The Bellevue City Council passed two amendments Monday night with no comments received from the public. The first changed the minimum front-yard setback in the General Residential zone from 25 feet to 20 feet, and the second restored language to the city’s comprehensive plan about an area of city impact, required by state law for annexation of land.

According to Community Development Director Diane Shay, the city initiated the amendment aimed at decreasing the front yard setback to reduce traffic speed and create a more inviting streetscape, as well as help reduce water consumption.

No citizens were present at the meeting when the amendments were presented to the council, and Shay confirmed that the city had received no written comments. At a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on May 20, only one person commented, speaking in favor of the amended minimum setback.

City Council members unanimously voted in favor of the amendment, with Councilmen Shaun Mahoney and Greg Cappel absent.

Shay said the area-of-city-impact language had previously been in the comprehensive plan, but the ordinance enacting the ACI was repealed in 2014 after negotiations failed with Blaine County in 2008.

Area-of-city-impact agreements are required by Idaho code section 67-6526 “to delineate areas of future contiguous growth in order to assure their orderly development and thereby reconcile potentially competing designs for boundary expansion with accepted land-use planning principals,” states Idaho case law Garden City v. City of Boise, as cited in a University of Idaho College of Idaho School of Law report.

According to previous reporting by the Idaho Mountain Express, county officials declined to sign off on the ACI document when it was written due to a dispute over transfers of development rights, a process whereby some areas would be favored for higher building density.

The amendment passed with Councilman Doug Brown opposed.

Labor Day planning underway

Heather Johnston, a member of the Bellevue Labor Day Committee, presented the committee’s plans for this year’s Labor Day festivities, to take place in Memorial Park once again. Johnston is taking over for Bruce Clark, who planned the event last year but said it would be his last. Johnston said this year’s event would be “as great as ever,” with a wider variety of food vendors and lots of support from the community and local businesses.

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