Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bellevue does not need massive expansion

    As a Bellevue property owner and former Bellevue Planning and Zoning commissioner, I am appalled at the recent actions of the City of Bellevue. The P&Z commission first recommended a large annexation on the north end of town with little public input. Then, I guess someone read the comprehensive plan and realized that the annexation would not be allowed but rather than backtrack on their mistake, they decided to revise the comp plan to better accommodate the proposed development.
    When word got out, a large throng of residents showed up at a P&Z meeting to object. It is obvious to many that this annexation proposal is not a good idea yet the city appears resistant to listen to the public it supposedly serves. Chase Gouley is one exception to the deafness and stubbornness of the commission. He alone is standing up for the vision of the city that would maintain separation from Hailey, maintain a rural, small-town setting, preserve visual corridors and manage growth in a responsible manner without strip development in outlier regions. Others now are joining him, thank goodness.
    We don’t know yet about how the City Council members will act. Hopefully, they are now aware that a large percentage of residents are not happy with the annexation proposal.
    It is true that residential development does not pay its way in taxes, and the city now realizes this. I wish it would have realized this before approving the Sunrise and Strahorn subdivisions and channeling all the traffic down our formally quiet city streets. Elm Street is hit particularly hard and the Strahorn subdivision has not even started to build yet.
    Some business and light industrial growth would be welcome but we don’t need to rush to almost double the size of town to get some. A lot of the town is currently available and already zoned for this.
    Craig Eckles, Bellevue’s development director, believes the town needs this massive expansion to help pay expenses. I believe he is wrong.
    Please vote!
Andrew Harding


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