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Bellevue board approves next steps for housing project

By John McCracken

BELLEVUE – Residents living near Hoffman Road and Bellevue Street spoke against a preliminary plan to expand an existing apartment complex during the March 10 village board meeting.

Crystal Lake Apartments is proposing the expansion of its 238-unit complex onto roughly 25 acres split across two parcels.

The addition would include 138 multi-family units made up of 46 one-bedroom units, 46 two-bedroom-two-bath units, and 46 three-bedroom-two-bath units.

The expansion averages 7.6 new units per developed acre.

Community Development Director Andrew Vissers said the expansion is similar to the Howard Loft apartments with preliminary plans recently approved in Howard.

“These will mirror or mimic the appearance of those,” said Vissers.

Alliance Management is the developer/manager for the new Crystal Cove apartments as well as the Lancaster Creek Business Park apartments called Alta and The Lofts at Howard Commons

Former land owner Robert Hoekstra said the project has been ongoing for 16 years with Bellevue, and the growth of the housing development has been a longtime coming.

“I think it’s very progressive and a positive for the village,” said Hoekstra.

Residents surrounding the project said they are concerned about privacy, water management and property values.

Resident Scot Medford said the assessment of the project as progressive is off-mark.

Medford said he is concerned about lowering property values.

“I’m not against progress, it has to happen, it should happen,” said Medford. “I’m just against progress in my backyard.”

Resident Mary Vanden Heuvel, who has lived in the village for 50 years, said water runoff and the proposed development’s elevation are concerns to her.

“I have the same sympathies for our neighbors who might have water runoff, too,” said Vanden Huevel.

Ryan Van Straten, co-owner of Alliance Management, said development will positively affect water runoff because right now, water pools in nearby open fields.

“Once we develop, we’re going to put in infrastructure,” said Van Straten.

The project would include storm sewers, retention ponds and down-spouts going into storm sewers.

“We want to keep Crystal Lake one of the nicest units in town,” said Van Straten.

Trustee Dave Kaster said he doesn’t want anymore apartment buildings, and residents who recently moved to the area most likely didn’t buy homes thinking an apartment building would be popping up behind them.

“I think we’ve got enough apartments for now,” said Kaster.

Trustee John Sinkler said he understands the concerns of residents, but the expansion of Crystal Lake Apartments fits the needs of the village’s older population.

“We do have an aging community that’s getting a little bit older,” said Sinkler. “They don’t want to have the lawns. They don’t want to be dealing with the snow.”

The village board voted to move the plan into the next phase of preliminary plan development 4-1, with Kaster opposed.

Visser said the next step in the Crystal Lake development is a submission of a final planned development district (PDD).

“There will be more detailed plans, including a more detailed site layout, landscape, lighting, building elevations, etc.,” said Visser in an email.

Waste update

The village has opened its yard waste collection after a February vote to limit collection to village residents and Bellevue-based contractors only.

The village is issuing yard waste permits, but until a permit is issued, residents are allowed to use the site without a permit and contractors may use the site with a 2021 application on file.

The village is no longer accepting yard waste from non-Bellevue contractors.

Local contractor permits are $1,280 per vehicle.

A Bellevue contractor is defined as a business with a mailing address in the village and operating within a proper zoning district.

Beginning Monday, April 15, vehicles entering the Eaton Road yard waste site must have a permit.

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