Following a major victory in negotiations over its right to expand north, the city of Bellevue is now seeking to add three more parcels of private land on the west side of state Highway 75 for consideration in the hope of gaining more influence over management of Friedman Memorial Airport.
“I’d personally like to see those areas in the ACI,” Burns said. “For a long time, Bellevue has not been heard when talking about what happens directly over our heads.”
The City Council reviewed proposed maps of area of city impact and memorandum of understanding areas on Monday. The maps represent the current state of affairs with Blaine County following a period of lengthy negotiations between Bellevue and the city of Hailey over who gets to control which areas between the two cities.
The area of city impact map, or ACI, if approved by Blaine County, would set out areas deemed appropriate for Bellevue to annex and develop in the unincorporated areas surrounding the city. The memorandum of understanding, or MOU map, lays out areas that would trigger a “heightened notification and comment period” by the city if they were to be developed in the county.
The ACI map presented Monday was a graphic representation of success after a years-long debate over which city should have control over a 227-acre area on the Eccles Flying Hat Ranch on the east side of Highway 75, south of Hailey and north of Bellevue. Blaine County recently stated that Bellevue should have the right to develop the area.
“It’s been a long and arduous process, but we got the east side of the highway, which is what this was all about,” said City Attorney Rick Allington.
He and the council advised recommending to Blaine County a provision that would prohibit each city from annexing areas that are not in its ACI areas.
“That would hinder the land owner [Eccles] from playing one city off of another,” Allington said.
No public comments were made or submitted on the matter at the public hearing.
The council also agreed to recommend the addition of three parcels amounting to 38.5 acres adjacent to the city limits from MOU to ACI designation near Chantrelle subdivision, including 35 acres on the west side of the highway belonging to the Eccles family.
Burns said that addition would expand the city’s ACI’s adjacency to the broad stretch of land reaching north to the airport, and possibly increase the chance for Bellevue to make comments if and when the airport expands south toward Bellevue.
“We have to be prepared for that,” Burns said. “We have for a long time tried to have some representation on the FMAA board. It might be good to make another attempt in the near future.”
Community Development Director Diane Shay said the addition would likely be well received by the county.
“These maps have been revised many times already,” Shay said. “Perhaps not including these parcels was just an oversight.”
Shay said she would work with county staff to find out when the additions will be reviewed, and when to bring the matter back to the Bellevue City Council for a continued public hearing.