Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bellevue development laws near completion

City Council to consider new regulations Aug. 10


By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

Two new ordinances meant to provide increased flexibility for the city of Bellevue—as well as to developers—during the subdivision approval process are nearly complete.

Bellevue City Council members discussed last Thursday the two draft documents—one a development agreement ordinance and the other a planned unit development ordinance.

The drafting of the two ordinances comes at a particularly advantageous time for the city. City officials recently began considering the first of three separate annexation proposals for lands adjacent to the city.

The annexations, one on 100 acres northeast of town in Slaughterhouse Canyon and the other two on a combined 550 acres south of town and east of the Gannett-Picabo Road, would about double the city's size if fully built out.

"It's a process that we have wanted to have in place to better utilize the land being considered for annexation," Bellevue Planning and Zoning Administrator Craig Eckles said of the two new ordinances.

Both "allow for options in site design, site layout (and) allow the city to have greater control in construction design," Eckles said.

They also "provide the owner/developer the opportunities to provide benefits above the standard subdivision process," he said. "Both parties benefit. You see standards that are over and above typical subdivisions that include pocket parks, pedestrian trails and developed recreation areas."

Developers who agree to provide those types of extra amenities in their projects also gain certain benefits, Eckles explained.

"It's a tradeoff," he said. "For that, you get the consideration for smaller lot sizes, higher densities, many things."

The City Council will resume its discussions of the two ordinances at its Aug. 10 public meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.




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