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Bellevue Riverfront Future to Be Discussed; Restaurants Moving Forward

A special meeting of the Bellevue city council is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, at 6 p.m. at the Callahan Center behind the city building.

Mayor Charlie Cleves said that the meeting will involve Southbank Partners and the unveiling of a plan for what could possibly work as a development along the city's western riverfront near the Harbor Green community.

In 2017, The River City News reported that the City of Bellevue tapped Louisville-based Marian Development Group to work out ideas for what could land at the vacant site. There was no specific plan released publicly. 

The decision to pursue a new development there followed the rejection of a plan by the Harbor Green condo developer, the Ackerman Group, to build an apartment community on the site. 

Details about what may be presented on Wednesday were not provided.

Meanwhile, two new restaurant projects move forward in the coming weeks in the center of town along Donnermeyer Drive, City Administrator Frank Warnock said. 

The stage one and two development plans for a new Burger King were approved, Warnock said, meaning that the site currently home to Miller's Fill In and KOI Auto Parts will soon be bulldozed to make way for the fast food establishment.

The new Burger King will replace the current location on Fairfield Avenue.

The Waffle House slated to go across from the Burger King should have ground broken in the next two weeks, Warnock said. 

The new restaurant will sit directly in front of Bellevue's Kroger grocery store on a site that previously was home to a self-serve car wash that has since been torn down. Warnock said that he confirmed word of the forthcoming groundbreaking in a call to Waffle House's corporate office. 

Warnock also offered an update on the hillside slippage issue in Bonnie Leslie, saying that the federal review process for federal aid for the project could take 12 to 18 months, though he is hoping for an earlier release of funds.

"The city has done all we can do up to this point to get us where we are," Warnock said.

Bellevue is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year and on March 15, the date of the city's 150th anniversary, a baseball game and associated events are planned.

From 2 to 4 p.m., Mayor Cleves said, a baseball game in the period style of the original Cincinnati Red Legs will be played between a tribute team and city employees. More details on the event are expected soon, but one item revealed at Wednesday night's city council meeting was a planned cake decorating contest for children in which kids would design a cake, and the winning design would actually be created.

Warnock also shared a list of 2019 accomplishments and a list of goals still to be achieved. The River City News shares the lists here, unedited:


1.      Enacted an Entertainment Destination License ordinance creating the Bellevue Entertainment District.

2.      Around $900,000 in grants committed in Bellevue.

3.      Established weekly senior staff management meetings.

4.      Effectuated the FEMA hillside stabilization project effort with professional engineers and focus.

5.      Established a working Code Enforcement Board.

6.      Amended the animal ordinance to increase dogs allowed and eliminate classification of pit bulls as “dangerous” animals.

7.      Re-wrote code enforcement legislation to streamline process.

8.      Activated code enforcement effort with Notices of Violations, Citations, fines. Fines actually paid and collected.

9.      Enhanced social media and communications effort sharing information through various sources promoting City events and projects.

10.  Hired a professional licensed City Engineer, Mike Yeager, with Integrated Engineering.

11.  Surveyed and re-designed Lincoln Road potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

12.  Enacted short-term rental legislation.

13.  Eliminated licensing fees for tables and chairs on City sidewalks.

14.  Created the position of Mayor Pro-Tem.

15.  Repealed bar ID requirements.

16.  Established a Transit Advisory Board.

17.  Amended parking violation fee ordinance.

18.  Established micro-grant policy.

19.  Re-wrote and passed the pay and classification plan ordinance.

20.  Passed legislation regulating delivery of unsolicited materials in the City.

21.  Passed legislation to change parking violation appeal process.

22.  Numerous sidewalk repairs implemented in the City.

23.  Took down numerous “bad” trees that were dangerous and/or cracking sidewalks.

24.  Established 9 am Sunday liquor sales.

25.  Established a fleet management program.

26.  Grinded uplifted sidewalks in the City.

27.  Installed bollards on Fairfield on City sidewalk next to City parking lot.

28.  Numerous bike racks installed throughout the City.

29.  Park upgrades with new playground equipment, benches.

30.  Provided pay increases for first responders, City staff.

31.  Purchased two “new” “used” police vehicles.

32.  Enacted a Fairness Ordinance to promote diversity and welcoming in the City.

33.  Re-built the website.

34.  Created the Book of Boards.

35.  Re-energized the Tree Commission.

36.  Hosted successful special events: Art in the Park, First Fridays, summer concert series, Fall Festival.

37.  Hosted litter abatement, paper shredding events.

38.  Welcomed new businesses.

39.  Established an Ambassador Program.

40.  Approved and executed a Social Contract.

41.  Re-activated second floor space meeting room.

42.  New ballpark and upgrades at the Bellevue Vets.

43.  Funded and help plan the Sesquicentennial 2020 celebration effort.

44.  Changed parking next to the Kent Lofts.

45.  Riverfront Development Task Force report developed.

46.  Established an annual Vision Session for the Mayor and Council.

Where we need to go (few but not all projects to consider)? 

1.      Marianne Theater RFP.

2.      Riverfront development.

3.      Complete Lincoln Road.

4.      Repair South Ward.

5.      Re-write zoning.

6.      Establish legislation for two-family conversion/driveway program.

7.      Establish procurement policy.

8.      Study, re-invigorate grant writing/application effort.

9.      Budget and execute tree removal.

10.  Take out the Berry/Anspaugh tree and repair the sidewalk.

11.  Establish quarterly meetings with SD1.

12.  Design of Donnermeyer Drive.

13.  Fund and establish economic development programming.

14.  Re-furbish railroad pedestrian bridge.

15.  Riverfront easement review and consideration.

16.  Franchise agreements and legislation.

17.  Re-write code enforcement, chronic criminal, chronic nuisance and waste management legislation.

18.  Address fleet management needs.

19.  Increase professionalism of City staff.

20.  BURCDA review.

21.  Re-energize Taylor business district.

22.  Tweak BED District.

23.  Review bond debt, and refinance.

24.  Make Center one-way next to the high school.

25.  Develop Witte Park.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher