Members of the Bellevue City Council last week agreed to exercise an option to acquire approximately 50 acres of land south of town for a future expansion of residential property.
As a result, the parcel known as the Stamp Farm just southwest of the intersection of Highway 52 and Springbrook Highway, could eventually become annexed as part of the city and new homes would be constructed there.
The land will cost $15,000 an acre, for a total of around $750,000 and the deal would be done through BETA (Bellevue Economic and Tourism Association). The option to purchase the land expires at the end of 2018.
Several years ago, the BETA group purchased 5 acres of the Stamp property for an industrial park to recruit new business and manufacturing. The new additional acres being purchased by the city would be used for a housing subdivision.
The estimate to run water, sewer and basic infrastructure to the location is about $1.5 million. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) will most likely be used for land acquisition and utility extensions, as well as monies from the state revolving loan fund and other grants for utility extensions.
All the latest activity is for the future growth of Bellevue, as the City has virtually run out of lots to build new homes, and because of the geography, bluffs, railroad tracks and river, there are few options left on which to expand.
Bellevue’s Housing Task Force, which provided a thorough presentation about housing in Bellevue, including historical and current numbers, was the driving force behind the decision to move forward.
Members of the Housing Task Force, which have been meeting on the issue for several months include Nick Heuneke, Lisa Schiffer, Allen Ernst, Dave Heiar, Nic Hockenberry, Rod Konrardy, Roger Michels, Shawn Cummings, Steve Nemmers, Steve Ruff and Tom Meyer.
“If the trend for newly built homes continues, then we could run out of lots in a couple years, and some question if all of the available lots are even buildable,” said City Clerk Abbey Skrivseth, who attended all the Housing Task Force meetings.
“While Bellevue is surrounded by great beauty with the Mississippi River and bluffs, it also limits us on where and how we can expand our city. To the north we have century farms where family is still utilizing it for farming, along with the railroad tracks, the west runs into floodplain areas, and the east is obviously the river,” she added. “Therefore, the only direction to expand the City limits at this time is to go south. Before making this decision, the Council thought long and hard and weighed the limited options that were available. The deciding factor was to provide future growth for our City for new development, primarily housing.”
The council did have one other option on which to acquire land to build, the Mootz property, which is offering 35 acres at $100,000 an acre. That move, however, would have cost $3.5 million, which is four times the cost of the Stamp property.