The Bellevue City Council will hold a public hearing tonight at 6 p.m. on a proposed area-of-city-impact ordinance and associated map.

     Issues will include possible adoption of a map identifying the ACI within the unincorporated area of Blaine County and adoption of a separate ordinance providing application of plans and ordinances within the designated area.

     Bellevue Community Development Director Diane Shay met in 2018 with the Blaine County planner and Hailey city planner to come to an agreement on several issues. Discussion centered around whether an agreement was needed prior to a proposed annexation of 227 acres of the Eccles Flying Hat Ranch, in Blaine County just north of Bellevue.

     Since that time, Bellevue and Hailey have been in dispute over overlapping ACI boundaries between the two towns, a dispute that Blaine County is set to negotiate.

     ACI agreements can give governments some say in how surrounding lands outside of their jurisdiction are developed. They typically consist of a map and text. For Bellevue, an ACI could be used to confer with county officials on developments that could impact city services, infrastructure or quality of life.

     An ACI ordinance should also provide criteria for annexation into the city limits. State code requires an area of city impact to be established before an annexation can occur.

     In 2008, Blaine County and Bellevue developed an area-of-city-impact ordinance and map, but the city did not sign it, in part because it included a transfer-of-development-rights provision that would have likely concentrated building densities close to city boundaries.

For full story see the Wednesday edition of the Mountain Express.

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