For the week of July 8 thru July 14, 1998  

P & Z brainstorms vision of Bellevue's future


By AMY SPINDLER
Express Staff Writer

The Bellevue Planning and Zoning Commission brainstormed ideas for the future land use section of the city’s comprehensive plan Thursday night.

At the forefront of the ideas bounced back and forth, the P&Z discussed changing the zoning around the old city park to a limited business zone. The long-term goal is to develop a pedestrian-friendly commercial core or city plaza.

"This is just preliminary discussion. It’s an idea, and how we get there is the real crux of the whole thing," said P&Z administrator Diane Shay.

The P&Z favored the idea of rezoning the area from Third to Fourth streets between Elm and Cedar streets to allow for businesses such as a bistro, retail shop or city hall. Commissioners talked about taking out the basketball and tennis courts, but upgrading the park.

"We’re not getting much return on the park right now," said P&Z member Parke Mitchell. "We could make some nice improvements, and get full use of the park."

The P&Z reviewed a comprehensive plan of Eagle, Colo., a community similar to Bellevue, that sits 30 miles outside Vail. Shay said she first planned to use the Ketchum and Hailey plans as a reference, but found Eagle’s objectives to coincide with the P&Z’s goals for Bellevue.

P&Z member Mike Mattias will meet with Eagle’s city planner in a few weeks. The P&Z’s chief vision for Bellevue is that it remain unique and maintain its existing non-resort atmosphere.

"It’s so neat for me to be really excited about what I’m doing," said Shay, who is focusing on promoting development from the inside out.

Shay said she hopes development will concentrate in the core of Bellevue, and not manifest five miles down Main Street each way.

"We want people to be able to walk somewhere to get what they need," she said.

Bellevue currently has four zone districts, general residential, commercial, light industrial and transitional. The P&Z is working to develop more zone districts such as limited business or several residential zones.

The P&Z will hold another workshop July 16, and also plans a meeting for public input in the future.

"It’s time to stop kicking around ideas, and start putting them down on paper," said Shay.

 

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