The Bellevue City Council Monday could decide whether to permit a gated community of duplexes to be built on five acres south of Harrison Street and west of 53rd Street.
The initial proposal would see two duplexes arise on the northern edge of an approximately 30-acre area that currently consists of a single house, a lake, and some barns that house horses. More duplexes might be built depending on the response.
The acreage runs north along the west edge of Aspen Park to Harrison Street. It is gated at its north entrance at 54th and Harrison streets and is fenced off along the length of Aspen Park.
Emiline Street, one block south of Harrison Street, dead ends at the east entry to the property, which is the way neighbors want to keep it. The possibility that Emiline Street might be extended west drew worry that increased traffic might disturb what neighbors call a peaceful neighborhood.
Neighbors testified before the Bellevue Planning Commission and the City Council that an extension of Emiline Street was their primary concern.
The developer, A.J. Ostrander, founder and co-owner of Alajan Plastics, said he intends to retain the rural nature of most of the acreage along Aspen Park, and the duplexes will be built on five acres near Harrison Street.
He said he intends to live on the remaining 25 acres with his family.
He told City Council members Sept. 23 he is uninterested in expanding Emiline Street to the west because the buyers or renters of his duplexes would have access to Harrison Street without it.
It is the city, he said, that wants him to expand the street.
If Emiline Street is extended, he said, a gate will be placed at the point where it enters his private property, thus preventing use by the general public and adding no additional traffic to the public street.
Bellevue Planning Director Chris Shewchuk said Emiline Street should be extended by Ostrander, even if the extension is a private road gated off from public use.
Unlike cul-de-sacs, he said, dead ends are always intended eventually to extend into adjacent land. Leaving Emiline Street as it is would acknowledge it as a permanent dead end, he said.
Shewchuk said the fire department had no objection to Emiline Street being gated at the point it meets Ostrander’s private property, so long as fire trucks can access the property if needed.
Ostrander said it his intention to reserve his duplex community for persons aged 55 and over. At full buildout, he said he does not anticipating adding more than 50 cars to Harrison Street traffic.
He said he expects the duplex units will sell for between $150,000 and $180,000.