to be removed if the road was moved.

"Leave us at peace," she told the council.

Mike Choat, the planner for the developers, was sympathetic toward the four homeowners.

"Building a subdivision in their front yards is bad enough, but taking part of their front yards is salt on the wound," he said.

The Wards were also sympathetic.

At one point during the public discussion, Ken Ward asked the council if it would consider leaving the road where it was on the condition the city shift a proposed city bike path from the east side of the road to the west.

The four property owners seemed to like this idea.

Others, however, thought it best to right the road now and make the expense of the move part of the cost of the subdivision.

Laira Thomas, the chair of the Bellevue P&Z, said, "Our main reason for straightening Eighth Street is that it needs to be brought up to standard."

Willi Huxford, a Bellevue property owner, said, "To be fair to all the property owners of Bellevue, the road should be made to conform."

He said the property that the four homeowners had been enjoying as front yard "belongs to all of us, not just them."

Bellevue homeowner Melissa Fry said, "The potential homeowners on the east side of the street have as much right to their property as those on the west side. I am in favor of moving the road."

Former Bellevue Mayor Steve Fairbrother told the council that he believed now was the time to move the road into its easement.

"It will be more expensive to move the road in 20 years," he said.

Cindy Ward said in a later interview that the original plan for the subdivision allowed for the road to remain in its present course, "just as long as the city allowed the land that was encumbered by the road count as part of a lot size of 12,000 square feet."

The minimum size allowed by the city for the subdivision’s lots is 12,000 square feet.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.