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Bellevue approves apartment complex expansion, eyes Costco-adjacent development

By John McCracken

BELLEVUE – The village board approved an apartment complex expansion project in southwest Bellevue last month.

The Crystal Lake Apartments expansion passed 4-1.

It allows for the construction of 46 one-bedroom units, 46 two-bedroom-two-bath units, and 46 three-bedroom-two-bath units, for a total of 138 units.

Residents who live near the corner of Hoffman Road and Bellevue Street – where the complex is located – expressed concerns related to privacy, floodwater management and property values.

The expansion project will split 25.3 acres into two parcels and moves forward with guidance from Alliance Management and property owners Robert and Erin Hoekstra.

Bellevue resident Scot Medford said the board was doing the community a disservice with the expansion.

“Everything about this is not good for this area,” he said.

Medford, who lives directly adjacent to the project, said he is concerned about increased traffic, light and noise pollution, loss in property value, and refuse from the units and parking lot blowing onto his property.

Currently, the planned expansion features rows of trees and landscaping on the property line perimeters to address privacy and beautification concerns.

Bellevue resident Amanda Trudeau said the plan looks good on paper, but privacy is a concern for her.

“Am I going to have to wait for 20, 30 years for a full-grown tree?” Trudeau said.

Board trustees echoed these concerns and amended the plan to add a condition that trees planted along the southeast property line are at least 3 inches in diameter.

Trustee Dave Kaster was the sole nay vote against the expansion.

He expressed concern over the frequency of multi-unit family housing approvals and their effects on surrounding zoning.

“There are enough apartments in Bellevue,” said Kaster.

Ryan Van Straten, co-owner of Alliance Management, said while the concerns of neighbors are important, delaying the expansion project would negatively impact the need for housing across the region.

“There is a huge need for housing in our community,” said Van Straten.

Costco congestion woes

The owners of a parcel next to Costco have been approached by two interested parties, but the sale is contingent on full traffic into the lot.

Trustees and staff expressed concern over congestion and the potential impact on the area’s growth.

Mike Tesar, who spoke on behalf of the property owners Van Rite Farms, said the purchase will move forward if full access is given to the parcel on Town Hall Road and Landmark Boulevard.

However, the property owners need an answer by June 30.

“If this doesn’t go through and we don’t get an answer on this here really quick, we may lose these users,” said Tesar.

He said the property owners and developers entered into a contract with a service business and a professional business wanting to split the parcel into multiple lots.
“I hope you see congestion in this area as a positive as people are patronizing these businesses,” said Tesar.

Andrew Vissers, director of community development, presented different concepts for traffic patterns into and out of the parcel, but village staff recommends a full traffic impact analysis (TIA) to get the development right.

Newly-hired interim director of public works and former Suamico administrator Steve Kubacki echoed staff sentiments for a traffic study.

“Good planning goes a long way,” said Kubacki.

Village trustees directed staff to move quickly to get quotes on the cost of a TIA in hopes to provide an answer on the developer’s timeline.

“It would be aggressive, but it could be done,” said Vissers.

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